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Indian Newslink 15th April 2018 Digital Edition


APRIL 15, 2018 12 Viewlink The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999) ISSUE 390 | APRIL 15, 2018 Former Minister’s arrogance astounding Former Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman will soon be forgotten, for the four-term Member of Parliament has quit politics, opting for a private sector job. There is nothing wrong in a politician’s move to call it day (although Dr Coleman’s exit just over six months after the general election would cost taxpayers another $1 million to elect a new MP at Northcote in Auckland), but the refusal of the man to accept responsibility for the dangerously unhealthy state of the buildings of Middlemore and other hospitals in South Auckland was unfathomable. More, it demonstrated the arrogance of the former politician. No excuse That he was not aware of the pathetic condition of Middlemore Hospital is no excuse. Even though he denied that he was not informed of the rot, it is untenable that a Health Minister did not think it important to know of the conditions of a major hospital under his watch. Despite the deplorable conditions of the hospitals, Counties Manukau District Health Board deficits and government claims of a health fiscal hole, Dr Coleman believes that he did a good job. “As Minister of Health you receive money in each Budget, and that is decided collectively by the Cabinet; so, you cannot hold one individual responsible for the funding of the health system; but whatever you put into health, there will be always people who say it is not enough,” he said. Ropey Figure But Labour is launching a full-court press against the record of the former National government, with health a main target. Health Minister Dr David Clark said that he had a ropey figure of about $14 billion for extra capital spending needed over the next decade. “What is clear from the stories that I have been hearing from all the DHBs is that many of them have claims to buildings that need replacing, these buildings and situations didn’t occur overnight ... they won’t be solved in one Budget,” Dr Clark said. There is no dispute that the problems confronting Middlemore and other South Auckland hospitals should be fixed. Some people, as can be read on the front page of this issue, want to go a little further. They want an inquiry. We will wait, see and report. Fake marriages victimise genuine couples The ‘business’ of entering into matrimony to gain permanent resident status is a thriving industry in New Zealand but many are coming to grief and left in the lurch. Recruiting brides and grooms There is an equal mix of Indians from Fiji and India in the industry with members of both sexes acting as de facto spouses demanding and receiving monetary compensation. According to some sources, a few women are reportedly working as ‘agents’ to recruit ‘brides and grooms’ for supply to the local market for a consideration. In other cases, the deal is for the intended purpose of regularising stay. Sex plays a small but decisive part in the process. Indian Newslink regularly investigates cases which come our notice. INZ conducts its own probe following which many fraudsters are declared illegal and served with eviction notice. While some have left the country to return later, others have reportedly gone into hiding or appealed through courts and voluntary organisations to be treated as refugees. A handful of such cases have been successful but a large number of them remain as illegal residents but at large. Immigration through Marriage An immigration lawyer said that it was not uncommon for overstayers and visitors to ‘marry’ a New Zealand Citizen or a Permanent Resident (PR), hoping to regularise their stay in the country. For time to time we hear of cases of young men and women entering marriages of convenience to obtain residency. Women often endure violence and abuse. It is now time to not only stop fake marriages but also the illegal activities that are associated with them. It is important because increasingly all applications from people of Indian origin are viewed with suspicion and young couples who are legally married with the knowledge and consent of their parents suffer separation. Indian Newslink is published by Indian Newslink Limited from its offices located at Level 1, Number 166, Harris Road, East Tamaki, Auckland 2013 and printed at Horton Media Limited, Auckland. All material appearing here and on our web editions are the copyright of Indian Newslink and reproduction in full or part in any medium is prohibited. Indian Newslink and its management and staff do not accept any responsibility for the claims made in advertisements. Managing Director & Publisher: Jacob Mannothra; Editor & General Manager: Venkat Raman; Marketing & Sales Manager: Ronny Kumaran; Production Manager: Mahes Perera; Assistant Editor: Ratna Venkat; Financial Controller: Uma Venkatram CA; Phone: (09) 5336377 Email: Websites:;; Beehive ‘newsroom’ should move the story Tim Murphy One of the country’s most high-powered newsrooms needs to start getting its employer’s story into the news cycle and out to the public, and fast. The Government newsroom is a team of around 35 press secretaries assembled in the Beehive from the ranks of some of the country’s leading journalists and communicators - people experienced in politics, business, the press gallery and social advocacy. Think back to the end of January when the Jacinda Ardern team marked 100 days in power. Its achievements were legion, its working groups numerous and its boxes well and truly ticked in public. Reactive, not strategic In between times, the government communications effort seemed too reactive and not strategic enough. By March, the Labour-led coalition saw its overarching narrative of new, progressive social priorities knocked from the home pages, front pages and tops of bulletins as political bushfire after political omnishambles over-ran the new administration’s message of reform. Political life comes at you quickly. Feather dusters Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau probably can’t remember when they were once strutting roosters. Here, while things were going south in March, ministerial kitchen cabinets, chiefs of staffs, political strategists and others would have been searching for ways to change the debate, get on the front foot, sell the government’s story and dominate the news cycle. Government newsroom It is here the Government’s newsroom should come into its own. It is a different team from that which served the Key and English governments, which also had considerable journalistic and public relations firepower to sell messages. When governments change, the messengers are routinely shot, and a new group considered neutral or favourable to the incoming administration is installed. Knowledge is power and choosing when and how to make information public gives any Beehive team a holy advantage over the media and the government’s political opponents. In this context, the move after just five months of Ardern’s Chief Press Secretary Mike Jaspers to a back-room role as a ‘Chief Strategic Advisor’ speaks volumes. Someone has to step off the political travellator and think hard about where the government’s story is heading. Jaspers move mirrors that of Key’s Chief Press Secretary Kevin Taylor, albeit at a far earlier point in the government’s life. The PM’s chief of staff, Mike Munro, was late joining the administration while recovering from illness but is also a former Clark government Chief Press Secretary and Press Gallery Political Editor. Seeking the initiative After the mensis horribilis of March, it will be no coincidence that Ardern is trying to rediscover her populist touch. The past 10 days have seen images of Ardern and Housing Minister Phil Twyford launching the big Kiwibuild project at Mt Albert, a smiling Prime Minister hosting children at Premier House for Easter eggs, a positively Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern glowing feature story on the Stuff. website of a journalist’s two days spent with Ardern, a set-piece prime ministerial interview with the Guardian website -and finally the big policy announcement on Tuesday (April 3) of the changes to transport priorities and funding. It will have irritated the communications strategists to have seen a random International Transport Forum report floating cuts to the speed limit to 70km/h on rural roads getting publicity on the day of the serious and heavyweight Draft Government Policy Statement on transport. That speed limit issue is allied to the Government’s road safety goal but when coupled with talk of an increase in petrol tax of between 9 cents and 12 cents a litre over three years on top of Aucklanders’ 10 cents a litre regional fuel tax, it did muddy the waters. The Prime Minister seemed annoyed by this conflation on one of her morning television interviews and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne-Genter had to distance the forum’s report from the government’s proposals. But a big policy announcement does garner big media coverage, particularly on an issue which touches so many in both cities and the regions. Refining messages Refining the messages so the public take from these announcements is what the government wants them to focus on and remember is the art of the Beehive newsroom. Yet the Transport Policy announcement has been overwhelmed by talk of the combined petrol tax increase - partly because the Prime Minister and Transport Minister specified the 9 to 12 cent excise increase over three years instead of treating it as simply a continuation of the regular increments National imposed during its nine years in power. Completing the Team The Labour-led government has almost finished assembling its newsroom team. Jaspers’ job has been advertised so another big name could yet sign-up. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has just welcomed former Stuff Business Editor Ellen Read as the senior of his two press secretaries, with Alex Tarrant who was in the press gallery for Also, on the Ardern team since the government was formed in October is former magazine and newspaper journalist Julie Jacobson and two other press secretaries. Vernon Small, the erudite former National Affairs Editor and political commentator for the Dominion-Post and Stuff, now works for the Minister of Economic Development, David Parker. Old hands on second or third tours of duty include Kathryn Street, (a former private radio gallery reporter who worked for Clark, now Police Minister Stuart Nash’s Press Secretary), Stephen Parker (a former TV3 Political Editor who once worked for Labour’s Bob Tizard has drawn the short straw in going across from MFAT to be Winston Peters’ Press Aide), Chris Harrington (a former Television Current Affairs man now working for Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri), Richard Ninness (a former political journalist who also worked for National’s Bill Birch and now with NZ First’s Tracey Martin), and Julian Robins (a former RNZ Political Reporter who worked for David Shearer now one of two press secretaries for Health Minister David Clark). There are ‘holdovers’ as they say in Washington between the two Beehive newsrooms - Georgina Stylianou, a former Press and Stuff Reporter who worked for Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee and is now Press Secretary for NZ First Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones, Parker, and former RNZ journalist Gay Cavill who is working for Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran. The list goes on. Former Dominion Post and Herald on Sunday journalist and Green Party Chief Press Secretary Leah Haines is on Ardern’s press staff and Britton Broun, a former Stuff Reporter is working for the Minister of Crown Maori Relations, Kelvin Davis after a stint at MBIE. It is a substantial list, both in total number (35) and experience and capability. Shifting perceptions Once it is coordinated and deployed to be coming up with and placing stories about the government’s policies and achievements it could start to shift perceptions of Labour and its allies. The transition, summer holidays, temporary Chief of Staff at the PM’s office, and Jacindamania’s glow through January with the announcement of her pregnancy and the public relations successes at Waitangi in early February, might have meant the Beehive newsroom was not fully engaged and the communications strategy not yet firing by March. Any new government has a raft of policies to develop and implement. Ministers worth their salaries know they are political salespeople as well as guests in the public’s limousines. The working groups have been announced but the direct reforms and initiatives go on. It will never be a straight line, steady-as-she-goes kind of task for the media team. Journalists still in the press gallery and beyond will look to get behind the set-pieces and the spin, to reveal uncomfortable truths and disclose information before the planning whiteboards have it scheduled for release. Events - and personal and political flaws among members of the Cabinet and governing parties - will also conspire to disrupt the best laid plans of the Beehive team. Identifying positive not negative key messages and finding ways to hammer them home - absent from this week’s transport policy launch - and having a detailed plan using media opportunities relating to as many parts of the country as possible will be required. Step up, Mike Munro and Mike Jaspers. Tim Murphy is the Co-Founder of Newsroom and is the former Editor-in-Chief of the New Zealand Herald. Newsroom is an independent, New Zealand-based news and current affairs site, powered by the generosity of people who support its mission to produce fearless, independent and provocative journalism. Indian Newslink has published the above Report and Picture under a Special Agreement with

APRIL 15, 2018 Women in Real Estate 13 Priya Shankar Priya Shankar is a Fiji-born Indian who joined Barfoot & Thompson, New Zealand’s largest privately-owned Real Estate company in August 2006. She started her career at their city-based Head Office as their Accountant. After giving birth to her son, Sheba Soundhar With 14 years of experience in Real Estate in Auckland, Sheba and her husband Soundhar have collectively built a trustworthy reputation in the Real Estate industry by striving to never compromise the value of their work consistently protecting she completed her Business Degree whilst working full time and was promoted to the position of Company Accountant. Earlier this year, Priya was promoted to the position of Financial Controller heading the Finance and Accounting team within Head Office. She successfully leads a team of nine people. Market Leader The Company has over 70 branches throughout Auckland and Northland including Commercial and Body Corporate and sells one in three houses in Auckland. Barfoot and Thompson also manages over 16,000 rental properties. In her 20-year working career, 11 of which have been in real estate, Priya has and supporting their clients’ interests. Sheba has been working for Barfoot and Thompson Grey Lynn branch for the past 14 years. Fine Attributes Clients choose to work with them due to their honest and trustworthy service, ethics, experience and expertise. They have consistently shown their ability to satisfy their clients in buying and selling of their homes. Their strong base of repeat customers is the reason for their success in this incredibly competitive sales environment, proving that the duo value every relationship with their clients. They make the emotional and financial process of buying and selling homes the most comfortable, gained extensive insight into the industry and is an astute property investor herself. She is grateful to have worked alongside some very successful industry leaders and is also a member of the Institute of Strategic Leadership Alumni Group, which has helped her immensely in her personal growth. Barfoot & Thompson strongly encourages growth and provides leadership opportunities for individuals within the organisation and Priya feels privileged to be part of such a prestigious company. Priya is also a keen supporter of the Starship Foundation and has organised ‘Bollywood for Starship’ for the past four years and raised over $40,000 for the Charity. wonderful and meaningful experience that one can possibly have. Extensive Knowledge Their extensive knowledge of Auckland’s residential real estate market is unparalleled. Sheba and Soundhar have been one of the top sales agents in their branch for over a decade and were honoured with the ‘Top Salespersons’ for 2015. Their clients have consistently sought their advice and trusted their judgements on many property deals, whether buying or selling. Let them know what you want, and you can be confident that they will work with you and for you, to ensure good things happen for you in real estate. Whydomore homeowners choose to use Barfoot &Thompson? Satisfaction Ourextensiveknowledge of the market and professional experiencewill guide youtoexcellentresults. Your Property… OurPrivilege Foryour real estate needs please call… Soundhar m 021 686 788 ah. (09) 6301108 Sheba m 021 678 778 ah. (09) 6301108 Anjini Lata Local Real Estate Group believes in the first instance that business moves forward and grows based on a simple formula: Honesty and Integrity. Local Real Estate was established precisely for that reason. We love to provide our cus- tomers Local Specialists with Local Knowledge but most importantly we are honest and upfront with them. Vital Q&A In every business Customers rightly so always ask the question, “Why?” “Why should I choose your business over other real estate company?” Our Answer Always been same. Our Salespeople are local specialists. They know their market really well. They know where the local dairy shop is, local school, Local stadium, local bus stop and local demographics. We want to serve local people with their local need. We go one extra mile to help our vendors, our investors and most importantly our first home buyers. Customers First I personally believe in customers’ journey and in “End to End Customer Experience.” Even though I am a South Auckland Manager, I tend to sell properties all over Auckland and I promote long-term professional relationship with my customers who return anytime they need any advice regarding property or in relation to buying and selling their property. My business is usually based through referral and I believe that word-of-mouth is the biggest tool of advertisement in today’s market. As for an individual, sharing a good experience is worth more than showing awards! Anjini Lata South Auckland Sales Manager & Sales Consultant M: 021-215 0046 D: (09) 2137364 E: W: Ground Knowledge makes us Local Every house has its value, but location enhances it. Our salespeople understand your needs and match them with the house best suited to your budget and preference. They know that every home constitutes life’s choice. 2 White Swan Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1041 Raksha Lakhan As soon as you meet Raksha, you will realise that she is a woman who loves life and is passionate about people and real estate. You will notice that she is ‘quietly buzzing’ with life, knows what she is talking about, is experienced, pro- fessional and gets results. With a degree in Economics and Land Management, together with a passion for people and property, real estate was the obvious career choice for her in 2003. Sound Knowledge With many years and hundreds of property sales to her credit, she has a sound real estate business built specifically with her clients’ needs in mind. If you were to read her many testimonials from previous clients, the following words and phrases appear quite often: “Clearly defined Plan,” “Perfect Plan,” “Professional,” “Price above our Target,” “Excellent Service,” “Wonderful Job,” “Absolutely Delighted,” and “Far exceeded our wildest dreams.” If you were to ask Raksha what, apart from her marriage and her business, lights her up, she would tell you that family is very important to her. In her spare time, she loves to curl up with a good book or surf the net for ideas for her next family holiday. Margaret Marion Clark, one her clients, said, “On November 15, Raksha sold my home at an auction on the premises. I found it to be a fun day and the climax to a positive working relationship between Raksha.” Customer Satisfaction comes home all the time. Andwith honestyand Service, it gets better with everydeal. From the first meeting with Raksha, youwill be in comfortzone. Give her acall.That’sall it takes Raksha Lakhan Licensee Salesperson Mobile: 021 442 097 Phone: (09) 281 5445 Noble RealtyLimited Licensed (REAA 2008) Email:

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