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Regulations put customer interest at risk says expert

Venkat Raman

Although reports on commercial

banks in Australia

and Life Insurance Companies

in New Zealand have

raised cudgels against the players

in the respective sectors, their

strictures will eventually harm

customers, an expert has said.

He said that ordinary people-

Australians and New Zealanders

who the regulators such as the

central banks and monetary

authorities are trying to protect will

in fact beacome the victims.

Kenneth Hayne Report

“The Kenneth Hayne Report on

commercial banks in Australia has

ruled that they have placed profit

before customer interest and that

it should be the other way around,

which is a valid point. But in the

same breath, it has said that mortgage

brokers should charge their

customers fees for their services

and not the lenders, which will

place extra burden on borrowers,”

he said.

The expert, who did not want

to be named, has more than 40

years of experience in the banking

and insurance industry. He said

that mortgage and insurance

brokers act in the best interests of

their customers (and lenders and

insurers) and any move to penalise

them would be counterproductive

and harm the industry as a whole.

Banking Scene in New Zealand

A Joint Review of New Zealand’s

banking sector by the Financial

Markets Authority (FMA) and the

Reserve Bank of New Zealand

(RBNZ) in November 2018 found “a

small number of issues” related to

the poor conduct by bank staff.

“Issues relating to system or

process weaknesses were more commonplace.

Based on these findings,

conduct and culture issues do not

appear to be widespread in banks

in New Zealand at this point in time.

However, we are concerned about

banks’ lack of proactivity in identifying

and remediating conduct issues

and risks in their business. More

broadly, we identified weaknesses in

the governance and management of

conduct risks. This is a vulnerability

that, if left unchecked, has the potential

to lead to widespread issues,” the

Report said.

Brokers, essential links

“Mortgage and Insurance brokers

perform all the documents essential

for the scrutiny of lenders and

insurers. Imagine the chaos if

all customers begin to approach

them directly! Not only will each

application take time for scrutiny,

these institutions would have to

employ more staff, adding to their

overheads. Thusly, instead of paying

mortgage brokers, customers will

have to pay the lenders and insurers,

for, they will be forced to charge

fees,” he said.

Insurance Report

On January 29, 2019, the FMA and

RBNZ issued a damning Report into

how 16 Life insurance companies

have done business, saying that

they put sales and profits ahead

of customers (Indian Newslink,

February 1, 2019)

The Report, which will be released

on February 21, 2019, shows the life

insurance sector in a poor light accusing

life insurers of complacency.

Problems with the Law

“As a small country known for

hard working people, New Zealand

can do better with robust policies.

The KiwiSaver for example, can be

turned into a robust investment vehicle.

We need regulations that are

people-friendly, benefitting ordinary

customers. Lending institutions and

insurers can be better controlled

without penalising people,” the

expert said.

In the Australian contest, he said

that the flurry of prosecutions and

actions will again reveal problems

with the law - gaps in coverage,

inadequate penalties and cases the

law won’t allow to stand up.

Andrew Linden and Warren Staples

of the Melbourne based RMIT

University have said in an analysis

(see Businesslink in this issue) that

taken together, the recommendations

made in the Hayne’s Report

“are a patchwork of measures that

if implemented will over time be

eaten away – and at some point

will be dismantled – because the

rationale for their adoption will be


Even before they are implemented,

they will have to run the gauntlet

of a massive subterranean lobbying

effort from industry to water them

down, something Hayne indicated

he expected.

Labour ahead of National

in Poll in 12 years

The National Party is polling

below Labour for the first

time in twelve years in the

Newshub Reid Research


The Poll has Labour at 47.5%

ahead of the National Party,

which has dropped to 41.6%.

The Greens are at at 5.1% while

New Zealand First is on 2.9%.

Political commentator

Professor Claire Robinson told

Checkpoint it was great news for

the Labour Party and showed a

honeymoon period for Party, with

voters giving them the benefit of

the doubt.

“It is fantastic for Labour, they

have gone up over 20 points in

the last just over a year and that's

a huge jump,” he said.

Bad news for Bridges

In the preferred Prime

Minister polling, Labour's Jacinda

Ardern sits comfortably on 41.8%.

CSR is good, but..

“We all agree that banks and

insurance companies should show

greater Corporate Social Responsibility

and that they should put

people before profit. But to expect

these institutions to be ‘profit-free’ is

not only economically unsound but

also foolish. We should be careful

in putting in place regulations. All

financial directives should promote

good business practices. Otherwise,

we will end up in a mess,” the

expert said.

National Party Leader Simon Bridges and

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

(RNZ Photo)

National MP Judith Collins got

6.2%, which moves her ahead of

her Leader Simon Bridges who is

at on 5%

Based on the poll numbers,

the Labour Party and the Greens

would be able to govern alone

without New Zealand First.

The margin of error for the poll

was 3.1% and was taken between

January 24 to February 2, 2019.

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FEBRUARY15, 2019


Polytechnics to merge into a New Institute of Skills

Proposal for Public Consultation

Staff Reporter



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Education Minister Chris Hipkins Photo for RNZ

by Richard Tindiller



Level 1/203 Great South Road


Auckland | Email:



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The government has

proposed merging

all 16 polytechnics

in the country

into a single National

Institute and radically reforming

industry training


Education Minister

Chris Hipkins said the

Plan was challenging but

necessary for shoring

up a sector that had suffered

falling enrolments

and multimillion dollar


Mr Hipkins said that

the proposal included

creating a New Zealand

Institute of Skills and

Technology that would

have a single Governing

Council and would manage

all 16 institutes’

capital and operational

budgets, staffing, and

computer systems for

managing their courses.

He said that would solve

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and make better use

of taxpayer funding.



“A consolidated organisation

would make better

strategic use of capital,

achieve greater efficiency

in programme design, development

and delivery,

and reduce replication of

back-office functions,” Mr

Hipkins said in a Paper to

the Cabinet.

The Plan also suggested

stopping industry training

organisations from arranging

and paying for training

and paring back their role

to setting standards and

qualifications and advising

the Tertiary Education

Commission under the

new title of Industry Skills


Mr Hipkins said that tertiary

institutions would

take over the job of organising

and providing workbased

industry training

and that would be a big


“Providers would take

responsibility for approximately

140,000 trainees

and apprentices in addition

to the approximately

110,000 vocational education

learners they already

serve (based on 2017 figures).

This would require

increased capability and

capacity. This change will

promote better alignment

between on- and off-job education

and training, and

stabilise provision of vocational

education across

the economic cycle,” the

Cabinet paper said.

Negative response


The paper said industry

training organisations

(ITOs) might respond negatively

to the proposals, but

they included asignificantly

increased leadership role

for the industry.

Mr Hipkins said that

the proposed changes

would be disruptive but

the current model was not


He said the amalgamation

of polytechnics might

result in more or fewer

main campuses in the regions

and some of the institutes

might need more

financial support before

the changes were


Mr Hipkins’ Cabinet

Paper showed the Treasury

was worried that it was not

clear how much the proposals

would cost.

“We are concerned that

Cabinet is being asked

to agree to asignificant

in-principle decision without

a clear indication of the

likely overall financial implications

of the changes

proposed, including shortterm

transition costs, and

enduring funding changes,”

the Paper said.

Last year the government

loaned $50 million to

Unitec and gave $15 million

to Whitireia in Porirua

after the two institutions

ran into serious financial

problems. The money was

on top of a bailout for the

West Coast’s Tai Poutini

Polytechnic in February

that included an $8.5 million

capital injection and

a write-off of $25 million

owed to the Tertiary

Education Commission.

The Auditor-General

warned in November last

year that polytechnics were

under pressure and needed

first-rate governance.

The most recently available

financial results for

polytechnics showed nine

of the 16 institutions made

deficits and 11 suffered

falling enrolments in 2017.

Consultation on the proposals

close on

March 27, 2019.

Please read our Editorial,

‘Polytechnics merger appears

inevitable’ under


Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

National List MPbasedd in

Manukau East






1/131 Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland

09 278 9302

09 278 2143


Funded by the Parliamentary Service. Authorised by Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi MP, 1/131 Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe.

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Years of neglect cannot be fixed overnight

But KiwiBuild is moving ahead with renewed vigour

Michael Wood

The housing crisis is

one of the biggest

problems the coalition



On coming into office in

2017, we found ourselves

facing some of the highest

house prices in the world,

record homelessness, and

young people locked out of

the market.

That is the direct legacy of

years of neglect and denial.

No Silver Bullet

Tackling such a big

problem requires big, bold

solutions. Tinkering is not

an option.

The government and the

Labour party of which I am

a Member, believes that

every Kiwi family deserves

a decent and affordable

place to live.

It is also important to note

that there is no silver bullet.

Fixing the housing crisis

requires a range of solutions

and will take some time.

Significant developments

I am pleased that after just

over one year in government

we have made a start

on fixing the housing crisis

with a range of policies:

• We have stopped

non-resident off-shore

buyers from hoovering up

houses that New Zealand

residents need. Recent

figures show that this is

having a discernible impact

on housing prices.

• We have stopped National’s

sell-off of state houses

and commenced a large

build programme to create

new homes for families in

need. The picture below

is of one of the large new

development in Mt Roskill.

• We are implemented

fairer tax laws to discourage

speculation by extending

the bright-line test and

will soon legislate for the

ring-fencing of investment


• We have invested in

Housing First, an important

initiative to support

homeless people off the

streets and into sustainable

housing where complex

needs can be addressed.

• We have commenced

Kiwibuild. More on the

numbers below, but importantly


have housed the first

group of kiwi families

already with more on the


Prices stabilise

Because of the above

policies, we have seen house

prices in Auckland stabilise

Michael Wood and his Government

are fronting the Housing Crisis (A view

of the Mount Roskill Development, a

home-ground thing for the MP)

(Picture Supplied)

and ease slightly for the first

time in a decade.

The Reserve Bank of New

Zealand has credited government

Housing Policy for

its willingness to relax the

loan to value ratios, making

it easier for first home

buyers to access credit.

Naturally, it is the job of

the opposition to critique

the government of the day.

That helps hold the

government to account and

is to be welcomed.

However, recent attacks

by the National Party

of government Housing

Policy take hypocrisy to new


The launching pad for

these recent attacks was the

government’s confirmation

that the initial KiwiBuild

targets will not be met.

Quite simply, the large

projects that Kiwibuild

focuses on are taking

longer than anticipated

to complete, and big

legacy problems such as

the parlous state of the

building industry make

things more difficult. As

a government, we feel

it is better to be open

and upfront about these

challenges, and then work

to address them.

Healthy debate

A healthy debate about

policy ideas to take us

forward is always welcome

but it’s astonishing

to hear the National party

who so recently denied

the existence of a housing

crisis, and did nothing

about it for nine years,

suddenly animate itself

over this issue!

Their ideas are welcome,

but the political attacks

will impress few.

Fixing nine years of

neglect and ensuring that

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Michael Wood is elected

Member of Parliament

from Mount Roskill in

Auckland and Parliamentary

Undersecretary to

the Ethnic Communities

Minister. Please read

related story in this


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FEBRUARY15, 2019


Kiwibuild off target and National springs a surprise

Peter Wilson

National’s new

tax policy has

signalled that

the Party isn’t

going to sit on its hands

in Opposition during the

critical mid-term year.

It was an unusual

move, with Parliament

still in recess, to spring a

surprise like this.

It’s a simple promise

to align the tax brackets

with cost of living

increases every three

years, ending what’s

called “bracket creep”

which puts people into

higher thresholds as their

pay increases.

‘Rolling Tax Relief’

It isn’t a tax cut, but has

the same effect because

most people would pay




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State of the Nation: By Simon Bridges

(RNZ Photo by Conan Young)

Mr Bridges calls it “rolling

tax relief.”

He has clearly determined

not to put National in a

position where it doesn’t

have firm policies in place

by the time of the 2020

election - something it has

accused Labour of allowing

to happen through inept

laziness during nine years in


That failure, National

says, is what led to the

establishment of numerous

inquiries and reviews as

Labour scrambled to get up

to speed after establishing a

government in 2017.

The policy announcement

is also a pre-emptive strike

against whatever the government

decides to do with

the Tax Working Group’s


A public unveiling is still

some way off while Ministers

and Coalition Parties

get their heads around

The inadequacy of Kiwibuild: Phil Twyford

(RNZ Photo by Richard Tindiller)

its recommendations, but

whatever finally comes out

National will attack it - and

make comparisons.

The government, taken

unawares, had to fall back

on the old tactic of asking

how National was going to

pay for its spending if it was

willing to forgo about $650

million in tax revenue.

The announcement has

kick-started National’s

year positively and that is

intended to contrast with

the government’s woeful

KiwiBuild programme,

which again dominated the

political news this week.

Kiwibuild shortfall

Ministers decided to

scrap the interim targets for

building new homes so they

won’t have to endure the

humiliation of not meeting


The first, and now the last,

was 1000 new homes in the

first year due for completion

Righting’ the Greens: Vernon Tava

(Photo Supplied to RNZ)

by July 1, 2019. Only about

300 are now expected.

Future targets were for

another 5000 by July 2020

and a further 10,000 by July


After that the Programme

was intended to ramp up at

speed, reaching the 100,000

in ten years, a goal to which

Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern said the government

remains firmly committed.

It will have to be a truly

phenomenal ramping up

to get there, and Housing

Minister Phil Twyford is

busy working on new ways

to overcome the plethora

of problems that he has

encountered so far.

Changing affordability

To get an idea of how this

has come so badly unstuck,

it needs to be remembered

that KiwiBuild was

announced in 2012 by then

Party leader David Shearer,

when “affordable” meant

“about $300,000.”

It was set in stone as

a policy document in

Labour’s 2014 election

manifesto. It was easy to

understand, the figures

were easily remembered,

and it was popular.

Labour used it, effectively,

to challenge the previous


So they kept it going

without, apparently, giving

much thought to changing

circumstances and practical

ways to actually achieve it.

The 2014 policy did outline

how it was going to work,

but in the real world it

simply hasn’t.

At the time, National said

it would be impossible.

Mr Twyford had to implement

the policy after the

2017 election. It was by then

a huge task, and he wasn’t

helped by the previous government’s

failure to change

the Resource Management

Act. Land scarcity continues

to be a major issue.

Peter Wilson is a life member

of Parliament’s press

gallery, 22 years as NZPA’s

Political Editor and seven

as Parliamentary Bureau

Chief for NZ Newswire.

The above article is an

edited version. For full

text please visit www. By

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FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Capital Gains Tax throws up flurry of comments

The Government likely to enforce in 2021

Saurav Wadhwa

The Tax Working Group

headed by Sir Michal

Cullen has recommended

to the Government

introduction of Capital Gains


The Official Report is due

to be released to the public

on February 21, 2019 and the

Government may consider

introducing the Tax with effect

from April 1, 2021.

It is expected that the Tax

Scheme will be broad-based

with very little and or no

exemptions, excluding Family


The GST Example

Sir Michael was behind the

introduction of the Goods &

Services Tax (GST) in New


The GST Scheme is a broadbased

tax regime with very

little exemptions, with almost

everything attracting GST,

making it unique in the world.

New Zealand is the only

country with a wide-ranging

consumption tax, including

essential items. GST collects

significant revenue for the


It is expected that the Capital

Gains Tax will be very similar

to GST.

It will be applicable to all

sorts of capital items such as

Shares, Retirements Funds,

Business Assets, Personal

Property and Real Estate, New

Zealand’s most loved asset.

Likely inclusions

The introduction of Capital

Gains Tax has been in discussion

for several years.

It may include Land,

including Buildings, Residential

Rentals, Commercial, Agricultural

and Industrial Properties,

Business Assets, Depreciable

Properties, Intangible Intellectual

Property and Goodwill,

Interests from Equity-Shares,

Portfolio Investment Entities

(PIE), KiwiSaver, Holiday

Homes and Vacant Land, Controlled

Foreign Corporations

(CFC) and Foreign Investments

Funds (FIF).

The greater details of above

will be announced in due


It seems that CFC, FIF,

KiwiSaver, PIE, and definition

of Family Home will require

additional work and policy

explanation by the Tax Working

Group since these are complex


The Transition Process

It is expected that the existing

assets will be valued on the day

Capital Gains Tax comes into

effect. That valuation will be

used to determine the amount

of tax at the time of realisation.

The Tax amount would be

the Realisation Price, namely

Acquisition Price + Capitalised


The Rate of Taxation

The rate of tax is likely to be

based on the Marginal Rate.

If you are earning $70,000+ a

year, Capital Gains Tax will be

at 33%.

Companies will be taxed at


It means that if someone

bought a property in Auckland

for $200,000 and it is realised

at $800.000, then, gains of

$600,000 will be taxed at 33%


It is likely that people may

not sell the property to defer

the tax bill.

We already have Bright Line

Tax, but Capital Gains Tax will

be comprehensive.

It also means that if you start

a business from scratch and

later sell it for $ 1 million, you

will pay tax on the realised


Public debate

The Capital Gains Tax will

undoubtedly attract public

attention as it would incur the

wrath of the National Party,

the main Opposition Party in


Just how the proposal would

affect the General Election

due to be held in 2020 is too

early to say but it would evince

substantial public interest.

Saurav Wadhwa is a Chartered

Accountant by qualification.

He is the Principal Accountant

at IBBZ Accounting Limited,

Chartered Accountant & Tax

Specialist, located in Botany,

East Auckland.





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FEBRUARY15, 2019


PM discounts Bridges’ take on Polytechnics

Jane Patterson

The National Party was looking

to gazump the Prime Minister’s

first big speech of the year

by making public what it says are

the government’s plans for the

vocational training sector.

As Jacinda Ardern was outlining

the problems facing polytechnics

and institutes of technology and

flagging what she called “far-reaching”

changes, National leader Simon

Bridges was briefing reporters with

details he said had been leaked to

his Party.

Reassuring businesses

Ms Ardern’s speech was all about

reassuring businesses the government

was aware of and preparing

for future economic challenges,

including skills shortages.

The government had already

spent $100 million bailing out four

polytechnics, a “pattern” that started

under the previous government, she


“How is it, for example, that at a

time when w are facing critical skill

shortages, our polytechnics and

institutes of technology are in many

cases going broke?”

New Plan next week

A new Plan would be announced

by Education Minister Chris Hipkins

next week.

However, at National’s caucus

retreat in Hamilton, Mr Bridges was

telling reporters that the Plan would

mean 1000 jobs will be lost.

“Abolishing them all, moving to

four hubs, effectively a nationalisation,

a Venezuela model.”

All of which was put to Ms


Jacinda Ardern speaking to media in Auckland on February 8, 2019

(RNZ Photo by Claire Eastham-Farrelly

National leader Simon Bridges with Australia’s former Foreign Minister Julie

Bishop at the Party’s caucus retreat in Hamilton on February 8, 2019

(RNZ Photo by Chris Bramwell)

“He is utterly incorrect - our

goal is grow the sector,” she


Chris Hipkins has signalled

significant changes to the

structure of the sector, but he

said it was wrong to be talking

about four regional hubs.

“The polytechnics are

already entrenching, they are

already cutting courses, they

are already laying off staff

and they have been for some

time,” he said.

Speculation irresponsible

Mr Hipkins would not

discuss any specifics before

next week’s announcement,

but said that speculation

about further job losses was


With the imminent release

of the Tax Working Group’s

Report, Ms Ardern also reiterated

that any tax changes

would not affect the family

home, or the land beneath it.

Jane Patterson is Political

Editor at Radio New Zealand.

Indian Newslink has

published the above Report,

Pictures and Video under a

Special Arrangement with

We must know our history and who we are

Learning Maori Language should be compulsory

Peter Dunne

Treaty before decamping to

Waitangi to swan around

for five days, and second,

and far more important,

but equally needs to present

a balanced picture of the

New Zealand story.

Learning Maori is vital

all of us individually need An equally critical part

Another Waitangi to become better informed of everyone who lives in

Day has passed – about our nation’s history our islands understanding

this year without and milestones. While they where our nation has

adverse event – and may not always be the come from and how it

with it, the often too brief reference point, it is, for has developed over many

opportunity to consider example, highly unlikely centuries, is understanding

what it means to be a New that American school and valuing its languages.

Zealander, 179 years after students would reply similarly

ineptly to a question a vital part, and should be

Te Reo Maori is obviously

the signing of the Treaty.

A striking feature of this about the Declaration of a core part of the primary

year’s typically cursory Independence.

school curriculum. Our aim

discussion and woeful School lessons needed should be that every young

analysis was the attention So, I am all for young New New Zealander leaves

paid to New Zealanders’ Zealanders learning New primary school with at least

understanding of their Zealand history at school, basic proficiency in the

country’s history from probably as part of a wider language, alongside their

pre-colonial and colonial civics programme, where English skills, so that they

times in a manner slightly they would also learn about can feel comfortable in a

more sophisticated than the our system of government, range of environments.

back of the corn flakes package

descriptions prevalent responsibilities as citizens, is not an international

and their rights and

The criticism that Maori

when we were growing up. including what citizenship language is really not


means and how it has relevant – it is a language of


evolved over the years. our country, and we should

This concern was fuelled The focus needs to be be familiar with it.

inadvertently by the Prime on the full spread of our Knowing our Culture

Minister’s embarrassing history, from the earliest We keep saying that the

performance when asked Polynesian migration, and New Zealander today is

about the Articles of the the types of society Maori unique, often without appreciating

what that means.

Treaty. While she was clearly

caught on the hop and their relationships, through Knowing our languages,

and Moriori developed, and

almost certainly answered to the arrival of the colonists history and culture is an

in a way most other people and their interactions – good important step towards

would have responded in and bad – with indigenous making that claim a reality.

similar circumstances, her people, and the development

of contemporary New longer transplanted Europe-

A majority of us are no

fluffing reply highlighted a

couple of issues.

Zealand society, and the full ans living at the end of the

First, she should have challenges it faces. It should world, trying to integrate

had, and read, abriefing not shy away from the truth, our ways and past with an

note on the content of the

Continued on Page 7

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Continued from Page 6

indigenous people.

The uniqueness of being a

contemporary New Zealander is

the opportunityour nation, its

background and history,gives

each of us is to move with ease

and comfortbetween the Maori

and Pakeha worlds, absorbing


of both.

From that springs the modern

New Zealander, acknowledging

our bicultural history, mixing

that with thestrands of our

individual experiencestocreate,

thus creating the special bond

that binds the peoples of these

islands together today.

Opportunity to be unique

In aworld where cultural

and ethnic tensions arebeing

exacerbated, not ameliorated,

where stereotypes and

prejudiceare still fuelledby

politicians promoting excessive

xenophobia andintolerance of

diversity fordomestic partisan

advantage, New Zealand has the

opportunity to be one of those

nations thatstands against the

pernicious tide.

But to achieve that objective,

we first need to know and

understand properly who we

are, which brings us back to the

issues of history and language.

In this apparent year of delivery,

giving priority to meeting this

goal would be apositive step all

of us should welcome.

Peter Dunne was aMinister

of the Crown under Labour

and Nationalgovernments

from 1999 to 2017. He was

the Founder andLeader of

UnitedFuture, now adefunct



Researcher calls forrobustSuicide Prevention strategies

Supplied Content


approach to suicide

prevention will not

workand new strategiestailored

to the ‘One-size-fits

older people are needed aUniversity

of Auckland Researcher has said.

Dr Gary Cheung of the University’s

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences,

led astudy published in the New

ZealandMedical Journal that reveals

adistinctly different pattern of stressors

and behavioursinmiddle-aged

and older people who self-harm and

makesuicide attempts.

Some common factors

Physical illnesses and depression

were common factorsassociated

with self-harmand attempted suicide

in older people,while the stressors of

relationship separation and financial

troublefeatured more strongly

in middle-agedpeople, the study


Dr Cheung, aPsychiatrist and Senior

Lecturer, hopes that the findings

will help policymakers and health

workers developage-group-targeted

screening and treatment to prevent

mid-life and late-life suicides.

The study, firstofits kind in New

Zealand, came out of research that

Dr Cheungcompleted forhis PhD on

suicide in olderNew Zealanders, a

topic that has receivedlittle scrutiny

despite the high rates in ageing men.

The Health Ministry’s figures from

2008-2017 show that malesuicide

rates start climbing from age 65,

peaking at 32 per 100,000 in men

aged 85 and over. Formen aged45-

49, the rate was 24 per 100,000.

In women,the suicide rate peaked

Dr Gary Cheung (Picture Supplied)

at 11 per 100,000 in ages15-20 years.

“Asthe babyboomers age,the issue

of suicide and suicidal behaviours

in laterlife will become even more

pressing,” Dr Cheung said.

Self-harm, apredictor

Ahistory of self-harmisastrong

predictor forfuture suicide.

Hence, Dr Cheung and Co-Researcher

Dr Yu Mwee Tananalysed

patient records of middle-aged(45-64

years) andolder(65-plus)men and

women who visited theemergency

department of Middlemore Hospital,

Auckland for self-harming from


They definedself-harm as ‘the

direct, deliberate actofhurting or injuring

thebody…without necessarily

wanting to die, as in suicide attempt’.

They identified 420 people who

made 569self-harm attempts in the

three-year period.

Most ofthem (379) were in the

middle-age group, of whom more

(57%) werefemale.

But in the older group, more were

men (61%).

Some key findings

The key findings of the Research

included the following:

The older-aged group was more

likely to report physical illness as a

stressor, have ahistory of depression

and be diagnosedwith depression

(52%) at the time of their self-harming.

The middle-agedgroup was

more likely to report relationship

separation and financial trouble as


Older people who self-harmed

were more likely to do so with

suicidal intent compared to the

middle-agedgroup, and their suicide

attempts were more likely to be fatal,

and more likely (82%)tohappen at


Athird (33%) of middle-aged people

who self-harmedhad apositive

blood alcohol level.

Older-agedpeople were lessoften

tested for bloodalcohol level, even

though thosewho were tested had

the same blood alcohollevels,on

average, as themiddle-aged group.

In the middle-agedgroup, 19%

were Māori, howevernoMāori were

in the oldergroup.

Cultural stigma

Dr Cheung says this could reflect

cultural stigma around mental

illness, barrierstoculturally appropriate

services, the higher status of

kaumatua and kuia, lower life expectancies,and

the lower proportion

of older Māoriliving in the Counties

Manukau DHB area.

“The older-aged people were a


particularly vulnerable group. In

this agegroup, physical illnesses

maycause or exacerbatedepression.

Otherstudies have shown that pain

and loss of functioning commonly

leadtofeelings of hopelessness and

distress in dealing with physical

illnesses.These emotional struggles

couldincrease suicide risk, particularly

when independence and dignity

is threatened andthe personstarts

perceiving themselvesasaburden,”

Dr Cheung said.


Depression is often under-reported

and under-diagnosed in older people,

who are morelikely to report somatic

(bodily) symptoms than emotional.

Internationally,there is little

research into howtohelp older

people who have self-harmed, but

several studiessuggest ‘talk therapy’

(interpersonal psychotherapyand

problem-solving therapy) mayreduce

suicidal thoughts.

“Since depression is often

associated with self-harm and suicide

in older people,better screening

and treatment is avery promising

intervention,” Dr Cheung said.

He is involved in international research

into using an assessment tool

for identifying older people at high

risk of suicide, which couldlay the

foundation forstandardreporting

and monitoring of elderly suicide.

“There has been alackoffocus

on older people in the Ministry of

Health’ssuicide preventionstrategy.

This study underlines the fact that

one size doesn’t fitall.Specificsuicide

preventionstrategies are needed

for older people who have different

needs,” Dr Cheung said.


FEBRUARY15, 2019


Fiji prohibits torture, upholds human dignity: Bainimarama

Venkat Raman

Torture and any other form

of abuse is banned in Fiji

which values dignity of the

human race, Fiji’s Prime

Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

has said.

“Our Constitution explicitly

prohibits torture in its Bill of

Rights. Every person has the right

to freedom from torture of any

kind, physical, mental and emotional;

and from cruel, inhumane,

degrading or disproportionately

severe treatment or punishment,”

he said, speaking at the High-Level

Regional Seminar on the UN Convention

Against Torture (UNCAT)

in the Pacific on Wednesday,

February 6, 2019 in Natadola.

Every person has the right to

security of the person, which

includes the right to be free from

any form of violence from any

source, at home, school, work or

in any other place, he said.

His views were later reinforced

by Attorney General Aiyaz

Sayed-Khaiyum during his address

to the delegates.

Manifestation everywhere

“All too often, we see violence

rear its ugly head in the places

where we are meant to feel most

safe: Our homes, our workplaces,

and our schools. The fact that this

type of behaviour is manifest at

all levels of our society indicates

a larger problem –– a culture of

violence, and a passive acceptance

Speeches of Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama with Morten Jespersen, Denmark’s Permanent Representative to the

UN based in Geneva

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Speaking at the


of it that needs to be uprooted,” Mr

Bainimarama said.

Stating that his government has

taken a hard stance against any

form of violence or corporal punishment

in Fiji, he said that there will

always be resistance to change.

“We received a great deal of pushback

when we banned corporal

punishment in Fijian schools, and

there is often an outcry to justify

Dr Alice Edwards outlines the efforts of her


the behaviour of teachers who have

inflicted harm on their students. But

doing what is right does not always

come easy. And breaking this

cycle to foster a more peaceful and

harmonious society for future generations;

that is worth any political

cost,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“We must take a stand and stay

firm, because in a culture where

violence may be ingrained in

our subconscious, it’s not always

politically popular to change,” he


First Hour Procedure

Since ratifying UNCAT in 2016,

Mr Bainimarama’s government

embarked on a pilot project called

the ‘First Hour Procedure,’ which

ensures provision of legal counsel

to every suspect at the police station,

within one hour of arrest, with

a protocol guiding the conduct of

both police and lawyers in relation

to the implementation of this right.

The programme has seen a sharp

decrease in the number of allegations

of brutality being levelled

against police officers.

Robust Human Rights

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that the

Bill of Rights is comprehensive and

robust in Fiji.

“For the first time in Fijian

history, the Constitution actually

facilitates the concomitant application

of civil and political rights,

and social and economic rights.

It obligates the State, by law, to

advance, protect and progressively

realise these fundamental rights

for all Fijians. These rights of

course are enforceable through

an independent judiciary, which

continues to develop human

rights jurisprudence under the

Fijian Constitution. Of course the

development of human rights

jurisprudence is subject to the

number of cases brought before the

courts, which is why you need an

active bar,” he said.

The solutions we have identified

are reforms in three critical areas:

Firstly, we are working in

collaboration with the United

Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

(UNODC), following our ratification

of the United Nations Convention

on Transnational Organised Crime

in 2017, to help our prisons adopt

the requirements under the Nelson

Mandela Rules and promote humane

conditions for imprisonment.

Secondly, we are also providing

an avenue for alternate and effective

sentencing options, Finally, the

Fiji Corrections Service has been

given funding under the 2018-2019

National Budget to continue

with the construction of remand

centres in major population centres

throughout the country and to address

various issues that may arise

from a growing prison population.

Among those who attended the

event hosted by the Fijian Government

were Head of the Convention

Against Torture Initiative Secretariat

Dr Alice Edwards, Attorney Generals,

Justice Ministers, Judges of

Fiji and the South Pacific, diplomats

and officials of governments.

The core of UNCAT is to support

States in their efforts to curb and

prevent torture and other ill-treatment.

Here in Fiji, joining on to the

treaty was a natural extension of

progress we’ve made on our own in

recent years.

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FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Let us talk about Tax on Capital Income

Deborah Russell

Tax will be a big topic

of conversation in

New Zealand in the

next few months.

Not grumbling about tax,

everyone likes to do that

from time to time, but big

conversations about how

our tax system should be

structured, and the best way

to design particular taxes.

As a tax expert, I am

excited that we are getting

ready for this very serious

conversation. It will be

prompted by the release of

the Tax Working Group’s

final report, due to be

released to the public on

February 21, 2019.

Capital Income

One likely topic that will

be covered in the report is

tax on capital income.

There’s likely to be several

aspects to the discussion:

whether or not our current

tax system is fair, whether

or not capital income ought

to be included in income tax,

and exactly how the tax, if

any, ought to be designed.

I think that the fairness

issue is very important.

Right now, if you earn

money quickly through

wages or rents or business

profits, you pay tax on every

single penny of it.


JUNE 2019*

But if you earn money

slowly by holding onto an

investment property in order

to get capital gains, you don’t

pay any tax at all. At first

glance, that seems unfair.

We already include big

chunks of capital income in

our income tax system.

Declaring gains

Anyone who buys an asset

with the intention of resale

ought to be declaring any

gains on sale as income, and

paying tax accordingly.

We see this happen most

often with people who buy

and sell shares, and people

who buy and sell, or develop

and sell, real estate.

For example, under our

current law, if you subdivide

your residential property

and sell off the new section,

you are required to pay

income tax on any profit you


If you are a property

developer, then that is a

business, and profits made

by the business are liable

for income tax. If you have a

pattern of buying and selling

houses, then any profits

made are also subject to

income tax.

Details before Capital

Income Tax

There’s a lot of detail to

be worked through for any

Capital Income Tax.

For example, one issue is

whether or not the sale of a

business should be subject to

the tax.

And if it is, should there be

a discount, or a one-off tax

free transaction, given that

many people build up their

small business intending to

sell it when they retire.

The business is in effect

their retirement savings.

So, should we be allowing

at least some of those ‘Savings’

to be tax free, given that

we have big tax discounts on

KiwiSaver savings? What

should we do if someone

inherits property?

Should we allow them

a grace period to sell the

property tax free, given that

they didn’t intend to acquire

it, and other inheritances

are not taxed? And if we do

allow a grace period, how

long should it be?

This is only a tiny hint of

the details that we will need

to work through in our big

nationwide conversation

about tax.

My hope is that we can

have a good discussion about

it, based on fairness, and

based on the idea of getting

it right.

I am looking forward to it.

Dr Deborah Russell is elect

ed Member of Parliament

on behalf of Labour Party

from New Lynn, Auckland.

She is the Chairperson of

the Parliamentary Select

Committee on Environment

and Member of the

Finance & Expenditure


Maungakiekie Office

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FEBRUARY15, 2019


No guarantee Hayne’s Report will discipline Australian banks

Andrew Linden and Warren Staples

Every 10 to 15 years, it is the


Ever since the financial

deregulation in the 1980s,

we have had a finance industry

scandal followed by an inquiry, a

quick fix, and adeclaration that it

shouldn’t happen again.

Scandal after Scandal

In the early 1990s, there were

Royal Commissions into the A$ 1.7

billion Tri-continental/ State Bank

Victoria collapse, the A$ 3.1 billion

State Bank of South Australia

collapse and the WA Inc collapse

which explored the interrelated

activities at Rothwells bank, the

A$ 1.8 billion collapse of Bond

Corporation and the A$ 1.2 billion

siphoned from Bell Resources.

A decade later, in 2003, Justice

Owen reported on the A$ 5.3 billion

collapse of Australia’s largest

insurer HIH.

And now, bang on schedule, we

have Kenneth Hayne delivering

the final report of aRoyal Commission

into systemic misconduct

in banking, superannuation and

financial services industry to a

government that voted 26 times

against holding it.

Striking factors

There are two particularly

striking things about the 10-15

year cycle.

One is the rhythm of public

inquiries followed by reports, then

(sometimes) trials, then books,

then almost everyone forgetting

(except for those personally

scarred) only for problems to

resurface later.

The other is that the times

between have been punctuated by

Kenneth Hayne (Picture Courtesy: Sydney Morning Herald)

government-commissioned banking

and financial system reviews: the

1991 Campbell Inquiry, the 1996

Wallis Inquiry, the 2010 Cooper

superannuation review and the 2012

Murray Review. Each either missed

or downplayed the links between

poor governance, industry structure,

systemic misconduct and prudential


Has Kenneth got the frequency

right this time?

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s

1000-page final report has not gone

far enough to end this cycle.

While his referral of 24 misdeeds

for possible criminal and civil

prosecution will help in righting past

wrongs and perhaps focus the minds

of directors and executives, the

impact will be generational rather

than permanent.

Problems with the Law

The flurry of prosecutions and

actions will again reveal problems

with the law - gaps in coverage,

inadequate penalties and cases the

law won’t allow to stand up.

Taken together the recommendations

are a patchwork of measures

that if implemented will over time

be eaten away – and at some point

will be dismantled – because the

rationale for their adoption will be


Even before they are implemented,

they will have to run the gauntlet

of a massive subterranean lobbying

effort from industry to water them

down, something Hayne indicated

he expected.

The deepest flaw lies unaddressed…

Even though Hayne emphasises

the link between systemic misconduct,

governance, structure

and prudential (system-wide)

risk, something that Treasury, the

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and

Australia’s three business regulator

amigos, APRA, ASIC and the ACCC,

have long rejected, he makes no

concrete suggestions to tackle it.

Profit and misconduct

As we have written previously,

research tells us, big systemically

important shareholder-focused universal

for-profit banks that cross-sell

products are more profitable than

smaller banks in the good times but

Essilor appoints new Sales & Marketing Manager

Supplied (Edited) Content

Essilor, stated to be the

world’s largest supplier

of prescription lenses,

has announced the

appointment of Kumuda Setty

as its National Sales & Marketing


She assumed charge last week.

Impressive credentials

Her responsibility includes

sales and marketing of the

company’s product lines, Professional

Services Training and

the Prescription Safety Glasses

Division, along with continuing

Kumuda Setty (Picture Supplied)

to grow the New Zealand market.

Ms Setty brings to her new

assignment more than 25 years

of experience in commercial

roles, including eight years as New

Zealand Marketing Manager at


It is understood that Essilor

created the new role to support

the growth of its customers in New


Ms Setty said, “Essilor’s local

customer base can expect to see

immediate, positive changes as

the company implements a more

coordinated approach to match

the expectations of eyecare professionals

it supplies and also provide

support for their mutual growth.”

Her husband Chandra Setty is the

Head of Operations at Essilor New


are more prone to misconduct and

to failure in the worse times.

The Big Four

Australia’s big four fit the

bill - they’re big, they have been

vertically integrated one-stop shops,

they are very, very profitable and

they are very focused on shareholder


While the banks, apart from

Westpac, have divested themselves

of wealth management and insurance

arms for now there is nothing

stopping them reacquiring them in

the future.

This means we are once

again 10 or 15 years away from

systemic misconduct resurfacing

as big banks seek to become more


…and putting the onus on

directors won’t much help

While heads might roll in

yet another round of internal

investigations to fix bank culture, it

is wise to remember that as Adele

Ferguson observed ANZ’s internal

investigation of the Opes Prime

collapse left the bigger governance

lessons “unlearned.”

‘Charmed Lives’ continue

Directors and Senior Executives

of failed companies continue to live

charmed lives.

The Directors of Babcock and

Brown were cheered as they left the

building, while friends and family

of the disgraced One.Tel Director

Jodee Rich have resurfaced at

Hayne and other public inquiries.

Some of the One.Tel directors

have had long corporate careers.

The former chair at of the collapsed

Allco Finance Group Bob Mansfield

went on to review the ABC.

As Adam Schwab bluntly put it,

“corporate Australia is nothing if

Functional Integration

Essilor Australia New Zealand

Chief Executive Pierre Longerna

said that the Company’s new

structure will allow greater

cross-functional integration.

“This is a very exciting time to

be working in this industry and

we are really pleased with our

new sales team structure with

Kumuda, Vineet, Guy, Bruce and

Gordon who have a good understanding

of the New Zealand

market. They have experience in

meeting the needs of our many

independent optometrists and

they will work closely with our

New Zealand Operations team

headed by Chandra Setty to

ensure smooth and uninterrupted

not forgiving.”

It will chase horses rather than

close doors

Hayne is persisting with a

chasing bolting horses approach to

misconduct that relies on detection

and enforcement.

Effective governance

We have argued this approach

is just not as an effective as other

alternatives such as two-tier boards

and employee directors which have

a better track record of keeping

stable doors closed and horses


Without them, we could very

easily have another crisis and

another royal commission in 15 to

15 years’ time.

The Irish example

Ireland has taken a been

prepared to change corporate

structures. After the meltdown of

its financial system triggered by the

end of a “classic vanilla property

boom” its Parliament legislated to

appoint public interest directors to

the boards of its failed banks.

These changes were designed

to ensure banks directors put

the public interest first, ahead of

shareholders’ interests and even

customers interests.

It’s beyond time we did it here.

Andrew Linden and Warren

Staples are respectively Sessional

Lecturer, PhD (Management)

Candidate, School of Management;

and Senior Lecturer in Management

at RMIT University based in

Melbourne, Australia. The above

article, which appeared in ‘The

Conversation’ (Australia) on February

5, 2019, has been reproduced

here under Creative Commons


service,” he said.

Mr Longerna said that the new

role was created to fill the gap

left by a member of the senior

management team.

More new appointments coming

“Business Manager Chris

Aldous has left after an eight-year

career with us to pursue a role

outside of the optical industry. We

thank him for his leadership and

support,” he said.

Essilor is expected to announce

more appointments in the near

future as the Company expands

its marketing and sales function

as well as beginning the search

for a new General Manager for

the New Zealand operation.



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FEBRUARY 15, 2019

India-Taiwan bilateral trade surges

Christie Chen

India’s top envoy to Taiwan

touted the relationship

between the two countries

on Thursday at an event in

Taipei to celebrate India’s 70th

Republic Day.

India-Taipei Association

Director General Sridharan

Madhusudhanan said that direct

investment from Taiwan to India

has increased tenfold in the last


Major Taiwanese companies

such as Foxconn, Delta Electronics

Co, Wistron Corp and Century

Development Corporation (CDC)

are reaping benefits from their

investments in India, he said.

CDC, a Taiwan-based joint

venture that develops industrial

parks, is building a Taiwan

Technology and Innovation Park

in Bengaluru, he added.

Updated Investment Agreement

“India and Taiwan also

updated a bilateral investment

agreement in December 2018,

and jointly established an investment

facilitation office in New

Delhi exclusively for Taiwanese

businesses, called ‘Taiwan Plus.’

On people-to-people contacts, we

see an increased flow of tourists

on both sides. More Indian

students are opting for Taiwan

universities than before,”

he said, speaking at the event

organised by the India-Taipei


Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu


JUNE 2019*

Picture of Sridharan Madhusudhanan

from Facebook

Szu-chien said that trade and

tourism between Taiwan and

India increased last year.

“Bilateral trade in the first

11 months of 2018 increased

by 12.5% from the previous

year, while the number of

tourists visiting Taiwan from

India during that period grew

by about 11% from the same

period in 2017,” he said.

Successful New Southbound


Mr Hsu said that the ‘New

Southbound Policy’ launched

by President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration

sees India as one

of Taiwan’s most important


Taiwan’s government is

helping to develop the Taiwan

Technology and Innovation

Park in Bengaluru, he said,

adding that the Park is

expected to be the first industrial

cluster for Taiwanese

businesses in India and could

facilitate further investment in

the country.

Report Courtesy: Taiwan-Asia

Exchange Foundation,

Taipei, Taiwan

Tenancy laws can be tough and variant

Khushbu Sundarji

Before you occupy any commercial

premises, you should enter

into a Deed of Lease (“Lease”)

with the Landlord.

As a Tenant, you will have the right

to occupy the premises owned by the

Landlord as long as you abide by the

terms of the Lease.

Here are some items that you should

look at before you sign the Lease:

Rent and Outgoings

The main obligation of a Tenant is

to pay the rent and outgoings to the


You should check to see if the rent

is appropriate for the premises. If you

are unsure, you can talk to a property

valuer or an accountant before you sign

the Lease.

The Landlord will also advise the outgoings

that it charges for the premises.

The outgoings can include items such as

the costs of maintaining the premises,

rates, water and other utilities. You

should ask the Landlord for an estimate

and a schedule of the outgoings.

Permitted Use of Premises

The Lease will state the permitted

use of the premises and the use will

be agreed between the parties prior to

the Lease being executed. If you wish

to amend the use, you must seek the

consent of the Landlord in writing.

In the event you change the permitted

use without seeking the consent of

the Landlord, this will be considered a

breach of the Lease by the Landlord.

Property and your assets

The Lease should specify any




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Surrounded by outdoor garden areas with courtyard or city views,

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Julie Warbrick

chattels or items that are owned by the

Landlord and tenant respectively. If

you are installing items in the premises,

make sure that the Lease reflects that

you own those assets. If you are unsure

if any item is owned by the Landlord,

it is best to ask the Landlord as soon as

possible as you will be responsible for

all maintenance relating to your assets.

Tenant’s obligations

You have various obligations under

the Lease.

These include payment of all rent,

outgoings and any other payments

due to the Landlord, maintaining and

repairing the premises if necessary

including care of grounds if you are

leasing the whole property.

Landlord’s obligations

The Landlord also has obligations

under the Lease. These include drafting

and issuing the Lease and any Deed of

Rent Review and renewal, specifying

the terms of their insurance for the

premises, maintaining the premises

and repair any structural defects if necessary

and ensuring that the Premises

has a Building Warrant of Fitness.

Termination and vacation

The events that can lead to the Landlord

terminating your Lease include

non-payment of rent or outgoings,

breaching any other term of the Lease

or attempting to assign the Lease

without Landlord’s consent.

Termination of the Lease by the

Landlord does not stop your obligation

to pay any amounts owed to the


Prior to vacating the premises, you

must pay all outstanding rent and

outgoings, and any other payment due

to the Landlord. You will also need to

remove all of your property from the

Premises and restore the premises

022 639 3028 |



Image Courtesy:

to the condition it was as at the commencement

of the lease.

This includes fixing any damage

caused during the term of the Lease

or damage caused when you removed

property from the premises.

This will not apply to any damage

that has occurred during the lease term

that is ‘fair wear and tear’, that is, use

that occurred from normal use of the

premises over the term of your Lease.

Understanding the Deed

A Deed of Lease is a legally binding

contract which sets out the terms of

the relationship between you and the

Landlord, so it is essential that you

understand what your rights and

obligations are under the Lease before

you sign it. If you have any queries

or are unsure about any terms of the

Lease, you should aqualified legal


Khushbu Sundarji is an Associate at

Stewart Germann Law Office. Phone:

(09) 3089925



Legal Disclaimer: The above article

should be considered only a general

guideline and not as specific advice.

Indian Newslink and its Management,

Stewart Germann Law Office

and Khushbu Sundarji absolve

themselves of all obligations in this

connection. Please consult your

lawyer and/or accountant before

taking up any business mentioned in

the above article.




FEBRUARY15, 2019


The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

ISSUE 409 | FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Another wakeup call

for National Party

The latest Newshub

Reid Research Poll has

brought depressing

new for the National


It took a massive hit recording

just 41.6%, its lowest in 12

years; whereas its rival, the

Labour Party, rose sharply

with its rating placed at 47.5%.

Nothing could be worse

than National Leader Simon

Bridges’ preferred Prime

Minister status dropping to a

woeful 5%, almost 2% less than

his colleague Judith Collins.

Notwithstanding the fact

that the Poll has a error of

3.5% plus or minus, political

pundits are of the view that

it may be time for National to

burn its Bridges.

Painful Opposition

That is the bane of being in

the Opposition, especially for

National, which is ironically

still the single largest Party in

Parliament. But the nature of

MMP is such that even one seat

matters and National does not

have the numbers to reoccupy

the Treasury benches.

In his book, ‘How to Be in

Opposition: Life in the Political

Shadows,’ author Nigel

Fletcher said that the most successful

leaders are those who

Polytechnics merger

appears inevitable

Education Minister

Chris Hipkins did

not surprise many

when he announced

(on February 13) that the

government proposes to

merge all 16 polytechnics

in New Zealand into a

single entity which may be

rebranded as a National

Institute for Training.

The fact that all is not well

with many of our polytechnics

has been public knowledge

for some time now. A paper

submitted to the Cabinet

last year said that 80% of

polytechnics will face financial

crisis within the next four

years if they faced the current


Heading towards trouble

The Report was on the

heels of a $33 million bailout

of the bankrupt ‘Tai Poutini


Mr Hipkins admitted that his

Ministry Merger Plan would

be challenging but insisted

that it was necessary since

have adopted a systematic formula

for repositioning their

party to reconnect with the


It is often said that everyone

has hindsight and that even

the uninitiated becomes an expert

in a post-mortem analysis.

But opposition can be a miserable

job in politics: under-resourced,

demoralised and

ignored, shadow ministers

nevertheless have to fulfil the

important job of keeping government

honest, all the time

preparing to take power themselves

one day. It is an often

thankless task, with very little

support and no handbook to

tell you how to do it. Until now.

Owning Responsibility

The worst and most unfortunate

casualty was Bill English,

whose surprise decision to step

down from the leadership of

the Party sent ripples of anxiety

among its rank and file. But

from his point of view, it was

a decision taken at the right

time, owning responsibility for

his Party’s debacle at the 2017


Such self-examination is imperative

if National has to resurrect

itself and be a strong

Opposition and hope to regain


the Sector has been suffering

declining enrolments and

multimillion dollar deficits.

According to the Education

Ministry, its domestic

equivalent fulltime students

dropped by a quarter, from

2245 in 2010 to 1715 in 2016

at the extreme end of a

nationwide 11% decline in

polytechnic numbers in the

same period as the buoyant

economy sucked people out of

training and back into work.

The Cabinet Paper said that

the government was now

funding only 750 equivalent

fulltime students at the

polytechnic, 350 on the West

Coast and 400 elsewhere.

The amalgamation of

polytechnics may result in

more or fewer main campuses

in the regions and some of

the institutes may need more

financial support before the

changes were implemented.

But the Treasury is worried

that it was not clear how much

the proposals would cost.

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; Production Manager: Mahes Perera;

Financial Controller: Uma Venkatram CA;

Phone: (09) 5336377 Email:


‘Healthier alternatives’ to cigarette

smoking gain attention

Philip Morris rolls out IQOS in New Zealand

Venkat Raman

New Zealand is fast becoming

a ‘Smoke-free country,’

and with increasing

restrictions on lighting up

in public places (shortly in private

vehicles as well), the only place

left may be your own home. From

offices, restaurants, hotel lobbies

and guest rooms to parks, pubs

and restrooms, there are more

limitations than freedom to smoke.

In pursuing its rigorous

campaigns to discourage people

from smoking, the New Zealand

government increases the tax

on tobacco products by 10% on

January 1 every year, collecting $2

billion in additional revenue. All

promotions have been banned and

retailers are not allowed even to

display tobacco products. Besides,

every packet of cigarettes carries

unpleasant pictures depicting the

harmful effects of smoking on the

human body.

Landmark Report on Smoking

In 1964, a landmark Report of the

Advisory Committee to the Surgeon

General of Public Health Service

in the USA warned that Cigarette

Smoking is injurious to health. The

war that began then has continued,

with public health authorities

and governments emerging as

clear winners. There are of course

groups of smokers that keep protesting

that their rights are being

taken away, but no one seems to be


But Philips Morris International

(PMI) has been listening. The multinational

giant, which made ‘Marlboro

Country’ and Rolling Stones’

‘Satisfaction’ famous, is actively

promoting ‘Smoke-Free Future’ and

supporting programmes to help

people quit the smoking habit.

Philip Morris and Future

PMI New Zealand General

Manager James Williams said that

New Zealand has campaigned hard

against smoking and has achieved

substantial success.

There are about 605,000 active

smokers in New Zealand, about

35% of who are of Maori and Pacific

Island origin. People of Indian

origin are also in the smokers’ mix,

although there are no known figures.

The number of adult smokers

has declined steadily, from about

20% in 2007 to about 16% last year.

Mr Williams said that his

company has been researching for

more than two decades to develop

products that give smokers the

satisfactions they are seeking,

but without the harmful effects

of smoking, The company has

developed a range of reduced harm

smokeless tobacco and vaping

products that emit 90-95% less

harmful and potentially harmful

constituents than continuing to

smoke. While not risk-free, because

James Williams (Picture Supplied)

The new IQOS releases a flavoured, nic tine-containing tobacco vapour

they contain nicotine which is

addictive, the new generation of

smokeless tobacco and vaping

products are considered a much

better alternative than continuing

to smoke. Mr Williams cautions

that these products, while recommended

for smokers who cannot

or do not want to quit, are not

recommended for non-smokers or

young people.

The IQOS Alternative

“IQOS is our innovative brand

that has found the acceptance of

about six million customers in

about 45 countries. It is less harmful

than conventional, combustible

cigarettes because it heats tobacco

and does not burn it. There is no

evidence of second hand smoke, so

it is safe to use anywhere vaping

is permitted. However, we do

not recommend it be used in the

presence of children and pregnant

women,” he said.

At the heart of IQOS are sophisticated

electronics that heat specially

designed heated tobacco units. The

devise, which looks like a shaver,

heats the tobacco just enough to

release a flavoured, nicotine-containing

tobacco vapour but without

burning the tobacco.

Harmful Chemicals reduced

Mr Williams said the tobacco in a

cigarette burns at temperatures in

excess of 600° C, generating smoke

that contains harmful constituents.

“But IQOS heats tobacco to

much lower temperatures, up to

a maximum of 350° C, without

combustion, fire, ash, or smoke.

The lower temperature heating

releases the true taste of heated

tobacco. Because the tobacco

is heated and not burned, the

levels of harmful chemicals are

significantly reduced compared to

cigarette smoke,” he said.

The Company’s website advises

smokers thus: “IQOS can’t burn

you, others around you, pets,

clothes, furniture or anything.

Since no tobacco is burned and,

thus, no fire is involved, there’s

no lit end to do any damage or

falling ash that makes a mess. IQOS

produces an aerosol that dissipates

more quickly.”

The product was recently

launched in New Zealand but the

outcome is becoming apparent.

Mr Williams said that there are

thousands of customers and its

success can be measured by the

fact that more than 60% of them

have permanently quit smoking

conventional cigarettes.

Burglars’ target

“We are committed to a healthy,

smoke-free New Zealand,” he said.

Superettes, Convenience Stores,

Petrol Pump Stores and similar

retail outlets in New Zealand are

largely operated by people of

Indian origin. Almost all of them

invariably retail cigarettes, which

are the target of burglars and

offenders in general. With cigarette

prices skyrocketing, these shops

have been experiencing increasing

thefts and threats.

Mr Williams said that the Indian

community is very important to his

Company, both as customers and as

businesspersons who sell cigarettes

and the new reduced-risk products

that are replacing cigarettes.

“As the government progresses

with new legislation for vaping

industry this year, the Indian

business community will be

particularly affected by potential

changes to their businesses,” he


Vaping has potential

University of Michigan Professor

Emeritus of Public Health Kenneth

E Warner, in his well-researched

article, ‘Smoking has reduced but

not vanished’ (published in our

web edition on February 3, 2019),

said that Vaping may hold the potential

to help significant numbers

of Americans to quit smoking.

“The risks of vaping are clearly

substantially less than those of

smoking. At the same time, however,

there are concerns about the

attraction of e-cigarettes to young

people and uncertainty about the

health effects of long-term vaping,”

he said.

While the ultimate impacts

of e-cigarettes and other novel

non-combusted tobacco products

remain to be seen, there is

widespread agreement that it is the

burning of tobacco, primarily in

the form of cigarette smoking, with

its 7000 chemicals, that is by far

the deadliest method of consuming


FEBRUARY 15, 2019



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FEBRUARY15, 2019


New Zealander declared finalist at Real Estate Awards

Venkat Raman

ASenior Real Estate Agent

has been named a Finalist

at the Australasian

Real Estate Result Awards

(ARERA), a premier Awards

Programme on both sides of the


Jack Ramasamy, a Residential

Sales Consultant at Lugtons Real

Estate based in Hamilton North is a

Finalist in the ‘New Zealand Agent

of the Year,’ and ‘Sales Performer

of the Year’ categories of the 13th

Annual Edition of the Awards.

He will know if he is a winner at

the ARERA Ceremony scheduled

to be held in Sydney on February

25, 2019.

About the Awards

The Awards recognise, celebrate

and congratulate the achievements

of leading independent agencies in

Australia and New Zealand.

Even being a finalist is a coveted

position, since the evaluation of

entries is based on the calibre

of agents and agencies in the


An ARERA notification said

that participating in the Awards

Programme allows entrants and

their teams to reflect on the most

outstanding qualities, greatest

successes and brilliant initiatives

over the last 12 months.

“Each nomination is, in itself,

highly mentionable due to the

calibre of contenders up for each

of the awards. The ARERA Programme

is the Network’s Annual

Jack Ramasamy (Photo Supplied)

Awards Night and a major calendar

event, with a number of Members

and Agencies vying for the top spot

in each category,” it said.

About the Network

Real Estate Results Network

(RERN) caters to highly innovative

and progressive Independent

Real Estate Agencies in the two


Developed by Australia’s leading

business strategist and real estate

Coach Michael Sheargold, the Network

enables a select group of real

estate professionals access the most

advanced and complete business

learning and development system

in the industry.

About Jack Ramasamy

Mr Ramasamy, who manages

his own ‘Team Jack Ramasamy’ at

Lugtons Real Estate, has 17 years

of experience in Sales, Marketing

and Finance during which he has

earned a few Awards and Citations.

Among them are (1) Number 1

Sales Person for Rototuna Branch of

Lugtons in 2016 and 2017 (2) Rookie

of the Year Winner in 2015 and

2016 (3) Multimillion Dollar Seller

in 2015 and 2016 and (4) Number

1 Sales Person for BMW and Mini

cars in 2006, 2008 and 2010 to 2014.

About Lugtons Real Estate

Mr Ramasamy said that for many

people, looking to buy or sell is a

challenging task.

“Knowing which agency and

team will give you the best advice

and guidance through the buying

and selling process can be daunting.

When you appoint Lugtons

Real Estate, you are dealing with

an agency whose operational

standards has been validated by an

external organisation, namely, the

RERN. It could be said that we are

amongst the highest performers in

the Australian real estate industry.

Training and Development

Mr Ramasamy said that as a

RER Network Member, the team at

Lugtons Real Estate invests more in

training and development than 99%

of all real estate professionals.

“We train to attain better buyer

management, seller management,

negotiation and communication

skills - all aspects of the business

that impact massively on the

achievement of your property

goals. The real benefit to customers

is that team members like me

are supported by some of the top

performing leaders and business

coaches in Australia and New

Zealand through our connections

within the Network,” he said.

‘Wellbeing Budget 2019’ on May 30

Staff Reporter

Finance Minister Grant Roberson

has announced that he

will present his Budget 2019 in

Parliament on Thursday, May

30, 2019.

New Approach

“This year’s Budget will be the first

to use the Coalition Government’s

new ‘Wellbeing Approach,’ an

evidence-based framework used

to identify the Budget priorities

and then assess which Budget bids

should be accepted,” he said.

Mr Robertson said that the

Approach demonstrates that Ministers

and departments are focused

on developing Budget bids and

policies that will help them to deliver

outcomes which in turn will make

‘real improvements’ to the wellbeing

of New Zealanders.

“In December, the Coalition

Government announced the

priorities for Budget 2019. These

were developed using the Treasury’s

Living Standards Framework (LSF),

evidence from sector-based experts

and the Government’s Science

Advisors, and through collaboration

among public sector agencies and

Ministers,” Mr Robertson said.

Five Priorities

The five Priorities for Budget 2019


• Creating opportunities for

productive businesses, regions, iwi

and others to

transition to a sustainable and

low-emissions economy

• Supporting a thriving nation in

the digital age through innovation,

social and

economic opportunities

• Lifting Māori and Pacific

Finance Minister Grant Robertson

(Picture Supplied

incomes, skills and opportunities

• Reducing child poverty and

improving child wellbeing, including

addressing family


• Supporting mental wellbeing for

all New Zealanders, with a special

focus on under


“Ministers are collectively

responsible for delivering on these

priorities, and for the first time have

been tasked from the outset of the

Budget process with developing

their Budget bids through the lens

of these evidenced-based priorities.

This is a more rigorous framework

for assessing bids and ensures that

the Government is focussed on the

outcomes that matter most,” Mr

Robertson said.

“The Government believes

wellbeing belongs at the heart of

policymaking. Economic growth is an

important contributor to wellbeing

but not an end in itself, and is not an

adequate measure of what we value

in our lives. We need to measure

our success as a country, and

develop our policies as government,

using a broader range of indicators.

These include how we support our

people, protect our environment and

strengthen our communities and


Book outlines Weapons of Mass Destruction in Ancient India

‘Divyastras’ by Nimish Tanna

Venkat Raman

If you were to watch special

programmes on History

Channel and read ancient

Indian literature, you will be

astounded by the fact that more

than 5000 years ago, Indians had

mastered the art of space walk,

mind travel and possessed advanced

science and technology.

The two great Epics of India-

Ramayana and Mahabharata

also describe the ‘Weapons of

Mass Destruction (WMD),’ used

in warfare, destroying lives and


However, there were strict

guidelines for use of these weapons;

they were to be deployed

only on the battlefield and not

against civilians; conflicts will be

held only at a specified site and

only from Sunrise to Sunset.

Book on Divine Weapons

All these weapons were

known as ‘Divyastras,’ (Divine

Weapons), given to warriors as

a reward for their devotion and

years of prayers, under strict

guidelines, breaching which

would either render the weapons

useless or bring untold misery to

the deployer.

Now, a book, titled, ‘Divyastra’

written by Nimish Tanna brings

out the essence of these weapons,

to educate the growing generation

on the responsibilities

that befall on those who possessed

these WMD.

Says Mr Tanna: “Thousands

of years ago, Indian Yogis pos-

Nimish Tanna with his wife Farnaz Bharwani

sessed the knowledge to obtain the weapons of

the Gods. However, this knowledge could only be

transferred from a Guru to his disciple by word

of mouth. In today’s world, one mystic, who calls

himself Guruji, still possesses this knowledge and

is using it to empower an innocent person’s life.

Only, this empowerment could be a deception and

the innocent person is a thirteen year old boy with

a stutter...

“In this intertwining tale, an ambitious yet unsuccessful

Shankar, in search of his identity, is

manipulated to embark on a never-told-before

fantasy tale; only to rediscover the father he never

knew and unmask the mystical Guruji.

“Amidst this confounding concoction of ancient

myths, deluding personas and dispersed emotions,

will Shankar ever be able to separate fact from fiction

and find his true identity?

Here are a few samples from the Book:

“What would be the most lethal weapons of that

time?,” asks Shankar.

WMD of The Trinity

Dr Vyas says, “All the weapons were brutal in

nature but the scriptures show that the three

most dangerous and feared Divyastras were

‘Brahmastra,’ ‘Vaishnavastra’ and

‘Pashupatastra,’ each of them presided

by the Gods of Trinity, namely

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva respectively.

These weapons had the power

to lethal devastation and were

infallible. An entire army could perish

with blast of such weapons. The

effects of the explosion would travel

for miles and destroy everything

that would come in their way. Land

may turn irreversibly infertile and

all sources of water may get contaminated.

Generations to follow may

suffer from its detrimental effects.”

The student observes, “So, if the

most dangerous weapons of the

Trinity are emulated by our era, do

you think that we are nearing the

saturation point of innovation? Why

do you say we have a long way to go

when today’s Science has already mastered

those technologies?”

Dr Vyas, replies with patience and consideration:

“‘I don’t think we are any closer to the

saturation point yet. I believe that these scriptures

tell us a lot more than what we comprehend

at this point.”

Penetrating questions

Are Divyastras more powerful than the

modern nuclear weapons?

Do human beings today possess the knowledge

to retrieve the ancient WMD?

Was there a system of transferring knowledge

in those days?

These and many other questions, and answers

to each of them, make the Book an interesting

read. The young man remarks,

“Every progress in today’s Science is just a reoccurrence

of what have been mastered thousands

of years ago. Would you say that the

fate of our ancestors is our destiny too?”

Epics and Science Fiction

In his blog on ‘World Mysteries,’ James

Harman, a researcher, says that the

Ramayana and the Mahabharata seem like

science fiction.

“Not only did aircraft exist such as Vimanas

and Vailxi (as the Atlantian craft are called),

they had nuclear weapons. There seems

to be a fear of educating the worlds people

about the distant past. Even empires

and leaders of China’s past to Christians to

Arab peoples would destroy history in such

a way that records of their amazing cultures

and events are nearly all wiped out.

Indian Epics however are still with us intact.

Records of South American history all but

gone. Fear, and other factors have removed

most of history before 5,000 years. Some only

1000 years ago. In the America’s just 300 -500

years all most all lost! Today, perhaps some

UFO records are going the way of fears gate!

However, again a few stories live on.”

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Mortgage &Insurance Brokers Feature


In interesting times

Changing times create uncertainty

Bob Dylan wrote a song titled "The Times They Are a-Changin'" and he was as right in 1964 as he would be if he wrote the song today.

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and benefitted from our advice.

Access to advice is vital

We want to make our expertise more accessible. Late last year Global Finance celebrated the opening of Henderson Branch on Lincoln Road to

compliment Airport Oaks in Mangere. Our Manukau Branch is soon to open, and more branches will follow in 2019. We love the fact that we are

bringing Global expertise local and thank all our customers for their support.

No matter what future changes we see coming, you can rely on Global Finance to be there. If you are not sure about your future mortgage or

insurance position come and talk to us at one of our branches near you.

Global Finance, providing sustained mortgage and insurance advice for 20 years “in your best interest”.

19-22/203 Kirkbride Road, Airport Oaks, Auckland 103 Lincoln Road, Henderson, Auckland

It is never too late to be a first homebuyer

Rachna Dave

To own a First home is true

or dream?

This has always been a

debatable question for all my

first homebuyers.

Based on my 13 years

of experience in this

Sector, a common

comment of my

customers has

always been,


was a very







today is not

late; however,


will be definitely


The Auckland


market today is

favourable to first homebuyers.

The Reserve Bank of New

Zealand, as well as commercial

banks and many lending institutions

have also in place policies

and regulations that favour first


Therefore, start your journey

today; become a first homebuyer

and pay for your own property

instead of paying for someone

else’s mortgage.

I am here to help you and

guide you through the process.

Key Factors to Remember

I have always believed in

transparency and honesty in my

work and therefore, undertake

to advise clients only after

assessing whether their needs

are properly matched with their

income and ability to repay their

mortgage loans. Ialways tell my

clients, “It is never too late to

buy your first home and hence

do not worry about yesterday or

today. Let us work together so

that you can achieve your objective

of living in a house that you

can call your own.”

Among the factors that you

should know while considering

your buying your first home are

the following:

1. There is apossibility to

buy a house with as little as 5%

deposit. This should be genuine

savings, including KiwiSaver.

2. This 5% deposit should

not include money gifted by the

members of your family

3. Your bank account should

be satisfactory and your credit

rating should be good

4. It would be good if you do

not have any unsecured debt

such as Hire Purchase, outstanding

balance on your Credit Card,

Personal Loans and such other

liability. However, lenders assess

every application on its merits.

5. Your ability to repay the

principal amount and interest

will be assessed. It is equally

important that you abide by the

loan agreement after obtaining

the loan

Rachna Dave was the winner of the Business Excellence in Customer Service

and Best Businesswoman of the Year categories at the Eleventh Annual Indian

Newslink Indian Business Awards 2018 held on Monday, November 26, 2018 at

SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland. In the above picture, she is seen receiving

the ‘Best Businesswoman of the Year’ Award from Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern, watched by Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni (right) and

former Sales & Marketing Manager of Alexandra Park (Sponsor of the Award)

Joel Reichardt.


I was honoured to receive the ‘Business Excellence in Customer

Service’ and ‘Best Businesswoman of the Year’ Awards and to be

selected as a finalist in the ‘Business Excellence in Marketing’ Category

and Supreme Business of the Year at the Eleventh Annual Indian

Newslink Indian Business Awards 2019. I had the honour of winning the

‘Best Financial Advisor (Mortgage) of the Year Award’ in 2017.

To talk to me about your

home loan

Please call me

6. You may have to pay ahigher rate

of interest if your deposit amount is less

than 20%

7. Check your First Homebuyer Grant

from Housing New Zealand

8. Get apre-approval from your

KiwiSaver provider for eligibility to

withdraw your funds for the deposit

9. Prepare amonthly budget for

income and expenditure

I conduct a free clinic every Saturday

in my office from 10 am to 12 pm. Please

feel free to come and have a chat on

how you can be the next first


Please call me on (Free Phone)

0800-RACHNA (0800-722462).

A s s o c i a t i o n


FEBRUARY15, 2019


Celebrated Carnatic musician

to perform in Auckland

Venkat Raman

Aversatile artiste with a high level

of proficiency in Carnatic Music is

scheduled to perform in Auckland

next month.

New Zealand Carnatic Music Society is

organising a vocal recital by Dr Pantula

Rama at 530 pm on Saturday, March 9, 2019

at Blockhouse Bay Community Centre (Jim

Gilbert Room), located at 524 Blockhouse

Bay Road, Auckland.

She will be accompanied by M S N

Murthy on the Violin and Sai Giridhar on


Tickets, priced at $20 for adults and $15

for Seniors and children under 12 years of

age are now available.

Please contact Jay Jeyashankar on 021-

630914; Leena Mani on 021-0495262; Mala

Nataraj on 021-620930; Priya Vijay on 021-

1084098; Ravi Nagarajan on 021-2401356;

Shanthi Swaminathan on 027-6479580;

Sreeranganath Koilkandadai on 021-682957

or Yashwanth Kumar on 021-02429863.

Multitalented Artiste

Born and raised in a culturally abundant

family of musicians, poets, scholars and

astrologers, Dr Pantula took to the performing

art naturally. Her mother Padmavathi

is a Veena artiste, while her father Pantula

Gopala Rao was her Guru, who initiated

her into the world of music and coached

and encouraged her to pursue excellence.

She later came under the tutelage of the

late Ivaturi Vijayeswara Rao who helped

her to lift her proficiency and become a

seasoned professional.

According to her peers and critics, “Dr

Pantula is highly regarded for her chaste,

aesthetic and intellectual style of singing.

She is popular for an ever-fresh approach

in her concerts.”

Academic Achievements

With a doctorate (PhD) in Music from

Ethnic Poetry explodes in the Kitchen with spice

“Go Home Curry Muncha” opens on February 19 Writers/Directors: Gemishka Chetty and Aiwa Pooamorn

Suppled (Edited) Content

When two angry Asian

poets get together

to cook, no one can

predict what comes next.

It could well be a thunderstorm;

loud noise of coconuts

being smashed and demonic Kali


With the ever popular

‘Turmeric latte’ on the rise,

Gemishka Chetty and Aiwa

Pooamorn simmer their poetry,

Asian Cuisine, and performance

art into a dish, best served spicy.

Ethnic Slur reclaimed

Reclaiming the ethnic slur

by delivering an explosive

MasterChef style competition

asking audiences to judge the

most authentic dish, this show

will dissect cultural identity from

the perspective of migrants and

children of migrants living in

New Zealand.

As the heat in the kitchen

grows, so would the rage of

these women and their dynamic

‘ethnic poetry.’

With their provocative words

taking the poetry scene by storm,

these artists from ‘Go Home Curry

Muncha’ will not be holding

back on their voices.

Gemishka (‘The Grand

Opening,’ ‘Brown Noize’) and

Aiwa (Plastice Orgasm, [other]

Chinese), and will be dishing up

a visceral experience.

Quirky Perspective

This nuanced art performance



$15 SENIOR/12 & Under


proudly presents

Vidushi Pantula Rama / Leena 021 0495262

Sreeranganath - 021 682 957

Yashwanth - 021 024 29863 ~ Jay - 021 630914

Ravi - 021 240 1356 ~ Shanthi - 027 647 9580

Priya -021 108 4098 ~ Mala - 021 620 930

show brings a bold and slightly

quirky perspective to the cultural

landscape of Auckland.

According to Alice Canton (and

others), “Aiwa Pooamorn has the

wit, sorrow and fire, unlike any

artist with who I have worked.

Her sensual imagery tips from

flirtatious to dangerous -to listen

to her writing and watch her

perform is to both exhale with

laughter and gasp in distress.

She is a brilliant emerging artist

and definitely one to watch.”

Fearless Performers

Renee Liang said that

Aiwa and Gemishka are fearless

performers, demolishing stereotypes

and assumptions with wit,

candour and more than a little


“They take the greatest joy

in surprising and outwitting

audience expectations while

simultaneously charming with

their wordplay.”

Auckland Fringe Festival

Presented as a part of the

Auckland Fringe Festival from

February 19 to March 3, 2019,

‘Go Home Curry Muncha’ will

also be performing at the Performance

Arcade in Wellington

from February 21 to 24, 2019.

It will also be played at the

Basement Theatre on March 1

and March 2, 2019 at 8 pm; Koha

Entry only. For Bookings, please

call phone iTicket 09 361 1000 or

book online

Full programme details at

9th March 2019


Jim Gilbert Room

Blockhousebay Community Centre

Vidwan Shri M.S.N .Murthy Violin

Vidwan Shri Sai Giridhar Mridangam

524 Blockhouse Bay Road


Andhra University, she is a recipient

of several honours including ‘Gayatri

Sangeeta Vidwanmani,’ ‘Nightingale of

Andhra’ and ‘Melody Queen of Andhra.’

She has also been honoured with the

‘Outstanding Lady Vocalist’ and ‘Best Pallavi

Award’ given by The Music Academy

of Madras.

Dr Pantula has been a favourite with

the press and audio-visual media and has

received rave reviews and critical acclaim

from almost all critics.

Dr M S N Murthy

Dr Mutnuri Srinivasa Narasimha

Murthy hails from a music family with

a record of excellence for many generations.

His mother Mutnuri Jalajakshi is

a veteran vocalist and was groomed by

the late maestro Nallan Chakravartula


Beginning his career as a Violinist at

the tender age of ten,

Dr Murthy became a

Casual Artiste of All

India Radio four years

later. Purity of style,

flawless execution, fine

aesthetic sense and

total command over

the instrument are the

exceptional qualities of

this artiste.

He has been

awarded ‘Top Grade’

in Violin, ‘A Grade’ in

Vocal and ‘A Grade’

in Viola by All India


Sai Giridhar

A Mridangam

artiste of exceptional

talent, Sai Giridhar

was trained by M L N

Raju and Parupalli S


An ‘A’ grade artiste of

All India Radio, he has

performed in many

prestigious music

festivals in India and


He received the

Gold Medal for his

performance on

mridangam at the 12th

National Youth Festival

at Pune in 2007. With

many recordings

and workshops to his

credit, Mr Giridhar was

awarded the ‘Ustad

Bismillah Khan Yuva

Puraskar’ by Sangeet

Natak Academy in


For more information, please

contact Gemishka Chetty on


Email: crewativecreatures@

About Basement Theatre

Basement Theatre is a home to

professional and budding theatre

artists, comedians, dancers and

musicians. Renowned for its

ability to push the boundaries

of artistic expression, it is

Auckland’s culture-defining


Basement Theatre nurtures

local live artistic voices that

are unique and urgent, and

aims to inspire and challenge

New Zealand audiences and

arts organisations, and reflect

people’s diverse identities and

experiences. The programme

comprises more than 80% New

Zealand content, and more than

50% world premieres.

A Charitable Trust, Basement

Theatre puts all profits back

into the community through its

extensive artist development

programmes, and risk-share box

office model. The organisation

is committed to be a part of

what makes the performing arts

industry, and artists, in Auckland

truly sustainable.

For further information,

please contact

Expert to explore Carnatic

Music in film songs

Venkat Raman

Aunique event to highlight

the strong influence that

Carnatic Music had in

Tamil film songs will be

held in Wellington and Auckland.

Eighty-four-year old Carnatic

Musician and music expert G S

Mani, who has worked with almost

all music directors and composers

of Tamil films for more than 60

years including M S Viswanathan,

K V Mahadevan and Ilayaraja, will

speak in English with video clips,

bringing to the fore a subject that

would interest most music-lovers.

He presents full-length Carnatic

Music concert regularly and also

participates in TV programmes.

Programme in Wellington

His first show will be held in

Wellington on Sunday, February

24, 2019, organised by the New

A u c k l a n d

Ta m i l

Adults $15

Children under 12 - Free

Auckland Tamil Association

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Zealand Indian Fine Arts Society at

Epuni Hall, located at 38 Mitchell

Street, Lower Hutt. Tickets, priced

at $25 per person ($20 for Seniors

and Students) are available from

021-0599405; Raghu 027-2103477 or

Gayathri 022-1633485.

In Auckland

Mr Mani will also participate

in ‘Cinemavum Sangeethamum,’

organised by Auckland Tami

Association at 6 pm on Saturday,

March 2, 2019 at Western Springs

Garden Community Hall, 956 Great

North Road, Western Springs.

Tickets priced at $15 (Children

Under 12 free) are now on sale. For

details, please contact Association

President Vai Ravindran on 027-


The Association will also

inaugurate its Tamil classes earlier

on that day.

A unique concert by the veteran Madurai Sri G.S.Mani (accompanied by local talents)

on the connection between Tamil film music and Carnatic music

For tickets contact

Vai Ravindran: 027 275 8266

Vel Murgan: 022 429 1730

Murali Kumar: 021 685 804

Arvind Kumar: 027 479 1340


Cinemavum Sangeethamum

Tamil movie songs Carnatic music

A first of its kind in Auckland for those who love

To know about the connection between movie songs and Carnatic music

To Attend something unique, interesting, engaging and

fun for the whole family

6pm to 8pm

Western Springs Garden Community Hall

956 Great North Rd, Western Springs,

Auckland 1022

FEBRUARY 15, 2019


TenKilometresofRam-A-Thon bring spiritualityand funds



Ranjit Singh

Wehave multitudes

of religious societies

and organisations

in New


They are performing commendable

duties ofreligious

teachings, promoting their respective

Gods, and whiledoing

so, handsomely collecting

funds for upkeep of their respective

institutions. Nothing

wrong with that, infact, very


Shri Ram Mandir, located at

11, Brick Street, Henderson,

Auckland is among afew organisations

that stand out and followthe

definition of Hinduism,

whichismore of away of life

than mere rituals.

Spiritualityistheir priority,which

means beinggood,

compassionate, caring, respecting,


God-loving andagood human


Service toHumanity

These teachings should be

translated into deeds rather

than being confined as theoretical


According to the Scriptures,

the best deedisservicetohumanity,

what we call ‘Parr Hitt.’

This is alsotaught by other

religions and well depicted

in ‘Abu Ben Adam Poem’ by

Leigh Hunt. The message here

is, “God loves andblesses those

Hiking Tour Companyscales high with qualityservice

Nepal is atrekker’s delight

Michael Carter

New Zealand is famous

for its clean greenimage

and recent growth in

ethical businesses.

From the natural fibreclothing

brand Icebreaker, to the fully

recycled shoesofAll Birds, New

Zealand is truly making its mark

in the social enterprisesector.

These businesses have leveraged

NewZealand’s ethical clean

green image to createsuccessful

international brands.The latest

social enterprisetocome out of

New Zealand is the hiking tour

companyVXTours Nepal.

VX Tours Nepal

VX ToursNepal has become

one of the fastest growingNew

Zealand businesses, attracting

over60,000 Facebook followers

within the space of afew months.

Ram-A-Thon participants at the Shri Ram Mandir complex

Pravin Kumar (extreme right) announcing donation of$43, 442.60 by Housing, Urban Development

and Transport Minister Phil Twyford to Friends of Fiji Health Foundation Chairperson

Rajesh Chaudhry

who love their fellow beings.”

That iswhat Shri Ram Mandir

does. Itliterally walks thetalk in

loving its fellow beings.

And this is donethroughits

Walkathon which they have

named (after Lord Ram) ‘Ram-

A-Thon.’ Here, the devotees

walkand raise funds for worthy


The Ram-A-Thon

Sixyears ago, this started

as afullday, 35kms of marathon

walk from Papatoetoe

to Henderson. It was later reduced

to 20 kms from Auckland

That is no easy feat for a

companyselling hiking tours to

Mt EverestBase Camp.

The companywas createdto

improve the working conditions

of local guides and porters in

Nepal. Its Founderwas shocked

when she heard that guides and

portersinNepalare oftenpaidso

little that they cannot even afford

basic accommodation during the


As aresult, they are regularly

forced to sleepincaves and

sheltersatextreme temperatures.

Conscientious Employer

VX ToursNepal pays their

porters50% more thanthe

standard wage to prevent this

from happening to their staff.

VX ToursNepal hasalsotaken

advantageofthe recent influx of

tourists to Nepal.

Nepal has recently become

Domain (Museum) to the

Mandir. Since then, they have

held two other Walkathons to

help Starship Children’s Hospital

(over $10,000) and St John

Ambulance (over $16,000).

This year, the Mandir officials

decided to reduce the walkto10

kms, and utilise the day toassemble

people in ahuge community

networking and wellbeing

quest,developing it intoaFamily


Family Carnival

The Family Carnival held

on February 3, 2019 (after the

one of the most popular off the

beatentrack travel destinations

in the world. It has slowly been

recovering from thedevastating

earthquakethathit the country

in 2015.

Over the pastfour years, the

trails to Everest Base Camp have

been cleared and thequaint

teahousesalong the wayhave

been repaired.

Now that the earthquakes are

over, tourists areexcited and

ready to get back into this exotic

country.Tourism numbershave

risenfrom over500,000 in2015

to onemillionin2018.


Nepal has also featured in

Hiking Camps on amountain

manynewspapers andmagazinesasatop

travel destination.

Huffington Postrecently voted

it as oneofthe top20adventure

travel spots for2019.

LonelyPlanet also got on

board, voting Kathmandu as

one of the top 10 cities to visit in

2019 and Nepal as atop travel

Fun and Sports at the Family Carnival (Pictures by Thakur Ranjit Singh)

Walk) in HendersonParkwas

afun-filled event where there

werefriendly matches between

the Districts in Fiji, including

Suva, Lautoka, Rewa, Ba, Tavua,

Rakiraki, Labasa and Nadroga.

There was abucketful of family

and sporting events such as

Men’s Soccer, Tug of War, Seniors

LawnBalls, SeniorsBall and

Bucket, Ladies Penalty Kicks and


As theyenjoyed, the participants

also helped to collect funds.

FriendsofFiji Health

The beneficiary this year

was theFriendsofFiji Health,

whichreceived $43,442.60 from

Shri Ram Mandir, the highest

by asingledonor. Acheque for

the amount was presented by

Housing, Urban Development

and TransportMinister Phil


We express our sincere appreciation

to Shri Ram Mandir

Managing Trustee Pravin Kumar,

Mahendra Sharma andalarge

number oftheir executivemembers,

volunteers, soccerteam

members, youth groupsand community

and social workers.

The Gokyo Ri in the Khumbu region (Pictures Supplied)

destinationintheir 2018list.

This small NewZealand company

is not just growing because of

the expandingtourism industryin


It offers asuperiorservice

throughout the hike.

Once their customersreach

Everest Base Camp, they have a

unique opportunity to takeascenic

helicopter flight that takes them

overBase Camp andparalleltoMt


Although the views from thehike

We also thank theFriends of

Fiji Health Medical team for providing

free basic medical checkup

to those who attended the

fundraiser and Family Festival.

Beyond material wealth

Mr Pravinsaid that while Ram-

A-Thon aims toraise fundsfor

worthy charities, money isnot

the prime objective.

“We wish to engage with the

wider community, including children,

youths, elders, women and

people from all walks to life,

whileenhancing diversity,teamwork,

networking and multiculturalism.Ithas

beenaneffort to

create awareness ofwell-being,

healthy living, walking, exercising

and keeping fit, while raising

funds for worthycauses. In doingso,

we worked collaboratively

with otherlike-minded charitable,

community and religious

organisations and obtained corporate

andcommercial businesses

on board as sponsors,” he said.

Thakur Ranjit Singh is avolunteer

at Shri Ram Mandir. He

runs his blog, ‘Fiji Pundit’ and

has been part of Ram-A-Thon

since its inception in 2014.

are breathtaking, the helicopter

flight providesadifferent view

altogether andisoften the

highlight of the trip.Inaddition

to this,they hiresomeofthe best

guides in the countrytoensure

their clients arewell lookedafter

and safe.


VX ToursNepal demonstrates

that high quality services canbe

provided without compromising

the wellbeing of the local communities.

Their toursprovide asource

of much needed income for the


They also ensure that their clients

respect the local culture and

don’t leaveany rubbish behind

on this breathtaking hike.

With the rise of ethical

businesses likeVXTours Nepal,

Icebreaker and AllBirds who

knows what the futurelandscape

of NZ business will look like.

Michael Carter is aJournalist

based in Auckland


FEBRUARY15, 2019


Model of the Fortnight

Success follows those who dare to dream

Fashion Shows, Entertainment

and Beauty

Contests provide me an

opportunity to meet people

and participate in charitable

causes,” says Poonam Dayal, our

Model of the Fortnight.

Migrating to New Zealand with

her family comprising her parents,

brother and sister from their

native Fiji 15 years ago, Poonam

has had the best of three cultures-

Fijian, Indian and Kiwi.

Proclivity to Nursing

She credits her parents with vision

and fortitude, with the ability

to decide the best career path for

her and her siblings.

“It is their belief in my aptitude

towards Nursing that encouraged

me to obtain a postgraduate (Masters)

degree in Health Science with

First Class Honours and launch my

career as an Infection Prevention

& Control Nurse Specialist at an

Auckland Hospital. My parents

have never been wrong,” she said.

Poonam believes in pursuing

what she believes to be within her

reach, which was why she refused

an offer from the organiser of a

local beauty contest in 2016.

“I am not ready for a

Beauty Pageant,” she


But she debuted the following

year and was declared a


Inherent talent

Her natural flair for the stage

made her a good model, a talent

that was honed by top names

in the industry, from who she

learnt the art of modelling,

fashion and pageantry.

“I was a part of the ‘Auckland’s

Top Model’ contest. It was

a great experience,” she said.

Poonam participates in many

charity fashion shows, models

for a popular fashion house and

appears at Fiji Day events.

Heart for charity

She is a volunteer at ‘Food

for Life’ Charity at which she

assists (on Mondays) in serving

nutritious food for people in the


“This service gives me internal

satisfaction,” she said.

Facebook: Poonam Dayal; Instagram:


-Venkat Raman

If you want to be featured as

our Model of the Fortnight,

please write to venkat@

Get to see ‘Meera’ and her love for Lord Krishna

Colour, Costumes and cultural rhapsody May 31-June 2

Venkat Raman


story of ‘Meera’ and

her impeccable love for

Lord Krishna will be

theme of a quality production

that will be staged from May 31,

2019 to June 2, 2019 at ASB Waterfront

Theatre in Auckland’s

Wynyard Quarter.

What better way for theatre

enthusiasts and lover of art (and

of course romance!) to spend

the long ‘Queen’s Birthday

Weekend’ than to watch the

story of love and devotion?

Meera promises to be a

high-calibre production that

would captivate your attention

and take you on a journey of

relentless love and passion

towards Lord Krishna.

True, artistic form

Gold Coast (Queensland,

Australia) based ‘Wild Dreamer

Productions’ Director and

Choreographer Aarti Bajaj,

who plays the lead character, is

keen to present ‘Meera’ to New

Zealanders in its true artistic


She said that it is the local

community that truly creates a

stage show with a difference.

“There will be a total of six

shows across three days to allow

all art lovers the chance to see and

become a part of ‘Meera.’ If you

love, love and if you are fascinated

with the arts, this show is for you

and for everyone you know,” she

said, speaking to Indian Newslink

during her visit last month.

About Meera

‘Meera’ has been a source of

inspiration and endearment to

thousands of enthusiasts across the

Tasman and its creators are now

keen to evince the interest of New


A bold love story originating

from the 16th Century India,

‘Meera’ follows the life of a young

Princess on her endless, yet beautiful

journey of love with the Hindu

God, Krishna.

This is a story told through

mesmerising dances, strong

theatrical scenes and confluence of

numerous other artistic forms of


“Meera is a love story like none

other. Keeping a strong balance

of a musical theatre production,

it is more than just acting on a

theatrical stage. This love story and

its passion are told through dances

such as ballets, Indian Classical

dances, aerial and pole. The art

forms showcased on stage, along

with the passion of each and every

cast member makes Meera a show

that you will never forget,” Team

Meera publicists said.

Local Talent Pooled

Along with a selected few

Music, Dance- nothing allures without you, Krishna

cast members from Gold Coast

(Queensland Australia) ‘Team

Meera Auckland’ has recently

been cast a variety of local amateurs

and trained professionals

alike to bring the stage to life.

“The cast performs and showcases

their talent and passion to

enhance and amaze you from

your seat. In an age where the

arts are expanding, ‘Meera’ is

pushing boundaries that one step


As a show from a production

house that shines its spotlight

on the talent of future creatives,

‘Meera’ will break the boundaries

of arts.

“With exquisite costumes,

internationally composed

music and next-generation scene

mapping technology, you will be

captivated by the essence of what

it means to truly experience the

magic of true love.”

Growing Network

Aarti said that with countless

opportunities for growth and

development, our network is

continuously growing.

“We are enabling and

Meera combines the classical and aerial

Until the day I see you, no repose: Meera’s song (Translated)

(Pictures supplied by Wild Dreamers Production)

encouraging the next generation

of creative professionals with

an opportunity to expand their

artistic potential. Our aim at

Wild Dreamer Productions is

to foster the growth of the next

generation of artistes and creative

professionals and work with them

to learn, collaborate and be able

to produce truly amazing artistic

works of expression.

That is our aim, our vision and

our pledge to the arts,” she said.

About Wild Dreamer


Wild Dreamer Productions is

a production house with a soul.

It works with talented and passionate

individuals all around the

world who consider themselves to

be Wild Dreamers.

Led by Aarti, the Production

House began its first journey of

Meera, helping to make this vision

a reality. Performing to over 1000

people at the Home Of The Arts

(HOTA) in Gold Coast last November,

it comprised a local cast of

over 300 amateurs, professionals

and arts-lovers encouraging the

audience wanting more.

-With Reporting by Kyla

McLean, Sponsorship Manager

and Marketing Director, Wild

Dreamer Productions.

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Model of the Fortnight





we provide trusted market intelligence and

practical advice to help you findthe right

fijian products foryourbusiness.




FEBRUARY15, 2019


Indians were great in ODI but scored low in humility test

Ravi Nyayapati

The exciting Indian cricket

tour of New Zealand

ended on a muted note

for the visitors, as the

Blackcaps snatched a close

victory in the third and final T20

international in Hamilton, and

thereby claiming the series 2-1.

There is always an added buzz

with tours involving Indians.

Title sponsors ANZ certainly

did their part this season in

ensuring that the tour involved

extensive public outreach and

engagement using multiple

marketing channels.

Credit goes to ANZ for creating

hype in a country where Rugby

gets all the attention.

ODI as predicted

The One Day International

(ODI) series went as predicted.

Barring a bizarre surrender at

Hamilton’s Seddon Park in the

fourth ODI, the Indians completely

dominated the series.

The one-off loss was a wake-up

call for stand-in Captain Rohit

Sharma who admitted to being

“humiliated,” before taking the

field in the fifth and final ODI,

which his troops won, claiming

the series 4-1. New Zealand

Captain Kane Williamson admitted

that they were up against a

India bounce back from the big loss in Wellington to level the series

Blackcaps in Hamilton Pictures by Hemant Parikh

brilliant side.

T20 format different

At that point, Williamson

was also right in that the

T20 format presented a

different opportunity and

approach. In this shortest

format of the game,

the teams take greater

risks and as a result get

varied success and a

lower chance of meeting


All three games of the

series were entertaining,

drawing the largest

crowds at each of the venues

where the matches

were played.

Wellington for


The series kicked off

in windy Wellington

where Williamson’s men

notched up a convincing

80 run victory, courtesy

of Wicketkeeper Tim

Siefert’s valiant 84 runs of

43 deliveries.

Sharma’s eleven

squared the series at

Eden Park. Krunall

Pandya restricted New

Zealand batsmen with

clever bowling, before the

Indian top order did their

job with the bat and level

the series.

The final game in

Hamilton was a nail biter,

where fast bowler Tim

Southee held his nerve in

final over, to ensure the

blackcaps closed the series

with a 4 run victory,

and thereby claiming a

2-1 series victory.

Dhoni applauded

The atmosphere in each

match was electric. In

particular, the response

former captain MS Dhoni

received when walking

onto the field at Eden

park could fool anyone

into thinking the match

was being played in India.

All in all, it was an

exciting month of Cricket,

and Kohli’s men will be

back in twelve months to

provide more entertainment.

Arrogant victors?

On a gloomy note,

it is understood the

star-studded Indian team

seemed a tad too precious

of their celebrity status

by not interacting with

guests at a grand function

arranged for them by

ANZ. In contrast, the

Women’s team, along

with their New Zealand

counterparts, as well as

the Blackcaps mixed and

mingled with ease.

Several guests

complained of the boys

in blue largely keeping

to themselves, killing the

excitement of the large

audience who had their

hopes high of some level

of direct interaction.

NZ Cricket silent on


The series also drew

attention to a serious

social matter.

New Zealand Cricket

(NZC) has not publicly

taken a stand on sexual

consent in relation

to fast bowler Scott

Kuggeleijn, whom they

silently introduced into

the international arena in

this series.

In 2017, Kuggeleijn was

found not guilty of rape.

This was at a retrial,

after the initial 2016 trial

resulted in a hung jury.

What has irked the

public is the pejorative

conduct of Kuggeleijn and

NZC’s failure to publicly

address it.

Understandably, spectators

were seen holding

signs which targeted NZC

for their inaction in an

era where the #metoo

movement has brought

sexual abuse to light.

Kuggeleijn’s own

account of the case is a

shameful read, and based

on his statements, both

he and NZC have more to

account for in spite of the

not guilty verdict.

His behaviour on sexual

violence makes former

Blackcap Jesse Ryder’s

issues with alcohol look


NZC owes the public

more than its silence.

Ravi Nyayapati is our

Sports Correspondent.




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