and the History
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The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)
Issue 362 | February 1, 2017 | Free
Another year of
09 533 6377
Migrants add value to New Zealand: Report
Contrary to the fears expressed
in some quarters about
their ‘harmful and negative
effects,’ migrants are good
for the progress of the country and New
Zealand’s Immigration Policy should be
That is the gist of a report published
by the ‘New Zealand Initiative,’ a
Wellington based think tank.
The Report, titled, ‘The New New
Zealanders: Why migrants make good
Kiwis,’ released on January 30, 2017,
is a short analysis of the various sectors
of the New Zealand economy that are
impacted by migration.
“Simply by moving here, immigrants
have helped to shape the forces that
make up modern New Zealand,” it said.
The Report said that the country has
a lot to offer to temporary migrants as
well as those who want to move here
“But are we suffering from our own
success?” it asked.
A different story
The Report cited arrival figures on
PLT (Permanent and Long Term) basis
to argue that the ‘extent of permanent
migration has been overstated.’
Quoting official figures, the Report
said there were 125,000 PLT arrivals
between June 2015 and June 2016,
29% of which were New Zealand and
About 55% of the PLT arrivals during
the period comprised temporary student
and work visas and that only a fifth
of the temporary visa holders gained
“PLT departures make up the other
side of the migration equation. Overall,
there was a net loss of 3200 native born
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New Zealanders in 2016, the lowest
level in the current PLT data series,” the
The Report quoted the New Zealand
General Social Survey as saying that
immigrants integrated well into the New
“They are less likely to claim a benefit,
more likely to be employed, and their
children have better education outcomes
than native born New Zealanders. There
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is relatively little ethnic or migrant
clustering, and where concentrations
do occur there is no indication of high
unemployment. 87% of migrants say
they feel they belong to New Zealand.
Surveys show New Zealanders too have
a generally positive view of migrants,
and value the contribution that they
make to the economy and the cultural
diversity they bring,” it said.
NZ First slams
But New Zealand First Leader and
Northland Member of Parliament
Winston Peters was not impressed.
“It is academic gobbledygook for
anyone in New Zealand to believe
125,000 people settling here in a year
is beneficial,” he said, calling the think
tank as ‘Pro-Market Lobby Group.’
As children go back to school and
principals struggle to find space and
teachers for them the pro-market lobby
group NZ Initiative has the gall to insist
mass immigration is a plus for this
country. Theirs is a jaundiced and biased
point of view. New Zealand infrastructure
is under siege,” he said.
Labour Party MP and Immigration
ateam of Licensed Immigration Adviser /Ex-Immigration Officer.
We provide tailor-made solutions to individual
migrant and their families seeking to study,work,
invest,dobusiness and livein
Spokesman Ian-Lees Galloway was
more charitable, saying that it engages
people on one of the most significant
current political issues but found it short
“The report fails to address the
inequity of outcomes for different kinds
of migrants. People who transition from
temporary work or student visas to
residency and citizenship earn considerably
less and have poorer employment
prospects than people who come as
skilled migrants. Those people are also
incredibly exposed to exploitation from
unscrupulous employers,” he said.
Indian Newslink will carry further
analysis of the Report in its ensuing issue
Bakshi becomes Parliamentary
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi,
who has been a Member of
Parliament on National List
since November 2008, has
been appointed Parliamentary Private
Secretary (PPS) to the Police Minister.
Melissa Lee, who has also been a
Member of Parliament on National List
since November 2008, was reappointed
to the post of PPS to Ethnic Communities
Minister. She has held the post
Among the other three PPS
appointments announced by Prime
Minister Bill English on January 26,
2017 were Jian Young (to Ethnic
Affairs Minister), Jonathan Young (to
Economic Development Minister) and
Scott Simpson (to Environment and
“These are important roles that
help ensure strong links between the
Minister and caucus and help ensure
communities are better served by the
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi
Government. Keeping all of our communities
safe is a priority of this Government
and Mr Bakshi will help the Minister of
Police in this regard,” Mr English said.
PPS are MPs appointed to assist
Ministers but, unlike Under-Secretaries,
they are not part of the Executive. They
receive no extra remuneration.
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FEBRUARY 1, 2017
GOPIO petitions Delhi on demonetised notes
The US-based GOPIO International
has sought the signature
of the People of Indian Origin
(PIO) to a petition being sent to
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi
requesting acceptance of demonetised
currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500
denomination with effect from the
midnight of November 8, 2016.
These are now known as Specified
Bank Notes (SBNs).
GOPIO International President Dr
Thomas Abraham said that PIO should
be treated on a par with Non-Resident
Indian (NRIs) who are now allowed
to deposit up to Rs 25,000 with the
Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
“Some of the NRIs (those holding
Indian passports), PIO and OCI card
holders have old currency notes safely
kept in their residences in India for reasons
such as education of their children
in India, supporting old age parents and
helping family members. The RBI and
commercial banks that hold Non-Resident
Ordinary (NRO) accounts must be
allowed to accept the old currency notes
up to Rs 250,000,” he said.
“Since all Indians holding PIO and
OCI card may not be able to visit India
prior to June 30, 2017, they should be
allowed to deposit old currency notes
at either the RBI or NRO Accounts
maintained with various banks in India
up to December 31, 2017,” Dr Abraham
GOPIO Oceania Coordinator and
Waikato GOPIO Founder-President
Suman Kapoor said that her Chapter
fully supports GOPIO International.
“I have also received a large number
of petitions from people in this origin. I
request all those people of Indian origin
to support this petition. It is necessary
to be a member of GOPIO to do so,”
What the Reserve Bank of India says
On January 24, 2017
An updated Ordinance of Reserve
Bank of India (issued on January 24,
2017) in Mumbai announced that
grace period has been allowed for
Indian Residents who were not in India
between November 9 and December
30, 2016 and that they can deposit the
SBNs at the RBI Offices in Mumbai,
New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and
Nagpur un to March 31, 2017.
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)
who were not in India during the
above-mentioned period can deposit
the SBN up to June 30, 2017.
“The Reserve Bank, if satisfied after
making the necessary verifications,
that the reasons for failure to deposit
the notes till December 30, 2016 are
genuine, will credit the value of notes
in the KYC (Know Your Customer)
compliant bank account of the tenderer,”
the notification said.
“While there is no monetary limit
for exchange for the eligible Resident
Indians, the limit for NRIs will be as
per the relevant Foreign Exchange
Management Act (FEMA) Regulations.
In terms of Section 6 of the Ordinance,
whoever knowingly or wilfully
makes any false declaration shall be
punishable with a fine which may
extend to 50,000 INR or five times the
amount of the face value of the SBNs
tendered whichever is higher. Any
person aggrieved by the refusal of the
Reserve Bank to credit the value of
notes as mentioned above may make a
representation to the Central Board of
the Reserve Bank within 14 days of the
communication of such refusal to him/
her,” the notification said.
Only for Individuals
The facility can be availed only
in individual capacity and only on
one occasion during the period. No
third-party tender is permissible under
This facility will not be available
for Indian citizens resident in Nepal,
Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and
Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) are not
Additional Reading: Our Editorial:
Will India consider exemption to
foreigners?’ under Viewlink.
Thousands join Women’s
March in Auckland
Jacinda Arden speaking at the Auckland
March on January 21
Thousands of Aucklanders took
to the streets on Saturday,
January 21, 2017 at ‘The
Women’s March’ held in more
than 80 countries.
Labour List MP said that it was not
“The goal was to to bring people
together to take a stand on issues that
feel like they could be under threat, and
to remind everyone of how important
those issues were. In the wake of so
much global political change, many
who came along felt it was important
to highlight the need for equality for
women, rights for immigrants and
workers, and religious freedom. It was
a celebration of difference and a call for
equality,” she said.
The Women’s March was also to
champion other causes including im-
migration reform, health care reform,
protection of the natural environment,
LGBTQ rights, racial justice, freedom
of religion, and workers’ rights.
The rallies were also aimed at
Donald Trump, immediately following
his inauguration as President of the
United States, largely due to statements
and positions attributed to him regarded
by many as misogynistic or otherwise
More than five million people are
reported to have joined the March
around the world and all of them were
The March in Washington DC was
held as a grassroots movement to “send
a bold message to our new administration
on their first day in office, and
to the world that women’s rights are
The organisers posted the ‘10
Actions for the first 100 Days’
campaign for joint activism to keep up
Marchers on Queen Street in Auckland
Authorised by Mahesh Bindra, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
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FEBRUARY 1, 2017
The Treaty and the History belong to us
continues to fascinate
as it did when I
first moved to Aotearoa New
Zealand and started learning
about this nation’s history.
It is an opportunity to reflect
and take stock of the Crown’s
relationship with Maori and
think about where we are
headed as a nation.
For me, it is an opportunity
to reflect where migrant and
ethnic communities fit into the
social fabric of our Nation.
In 2016, I had the privilege
of joining the Labour Party
team at Te Tii Marae for the
Political Day that precedes
Waitangi Day. It was a special
Waitangi, in the Bay of
Islands, is a beautiful place.
Unfortunately, when we
were there for the Political Day
2016, it was bucketing down
with rain. We stood for about
an hour in the rain waiting to be
welcomed onto Te Tii Marae.
Waitangi has an especially
amazing vibe during Waitangi
Day celebrations. The Treaty
grounds are taken over by
about 150 stalls.
Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi
It was a convivial event with
music, laughter and children
I was pleasantly surprised,
because all the media reports
that I had read about Waitangi
focused on the protests and the
sometimes-hostile treatment of
politicians on the Marae.
It was a surreal experience to
be in a place on a day that holds
such historical and political
significance for New Zealand.
I feel very strongly that we
have a responsibility as migrants
to learn New Zealand’s
history and understand the place
that tangata whenua occupies
in that history. For too long
now, there has been a struggle
between biculturalism and
Some people consider
biculturalism as restrictive
because it excludes ethnic
communities. Others consider
multiculturalism a threat to the
bicultural framework within
which New Zealand operates.
They are concerned about the
effect of multiculturalism on
the status accorded to tangata
whenua, the people of the land.
I believe that we need both.
As popular Public Lawyer
Mai Chen said, “We need to
start talking about multiculturalism
on a bicultural base.”
I learnt about Te Tiriti O
Waitangi relatively recently.
It was when I was studying
a paper that dealt with issues
of race-relations that I learnt
about its two different versions,
the original in te reo Maori and
the other in English translation
and the way it has shaped
I learnt about the land wars
and confiscation, the struggle
that Maori went through to
preserve te reo Maori and their
culture. It was then that I started
to understand the Treaty settlement
process and the protests on
A public meeting that I
attended recently in Pt England
highlighted the importance of
learning Maori history.
The meeting was called to
hear the views of residents on
a government Bill that would
enable the sale of a third of the Pt
England Reserve to Ngati Paoa
as part of their Treaty settlement
There were various views
expressed, both for and against
the sale of the land.
However, there were a couple
of questions that led me to
realise that there was a need
for more education around the
Treaty settlement and negotiation
process – why it is happening
and what it entails.
As New Zealanders, we are all
in this together.
As migrants, Aotearoa’s
history has become ours.
The onus is on us to find out
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FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Together, we can make Mount Albert better
February 25, 2017 may not have
etched into many people’s minds
as much as it is etched into mine.
It is the day of the Mt Albert
By-elections may seem like common
place of late.
Phil Goff’s election as Mayor of
Auckland (on October 8, 2016) triggered
one in Mt Roskill Auckland (on December
But Mt Albert is not a place that has had
much MP turnover in the past few years.
In fact, the Constituency has had only have
four Members of Parliament since it was
established in 1946.
I can see why.
It is a wonderful place to live, with a
But having knocked on a few doors now,
and talked to people about the issues of
their interest and concern, there is no doubt
that there are ways we could make a great
place even greater.
The most common theme I have heard at
the doorsteps is the roof over people’s head.
Those who own a home are often worried
about whether they could ever afford to
move if for instance their family grew, or
whether their children will ever be able to
buy their own home.
Those who are renting are worried that
rentals have also gone up by 40% since
2008. And those who are looking to buy
simply want to know if would get any
It is a fair question, given that Mt Albert
is the seventh least affordable place in
Auckland to buy a home.
Basic human right
Shelter, a safe warm and dry home
should not just be in our law, but a human
right. Housing needs to be affordable; so,
that means building what our market does
Demand needs to be dampened. That
means putting a stop to those who do not
live here being able to buy.
Investment should be into our productive
economy instead; that means taxing speculators.
As we meet the growing demand
on our city, we need to keep a sense of
our community. That means decent urban
design and planning.
The housing crisis has a knock-on effect.
Developments like Unitec are bringing
much-needed housing into Mt Albert, but
must make sure that we have the transport
infrastructure to deal with the growth in
And by that I mean, for instance, a
crosstown bus route connecting Mt Albert
to the North-Western busway and to the
south, light-rail that comes from the city
through to Dominion Road (something that
we announced while campaigning in the
Mt Roskill By-election) and safer walking
and cycling options, including looking at
ways to connect the school communities
that are divided by motor ways.
These are all things that would significantly
improve people’s ability to move
around the community.
Like other parts of Auckland, we have
great schools in Mt Albert, but they are
facing challenges. Rolls are growing, and
we now have two of the largest primary
schools in the country.
That would be fine, so long as the
schools have the space and buildings they
need to cope. I know that the Principals are
doing their best, but operational funding for
schools was frozen in the last budget and
there are some massive building projects
We need to make sure that we work
alongside school communities to meet the
growing need, not wait till they burst at the
There would always be more that we do
to make our communities feel safer, more
secure, and better connected.
Community-based policing is one of
My father was a policeman for 40 years.
I have always believed that the best
policing is community based – that means
having them in our neighbourhoods,
available and approachable.
Over the years, Mt Albert has lost the
small police kiosks, with the police moving
to centralised offices.
That needs to change, and we should
start by bringing the police presence back
to Mt Albert.
There are so many good things about the
communities in which we live, but there are
always things that we could make better.
What is on your wish list?
Please feel free to write to me at
I also look forward to meeting you at
your homes, offices, festivals, community
events; in fact, at every opportunity.
Jacinda Arden is Member of Parliament
on Labour Party’s List from Auckland
Central Constituency. She is the Party’s
Spokesperson for Justice; Arts, Culture
and Heritage; Children; and Small Business.
She is also Associate Spokesperson
for Auckland Issues.
She is the Labour Party candidate to
contest in the Mt Albert by-election
scheduled to be held on February 25,
2017 to fill the vacancy caused by the
resignation of David Shearer, who is
taking up UN diplomatic assignment as
the Head of the Peacekeeping Force in
Fight over Jallikattu turns political
Protestors mount anger on Modi government
It began as a fight against the human
right to conduct a two-thousandyear-old
sport but soon became an
agitation against Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, accusing him and his
government of having caused havoc with
demonetisation and a host of other issues.
‘Jallikattu,’ a popular sport which
involves taming of bulls at ‘special
fights’ watched by thousands of people
in various cities, towns and villages of
Tamilnadu, became a national issue of
debate, because it was banned.
New Zealand protests
Protests were held throughout Tamil
Nadu and other parts of the world where
people from Tamilnadu live. These
continued even after the ban was lifted
and the Tamil Nadu government issued
an Ordinance that the ‘Taming of the
Bull’ can be conducted as a ceremony.
Protest meetings, which were later
described as ‘expression of solidarity
by the people of Tamilnadu’ were held
in Wellington and Auckland. The mood
was one of exuberance and the ‘urge to
Speakers at the meeting held in the
Auckland Domain said that Tamilians
Breach of rules endangers bulls- a fight in progress in Tamilnadu.
should forget their differences on politics
and other issues and come together
to voice their support to upholding
traditional and cultural values.
In Tamilnadu, Chief Minister O
Panneerselvam promised protestors that
the Ordinance, promulgated by Tamil
Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao on
January 19, 2017 would take effect
immediately and that the government
would introduce a Bill in the State
Assembly to reinstate Jallikattu as an
approved sport. The crowds in most
cities and villages did not appear
Jallikattu, held thereafter at a number
of centres had enthusiastic support
of people who ‘enjoy’ the sport but it
lacked the purpose for which it came
into being more than 2500 years ago.
Some historians place the origin of
the ‘Game’ to at least 100 BC but it
gained popularity under the reign of
several popular kings of Tamilnadu
to promote the spirit of competition
between villages, determine the valour
of contestants who were allowed no
more than 30 seconds to hold the horns
of the raging bull.
Each bull can be restrained only by
one contestant and no foul methods
were allowed. The bulls were treated
Following allegations that
the animals were ill-treated and
inappropriately prepared for the fight
and that Jallikattu fanned unwanted
inter-community rivalry, the Indian
Supreme Court banned the game in
January 2008 but revoked its own order a few
days later allowing the game to be held under a
new set of conditions and guidelines.
Among them was the ways and means of
promoting safety of the participants.
The sport is usually held as a celebration of
Pongal, the harvest season in Tamilnadu, occurring
on January 14. It was not at least a week
later this year that as protests became violent and
destructive, that the federal government issued
an Ordinance according permission, followed by
the State government.
This writer hails from Tamil Nadu and has
watched Jallikattu held in many parts of the
State. Indian Newslink have said that in recent
years, this sport has acquired ‘nasty dimensions’
and that those preparing bulls for fights
violated all rules of the game. Safety of the men
participating in these events also became a cause
Media reports in India said that the Jallikattu
issue has taken another course – to demonstrate
the growing animosity against the Centre.
Writing on the website of The Wire India
on January 23, 2017, R Ramasubramanian described
the ‘growing ire of the agitators and their
leaders against the media was ‘A noteworthy
He quoted them as saying that the media
coverage of anti-Modi protests was lukewarm.
Communist Party of India South Chennai
District Secretary A Bakkiam said that
there was an unwritten understanding on the
part of the media – especially the electronic
media – to suppress and blackout as much as
possible of the anti-Modi protests at the Marina.
“There is a huge difference between what one
sees on the television and what is happening at
the ground level. Repeatedly, media is focusing
on ‘People for Ethical Treatment of Animals’
(PETA) because the organisation is just a soft
target and constitutes just 10% of the total anger
among the crowd. But over 90% of boiling
anger is against Modi,” Mr Bakkiam said.
“When a protestor speaks to the camera on
PETA she will be allowed. But when she starts
speaking on Modi, she will be immediately
pulled out by somebody and the concerned TV
crew themselves are immediately discouraging
her from continuing. I openly told this in a live
TV talk show from the Marina beach and the
anchor retaliated by asking how you can say that
just because somebody was shouting against
Modi there is a ground swell of anger against
Modi. This is their understanding of the issue
and what more I can say?”
Mr Subramanian also quoted A Marx, a writer
and social activist as saying that activists and
authors too criticised the media for this attitude.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy added his
own fuel to the burning fire.
He described the protestors as ‘Porukis,’
meaning street urchins
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Indian seeks seat on Howick Board
young health professional
of Indian origin is seeking
to serve on the Howick
Local Board (Botany
Subdivision), voting for which
commenced on January 24 and is set
to conclude on February 17, 2017.
Nivedita Sharma Vij is contesting
as an Independent in the by-election
caused by the dramatic resignation
of Lucy Schwaner (wife of Jami-Lee
Ross, elected MP from Botany
and Junior Whip of the National
government) just a month after the
local board election held on October
Ms Vij said that she is aware of
the challenges that the job of a local
board member entails and that she is
prepared to face them.
“I will work for transparent and
effective governance to advocate and
acknowledge core community needs.
I will ensure respect for all voices of
our communities and that people’s
suggestions are included in the local
board decision making process. I
want to support Botany residents and
their families so that they enjoy life
as per their aspirations,” she said.
Married with two children, Ms
Vij migrated to New Zealand from
her native India in 2002. A Justice
of the Peace, she has community
governance experience in a number
of organisations including the Manu-
Nivedita Sharma Vij
kau East Council of Social Services,
Manukau Indian Association,
Bhartiya Samaj, Rotary Club and
Khushi, a project of Shanti Niwas
Ms Vij said that her vision for the
Local Board is an inclusive and safer
society, recognition and celebration
of diversity, equal opportunity
for all and healthier and holistic
We need to take pride for all good
work and be honest and ready for
challenges it entails. Let us make our
Auckland a great place to live, work
and play. Together in partnership, we
will address the concerns effecting
our present, our future and the
stability of all our residents,”
Her catchment area for local
board includes Flat Bush, East
Tamaki, East Tamaki Heights
and Ormiston. The Subdivision
has 36,000 enrolled electors
including around 200 new
voters who turned 18 since the
main local body elections were
held three months ago.
Electoral Officer Dale
Ofsoske said that any person
who has not registered to vote
should do so by requesting for a
“It is a simple process. Please
call the Electoral Office on (09)
9735212 or 0800- 922 822.
Ballot boxes and special votes
are available at Botany Library,
Level 1, Sunset Terrace, Botany
Town Centre or at the Electoral
Office, Independent Election
Services Ltd, Level 2, 198
Federal Street, Auckland,” he
There are six other candidates
contesting for the single
seat. They are Mark Johnson
(Labour), Malcolm Page
(Independent), Julie Patterson
(Independent), Ailian Su (Independent),
Mike Turinsky (Practical
Not Political) and Kuan
Cheong Yap (Independent).
For further information,
please visit showyourlove.co.nz
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
International students urged to get
International students keen on
gaining employment in New
Zealand should have their overseas
qualifications assessed by the
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
(NZQA), a young graduate has said.
Prasannan Thilakan, who obtained
a Graduate Diploma in Operations
and a graduate degree in Production
Management from the Universal
College of Learning (UCOL) said that
recognition of qualifications by NZQA
is the first step towards career success
in this country.
NZQA assessed and certified engineering
qualifications that he obtained
in India, which he said meant that they
are valued in New Zealand.
“Employers can see what they are in
terms of NZQA,” he said.
Prasannan completed Mechanical
Engineering in India and arrived in
New Zealand to study Production
Management while also gaining work
experience overseas. He chose UCOL,
which according to him “stood out for
its practical learning, smaller class sizes
and Palmerston North’s relatively low
cost of living.”
“Students from India ask me about
UCOL and I say that it provides practical,
hands-on learning. You learn skills
that help you in the real world.”
Before arriving in New Zealand,
Prasannan emailed more than 30 companies
based in Palmerston North and
surrounding areas, offering to do paid
or unpaid work. His efforts landed him
an internship with interior joinery company
Hansens for the first semester, as
well as a part-time production operator
role at farming hardware manufacturer
“I advise international students
seeking admission to UCOL to do their
research and find an internship. If possible,
look not only for part-time work
that pays well but also for internships
that provide great opportunities after
you finish your course.”
A highlight of the Graduate Diploma
in Operations and Production Management
for Prasannan was interning at
integrated services company Spotless
during the second semester.
“Through interning, I learnt how
to fit in with the New Zealand office
culture, how to appeal to people here
and how to communicate effectively.”
He says his lecturers were very
helpful, especially when it came
to overcoming communication
“When I first got here, I had a bit
of trouble understanding the New
Zealand accent, but the lecturers were
able to explain things in ways I could
understand. There are also Learning
Advisors on campus who can help with
your assignments, Prasannan said.
Soon after graduation, Kiwitech
International made him a full-time job
as Production Engineer.
Six months later, he wanted to move
on to a bigger company and was skilled
enough to get a technical job at the
Proliant Biologicals plant in Fielding.
Proliant Biologicals is an American
biofirm that produces about half of the
world’s bovine serum albumin (BSA),
which is used in pharmaceuticals,
vaccines, and medical research.
The Feilding plant in New Zealand
was opened in February 2016 and has
the capacity to process 1000-1500
tonnes of blood plasma with the ability
to expand up to 3000 tons a year.
“There are plenty of opportunities to
grow,” Prasannan said.
Health promotion in schools should be holistic
Dr Eva Neely
We need a more holistic
approach to health
promotion in schools to
I was dissatisfied when reading literature
about young people’s nutrition,
which was often narrow and negative.
Young people are always put in a
bad light, because they do not adhere to
the right fruit and vegetable levels, and
they are deemed a big risk to our future
health. I always felt that it was really
undermining, and very narrow, and
it did not really take into account the
Beyond physical health
Our strong focus on this physical
health lifestyle approach really impacts
on health holistically. I think a much
better focus for looking at health in any
population is a more holistic picture,
looking at physical, mental and social
health and how these aspects affect
each other and how we can approach
health promotion from more of an
My personal interest in nutrition
clashed with existing research, and
I wanted to know more about the
meaning of food for social health.
It is not up to individuals always to
make the right health choices, and not
I watched and spoke to teachers and
Year 13 students (between 16 and 18
years of age), exploring the students’
everyday food practices including
routines, rituals and habits.
Filling knowledge gap
The purpose of my paper was to fill
the knowledge gap exploring how food
rituals act as vehicles for young people
to establish, maintain, and strengthen
While fully immersed at school,
attending three-to-five days a week, I
was able to observe the students’ eating
habits and decision-making. They
discussed typical things you would
think of interest to 16-year-olds, from
boys, to things going on at school to
other girls and other groups.
Relationships would seem to me to
be one of the main things that matter to
young people - where they stand, who
are their friends - because they seem to
be their primary support people during
that quite vulnerable period.
Those emerged as key things in their
talk. Food emerged in these practices as
something quite noticeable sometimes.
For example, if people were in a mood
or having a fight, they didn’t offer that
person food as part of the group when
offering food around.
The findings include three food
rituals highlighted as significant for
young people in managing their social
Food rituals were used to build,
maintain and regulate relationships.
Gifting food was quite a big thing.
There were often girls that had made
cupcakes to bring and share with others
or they made something for someone’s
These were all really engrained
practices linked to their relationships.
The act of going for a walk to get
lunch encouraged social interaction
and was a means for young people to
integrate into a new group, and ritualised
food sharing involved negotiating
Further research is needed to explore
how young people use food rituals in
their everyday lives to manage social
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A focus on social relationships in
settings such as schools could broaden
the scope of nutrition promotion to
promote health in physical, mental,
and social dimensions, and have
wide-reaching implications for school
Dr Eva Neely is a Lecturer at the
Massey School of Public Health. She
spent a year at an urban secondary
school for girls, observing and
interviewing students and teachers
about how they use food in everyday
life to understand the social meaning
of food amongst young people. She
was a guest at a weekly ‘Who Cares?
What’s the Point?’ podcast, recently
launched by Associate Professor Sarb
Johal from Massey University School
of Psychology. The series is ‘About
the mind for people who think.’
The picture here shows her with her
manukau.ac.nz |09968 8614
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Children’s programme benefits more schools
About 1500 children studying
in low decile schools from
Northland to Nelson were
among the beneficiaries
in the new school year that began on
Seventeen schools in this region
received food, raincoats, shows and
basic health and hygiene items under
the ‘KidsCan’ Programme, run by the
KidsCan Charitable Trust since 2005.
The items are supplied to children in
hardship in 600 low decile schools, accounting
for an increase of 100 schools
last year, thanks to donor support.
The current KidsCan ‘Food for Kids’
programme assists more than 21,000
children a week, thanks to generous
funding from the government, individual
donors, Trusts and Foundations,
corporate partners and Principal Partner
The support of its donors has enabled
the charity to distribute 17,422,619 food
items, 250,309 raincoats, 114,749 pairs
of shoes, 229,558 pairs of socks, and
351,044 health and hygiene products
since KidsCan began in 2005.
The ‘KidsCan Nit Buster Programme,’
which treats head lice in 110
schools has performed 65,093 head lice
checks and 28,000 treatments in the past
KidsCan Charitable Trust Founder
and Chief Executive Julie Chapman said
that the Programme is now available in
58% of all decile 1-4 primary, intermediate
and high schools, including 75% of
all decile 1 schools and 72% of all decile
“The Charity is seeing a constant
increase in the need for the support
it provides to children living with
hardship. Four years ago, the average
number of children needing food
support from KidsCan in lower decile
schools was around 15% but has since
risen to almost 25%,” she said.
About 75% of the participants in
a KidsCan 2016 Survey said that the
most common food issue was children
arriving at school without having had
breakfast and without any lunch.
The top two issues are nutrition/
hunger and head lice infestations,
followed by oral hygiene and skin
Figures released by the Office
of the Children’s Commissioner in
December 2016 indicated that there
were still 295,000 (more than 1 in 4)
children living in hardship despite
recent improvements in the economy.
Of the families living in hardship,
45% of children in income poverty are
in households where the main income
is paid employment and income
poverty has doubled from 14% in
1982 to 28% today.
Approximately 155,000 New
Zealand children live in households
that go without seven or more things
they need (material hardship). This
includes going without adequate food,
suitable shoes and clothing, sufficient
heating and visits to the doctor.
Ms Chapman said, “We all have a
responsibility to ensure that our communities
and the children in them can
thrive and have the chance to grow
into contributing members of society.
I think most New Zealanders would
agree that it is not ok that so many
of our children are going hungry and
without the basics through no fault of
Meeting the extra costs incurred at
‘Back to School’ time can be stressful
for low income families, and KidsCan
Charitable Trust is looking for more
caring Kiwis to support a child in
need for $15 a month (50 cents a day)
through its ‘In Our Own Backyard’
Useful items that poor children cannot afford
programme. Regular donations of just
$15 per month provide a child with food
at school, a raincoat, shoes, socks and
basic health and hygiene items.
The KidsCan Charitable Trust was
co-founded in 2005 in a garage
in Greenhithe, Auckland by Julie
An evaluation was conducted in 80 low
decile schools, following continuous
media reports about New Zealand
children going without the basics.
It revealed that thousands of children
were turning up to school cold, wet
and hungry because their parents were
struggling to make ends meet. Schools
reported that this was having a major
impact on children’s learning ability,
self-esteem and health.
Children who miss out on the basics
get sick more often, do worse at school
and when they become adults they
are more likely to be unemployed and
have children who will also grow up in
KidsCan was started with a generous
$40,000 grant from the Guardian
Trust, now trading as ‘Perpetual
Today, KidsCan supports the education
of thousands of children in 600
low decile schools throughout New
Zealand, providing food, shoes,
socks, fleece lined Vodafone Warriors
branded raincoats and basic hygiene
Its tangible programmes ensure that
disadvantaged children can get to and
through the schools’ gates in a better
position to learn.
Mission Statement: As a reputable
New Zealand charity, KidsCan strives
to be the conduit for individuals, community,
business and Government to
cooperate in providing food, clothing
and basic health care in schools, to
enable all disadvantaged New Zealand
children to reach their potential.
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FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Varsity partnership to develop cancer vaccines
Back to School Safety Tips for all
Anthony on Safekids
Thousands of students are
marching back to school.
Safekids Aotearoa has valuable
safety tips to keep children safe.
They are safer in a booster seat till
they are 148 cm tall.
Primary school children seated in
booster seats in the back seat of the car
are 59% less likely to be injured in a
crash than children using only seat belt.
No helmet, no brain. Wearing safety
helmets when cycling, scootering or
skateboarding to school is a must.
For cyclists, aside from being a law,
wearing a helmet reduces the risk of
severe brain injury by 74%.
Devices down, heads up when
crossing the road. Avoid digital
distraction; teach children to remove
their earphones when crossing the road,
and to stop walking if they need to use
Watch out for sneaky driveways. If
you cannot see the driveway from the
footpath, remember to stop and look to
make sure there are no cars exiting the
Have a school travel plan. Teach
children to use a safe route to school,
and to be aware of dangers when
walking, cycling or scootering.
Closely supervise new entrants
when walking to school for the
Double check intersections and
A child might dart across the
street when you least expect it.
They are also hard to see
between parked cars.
Stopping at intersections and
slowing down in high pedestrian
traffic areas will give you time
to check if your path is clear of
Slow down at school zones.
30-40 kph variable speed limit
zones will be operational again
during school commute hours,
and drivers are required to slow
down when the lights are on or
the signs are up.
Even when they are off, be
extra vigilant; an evening event
or a weekend game might be on,
and hence you must watch out for
Passing school buses: Either
way, it is 20 kph.
If a school bus has stopped, the
law requires you to slow down
and drive at 20 kph or less, until
you are past the bus, no matter
which direction you are driving.
The University of Auckland is
partnering with an American drug
development company to launch a
biotech start-up that will research
novel cancer vaccines.
The new start-up, ‘SapVax,’ was formed
by scientists from the University of Auckland
and BioMotiv, an accelerator company in
Cleveland in Ohio that is part of a $300
million initiative for advancing medicine.
SapVax will develop a suite of first-in-class
cancer vaccines based on a novel peptide
It is based on intellectual property licensed
from the University of Auckland, developed
by Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble
and Dr Geoff Williams in Chemistry, and
Professor Rod Dunbar, a physician-scientist,
in the School of Biological Sciences.
All the academic scientists will continue to
be involved in the clinical development of the
“The Auckland team’s discoveries present
a novel platform for overcoming traditional
barriers to developing cancer vaccines. We
look forward to accelerating their work into
breakthrough therapies through SapVax,”
BioMotiv Chief Executive Baiju R Shah said.
UniServices (Commercialisation Company
of University of Auckland) General Manager
Will Charles said that the partnership holds
exciting promise of cancer immunotherapy.
“Our partnership demonstrates the value
of University seed funds that can invest
early and quickly to rapidly make inventions
ready for further follow-on investment and
partnering,” he said.
SapVax has a pipeline of similar vaccines
in development with lead vaccines targeting
a key antigen expressed in a broad range
of cancers and Epstein-Barr virus proteins
Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble
strongly associated with certain cancers,
including nasopharyngeal cancer, lymphoma,
and gastric cancer.
The research was funded by the Maurice
Wilkins Centre of Research Excellence at
the University of Auckland.
Auckland UniServices managed the
transitional and early preclinical research
program, which was supported by the
University of Auckland Inventors’ Fund
and the New Zealand government’s Pre-
Seed Accelerator Fund.
The University of Auckland, represented
by UniServices, was advised on the funding
and licensing transaction by Innovator
Capital, the London based, life sciences
and sustainable technology specialist
BioMotiv is the mission-driven
accelerator associated with The Harrington
Project for Discovery and Development,
a $300 million initiative for advancing
medicine, centred at University Hospitals
The focus is to accelerate breakthrough
discoveries from research institutions
into therapeutics for patients through an
innovative model that efficiently aligns
capital and collaborations.
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FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Fijian art, music and kava for the Queen
Norwich Evening News
Greeted by Fijian warriors
and the sounds of traditional
drumming, the Queen was
taken on a cultural tour of
the South Pacific island during a visit to
the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in
Norwich on Friday, January 27, 2017.
Huge crowds turned out to watch
the Queen’s arrival at the centre on the
University of East Anglia (UEA) campus,
and there were big cheers when her car
drew up at the entrance and she stepped
out onto the red carpet.
Excited pupils from West Earlham
Infant and Nursery School and Bluebell
Primary School were among those to
give a warm welcome to the Queen who
was dressed in a striking fuschia and
black outfit for the occasion.
She was greeted by the UEA’s
vice-chancellor, Professor David
Richardson, the Fiji High Commissioner
to the United Kingdom, Jitoko Tikolevu.
Once inside the Sainsbury Centre, she
enjoyed a tour of the exhibition Fiji: Art
and Life in the Pacific, which is thought
to be the world’s largest show about the
island nation and takes visitors through
more than 200 years of the country’s
history from the late 18th century to the
The Queen’s tour began with a
Fijian choir performing for her next to
The Queen listens to Professor Steven Hooper, the exhibition curator at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich on Friday, January 27,
2017. Among the others in the picture are co-curators, Katrina Igglesden and Karen Jacobs.
Picture: Denise Bradley for Norwich Evening News
one of the exhibition highlights - a
specially-commissioned Fijian sailing
canoe which featured in the Queen’s
90th birthday celebration pageant at
Windsor Castle - before she was taken
around the rest of the show by curators
Professor Steven Hooper, Dr Karen
Jacobs and Ms Katrina Igglesden.
Professor Hooper said it was a very
special day and wonderful to see the
Queen, who has visited Fiji many
times, show such enthusiasm for the
“We are really happy that she was
able to come, and the Fijians who
came here today were all happy and
proud. They will never forget today
and nor will I,” he said.
“After the President of Fiji opened
the exhibition in October he had an
audience with the Queen and gave
her a copy of the catalogue, and
she showed interest in wanting to
see the exhibition when she was at
Sandringham. Now it has happened,
and it is brilliant.
“She knows Fiji, she was really
engaged in the exhibition, really enjoyed
the choir singing and looking
at particular objects that have royal
Among the exhibits the Queen
paused to look at was a ceremonial
whale tooth, or tabua, which she was
presented with during her first visit to
Fiji in December 1953, and she also
watched black and white footage of
There were many treasures in the
exhibition which caught the Queen’s
eye, including some which had special
One of them was a wedding
dress created using traditional Fijian
barkcloth textiles which are made from
paper mulberry trees.
Ms Igglesden, who showed the
Queen the dress, said: “The dress
is the wedding dress of (former
Fijian President and Prime Minister)
Ratu Kamisese Mara’s daughter and
interestingly the Queen’s comment to
me was that his daughter married Her
Majesty’s Lady in Waiting’s son and
so she knows the personal connection
between this Fijian family and the
British family. To be able to show her
something that she actually knew the
people it related to was really nice.”
Other items prompted the Queen to
reminisce about her experiences while
Dr Jacobs said: “She was interested
in a really big kava bowl and we
actually spoke about the fact that she
drank kava (a traditional Fijian drink)
during a visit to Fiji.
Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama with Manasseh Sogavare, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and others at the signing ceremony on January 20, 2017. Photograph for Fiji Sun by Vilimoni Vaganalau
New Melanesian FTA to
demolish economic walls
period from 2010 to 2014, the annual
total trade value between Melanesian
countries grew by 114% to F$169
million and over the last five years,
trade between Fiji and MSG countries
grew by 73% to F$143.4 million.
Mr Bainimarama said that the MSG
has made flow of goods, services
and resources more efficient and
“We are all rising high on
the same tide of economic
achievement. In the Melanesian
way, we have harnessed each of
our strengths, worked side-by-side
in mutual trust and respect and
done well by each other and for
each other. The benefits of our
accomplishments are experienced
everyday by the men and women
we are proud to represent and all
work so hard to serve,” he said.
He said that the ‘renegotiated
agreement’ is stronger, clearer and
more accommodating and more
Although MSG nations are
small, they are seizing the opportunity
to control their own collective
destiny as much as possible to
advance by their own efforts, by
the strength of their own will, he
Fiji has signed a
new version of the
Group (MSG) Free
Trade Agreement (FTA) with its
member countries, with Prime
Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank)
Bainimarama describing it as a
‘Model in the Pacific.’
Among the other members
of the Group are Papua New
Guinea, Solomon Islands and
The agreement was signed in
Suva on January 20, 2017.
Free movement of goods and
services has become effective
between Fiji, Papa New Guinea
and Vanuatu but Solomon
Islands is yet to open its borders.
Mr Bainimarama is confident
that Solomon Islands Prime
Minister Manasseh Sogavare
will make the move soon.
Mr Sogavare was present
at the ceremony, which was
also attended by Fiji’s Attorney
General and Minister of Economy
diplomats, government officials
Stating that the FTA was a test
of 24 years of regional economic
partnership, Mr Bainimarama
said that the new version would
establish a solid economic
foundation suited to address
several emerging challenges
faced tby he member-countries
He paid tributes to Mr
Sogavare, the current MSG
Chair “for transforming MSG
into a vehicle of economic
development and progress for
our people, and for carrying on
the legacy Fiji set out during our
term as Chair.”
“During our Chairmanship, I
called for economic cooperation
among MSG countries that
matched the strong political
ties we have always shared,
to serve our citizens better by
knocking down barriers to the
movement of trade, investment
and our people, and set an
example of regional growth and
development for every nation
in the Pacific. MSG has lived
up to the ambitious potential
I believed we were capable of
realising,” he said.
Statistics quoted by him
said that during the five-year
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FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Electoral Commission delay deplorable
Dr Biman Prasad
The National Federation
Party is deeply concerned
that the Constitutional Offices
Commission continues to
delay the appointment of the Electoral
Commission, which is critical for
preparations for a truly credible, free
and fair general elections.
The three-year term of the Electoral
Commission ended on January 9, 2017
and since then, the Supervisor of Elections,
who reports to the Commission
and follows its directions, has been left
unsupervised and is carrying on with
preparatory work for the elections.
We ask, “Who is the Supervisor
reporting to and taking directions
from? Is it the Minister responsible
for Elections who happens to be the
Attorney General as well as the General
Secretary of the Fiji First Party?”
The Constitutional Offices Commission
(COC) is empowered under
Section 13 of the 2013 Constitution to
appoint the Chairperson and Members
of the Electoral Commission. The COC
is chaired by the Prime Minister and
its members are the Attorney General,
the Leader of the Opposition, two
Members appointed by the President on
the advice of the PM and one member
appointed by President on the advice of
the Opposition Leader.
The Member nominated by the Leader
of the Opposition, lawyer Richard
Naidu, resigned last year. The current
COC is therefore totally lopsided in
favour of Government. We also note
that the COC Chairperson (the Prime
Minister) has been empowered to make
acting appointments for a period of
three months. He used this to appoint
the Acting Commander of the Army in
Why couldn’t the Prime Minister
extend the term of the Commission
chaired by Chenn Bunn Young for a
three-month term, pending the Commission’s
reappointment or appoint
a Commission for another three-year
It is deeply concerning that the
Elections Office has been running
without the constitutionally-mandated
oversight of the Constitutional Offices
Commission, especially when it is already
preparing for the 2018 elections.
The next scheduled general election
can be constitutionally held as early as
April 2018, three-and-half years into
the term of the current Parliament.
This is 15 months away. We cannot
have the Supervisor of Elections
preparing for election at his discretion
against a backdrop of clear conflict of
interest from his Minister, who is the
General Secretary of the ruling Fiji
Furthermore, the Court of Appeal
judgment (Civil Appeal ABU 0069 of
2014) was crystal clear in its declaration
when it said, “The construction
to be placed on sections 76(3) of the
Constitution read with section 8(a)
of the Electoral Decree requires the
Supervisor to comply with all decisions
and directions given to him concerning
the performance of his functions by the
This is a very clear direction from the
Court of Appeal and their declaration,
read with the Constitution, places the
onus on the Prime Minister to ensure
that these legal principles are upheld
Multinational Group Comments
An Electoral Commission is
needed to ensure the implementation of
Recommendations of the Multinational
Observer Group, which included the
General Election 2014 and the Annual
Report 2014 of the Electoral Commission
We know that the Reports, after a
delay, were referred to the Parliamentary
Select Committee on Justice, Law
and Human Rights.
The Committee’s Report should
be tabled in the February sitting of
Parliament, in the interest of a truly
credible and genuinely free and fair
election next year.
The full implementation of the
Report is a prerequisite to our electoral
integrity and for totally free and fair
and robust debate among and between
political parties and candidates and,
most importantly, for the media to
amplify, without fear, their voices to the
For the sake of transparency and
accountability of the electoral process,
there should not be any delay in the
appointment of the Electoral Commission.
Otherwise, in our view, it would
constitute systematic election rigging
by ignoring the need for the continuous
existence of an independent institution.
Dr Biman Prasad is Leader of the
National Federation Party and Elected
Member of Parliament. Prior to
his political career, he was Professor
of History at the University of South
Pacific in Suva.
Indian government honours prominent Fijian
The Indian government has
honoured Vinod Chandra
Patel, Chairman of the
Vinod Patel Group, with the
prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman
A communication from the Indian
Overseas Affairs Ministry, which
organises the biannual event with
the support of the Confederation of
Indian Industry and several other
organisations, said that the Samman
Award was in recognition of Mr Patel’s
He was among 30 others to receive
the high civilian honour at the 14th
Edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
(PBD) held in Bengaluru from January
7 to January 9, 2017 with the Karnataka
government jointly hosting the event.
The Indian government instituted
PBD for greater engagement with
people of Indian origin living overseas
and to recognise and reward achievers.
The PBD was held in New Delhi
from January 7 to 9, 2003.
PBD began as an annual event but
was made biennial for the larger Indian
Diaspora in 2015. It commemorates
the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India
from South Africa on January 7, 1915
to lead the Freedom Movement.
India’s President Pranab Kumar
Mukherjee presented the Samman
Awards on January 9, 2017, while
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke
in praise of the Indian Diaspora (Indian
Newslink, January 15, 2017).
MP forManukau East
09 274 9231 or 278 9972
mornings 9.30am to 12pm
Otahuhu Town Hall,
10-12 high street,Otahuhu
Monday morning 9am to 12pm
Authorised by JennySalesa
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with some of the recipients of the Pravasi Samman Award 2017 including Vinod Patel, standing second from right
(Picture by Press Information Bureau, Government of India)
64 edgewater drive, pakuranga, auckland 2010.
Contact: 09 5772171 /021 687162
member of ADNZ -recognised professional body
well equipped &established with good reputation
overall personal service
technical competency &professional experience.
Among the New Zealanders who
have received the Samman Awards
in the past years are former Dunedin
Mayor Sukhi Turner (2004), Justice
Ajit Swaran Singh (2008), former Governor
General Sir Anand Satyanand
(2011), Dt Satendra Singh (2013) and
National List MP Kanwaljit Singh
About Vinod Patel
The 78-year-old Ba based founder
of Vinod Patel Group, attributed the
honour to the community.
“I have been fortunate to receive
overwhelming support from many
friends, family members and charitable
organisations. These include Red Cross
of Fiji, Shri Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi
Sabah and other social organisations.
Therefore, I truly feel that the Samman
Award has been bestowed on many
hundreds of people who have supported
me in my social service journey,”
He also thanked his wife and
children for their support.
Among the several organisations
that he has supported include AD Patel
College, Tagore Memorial School and
Ba Gujarat Education Society.
He established the Shankarbhai
and Shantaben Patel School for boys
and girls in the name of his parents in
Karkhadi, a village near Vadodara in
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
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FEBRUARY 1, 2017
The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)
Issue 362 | February 1, 2017
Some thoughts for
the Waitangi Day
The Treaty of Waitangi is an important historical document.
It gave all New Zealand citizens rights and protection as British
subjects and contained a shared vision of the peoples of New Zealand
living in harmony.
Over the past few decades, the status of the Treaty has changed as a result of
political interference, Maori radicalism and judicial activism.
Instead of binding us as equal citizens under one rule of law for all, the Treaty
now divides, polarises and isolates us.
Three main issues
Three fundamental issues are at the core of Treaty discontent: 1. Lack of
progress in expeditiously addressing historical grievances 2. Lack of clarity as to
the ‘contemporary status of the Treaty’ and 3. The pervasive influence of a new
ethos based on the corrosive influence of the so-called ‘Principles of the Treaty’
which has imbued the public service and beyond with counterproductive political
The meandering progress of the settlements process and the insertion of
‘Treaty Principles’ into legislation has done little for a majority of Maori.
In fact, it has had the more insidious impact of diverting attention and resources
away from the real path to prosperity and social progress for Maori - sound
education, well paid employment, adequate health and improved housing.
In their place, a grievance mentality has permeated the thinking of many Maori
and even worse it has facilitated the development of a Treaty ‘gravy train’ which
sees large amounts of money going to lawyers, consultants and Treaty travellers
at the expense of those in genuine need.
Finally, the permissive impact of the Treaty is creating an unhealthy and
divisive ethos within the public service and beyond.
This has occurred as policy and law-makers have tried to reconcile Maori
culture with the business of government through the foolhardy insertion of the
‘principles of the Treaty’ into legislation and the extension of this into government
policy and policy-making processes.
New Zealand First will (a) remove all references to the ‘principles of the
Treaty’ and associated terms from all legislation and regulations where they exist,
including the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, (the Act), as they remain undefined,
ambiguous and are an unstable footing upon which to base claims under the Treaty
and (b) replace the Waitangi Tribunal with a Waitangi Commission, refocusing
its role according to the Act as a ‘Commission of Inquiry’.
For New Zealand First, the intention of this policy is to ensure that the Treaty
becomes the instrument to bind us that our forefathers had intended it to be.
Winston Peters is leader of New Zealand First Party. The above Opinion Piece,
written by him, appeared in our September 15, 2005 issue and is relevant even
today. This Leader is a fitting inclusion to commemorate Waitangi Day on February
6, 2017. Another article on the Treaty, written by Priyanca Radhakrishnan,
appears under Homelink in this issue
Will India consider concession
In their petition to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials of the
Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) have appealed
that the Indian Diaspora- meaning people of Indian origin not holding
Indian passports, should be allowed to deposit Indian Rupees valued up to
Rs 250,000 per person at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) offices as specified in
an Ordinance. Details of this appear in our Homelink section.
Their stand is that a large number of Indians would have kept hundreds of
thousands of dollars in cash in their homes in India for expenses to be incurred
on the education of their children, care of their elderly parents or relatives and for
From one standpoint, the appeal has meaning. Most Indians, if not all, carry
some Indian currency with them when they leave the shores of India for handy
use when they return- to pay for the taxi fare or buy small items at the duty-free
shops in the arrival area and so on.
However, the RBI rules state that people leaving India or arriving into the
country can carry no more than Rs 5000 to meet their immediate expenses,
although it does not say if this allowance is available for ‘foreigners,’ including
former Indian passport holders. Our thinking is that the facility is available
only to people (including foreigners) who are ordinarily resident in India, since
carriage of Rs 5000 would be convenient from their perspective.
Since recent rules and regulations do not specify, we have sought clarifications
from the RBI and Indian government so that we can keep our readers informed
of the actual position.
However, some sources in Delhi said that the suggestion that the GOPIO
request was ‘too steep to climb.’
We will wait and see; and of course, report.
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1, Number 166, Harris Road, East Tamaki, Auckland 2013 and printed at Horton Media
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Newslink and its management and staff do not accept any responsibility for the claims
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PC goes mad with the
Dr Muriel Newmanl
The mainstream media did
themselves no favours earlier
this month, with their handling
of the ‘he said, she said’ row
between the ‘Mad Butcher’ Sir Peter
Leitch and Waiheke Islander, Lara
Their dispute over whether comments
he made were ‘racist,’ dominated
the news with the New Zealand Herald
even running it as a front-page lead
What Sir Peter described as
‘light-hearted banter,’ occurred at the
Stonyridge Vineyard on Waiheke Island,
where he said that he had warned
her group to be careful of drinking
and driving because there were lots of
She responded saying that she was
Tangata Whenua and could do what she
liked, to which he replied that Waiheke
is a ‘White man’s island too.’
When he was informed that she
had taken offence, he said that he
The fact that the press dined out
on this story for days on end is an
indictment - and a sad reflection on the
state of the media today.
The demise of quality journalism is
one of the main reasons the industry
is in decline. This incident served to
reinforce the view that they are becoming
- to use media commentator Brian
Edwards’ description, ‘trash tabloids,’
with a focus on ‘gossip, celebrities, and
The Herald’s decision to publish
paparazzi photos of John and Bronagh
Key on holiday in Hawaii, just a few
days later, invading their privacy
without any mitigating news interest,
reinforces the view of Mr Edwards.
Sadly, for the mainstream media,
they don’t seem to realise that they are
now on the same slippery slope that
led to the demise of the New Zealand
Truth newspaper. Unless they return to
the standards that were once the hallmark
of their profession, they will find
their readers will increasingly abandon
them to find their news elsewhere.
The Mad Butcher story also serves to
remind us of a destructive intolerance
to free speech that has now pervaded
society. At one time, you could call a
spade a spade - and if you inadvertently
offended someone, then such was life.
But these days, the rise of political
correctness means that if you say something
that social activists consider to be
wrong, you can be mercilessly hounded,
ridiculed and humiliated - your career
threatened and your reputation ruined.
We saw this last year when the
executive chairman of Saatchi &
Saatchi, New Zealander Kevin Roberts,
was forced to resign following a storm
of criticism from feminist groups
after he challenged a prevailing view
about diversity. When asked by a
reporter whether there was a problem
with a lack of gender diversity in the
advertising industry, his response, ‘not
in my view,’ was not what the feminists
wanted to hear, and the barrage of ugly
protest led to him stepping down.
Sir Peter Leitch- Victim of harmless humour
Massey University Chancellor Chris
Kelly suffered the same fate just before
Christmas. Discussing changes to their
veterinary degree course, the former
veterinarian explained that there was
a high fallout rate of male students,
but with female vets taking time off
from their careers to raise a family,
it was resulting in a shortage of vets
especially in rural areas:
Feminists dived in to the attack,
twisting his comments and claiming
they were sexist and insulting to
women. That’s not what he intended,
of course, but nevertheless a week later
Political Correctness is being used
by vested interest groups to force new
norms of thought and behaviour onto
Nowadays if you are not ‘sensitive’
enough in embracing values such as
‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity,’ you will be
aggressively attacked and stigmatised
by activist critics - including in the
In seeking to impose a uniformity
of thought and behaviour onto society,
the roots of political correctness are
This is the thinking behind the PC
attacks on the likes of Kevin Roberts,
Chris Kelly, and Peter Leitch – their
comments were taken out of context by
activists and portrayed as prejudice in
order to advance their agenda.
The reality is that unless the political
left abandons identity politics – and
political correctness – they risk generating
a cultural backlash from Kiwis
who are sick and tired of being sneered
at and vilified by left wing activists
whenever they speak their mind.
With a growing feeling that political
correctness is out of control, it is
clearly time to rein it.
Firstly, the fact that the Human
Rights Act makes it illegal to ‘insult’
anyone in New Zealand is being used
by social justice activists to justify
their attacks on the free expression of
others. Under Sections 61 and 131 of
the Human Rights Act, it is unlawful to
promote anything that is threatening,
abusive, or ‘insulting,’ and while the
Human Rights Commission claims the
threshold for complaints is very high,
the penalty is, nevertheless, a criminal
conviction, with imprisonment for up
to 3 months or a fine of up to $7000.
The campaign by the Race Relations
Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy
against ‘soft racism’ has also made the
situation worse. Nowadays, it seems
that if you say almost anything at all
about race - including calling for ‘equal
rights,’ you are accused of being a
It is clearly time that the word
‘insulting’ was removed from the
Human Rights Act, but in reality, to
knock back the political correctness
that is stultifying society, we need to
go further and abolish the whole Act,
since we already have a Bill of Rights
to protect our freedoms.
In addition, all forms of affirmative
action, whether in laws, regulations,
policies, or programmes, should be
hunted down and eliminated.
And all government agencies pushing
political correctness and identity
politics should be dismantled - including
the Human Rights Commission,
the Ministry for Women, the Ministry
for Pacific Peoples, and the Ministry
for Maori Development.
The media too have a role to play
by recognising when they are being
manipulated by the PC brigade and
rejecting their advances in favour of
It is surely time that New Zealanders
took back control of the country from
the social justice elites who have held a
gun to our heads for far too long.
The above is the edited version of the
views expressed by Dr Muriel Newman,
Director of the New Zealand
Centre for Political Research, in her
web-based free weekly Newsletter,
NZCPR Weekly. For full text, visit
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
impact unemployment rate
Jed Armstrong and Ozer Karagedikli
Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Each quarter, on average,
about 18,000 people transit
from unemployment to employment
and about 24,000
people from employment
These worker separations and
accessions are typically thought of as
drivers of the unemployment rate.
If worker separations exceed worker
accessions, the unemployment rate will
rise, and if worker accessions exceed
worker separations the unemployment
rate will fall. However, there is a third
state of the labour market, which is
non-participation (often denoted not
in the labour force or NILF), which is
typically omitted from macroeconomic
NILF refers to those working-age
individuals in the economy who
are neither officially employed nor
According to formal economic
definitions, non-participants do not take
part in the labour market. They do not
officially contribute (or seek to contribute)
formal labour resources, and hence
should not impact the equilibrium
unemployment rate or wage level.
As such, non-participants are
traditionally modelled as exogenous
to labour market dynamics. More
recently, there has been a rise in international
economic evidence to suggest
that non-participants can be ‘active’ in
the labour market, which means that
they play a role in determining labour
Two Main Forms
The role of non-participants comes
in two main forms.
Firstly, non-participants may
determine labour market outcomes
indirectly by acting as a potential
pool of labour that can erode wage
If there is a large number of
labour market non-participants in the
economy, firms may be less willing to
compete for workers by offering higher
wages due to the large pool of potential
Secondly, non-participants may
influence the labour market directly
by transitioning from NILF into
employment or unemployment when
In this sense, non-participants act as
marginal workers, entering the labour
force only when competition for workers
is sufficiently intense and wages are
sufficiently high. As such, when we see
large transitions in and out of NILF, it is
likely that these non-participants have
a material impact on the equilibrium
determination of unemployment and
The most suitable dataset for analysing
labour market dynamics through the
lens of transitions between labour market
states is gross flows data. These data
measure the total number of workers
who transit each quarter between each of
the three states of labour market participation-
employment (E), unemployment
(U), and non-participation (N).
Gross flows data
Gross flows data highlight churn and
labour market dynamism more fully
than the stock numbers reported by most
Using gross flows data, we (among
others) find that movements in and out
of NILF occur with high frequency
in New Zealand, and that these flows
typically follow the broad economic
The movements in these flows
suggest that there may be a large role for
non-participants in determining labour
market outcomes in New Zealand.
This role is amplified by the fact that
the stock of non-participants is very
large: in 2015 there were (on average)
1.1 million non-participants in the labour
market. Given this large stock of NILF,
even small changes in the probability
of non-participants entering the labour
market can lead to large changes in the
Jed Armstrong and Ozer Karagedikli
work in the Economics Department
at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
based in Wellington. The above is a
small part of their detailed analysis.
For full text, please visit www.rbnz.
Let’s keep our minds open for Trump- for now
New Zealand farmers may
be miffed that Donald
Trump’s presidency spells
the end of the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and
the opportunities it promised.
But for those opposed to it, the
likely death of the TPP may be the one
good thing that comes of the highly
contentious US election result.
The Don’s presidency would bring
about a lot of change on the international
political scene, including in the
area of climate change policy.
It it is ironic that while the US is set
to pursue a protectionist, anti-globalisation,
America-first approach to trade,
China’s head of state is speaking in
favour of globalisation.
D New Zealand is well positioned to
relate well to China and the US.
Ironically, it has been much easier
for us to get a free trade agreement with
China than it has been with the US.
We have been trying for much longer
to get a free trade agreement with the
US and it has been impossible.
China continues to be our primary
trading partner and will continue to be
really important. There is a lot of doubt
now about our access into the American
The threat of a trade war between
China and the US would be a disaster
for all parties, including New Zealand.
But China’s position in the Asia-Pacific
region would be advantaged by
Trump’s nationalism, he adds.
With Trump’s anti-immigration
message a dominant theme of his
electoral campaign, I urge New
Zealand’s political leaders to reassure
the country’s migrant communities that
there should be no flow-on effect here.
I emphasise that a majority of New
Zealanders did not share these views.
Trump’s comments about
undocumented immigrants and Muslim
immigrants in particular are alarming,
and out of step with international law.
Let us adopt a ‘wait and see
approach’ as the world braces itself
for the reality television star’s first
days as President because some of
his statements maybe just testing the
waters, prodding people to see what
reaction they get.
Trump is a contradictory and often
self-contradictory individual and he
thinks that people need to keep an open
mind and wait and see what he actually
Grant Duncan is Associate Professor
of Politics at Massey University
Auckland Campus. The above were
a part of his interview given to
Lawrence Law of World Television
(Picture Courtesy: Massey News)
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
New Migrant Policy disturbs
Dr Liangni Sally Liu
changes in New Zealand
and China are creating
pressures for only-child
migrants from China who
face difficult decisions juggling new
lives with cultural expectations to care
for ageing parents.
A policy change constraining
Chinese migrant families sponsoring
elderly parents to immigrate to New
Zealand is akin to ‘rewriting traditional
Chinese cultural practice and the family
norm of unification.’
As well as New Zealand’s tightened
policy, Chinese families are anxious
about China’s revised legislation
requiring children to visit parents more
regularly or risk being sued.
About half of New Zealand’s
171,411 Chinese residents were born in
China, according to the 2013 Census,
with many migrants and their parents
making up a significant proportion of
the country’s Chinese-born population.
New Zealand’s 2016 policy change
has temporarily closed the Parent Category
to receive any more applications.
Whether this category will be open
again for applications is uncertain.
While some adult migrants bring
their elderly parents here for retirement,
others come to support their adult children’s
career development by providing
care for their grandchildren.
In return, adult migrant children
assume responsibility for supporting
their parents when they are unable to
live on their own.
Many Chinese adult migrants are a
part of a new trend of becoming global
citizens. They may have multiple
residencies, business connections and
children who opt to live and study in
But the care of elderly parents is
Before the new restrictions, New
Zealand’s policy had supported family
unification, as it recognised the value
of skilled migrants to the New Zealand
economy as well as the benefits
of extended families and multiple
generations being together.
The increasing costs of elder care to
the New Zealand taxpayer are part of
the rationale for the new restrictions.
This policy change is particularly
challenging for many Chinese migrant
families because of a strong tradition
of filial piety in Chinese culture, which
requires the adult children to provide
daily care for their elderly parents.
The high proportion of Chinese
parents admitted over the last three
decades reflects this cultural factor.
A lack of welfare and the cultural
stigma about placing elderly people
in rest homes in China adds to the
complexity of the issue.
As a Chinese migrant facing difficulties
in arranging care for my ageing
parents in China, I have a personal as
well as academic interest in the issue.
After working in New Zealand for
many years, I discovered that the new
immigration policy blocked my parents
from moving here.
The feeling is like a betrayal.
I am a New Zealand citizen like
many other locals, but the new policy
creates two classes of citizens – one
class is those who can enjoy a family
life, while the other is not able to. As
the only child in my family, taking care
of my parents is a serious issue.
Unlike Chinese migrants of early
last century who were motivated by
economic factors, most migrants from
China today seek a better lifestyle,
advanced education system, and the
securing of foreign passports.
Attractive New Zealand
Many of the 50 new Chinese migrants
I have interviewed say that they
are attracted to this country because
they perceive it as “safe, liberal, and
easy-going. Politically, it is democratic
and the stable government is perceived
as better than China’s. In practice, the
entry criteria and living costs are lower
than other ‘white settler’ countries. The
great natural environment, advanced
education system, and the welfare
system are also attractive.”
My research will provide fresh understandings
of how migrants extended
and multi-generational families from
China adapt to New Zealand.
I use a novel three-generation
framework encompassing migrants,
their children and parents to investigate
how migratory mobility and intergenerational
dynamics affect individual
family members and shape migrants’
family life and sense of identity and
Dr Liangni Sally Liu is a Lecturer
in Chinese programme in the School
of Humanities, Massey University.
In her three-year Marsden-funded
study, titled ‘Floating families? New
Chinese migrants in New Zealand and
their multi-generational families,’ she
takes the policy changes described in
the above article as a starting point
for exploring the changing dynamics
of New Zealand’s growing number of
Chinese migrant families.
Expect a tougher
Skilled Migrant regime
Dwelling consent numbers fall
The number of new residential
dwelling consents issued fell
sharply in November, down
9.2%. While the recent Kaikoura
earthquake may be playing some
role, the result also reflected a normal
pull-back following earlier strength.
We will be watching next month’s
figures for more definite signs about
how the recent earthquakes have
Over the year, dwelling consent
issuance was up 5%.
Looking into the regional breakdown
of consents, we see that dwelling
consent issuance in Auckland is up 6%
over the month, taking the total number
of new dwellings consented over the
past year to just over 10,100.
This is still below the level Auckland
needs in light of the region’s strong
population growth and existing housing
More concerning, the trend in
dwelling consent issuance in Auckland
appears to have flattened off.
In Canterbury, dwelling consent issuance
did pick up by 6% over the month.
However, residential construction has
taken a noticeable step down over
the past year as the housing stock has
been rebuilt. We expect this trend will
continue over the coming year.
Consent issuance fell sharply in
While some of this may be due to
earthquake related disruptions, this
follows strong issuance in the past few
months (including a large number of
apartments) which could have been
expected to ease regardless.
The value of non-residential consent
issued rose 3% over the past year, with
just under $6 billon of work consented.
The new regime of Skilled
Migrants Category (SMC) is
likely to affect thousands of
people who are in New Zealand
as migrant workers or international
The changes are a response to
concerns that the current system does
not effectively prioritise migrants with
skills and salary levels.
The proposed changes would
introduce the use of salary levels and
strengthen the use of work experience
to define skilled employment; and
realign the points system to recognise
highly skilled migrants better.
Those planning to seek permanent
residence status after completion of
their study or work experience ranging
between two and three years would find
it difficult to do so.
Many Chefs, ethnic restaurants and
cafe managers could also find their
jobs excluded from the SMC with
the introduction of a new minimum
salary or wage level and skilled-based
The current scenario
Currently, to claim points for skilled
employment, applicants must have a
job (or job offer) in an occupation at the
Australian New Zealand Standard Classification
of Occupations (ANZSCO)
Level 1, 2, or 3. The focus is/was on
occupation not on the skills needed to
perform that job.
There are examples of migrants in
highly paid positions who are unable to
use the SMC because their job description
matches a low-skilled occupation
under the present criteria. An Area
Manager in a fast food franchise does
not qualify for residency in comparison
to a motor mechanic or a baker.
The proposed changes introduce an
additional requirement of a minimum
salary or wage level. The suggested
new minimum salary range is from
$47,486 to say $57,000 for 40 hours of
This would exclude migrants in
lower-income jobs from being able
to apply for residency. This change
would mostly affect migrant’s workers
working around $30,000 per annum.
Migrants earning $70,000 or more
and applicants with postgraduate
qualifications and skilled workers with
experience will gain additional points.
Immigration New Zealand may
require skilled workers, regardless of
their qualifications, to complete at least
three years of continuous employment
in New Zealand. This would also apply
to professionals such as chefs.
What is the aim?
Under the proposed changes high
salary, skilled work experience and
higher-level of qualifications would be
given greater preference in the points
Gurjinder Singh is a Licensed Immigration
Advisor and an Enrolled
Barrister & Solicitor (NPC) based in
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
John Key and the ‘All of us are tired’ syndrome
In the year that gave the world
Brexit and Trump, John Key gave
New Zealand his resignation, a
year short of the next national
He was one of New Zealand’s most
popular prime ministers in living
memory, and his preferred-PM rating
at 36% (before he resigned), was four
times that of the nearest contender,
Labour’s Andrew Little.
Some all-knowing journalists inside
the beltway said that the announcement
was always on the cards; that Mr Key
intended all along to leave on a high;
but this is an easy claim to make in
Only a week earlier, many of these
journalists were saying that Labour’s
chances of winning the next election
were miniscule, based at least in
part on the assumption that Mr Key
remained a popular leader, and sufficiently
populist in his
policies to ease any
surface. Moreover, his government is
in good shape: there is another surplus
looming, a promise of tax cuts in
next year’s budget, and not a hint of a
leadership challenge or in-fighting.
Mr Key mentioned two main
reasons for his resignation.
First, and not surprisingly, he wanted
to spend more time with his family.
His two children are young adults, and
have spent nine years growing up in
the spotlight. In recent times, his son
Max has attracted unwanted
media attention, in
part because of his interesting use of
Instagram and a provocative photo shoot
in Remix magazine.
Second, Mr Key said that he wanted
to leave on his own terms and while his
party was performing well; he believed
that leaders stay too long and it is
important to make way for new talent.
Lantern Forum Illuminates
Kiwi-China trade growth
No career politician
But it’s clear that Key is also tired
of politics. He has said that he isn’t a
career politician and has admitted that
he has ‘nothing left in the tank.’
Although he is said to have made
his decision in September (2016), the
announcement came immediately after
an intense by-election campaign in a
safe Labour seat (Mt Roskill).
Some in National’s ranks had hoped
for an upset, and Mr Key hinted that
it might be possible, but in the end,
National was well and truly trounced,
winning only 28% of the vote. He spent
seven days in the electorate encouraging
voters to turn out but his pulling
power came to naught this time.
So perhaps voters were also a little
tired of him.
Although the economy is good, the
gap between rich and poor is widening.
The cost of housing is hurting middle-class
voters wanting to buy and the
working poor required to rent.
Investment, beyond a new bridge in a
marginal electorate, is needed in infrastructure
and regional development.
Even some in the business community
have recognised that growing
inequalities are a risk to New Zealand’s
social and economic cohesion.
Mr Key was pragmatic and personable,
but was not always respectful of the
power and responsibility that came with
the office of the Prime Minister.
His departure makes the looming
election far more interesting.
Jennifer Curtin is Associate Professor
(Politics and International Relations)
at the University of Auckland Faculty
of Arts. The above article appeared
on the University’s website on
December 6, 2016, a day after John
Key resigned from the post of Prime
Minister of New Zealand. This is a
highly edited version since a number
of developments have taken place
since then. The original article can
be read (under ‘Opinion’) at www.
loyalty to New Zealand
While ‘Diwali,’ the
Hindu Festival of
Lights is dubbed as
the ‘largest Indian
cultural and cuisine’
event in New Zealand, the Chinese
Lantern Festival does much more, if the
take of the Auckland City Council and
its associate bodies can be believed.
The Auckland Lantern Festival,
essentially that of Chinese New Year,
is shaping to be the biggest event with
a record number of people expected to
visit the three new venues this year- the
Auckland Domain and Kari Street
Commons, linked to the festival via the
lantern-lit Centennial Walkway.
It would be held from February 9 to
Now in its 18th year, the festival
celebrates the best of traditional
and contemporary Chinese culture,
including lanterns, live music and
dance, martial arts, arts and crafts, food
Last year, the Lantern Festival
attracted more than 200,000 people.
The inaugural ASB Lantern Forum
business trade event, scheduled to be
held at Auckland Museum Centre on
February 9, would be a highlight. Hosted
by ASB Bank, the Forum will have
the partnership of Auckland Tourism,
Events and Economic Development
(ATEED) and Asia New Zealand
More than 200 Chinese delegates,
ministers, Members of Parliament,
migrants and businesspersons are
expected to attend the Forum.
ATEED General Manager (Business,
Innovation and Skills) Patrick McVeigh
said that the event is part of ATEED’s
work to increase investment, luxury
tourism and trade between Auckland
“New Zealand’s trade relationship
with China has nearly tripled over the
past decade. Two-way trade between
Fun and entertainment are a part of the Lantern Festival
the two countries totalled $18.8
billion in the year ending December
2015. The ASB Lantern
Forum will determine how to
convert the potential into real
economic gain with discussions
around current economic ties,
investment, and future trading
opportunities,” he said.
ASB General Manager
Branch and International Banking
Logan Munro described the
ASB Lantern Forum as a ‘powerful
opportunity to connect the
Auckland and Chinese business
communities at a significant
time of the year.’
Authentic Asian Cuisine
The Festival this year promises
wider choice of cuisine than
its predecessors. With the Night
Noodle Markets that are famous
for their great range of authentic
Asian cuisine as well as the
hawker-style atmosphere akin
to the back streets of Singapore
and Hong Kong will be on offer
from over 15 food vendors.
There will also entertainment
for festival-goers to enjoy.
ATEED Head of Major
Events Charmaine Ngarimu
encouraged people to plan their
travel to the festival ahead of
time, taking advantage of the
proximity of the Auckland
Domain to Grafton Railway Station,
apart from the cycleways
and well-serviced buses.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (The Ahmadiyya
Muslim community) in Auckland
has pledged its loyalty to New Zealand,
saying that it will strive to contribute more
to the enrichment, progress and prosperity of this
Speaking at a two-day Convention held at the
‘Baitul Muqeet,’ located at 20 Dalgety Drive, Wiri in
Manukau on January 27 and January 28, 2017, National
President Bashir Khan said that Ahmadiyyas
are loyal to the country in which they live and work
and become an integral part of its faith.
Freedom of Speech
“New Zealand allows freedom of religion and
speech. It accommodates other cultures and traditions
without having to displace the Kiwi way of life.
This very trait of acceptance is what is so unique and
valuable for this country and one which should never
be replaced by fear and intolerance,” he said.
Mr Khan said that as loyal Muslim residents of
New Zealand, Ahmadiyyas will also work with the
people of the country and open its doors to other
Central Missionary Shafique ur Rehman speaking at the
Convention, with National President Bashir Khan on stage
An exterior view of Baitul Muqueet where the Convention was held
“We will try and educate and remove
ignorance and in most cases, remove the
stigma of brutal faith which has been
created by the actions of a few,” he said.
The Living God
More than 400 people attended the
two-day Convention, 28th in an annual
series. Among them were Samoans,
Australians and Germans. The annual
convention, or Jalsa Salana, is held
worldwide to celebrate social solidarity,
started by founder Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad more than 100 years ago.
Mr Khan said that this year’s
conference theme was ‘The Living God,’
chosen purposely because “religion is on
“The effect of this means…. a selfish
individualism is gaining strength even in
countries which would otherwise claim
to be religious. This community’s prime
responsibility is to carry on the mission
for which its founder, the Promised
Messiah, was commissioned.
“The Mission is to remove the
discontent that afflicts the relationship
between God and His creatures and
restore the relationship of love and sincerity
between them. The Mission is also
to bring about peace and manifest the
Divine verities that have become hidden
from the eyes of the world,” he said.
Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter
was among 60 guests who toured the
‘Baitul Muqeet’ Mosque and understand
the culture and teachings of Islam.
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Anxious wait for Teenager’s Arangetram
Bharata Natyam enthusiasts
and the Tamil community
in general anxiously await
the performance of Ambika
Krishnamoorthy as the industrious
teenager presents her Arangetram on
Saturday, February 25, 2017.
The event will be held at Dorothy
Winston Centre, Auckland Girls’
Grammar School, commencing at 5
pm. Entry to the programme is free
but seats must be reserved in advance
and occupied by 445 pm. Please text
021-739879 with name and contact
details along with the number of seats
to be reserved.
As well as being a keen learner
of Bharata Natyam under her Guru
Renuka Ketheesan, who owns and runs
‘Sai Natyalaya’ in Auckland, Ambika
belongs to an impressive lineage.
She is the granddaughter of the late
Dr P Solvilangum Perumal and Dr Mrs
Sakthi Perumal, eminent Tamil scholars
from Madurai, Tamil Nadu (paternal)
and the Late Dr M Krishnamurthi (well
known internationally for his contribution
to Sugarcane plant tissue culture
and creating new varieties to suit local
conditions) and Sarada Krishnamurthi
As the only daughter of Sakthi Krishnamurthi,
a lawyer by qualification
and Ilango Krishnamoorthy, Managing
Director of Mercury Printz and President
of the New Zealand Hindu Temple
Society, which owns and manages the
Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam located
at 69 Tidal Road in the South Auckland
suburb of Mangere.
Mr Ilango said that Ambika is fortunate
to have Ms Ketheesan as her Guru
and as her 18th student to graduate and
present Bharata Natyam Arangetram.
“Ms Ketheesan is a versatile dancer,
violinist, excellent Carnatic music
singer and trained as nattuvangam singer.
She has produced, choreographed
and directed many Bharata Natyam
productions with local and international
artistes,” he said.
Chennai is the home for Bharata Natyam
Date Day Festival Time Events
03.02.17 Friday Shasti &Skandha Homam 6.30pmto
07.02.17 Tuesday Ekadashi -Sudharsana
08.02.17 Wednesday Pradhosam&SriPanjakchara
09.02.17 Thursday ThaPoosam – Subramaniyar
11.02.17 Saturday Kaavadi andPaalKudam(Tha
13.02.17 Monday 1 st of TamilMonth Poojai (Masi
14.02.17 Tuesday Sangadahara Chaturthi&
Sri Maha GanapathiHomam
19.02.17 Sunday Ashtami &Kalabhairavar
A student of Bharata Natyam since
she was four years old, Ambika has
been under the watchful eyes of her
Guru, who has honed her skill over the
Ambika has performed at several
events organised by the Auckland
Muthamil Sangam, Thiru Subramaniyar
Aalayam, Diwali festivals held
at Vodafone Centre and Counties
Manukau Police Head Quarters.
Due to step into her 16th year shortly,
she is currently a Year 11 student at
ACG Strathalan School. She is a keen
Hockey player for her school and trains
Varnam for 50 minutes would be a highlight
Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam
69 Tidal Road, Mangere Auckland, NewZealand
Festival andEventsfor February 2017
24.02.17 Friday Pradhosam&Sri Panjakchara 6.30pmto
25.02.17 Saturday Navagraha ShanthiHomam 10.30 am to
Professional tailoring bring back traditional
with her brother in the Papatoetoe
Mr Ilango said that Ambika’s interest
in fine arts and performing arts were
kindled during her scholastic career at
Hillpark Primary School and Remuera
“She also performs on the Piano,
Guitar and is currently learning Veena
from Bhavani Suresh, a genius in the
art. The Forthcoming Arangetram will
Lord Subramaniyar Abishegamand
Lord VishnuAbishegam and
Lord Siva Abishegam andArathanai
Lord Subramaniyar Abishegamand
Lord Subramaniyar Abishegam
Lord AyyappanAbishegam and
Lord Vinayakar Abishegam and
Lord Muneeshwar,Lord Kala
Veeran Abishegam andArathanai
Lord Siva Abishegam andArathanai
Navagraha Moorthies Abishegam
Discipline is the byword in Classical Dances
be a milestone in her life. Ambika will
be performing in front of her family,
friends and well-wishers for almost
three hours, of which ‘Varnam’ would
be of 50-minutes duration,” he said.
Her parents encourage her to continue
her interest in classical dancing. Her
brothers Vetrivhel and Adhitiyan not
only extend their support but have also
taken charge of training her at home.
We have pleasure in inviting all
devotees andfriends to take partin
allAbishegam andreceive the
Murugan Valli Deivayanai,Siva
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Waitakere Holi brings colour to life
The Annual Holi Festival of
Waitakere Indian Association
(WIA) will be held at the
Trusts Arena, Central Park
Drive, Henderson in West Auckland on
Sunday, March 19, 2017.
The Festival of colours will commence
at 11 am and conclude at 4 pm.
This is a community and family fun
Such programmes showcase
the diversity of not only the Indian
Community in New Zealand but also of
various communities in Auckland.
Auckland is increasingly becoming
multicultural with one in every four
persons listed as ‘overseas born.’
The Indian population is
also growing rapidly and such events
provide a platform for the community
to remember their childhood days of
playing Holi in the company of their
families, friends and neighbours and
enable first-generation Kiwi Indians to
discover their roots and culture.
Fun for all
Music, dance, splash of colours
on people and laughter will be a part
of the day-long Holi Festival of our
File Photo of Waitakere Holi 2016- the challenge is to identify people behind those colours!
‘Holi’ comes from the word ‘Hola,’
The festival is a reminder that we
must live in a spirit of service and
At WIA, we aspire to serve our
communities and have been doing so
since the Association was established
Come wearing white clothes so
that the array of colours is visible to
all, take selfies, post it on Snapchat,
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, tag your
friends and families across the world –
but most of all, enjoy the day and make
it one to remember.
Our Association acknowledges the
continued support of leading Radio
Tarana, the leading Hindi Radio
station, Indian Newslink, the oldest and
largest circulated Indian Newspaper in
New Zealand, the Henderson-Massey
Local Board and the Trusts Community
Foundation for making this event
Sunil Kaushal is Vice-President of
Waitakere Indian Association.
Our Staff Reporter adds:
WIA Past President Sunil Chandra
(writing in our March 15, 2016 issue)
Holi at WIA also brings with it Indo-Fijian
culture and Indian tradition,
presenting a unique fusion of social
and community values.
“Among these would be ‘Faag
Gayan’ (rendition of Holy hymns),
which has been a part of the Holi
celebrations since we began. The mix
of activities will ensure that people of
all ages and ethnicity are able to come
together in an amiable atmosphere to
share fun and laughter” he said.
Beyond all the religious and cultural
manifestations, Holi is really about the
inescapable truth that every person is
born equal and hence has the right to be
treated and provided opportunities for
growth as equals.
As Mr Chandra said that India in
general and Hinduism in particular has
given the world a number of occasions
and festivals to embrace the whole
“These occasions aim to integrate
and unite communities and Holi is one
of them. The Festival has profound
meaning for humankind and enhances
race relations and integration,” he said.
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Classic Car Show a drive back in time
Hundreds of Auckland
classic car enthusiasts are
polishing their steeds for
the biggest car event on the
New Zealand motoring calendar.
The Ellerslie Intermarque Concours
& Classic Car Show will stage its
forty-fourth annual event at Ellerslie
Race Course on Sunday, February 12,
It will be held at the Ellerslie Race
Course in Auckland from 10 am to
4 pm. Entry to the show is by tickets
at $15 per person. However, the first
10 persons who send a text message
between 10 am and 11 am on Friday,
February 3, 2017 (not earlier
or later) will receive complimentary
tickets from Indian Newslink,
courtesy of the show organisers.
The show was born in 1972, when
the MG Car Club rallied a handful
of Auckland car clubs together at
Cornwall Park to stage the country’s
first Intermarque Concours d’Elegance
competition to find the best classic
MG won the first Inter-Club Challenge
Shield with Honours also going
to Alvis, Studebaker, Jowett, Riley, and
Citroen Car Clubs.
Every year, more clubs joined the
competition until by 1982, when the
event had become so big that the organisers
moved it to Ellerslie Race Course.
A New Award
This year for the first time, the show
will reflect its long association with
Ellerslie with Classic Cover Insurance
club display competition themed
‘A classic day at the races,” with a
Meguiar’s People’s Choice Award.
The show is
car event with some
restorations valued at millions
of dollars. It is also the only New
Zealand classic car competition judged
to international standards focusing on
presentation, appearance, originality and
Among more than 700 classic
vehicles on show - some the best in
the world – will be two master-class
restoration entries from MG and
Cars competing in Radio Live
Survivor’s Class include a 1958
Studebaker Champion; 1966 Mini
Cooper S; 1965 Chrysler Valiant
Convertible (ex-Canada); 1961 EK
and an MG.
Entries must be unrestored, and
at least 35-year-old with original
bodywork, paint and upholstery.
Porsche is the host club for the third
year running after taking Club Team
Honours in 2016 and 2017.
Displays cover virtually every marque
seen in New Zealand from early last
century including this year, a special
line-up of the NZ-produced Trekka
celebrating its 50th anniversary.
A notable display vehicle will be a
rare Alfa Romeo – the 1938
London Motor Show
exhibit – which arrived
in the country last
ride-in toy BMW
cars that it donates
to children with impaired mobility.
Latest models on show will include
Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi,
Bentley, BMW, Chrysler, Fiat, Jaguar,
Jeep, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mini,
Porsche, Rolls Royce, Volvo, with other
exhibitors offering new and old books,
accessories, Meguiar’s car care, vehicle
grooming, paint restoration, classic
car sales, storage and Classic Cover
insurance. Auckland Transport is there
for the first time too.
Ellerslie Intermarque Concours
and Classic Car Show
Sunday, February 12, 2017
10 am to 4 pm.
Ellerslie Race Course,
Pictures supplied by New Zealand
Classic Car magazine.
Organisers are now targeting younger
car enthusiasts whose definition of
‘classics’ includes cars as recent as the
1980s and 1990s and new names as
opposed to marques that are extinct.
They will advise anyone wanting to
set up clubs for Marques and models
not already catered for by an existing
Little-known to those outside of
the wider classic car fraternity is the
Meguiar’s Tours d’Elegance that
happens each year on the Saturday of
the show weekend (February 11, 2017).
It involves up to 200 classics touring
to St Heliers from six departure points
around the Auckland region.
Departures this year start from Westgate,
Northcote, Greenlane, Papakura,
Pukekohe, and Albany – converging
after a 100km drive to tour along
Tamaki Drive to picnic in St Heliers
with a “Homage” product for the best
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Punjabis mark Lohri in Christchurch
Legend and Custom
Bhagavad Gita says that Lord
Krishna manifests Himself in His full
magnificence during this time. The
Hindus ‘nullify’ their sins by bathing in
Lohri is more than just a festival,
especially for the people of Punjab.
Punjabis are hardworking, sturdy,
robust, energetic, enthusiastic and jovial
people, and Lohri is symbolic of their
love for celebrations.
Lohri celebrates fertility and the joy
In the event of the birth of a male
child or a marriage in the family, it
assumes a larger significance with the
host family arranging a feast with traditional
music and dance. The first Lohri
of a new bride or a new-born baby is
considered extremely important.
Dr Ruchika Sachdev (left) and Nimi Bedi hosting the Lohri Festival
More than 400 people
attended the ‘Lohri Festival’
organised by the
Indian Cultural Group
(ICG) in Christchurch last fortnight.
Second in an annual series, the festival
was hosted by Dr Ruchika Sachdev
and Nimi Bedi, who was an Auckland
resident until two years ago.
ICG President Dr Sandeep Sachdev
said that the programme included
Jagoo, Bhangra, Gidda and Boliyan
with traditional songs.
“The event was dedicated to women
empowerment. Traditional Lohri food
was served for the first time. Prizes
were given for best dressed male,
female and child participants,” he said.
The following was sourced from
According to the Hindu calendar,
Lohri falls in mid-January.
The Earth, farthest from the Sun
at this point of time, starts its journey
towards the Sun, ending the coldest
month of the year, Paush (in the Northern
Hemisphere). It is also the start of
the month of Magh and the auspicious
period of Uttarayan.
Music and dance are a part of the event
punctuate dance debut
cultural combo for
When Rachel Ravi goes
on stage to present her
Arangetram in Auckland
next fortnight, she would
not only gratify her Guru, parents,
family, peers and friends, but also
demonstrate the high level of discipline
and dedication that Bharata Natyam
demands out of its performers.
The teenager is getting ready to reach
the milestone on Saturday, February 18,
2017 at Dorothy Winstone Centre,
Auckland Girls Grammar School,
Howe Street, Newton, in the process
of which two persons would play an
important role – her Guru Renuka
Ketheesan, who runs ‘Sai Natyalaya,’
and Dance Master, Producer, Director
and Music Director Madurai R Muralidharan
The progamme would commence at
530 pm and guests have been requested
to be seated by 515 pm.
A Year-13 student at Epsom Girls
Grammar School, Rachel began her
dance journey when she was three
She regularly participates in dance
programmes and school competitions.
She is an award-winning student
and a keen participant in Chess
matches held at school and regional
Her mother Anusooya Gnanavinthan
Sincerity every step of the way
Analytical thinking helps in good
said that Rachel takes her studies
seriously and is aware of the
challenges and opportunities.
“She is a student of Physics,
Mathematics, Visual arts
and Print making. Analytical
thinking, strategic planning and
time management are some of
her key skills through which
she copes with her studies
with extra-curricular activities
including Piano Lessons (Grade
4) and Speech and Drama
Ms Ketheesan described
Rachel as ‘an enegetic and
amazing girl with passion for
“She is a hard-working,
talented girl with many
potentials. She amazes me
many times. I am very proud of
having Rachel as my Shishya,”
Bihar Legislative Assembly Speaker Dr Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (Centre) with other guests and
participants at the GOPIO event on December 25, 2016.
conference of bloggers, a poetry
session, music and dance
performed by a number of
ethnic communities were
all a part of the year-end celebrations
organised by the Auckland and Waikato
Chapters of the Global Organisation of
People of Indian Origin (GOPIO).
The event, initiated by GOPIO Waikato
Founder-President Suman Kapoor,
was held at the Kelston Community
Centre in Auckland on Christmas Day.
Bihar Legislative Assembly Speaker
Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, National
List MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi,
Dr Parmjeet Parmar, Fiji Education
Ministry Senior Education Officer
Ramesh Chand were among the guests
Participants in the programme
included Ratna Srivastava, Ravindra
Prabhat, Dr Archana Srivastava (Barabanki),
Dr Urmila Shukla (Raipur), Dr
Ramakant Kushwaha (Devariya), Dr
Vijay Pratap Srivastava (Gorakhpur),
Dr Nirmala Verma (Lucknow) and
Kusum Verma (Lucknow).
Official opening of Bharatiya Vidya
Bhavan New Zealand, launch of a book
(‘Thathi’) by Mr Choudhary, a Mixed
Art Exhibition by Kusum Verma and a
Korean Drumbeats item by the Korean
Charitable Trust (Positive Aging)
were among the highlights of the
Speaking about international bloggers,
Ms Kapoor said, “While the print
media such as newspapers, magazines
and books enable expression of
authors’ feelings, blogging has become
an international platform for people
throughout the world to instantly share
their opinions and feelings.”
She also drew similarities between
Maori and Hindi languages.
-With reporting by Dr Madhavi
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
This is our land of Eternal Tranquility, explore!
We have lost many natural
habits to modern life
More than a year ago,
I started a journey in New Zealand,
which I consider a pilgrimage.
This land is one of the few places on
the planet, which still has Eternal tranquility
intact. Till now, I have travelled
extensively throughout the country.
Many New Zealanders have gone
all over the world but have missed the
Paradise at home.
My journey was started on a
self-assigned project named, ‘500 Days
in New Zealand.’ When I started, I had
about 20 stories in mind but as I travelled,
these stories started to multiply
and by the end of 2016, they crossed,
the number had risen to 65.
Coffee Table Books
Initially, I planned for one Coffee
Table Book but now I am considering
four to six books. Presently, I am
working on my first Coffee Table Book
but I am experiencing difficulty in
shortlisting the pictures, as every sight
is beautiful and breathtaking.
The beauty of this land is not physical
what tourists see but its Eternal
I am to an energy field, which holds
you in a trance.
During my trips, I have felt many
times when “I am simply not there.”
From Cape Reinga to Bluff or small
Islands, I have felt heavily charged
spaces, wherein you can sense the
energy field you have entered and soon
you become a part of it.
Gifts of Nature
And this energy is the residue of
many mystical traditions and rituals of
the natives from many centuries ago.
The time when nature was worshipped
and every time you took something
from nature, whether a fruit or bark
of the tree, you thanked them for their
gift which is unlike our times, when
we have assumed our superiority over
every other existence in the world.
Time is right to connect modernity to
the ancient sciences and practices.
We need to explore, research and
revisit the lost heritage.
Time is right when outer world
information and ancestral practices
need to be rewritten.
All this I experienced while being
with natural healers and other esoteric
practicing masters who know the
deeper realms of being.
Ashok Kochhar is an international
photographer who launched ‘500
Days Across New Zealand’ in December
2015. He lives in Hamilton.
The Grace is Universal
Divine Blessing as Heaven opens
On a clear day, you can see for ever!
The Skyline joins the human journey
Solitude could be a virtue
Nature in its bounty
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Mehfil promises uncommon collaboration
In the old days in the Indian
subcontinent, it was the norm for
music and dance enthusiasts to
host programmes catered to small
audience numbers to bring the performer
and the spectator closer.
Known as ‘Mehfil,’ an Urdu word
meaning ‘intimate gathering,’ such
programmes are rare nowadays.
‘Bigger the better,’ in terms of
audience turnout is in vogue today.
However, people like such as Auckland-based
musician and Sarod exponent
Chinmaya Dunster are committed to
keeping this age-old Mughal tradition
alive in this part of the world, through his
efforts in regularly hosting the ‘Auckland
This year’s ‘14th Auckland Mehfil’
is scheduled to be held on Saturday,
February 18 at 7 pm at Blockhouse
Bay Boat Club, 91 Endeavour Street in
Tickets priced at $20 per person (free
for children under 16 years) are currently
‘Auckland Mehfil’ has grown in
popularity amongst all ethnicities and is
known for providing equal exposure for
traditional and fusion performances in a
relaxed setting, as well as some uncommon
collaborations in world music.
“Each Mehfil programme goes a step
further than the previous one, and this
makes our audience anxious of what
to expect each time,” Chinmaya told
Like its forerunners, the ‘14th Auckland
Mehfil’ promises to be an eventful
evening of Jugalbandi and Fusion, with
performances by Chinmaya on Sarod,
Shastro on Flute, ‘Tabla Beat Science’
and ‘Sargam Fusion’ band including
dance by this writer.
Originally from Kent in England,
Chinmaya attended Art College in
Canterbury, simultaneously evincing
interest in music by pursuing an
independent study of classical guitar and
His acquaintance with North Indian
Classical music and instrumentation
first occurred during his travels through
Afghanistan and Northern India.
After attending the concert of Sarod
Maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in the
Indian Capital of New Delhi, Chinmaya
became engrossed in this unique
instrument and spent the next 13 years
learning Sarod in India and London.
In London, he became a disciple of
Ustad Gurdev Singh and after moving
to Pune in Maharashtra, he studied for
six years under the guidance of Pandit
During this time, Chinmaya travelled
to various countries in Europe and Asia,
performing and collaborating with
musicians and recorded several CDs.
His band ‘Celtic Ragas’ is known for
combining elements of Celtic and Hindustani
music, which caught the attention
of former Beatles’ Member (Sir) Paul
McCartney, who invited Chinmaya and
his band to perform at his wedding with
Heather Mills in Ireland in 2002.
Chinmaya currently lives in Auckland
with his partner Naveena Goffer and
Born in Italy, Shastro is described
as a ‘New-Age musician’, specialising
in ethnic instruments such as Spanish
Guitar, African Kora Harp, Clarinet,
Native American Flutes and the Indian
instruments of Bansuri Flute and Dilruba.
His unique musical style of ‘relaxed
world music’ was a result of his frequent
visits to various countries, namely Spain,
Turkey, India and parts of Africa and
These journeys, led by Shastro’s own
spiritual search, enabled him to experience
meditation in India and creating
music for various meditation techniques.
He is known for playing with ease,
integrating his ancient musical instruments
into a contemporary environment.
Shastro lives between United States of
America, Italy and India and is President
of a record label company that he formed
Information about ‘Tabla Beat
Science’ and ‘Sargam Fusion’ band will
appear in our next (February 15, 2017)
‘14th Auckland Mehfil’ – An evening of Jugalbandi and Fusion
Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 7 pm
Blockhouse Bay Boat Club,
91 Endeavour Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland
Tickets ($20 each) available at the venue
Children under are 18: Free
Ph: 022 320 4020; E: info@firstname.lastname@example.org
Get set for thrills and truth at the Theatre
If you love theatre that brings some
chilling stuff, this summer would
be perfect for you; with so much
going on, you would be tickled
for choice but we have chosen just two
(what promise to be) great productions
that would keep you on the edge of
Herald Theatre from February 15 to
Ian Mune, the Award-Winning
Iconic New Zealand actor returns to the
stage with ‘Spirit House.’
Billed as the ‘Most anticipated
theatrical events of the Summer,’
‘Spirit House’ has been produced by
Nightsong Productions and Theatre
Stampede and presented by them with
Auckland Live for playwright Carl
Bland has directed the play with Ben
It is about two artists who occupy
the same studio in Nong Khai in
The difference is the timeframe;
the first artist belongs to 1932 and the
other is in 2017. Charles, with oil and
pigment, paints moments frozen in
time, while Steven is a foot-soldier for
the new media economy, living and
breathing the commercial system, with
a brand to protect.
The Mystery woman
Both men are visited by the same
woman. She is the ultimate muse and
Who is she? And what does she
Speaking the unspoken, her presence
in both worlds will force each man to
come to terms with what each had been
Two men; two centuries; same house; same woman
trying oh-so-hard to forget.
Although a regular on stage and
screen, it has been 17 years since Mune
has taken a lead role.
Along with him in such an intimate
yet epic New Zealand story are acting
heavyweights Mia Blake (‘The Book
of Everything,’ ‘Angels in America’),
Tim Carlsen (‘One Day Moko,’ ‘Dirty
Laundry’) and a giant 6-foot cat called
You can expect such scenes as bodies
emerging from water, cobras haunting
their victims, housecats launching
their attacks – all as a part of the
production company’s trademark visual
Spirt House promises to be vivid,
wild, entertaining, dramatic, beautiful,
Bland and Crowder have been working
together on some remarkable work
over the last decade. Their March 2016
New Zealand Festival and the sell-out
Auckland Arts Festival Season of Te Po
(based on the ‘Work and Life of Bruce
Mason’) received outstanding reviews
and had audiences spellbound.
At the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland
From Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, March 5, 2017
Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm. Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 pm.
Sundays at 4 pm.
Book at www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Grappling with dark reality
Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna from
February 25 to March 4
A scene from ‘Remain in Light’
(Photo Credit: Sacha Stejko)
Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna from
February 25 to March 4 ‘Remain in
Light’ could scare you more than any
psycho-thriller or horror movie has
done in recent years.
Set in the post-apocalyptic world, it
is stated to be a gripping, lyrical and
strikingly bold story that will make you
love this planet and hate wars.
One morning the Sun fails to rise.
People are puzzled, then frightened,
then panicked. In the endless darkness,
small groups of survivors hunt for food,
warmth and above all, light.
When one man finds a magical
source of light, his power becomes
limitless, because people will give
everything, do anything, in order to see.
A poetic and impressionistic play,
‘Remain in Light’ exposes mankind’s
true nature in grappling with a dark
The power of light observed
Written by Stephen Sinclair and
directed by Elena Stejko, ‘Remain in
Light’ will make its theatrical premier
from February 25 to March 4, 2017 at
the Pumphouse Theatre in Takapuna,
North Shore, Auckland.
Qualities of Light
Created by Click-Clack Productions,
the play will explore the visual and
spiritual qualities of light in a world
of darkness. It would bring together a
17-strong cast with sound and lighting
technology for a unique, immersive
Stephen Sinclair’s illustrious
career has seen him writing for
major cinematic productions as well as
boundary-pushing theatre work.
As a screenwriter, he has worked
with director Sir Peter Jackson on
‘Meet the Feebles,’ ‘Braindead’ and
‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two
His award-winning play Ladies
Night (co-written with Anthony
McCarten), which premiered in
Auckland in 1987, continues to be
performed throughout the world. His
‘The Bellbird’ and ‘The Bach’ have
been mounted in main-bill productions
by Auckland Theatre Company.
His directorial debut on the comedy-drama
feature film, ‘Russian Snark,’
saw him working with actress Elena
Stejko in 2010.
The multi-talented Elena (‘Russian
Snark,’ ‘A Shortcut to Happiness’) will
be directing a sizeable cast through this
post-apocalyptic fairy-tale, delving into
human nature and the desperate desire
Comedian and actor Paul Roukchan
(New Zealand International Comedy
Festival, ‘Shortland Street,’ Radar’s
‘Chequered Past’) takes the lead role
with emerging actress Emma-Mae
Eglinton (‘Sit On It,’ ‘It Ends With The
Remain in Light
At the Pumphouse Theatre
Manurere Avenue, Takapuna, Auckland
February 25 to March 4, 2017
Book at http://pumphouse.co.nz/whats-on/show/remain-in-the-light/
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Spiritual healing sways with melody
Scriptures such as the ‘Nada
Bindu Upanishad’ and ancient
Indian texts on Music like
‘Sangeeta Ratnakara (Shanrangya
Deva)’ and great musicians
of the present times like Ganapathy
Sachchidananda Swamiji, working
for decades on the therapeutic abilities
of Music, have described the musical
abilities and musical experiences as a
process ‘Nada Yoga.’
Ganapathy Sachchidanada Swamiji
uses a combination of the Indian
Ragas based on their aesthetic appeal,
self-composed lyrics (with resonating
seed letters like Om, Aim, Hreem,
Sreem), ‘Jyotisha Shastra’ (astrological
calculations), ‘Mani Shastra’ (healing
energy of crystals and gems) for selection
of appropriate music frequencies
during live music therapy sessions and
in studio recordings.
He also uses bonsai trees relevant
to the musical scale, and specific
bird-related to the Raga, along with
self-improvised combination of
various natural and instrumental sounds
(sampled on ‘His Datta Veena,’ the
Ganapathy Sachchidanada Swamiji
Born in the lineage of the great
Venkatamakhi, the musicologist who
popularised the ‘72 Melakartha System’
(parent scales) of Carnatic Music,
Swamiji is a prolific, versatile and
His proficiency is explicitly
demonstrated in more than 500 varied
compositions ranging from simple
‘Namasankeertana Bhajans’ to profound
secrets of ‘Vedanta’ accounting for
simple four to eight liner couplets to
elaborate descriptive and contemplative
Swamiji has employed all avenues
in attempting to explore the mystery
of therapeutic sounds hidden in the
inanimate as well as the animate.
Integration of Nature
He said that the mountains, the
waterfalls, the oceans, the five elements
as well as the flora and the fauna, in fact,
everything around us is full of Nada –
‘Nada Moolam Idam Jagat’ (The entire
universe is full of Nada).
His Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai
Garden hosts nearly 800 species of
Bonsai plants (www.sgsbonsai.org) and
Shukavana Avery (www.sgsbirds.com)
hosts nearly 400 species of birds.
These are testimony to his
experiments in analysing with different
musical sounds emerging from the flora
and fauna and studying the influence of
various sounds on their behaviour.
The Casurina trees at the entrance of
the Garden were brought in a near-dead
state. They were rejuvenated with his
Fruition and growth in some of the
trees has been shown to be influenced by
ragas. Some of the trees are named after
their respective ragas.
More than 200 recorded music albums
of Sri Swamiji have been released by
the Ashram; his hundreds of live music
concerts all over the world have attracted
and influenced the novice and music
Millions of transoceanic admirers
and listeners of his music exemplify his
Dr Phanishree PV is a Doctor of
Medicine (MD) practicing as a Paediatrician
in Mysore, Karnataka. He also
has a Diploma in Hindustani Flute.
Ganapathy Sachchidanada Swamiji
will present a Meditation and Healing
Music Concert at 6 pm at Dorothy
Winston Centre, Auckland Girls
Grammar School on Saturday,
February 4, 2017.
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
SNAP DECISION No. 008
Use the photos to find the answer: check
Anna Swan 1846-1888 was aCanadian giantess
who attained aheight of 7feet, 11 inches (241 cm).
Billed as “the world’s tallest woman” and described
by her employer, USshowman P. T. Barnum, as an
“intelligent and by no means ill-looking girl”, in 1871
she married the equally tall American giant Martin
Bates, and together they toured Europe as the world’s
tallest married couple, before settling down to a
normal domestic life in America, in apurpose-built
house with extended ceilings and modified furniture.
Spot the 10 Differences
Different letters and the asterisk
represent different digits. Rewrite
the sum using the following digits:
1 2 4 5 8
Solution to Attemptation No. 007
E D A V L
1 2 3 4 6 8
JUMBLE No. 1741 SUDOKU No. 1062 HI
10 Words Good
12 Words Very Good
14 Words Excellent
17 Words Genius
SOLUTION TO 1740
crofter fetor foot
footer force fore
form forme former
fort forte fret froe
from orfe reform
reft roof roofer
How many words of 4letters ormore can you make from these 9letters?
In making aword each letter may beused only once, and the centre letter
must be included. There must be at least one 9-letter word. No slang,
foreign words, plurals, hyphens or apostrophes.
CROSSWORD No. 11910
3 Flowering plant
9 Musical dramas
11 Romantic poet
12 Worn away by biting
15 Moral philosophy
17 Grand sitting room
18 In favour of
20 Forcible constraint
24 Beast of burden
25 Longhaired Tibetan
28 Inexpert actor (coll)
29 Strike with ablow
30 Bishop’s headdress
34 Traveller’s case
35 Joining peg
36 Make ajourney
37 It turns red litmus
38 Exchanges for money
Crossword No. 11909
4 Second hand
7 Reserve military force
8 Periods ofinstruction
13 Not artificial
14 Adult human female
16 They are found in the
1 Asfar as changing,
do go on, probably in
6 Paper-chain of notes
7 First woman given
about two pounds for
9 Anidiot standing back,
not joining in (5)
10 Heartless visit to
America after ring (7)
12 Telling beer makes
14 Mother (no other) in
tale about thing raging
after dark (6,5)
18 Story that has to be
reckoned with? (7)
19 &17Dn Carry adime
for genuine topping
21 Leave egghead inside
in peace (5)
22 Time for abstinence
that appears topass
1 Again urge to answer
2 Took big steps to get
out of Dorset (6)
M F R U G A L G
C A N O E A I M P L Y
R R E T S I N A U
G R E E K R E D E E M
I S E A F A R E R U
H A T E D I T S R O T
O G R E S E E M O P E
L E A C A N T I R E D
L C A U L D R O N R
Y I E L D S U S H E R
C A G A I N S T T
H O R S E A L E N T O
N L I N G E R A
3 Lettuce for just threequarters
4 Bank employee who
can’t keep his mouth
5 Profits coming
in happily on
8 Haggle over profit from
drinking spot? (7)
11 Having to spend about
21 Man’s name
22 Track and field
23 Islamic fast
27 Sunglasses (coll)
30 Shopping precincts
31 Pre-Olympian god
34 Meat from acalf
apound for recreation
13 Given agood pasting
for putting on airs?
15 Herod’s new island (6)
16 The losing suit for
17 See 19 Ac
20 Thankful sound for the
road repair (3)
Sudoku No. 1061 Cryptic No. 17560
10 Tetrarch; 11 Edge;
13 Hockey; 15Tavern;
17 Uses; 18 Billy-can;
21 Epitome; 22 Arrow;
23 There there.
Down: 1Unlit; 2Teenager;
5Overdue; 6White House;
12 Palliate; 14 Cherish;
16 Silent; 19 Carve;
Snap Decision No. 007 What’s Different No. 017 Attemptation No. 007
1. Smoke puff missing
2. Mans shirt colour different
3. Rear wheel missing
4. Road line missing
5. Dummies arm missing
6. Part of fence missing
7. Part of building missing
8. Shape of spill different
9. Car colour different
10. Cloud missing
E D A V L
1 2 3 4 6 8
Another year of reckoning
for Akshay Kumar
Cricket gets the top score
of the season
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Akshay Kumar should
have cause for
anxiety as his ‘Jolly
LLB 2,’ his first film
of the year due for release on
A Sequel to the surprise 2013
hit ‘Jolly LLB,’ the courtroom
drama pairs Akshay for the first
time with Huma Qureshi.
While the original starred
Arshad Warsi in the title role,
the forthcoming film is bigger
Akshay (48) is going through
one of the best phases of his
His three releases last year
(Airlift, Housefull 3 and
Rustom) did well.
Airlift and Rustom (Co-produced
by Akshay) were based
on real-life incidents and drew
critical and commercial acclaim.
Rise of a Star
Akshay started his career with
‘Saugandh’ (1991), co- starring
His first major success was
the Abbas-Mustan directed
Loosely based on an earlier
suspense drama (Khel Khel
Mein), the film had a popular
The subsequent years saw Akshay’s
career bring a mixed bag of hits and misses.
He was identified as an action-hero but
things changed for the better for Akshay
in 2000 with the Priyadarshan-directed
comedy Hera Pheri.
His stardom increased manifold as a
new audience base was cultivated with his
comic act. In recent years, his association
with Director Neeraj Pandey has been
productive. The duo has strived to give
intelligent commercial films like Special 26
Akshay is the most prolific actor. He
does about four films a year and with every
film he adds to his repertoire and gives fans
What makes sequels
an attractive option for
filmmakers is the brand
value the originals of
the films carry.
The risks associated
with sequels compared
to making original films
are less. In a highly
competitive market, any
advantage would be a
Although 2016 was
a disappointing year
for sequels in Hindi
cinema, comic capers
like Tere bin Laden,
Kya Kool Hain Hum
and Great Grand Masti
tanked at the box office.
Rock on 2 and
Kahaani 2 also
sequel should carry
the elements which
made the original films
popular, but filmmakers
should embellish them
with new and attractive
ingredients to ensure
viewers enjoy the
films and not become
Black Caps carried building on their
successful home summer of cricket
by beating Bangladesh 2-0 in the
recently concluded test series.
This followed convincing wins over the
same opponents in One Day and T-20 matches.
It was an underwhelming display by Bangladesh;
especially considering that coming into
this tour, they had won four of their last 10 tests
and lost two.
The wins included beating England at home.
In what is sure to be a sell-out series,
Australia follows Bangladesh for the three
match Chappell-Hadlee contest.
Any sporting encounter between the
Trans-Tasman rivals makes for riveting viewing
and hence this series will be no different.
New Zealand at home will be a completely
different team to the one that surrendered tamely
to Australia in the last Chappell –Hadlee
Rounding off the summer will be a visit
from South Africa for a three test and five
match one day series.
The Proteas are in a rebuilding stage. New
additions to the team like fast bowler Kagiso
Rabada bode well, and pace bowler Vernon
Philander is stepping up to take over the role
of the leader of the bowling unit in the absence
of an injured Dale Steyn. This will be the first
major overseas tour for the team under new test
captain Faf du Plessis. Premier
Batsman Ab De Villiers has
decided to sit out the tour to
manage his workload in the
lead up to the next World Cup.
His absence will considerably
weaken the South African
batting line up.
Black Caps performance
This is an important season
for the Black Caps.
A successful Cricket team helps the sport grow in the
It would encourage larger funding for grassroots cricket
and attract youngsters to the game.
India under the new One-Day and T20 Captain Virat
Kohli, carried its dominance over England from the tests to
the One-Day series by winning 2-1.
The series created the record for most runs scored in a
three-match bilateral contest. Maharashtra’s Kedar Jadhav
enhanced his reputation as a champion finisher of the
innings by winning the Man of the Series Award.
Australia, after the Chappell-Hadlee series travels to
India for a four-match test series.
In a first for Australia, the selectors have picked four
spinners for the tour.
Australia’s last outing to the subcontinent led to a 3-0 test
series defeat to Sri Lanka in August last year.
The last time the team won a test in India was in 2004.
For Australia to be competitive in the series, Captain
Steven Smith and the best batsman David Warner must
perform better against the spin attacks of R Ashwin and
Adding to the international cricket scene is the Big Bash
League (BBL) in Australia.
The coming months will offer cricket fans exciting
games from around the world.
Spice up 2017 with
•Oteha valley •bOtany dOwns •bOtany tOwn centre •missiOn bay •manukau
•new lynn •pakuranga •sylvia park •hamiltOn