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Clean campaigns will preserve our democratic ideals

New Zealand goes

to polls on Saturday,

September 19, 2020

Venkat Raman

Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern’s announcement

that General Election will be

held on Saturday, September

19, 2020 has brought a note of

excitement among the politically

conscious, although many had

rightly guessed the date earlier.

Infrastructure spend

Ms Ardern, joined by a few of

her Labour Part cabinet colleagues,

New Zealand First Leader Winston

Peters and Green Party Co-Leader

James Shaw, announced a whopping

$12 billion infrastructure

development project, that would

cover many areas of urban and

rural New Zealand. The plan,

announced in Auckland on

Wednesday, January 29, will cover

improvements to our roads, rail

and other networks, education,

health and other sectors.

National Party Leader Simon

Bridges said that that the Labour

Party had dusted off his Party’s policy

but described the infrastructure

spend was ‘two years too late.’

That retort was indicative of

more brickbats to come.

It is the duty of the Opposition to

hold the government to account.

We remember how Labour MPs

savaged their National counterparts

for nine years while in Opposition

(from 2008 to 2017) – but all

of these are a part of politics.

Ferocious Elections

Elections are fought in the

free world with ferocity, with

politicians and their supporters

accusing their opponents of almost

Labour Party Leader Jacinda Ardern announcing

General Election 2020

anything that they believe, without

the obligation of having to provide

any proof. Until recently, general

elections in New Zealand were

marked by humour, goodwill

for each other, with hardly any

personal references. But over the

past few years, the gloves have

come off and politicians and their

supporters have not only begun to

punch but also resort to a war of

words, which, according to many,

is ‘Dirty Politics.’

If the past three years have been

any indication, General Election

2020 promises to be more accusatory

with personal attacks, and

dirtier than ever before. Worse,

more than the candidates, those

campaigning for them are likely to

get nasty.

Several people of Indian origin

believe that they deserve to be in

Parliament but since there would

be little chance of being elected

at constituencies, they would

lobby for a good rank on the List

of various Parties. It remains to be

seen how National and Labour will

consider candidates on their List,

while New Zealand First and ACT

may perhaps field one candidate

each.

National Party’s woes

Some National Party supporters

are already saying that they enjoy

such high percentage of voter

support that they would be able

govern on their own.

While some Opinion Polls have

placed National either above

Labour or on a par but dangers of

over-confidence are not unknown

to seasoned politicians.

Besides, the National Party is still

facing questions over its handling

of donations despite the Serious

Fraud Office declining to pursue

charges against it. That suggests investigators

have gathered enough

evidence to be confident of success,

although nothing can be taken

for granted and those accused

are entitled to the presumption of

innocence.

Mr Bridges is young, and has

been a Minister in the previous

National government. We hope

that he will campaign on the merits

of his Party, on his own merits as a

Leader and how he would make a

difference as the head of the next

government. That would enhance

his credibility.

Democracy in distress?

More people in the rich world

National Party Leader Simon Bridges says,’ Bring it on.’

(Pictures by Radio New Zealand)

are dissatisfied with democracy

today than at any time since

the mid-1990s, according to an

academic study. Researchers at

the University of Cambridge have

combed datasets on attitudes

towards democracy for 25 years;

in 2019 the proportion of those

unhappy with democracy rose to

58%. This ‘malaise’ is blamed on

governments’ inability to cope with

threats such as global warming.

Six years ago, speaking at the

Fourth Annual Indian Newslink Sir

Anand Satyanand Lecture, former

Commonwealth Secretary General

(and former Deputy Prime Minister

and Foreign Minister of New Zealand)

Sir Don McKinnon examined

the problems and challenges that

we as New Zealanders face because

of people’s disillusionment with

democracy and those who are

looking seriously at other forms of

government.

“The volume of discussion in

recent times in international

magazines suggests that we have

to positively respond to this

environment or lose the argument

by default in favour of systems

that have superficial appeal, lack

a substantial foundation and have

no real evidence of working. New

Zealanders must make a clear and

decisive choice and hold those

elected to account. They must be

forced to perform. This is time

for action. We must exercise our

franchise and ensure that only

those who deserve to be in public

office are elected,” he said.

Those views are relevant today

as New Zealand faces another

General Election.

Double Devolution

Some believe that the solution

to better administration rests on

‘double devolution,’ pushing more

resources and responsibility for

running things from Central to

Local Government and from town

halls to an amorphous web of charities

and voluntary associations.

This is a veritable chance that

should not be lost. However, we

are not sure of the efficacy of such

a proposal.

As Sir Don said, the institution

of democracy can survive and

progress only if there are checks

and balances and prevention of

dominance of one person.

“Every democratic Government

faces the challenge of ensuring that

one dominant personality does not

in the end make every decision as

when things go badly and against

them, as they always do with the

swings of public opinion. They will

pull down the pillars of the temple

with them,” he said.

This is a veritable chance that

should not be lost.

New Zealanders must make a

clear and decisive choice and hold

those elected to account. They must

be forced to perform.

This is time for action. We must

exercise our franchise and ensure

that only those who deserve to be

in public office are elected.

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02

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Homelink

Guru Travel fiasco hits ordinary New Zealanders

Call for a thorough inquiry gets louder

Venkat Raman

Dr Sripriya Somashekar with her son Advait

Jobi Mathew

$2380 is a lot of money to a

lot of New Zealanders.

Losing that money to a

fraudulent travel agency is

unforgivable.

That is how Wellington based

Dr Sripriya Somasekhar felt after

a vain attempt to convince

Malaysian Airlines that they have

the responsibility to lift passengers

on its services- passengers

who have genuinely purchased

tickets and paid for them in advance

through a travel agency.

Travel Agents Association of

New Zealand (TAANZ) said it cannot

help people like her because

Guru Travel, the agency through

which they had booked their tickets

is not a member and hence

the Association has no obligation

to come their rescue.

Auckland based Guru Travel

Limited went into liquidation on

November 21, 2019 but its customers

were not given any notice

by the company or by Shareen

Ramasre, listed as a Director of

the company in the Companies

Office Register.

When a company goes into voluntary

liquidation, the worst

affected are ordinary New

Zealanders because the monies

that they have paid for obtaining

a product or service is ‘unsecured

credit,’ deserving the lowest priority

in the order of payments

disbursed.

Betrayal of faith

Sripriya is among 200 or more

people who have jointly lost

about $380,000 or thereabouts

to Guru Travel – lost, not out of

negligence but out of good faith.

They have been defrauded and

left in the lurch during the peak

travel season.

These travellers had booked

their seats through various

airlines.

But Sripriya believed in keeping

her promise; to her ten-year

old son Advait Jobi Mathew that

she would take him on a holiday

to India this summer and to

her parents in Chennai that they

would arrive there on January

26, 2020. She did.

“I was informed on January

2, 2020 that the e-tickets issued

to us were not valid. That was

when I contacted them to confirm

our meals on board the

concerned flights. After trying

in vain various options, I finally

booked our seats through another

airline. However, because

of the busy season, the cost of

the two tickets has increased to

$3500. I did not want to disappoint

my son and my parents

and hence took a loan to purchase

the tickets,” she said.

Sripriya said that she had

saved $2380 over a period of one

year and repayment of the new

loan of $3500 would take her

even longer.

Need for new legislation

Indian Newslink readers have

made seven recommendations

following the closure of Guru

Travel.

They are (1) conduct a thorough

investigation of the dealings

of the company over the

past three years including an audit

of its financial transactions

(2) bring in a new legislation

that will protect ordinary New

Zealanders from travel agencies

that fail to meet their obligations

(3) put in place stringent code

of conduct mandatory to travel

agencies (4) make membership

to TAANZ mandatory to all travel

agents and/or make it obligatory

for the Association to honour

all tickets purchased by travellers

(5) Commerce and Consumer

Affairs Minister should help the

victims of Guru Travel through

existing legislation under the

Customer Guarantees Act (6)

Commerce Commission should

examine if there are provisions

under its jurisdiction to bring

justice to victims and (7) Serious

Fraud Office should examine if a

case exists for its involvement

Bonded Agents

Sripriya and other victims

were told that Guru Travel is

not a bonded travel agent and as

such is not a member of TAANZ.

“There should be a system

which prohibits travel agencies

from trading unless they are

members and as such carry out

their obligations. There should

also be a system which raises

alarm bells when an agency begins

to default on payments to

airlines,” they said.

“Airline carriers should also

have the obligation of ‘warning’

travellers when an agency defaults

payments. Since common

people are placed under risk,

there should no privacy issue

consideration in revealing the

names of agencies that default,”

they added.

Liquidator’s observations

Gareth Russel Hoole and

Clive Robert Bish, Chartered

Accountants and Chartered

Accountants Australia New

Zealand Accredited Insolvency

Practitioners (New Zealand) have

been appointed joint and several

liquidators of Guru Travel pursuant

to section 241(2)(a) of the

Companies Act 1993.

A Stuff report on January 14,

2020 said that Gareth Hoole has

determined that Guru Travel

owes more than $370,000.

“Hoole had established that no

funds were held in trust for customers

and preliminary investigations

found it appeared that

the money was paid to a wholesaler

and used to settle ‘legacy

debt’ rather than to pay for customers'

travel. The liquidators

consider this to be irregular and

will continue to investigate that

matter with a view to consider

seeking to void transactions paid

to the ticketing consolidator/

wholesaler,” the report said.

Indian Newslink hopes that

the government will take up

the cause of the victims and examine

ways of redressing their

grievances.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

National List MPbased

in

Manukau East

Contact

A

P

F

E

1/131 Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland

09 278 9302

09 278 2143

bakshi.mp@parliament.govt.nz

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FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Demand for Culturally Arranged Visas woefully low

Venkat Raman

Contrary to popular

belief and in total

variance of the hoo-ha

made a few months ago

in New Zealand, the demand

for the so-called ‘Culturally

Arranged Visa’ is not high.

Immigration Minister Iain

Lees-Galloway told Indian

Newslink from Mumbai last

fortnight that less than a third

of the applicants contacted

had responded to the revised

scheme.

“Last year, following

complaints from people about

the rigid requirements of

Immigration New Zealand

(INZ), email messages were

sent to 800 individuals

whose applications for visas

were declined under the old

guidelines. They were asked

to submit a new application

for a Visitor Visa following

changes made to this category.

However, to date, only 257

persons have taken up the

offer to submit a new application,

of which 113 were

approved, four declined and

the rest are being processed.

We are now contacting the

others again by email,” he

said.

Mr Lees-Galloway, who

spent the day with INZ staff

in Mumbai today, paid tribute

to their dedication and commitment

to provide quality

service to customers.

“They are all working hard

to provide timely service

to people. However, the

complexity of cases and the

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-

Galloway at INZ Mumbai Office on

January 15, 2020

need to have in place appropriate

verification processes

invariably and inevitably

causes delays. Our goal is to

improve the quality of service

and reduce delivery time,” he

said.

Student Visa Applications

Mr Lees-Galloway described

student visas as a challenge

both in terms of quality

assessment and the time taken

to evaluate them.

“Every application for

student visas has to undergo

a series of checks and verifications

such as qualifications,

work experience, financial

arrangements and other

criteria. An application could

be approved in less than half

hour or could take weeks

depending on the information

and documents provided. Not

all information can be easily

verified,” he said.

“The focus of INZ is to take

the right decision and shift

from volume to value and

ensure that benefit accrues to

New Zealand,” he added.

Mr Lees-Galloway said

that the number of student

Are you looking

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Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway speaking to a member of INZ Staff

in Mumbai January 15, 2020

(Pictures Supplied)

visa applications for study

at Universities has been on

the rise, and that the share

of Polytechnics and Private

Training Establishments (PTEs)

has become smaller.

“International students

from India are increasingly

becoming aware of the high

quality of education offered by

Universities in New Zealand.

They are also becoming more

confident of brighter career

opportunities following their

education,” he said.

Rogue Education Agents

INZ is aware of some rogue

education agents who deliberately

mislead students with

false promises of 'automatic

jobs’ and ‘automatic residence

status’ after their arrival in New

Zealand.

While there is no specific

plan to go after these agents,

INZ constantly engages with

education providers who

appoint agents.

“However, we are watching

the situation very closely and

discourage providers from

dealing with agents of questionable

reputation. I believe that

the situation has improved

in recent years,” he said.

Visitor Visa delays

While Mr Lees-Galloway

sympathised with

applicants for visitor visas

who experience inordinate

delays in getting a response

frustrating in many cases

organisers of events in New

Zealand, his advise to

them was, “Please apply

well in advance, allowing

plenty of time for officials to

process the applications and

complete the verification

process.”

“We have recruited 177

additional staff across INZ

offices to cope with the rising

demand for our services.

Our Mumbai office has about

100 immigration staff, which

should be sufficient to meet

the current pressure. This

office will process mainly

student and visitor visas as

we have moved Partnership

visas to our Hamilton

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centre. I am confident that

people will experience vast

improvement in the services

provided in Mumbai,” he

said.

Permanent Residence Visas

The process for assessing

applications for Permanent

Residence Visas appears to

be on track, Mr Lees-Galloway

said.

“The volume of applications

in this category is well

above predictions. New

Zealand is seen as a great

destination for migrants to

settle, raise families, provide

education and pursue career

opportunities. I have positive

feelings about India,” he

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04

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Homelink

Development projects progress apace throughout Auckland

Agreement on Ihumatao expected by Waitangi Day

Sourced Content

Phil Goff

It was great to enjoy a sunny

Auckland Anniversary weekend

and to look forward to the last

month of Summer, even if we are

back at work!

Recently, I have been getting

around the City to look at the

progress we are making on transport

and other infrastructure.

Just before Christmas, we officially

opened the completion of two major

motorway projects, with extra lanes

opened from Manukau to Papakura

and from Lincoln Road to Westgate.

This will help free up traffic and,

with separated cycle and walking

The Kiingitanga flag at

Ihumatao has come down and

Kiingitanga representatives

say a positive resolution is

expected ahead of Waitangi Day.

Kiingi Tuheitia arrived at Ihumatao

this morning after a fence was removed

by Fletcher Building yesterday

sparking talks that a settlement was

close.

About 60 people from both the

Kiingitanga and protest group Save

Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) were

at the ceremony for the return of the

flag.

The King had visited the site

- which neighbours historically

significant Otuataua stonefields and

Kiingi Tuheitia at Ihumatao (RNZ Photo by

Dan Cook)

has been occupied by mana whenua

protesting the construction of 480

homes for years - last August, and

raised his manawa as a symbol of

The Manukau-Papakura Motorway

(NZTA Picture)

lanes built in conjunction with

both projects, and bus lanes on the

North-Western, we are providing

transport choices.

Just over a week ago, I participated

in the launch of a $70 million project

to ease traffic congestion to the

airport and its employment precinct,

where in coming decades another

27,000 jobs will be created. Due to be

opened early next year, there will be

new shoulder lanes on State Highway

20B for buses and cars carrying three

passengers or more, and, again,

cycleways and walkways. The upgraded

road will connect the airport

area with the new $60 million, 21st

century bus/rail transport station at

Puhinui.

Transport options

Encouraging transport options

both helps ease traffic congestion—a

key concern in Auckland—and

reduces carbon emissions and air

pollution.

I also spent time recently in Manukau,

Northcote and at the Waterfront

Precinct looking at transformative

projects for urban regeneration in

these areas.

In Manukau, we are implementing

plans to regenerate the town centre,

improve parks, clean up the Puhinui

Stream and create new affordable

housing.

In Northcote, we are in the process

of rebuilding the old 1960s town

centre, creating a greenway around

peace and unity.

The protests had gained

momentum last July after some of

the occupying mana whenua were

served eviction notices on the land,

which was confiscated from Maori

in 1863.

The Kiingitanga gathered the

different groups involved together

in September, and it was made clear

mana whenua wanted the land

returned to them.

Details to be confirmed

Details of a resolution are yet to

be confirmed but in a statement

this morning, representatives of

Kiingi Tuheitia said the King’s work

was largely concluded with the

expectation of a positive resolution

the Awataha Stream and building

more intensive housing.

Waterfront Development

The waterfront development for

the America’s Cup, starting around

this time next year, is on time and

within budget.

The international spotlight will be

on Auckland from early next year

and it will be an exciting and vibrant

time for Aucklanders and visitors

alike.

The Cup will bring major expenditure

to Auckland over the coming

12 months, generating jobs and prosperity.

In the longer term, there will

be the legacy of new parks including

on the Wynyard Point headland and

a linear park on the eastern side of

the Point, as well as a new waterfront

park next to the ferry building.

A new maritime industry precinct

is being built, permanent measures

ahead of Waitangi Day.

“There’s still some work to do, but

Kiingitanga is satisfied that now is

the time to retrieve the flag from Ihumatao.

In essence, Kiingi Tuheitia’s

work is done. He has successfully

interceded on behalf of his people to

find a pathway to a resolution that is

outside of the Treaty process.”

In the release, the Kiingitanga

acknowledged the patience and hard

work of others, particularly Prime

Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“It’s been a challenging process

and we will be better for it as a

people and a nation.”

The government has said it

acknowledges the significance of the

Kiingi Tuheitia’s decision today to

lower his flag at Ihumatao.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson

said he recognised the King’s expert

put in place to clean up water quality

in the Halsey Street Basin, and permanent

facilities created for a range

of maritime sports.

It is also good to reflect on progress

on the 14 km Central Interceptor,

running from Grey Lynn to the

Mangere Waste Treatment Plant.

This will cater for Auckland’s

growing population and massively

reduce wastewater spills into the

harbour, which for decades have

polluted our beaches. This project

will be complete in 2024.

All this work on infrastructure

inevitably causes some short-term

disruption, but the long-term

outcome is a better and more

sustainable City for all of us, and for

generations to come.

Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland. He

writes a regular column for

Indian Newslink

leadership in a complex situation

and commitment to finding a way

through which all parties could be

happy.

Government’s assurance

He said that the government would

continue to work with all parties to

reach a resolution, and were mindful

of Fletcher Building’s position as the

legal owner of the land.

He said a satisfactory settlement

with them was an important part of a

resolution.

A spokesperson for Kiingi Tuheitia,

Rukumoana Schaafhausen, said that

the resolution to the Ihumatao land

dispute would not include funding

from Waikato-Tainui.

The above Report and Pictures

have been published under a

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FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Unacceptable delays disrupt

traffic flow in East Auckland

Reeves Road Flyover project hangs fire since 2006

Simeon Brown

Pakuranga needs Transport

Certainty

2020 is shaping up to

be a busy and exciting

year.

Not only is it an election

year, there are a number of

significant issues which need

addressing in Pakuranga. I

looking forward to advocating

them on your behalf.

Transport will remain at the

top of my list.

Just this week, I met with

Mayor Phil Goff to discuss the

Auckland Manukau Eastern

Transport Initiative (AM-

ETI)-Eastern Busway Project,

which is currently under

construction between Panmure

in Pakuranga.

Inordinate delays

The purpose of the meeting

was to raise concerns about the

timing of the project which East

Auckland has been waiting for

since 2006 when the project

was first mooted, with the

completion date in 2025.

Last year, Auckland Transport

said there would be another

delay in the planning for the

Busway between Pakuranga

and Panmure and a delay in

construction of the Reeves Road

Flyover.

My message to the Mayor

was that the community needs

certainty and wants to see

action.

There is concern over

Auckland Transports ability to

deliver projects to announced

timeframes.

The delay in construction of

the Reeves Road Flyover could

mean additional construction

impacts on traffic as this will

now likely be built at the same

time as the Busway between Pakuranga

and Botany. All through

a busy transport corridor.

Land owners in Pakuranga

have operational decision-making

over Auckland Transport, I

hope that my advocacy to him

will ensure more accountability

of the decisions Auckland

Transport make in East Auckland

and better engagement

for our community in these

decisions.

I will continue to advocate

for better transport and more

transport choice in Pakuranga

and for certainty for the

remaining stages of the Eastern

Busway and Reeves Road

Flyover.

I will also continue to work

with Auckland Transport to

ensure that the traffic can

An artist’s impression of the Reeves Road Flyover

affected by the Busway and move while the construction is

Flyover need certainty so they underway.

can make development plans. I was concerned by the

With a delay of another 18 extreme delays caused by lane

months for Auckland Transport closures on Pakuranga Road

to finally decide where the and Lagoon Drive during the

new busway and Reeves Road week beginning January 13,

Flyover will go, this impact on 2020.

any plans these land owners While everyone expects some

may have and their ability to delays due to new roads being

make final decisions.

constructed, these delays were

Better communication needed unacceptable.

I also made it clear that the Simeon Brown is elected

community expects better Member of Parliament from

communication from Auckland Pakuranga and National Party

Transport about this project Associate Spokesperson for

going forward.

Education, Tertiary Education,

Skills and Whilst the Mayor does not

Employment.

Quality and affordable brand new homes

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06

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Educationlink

Student numbers from India continue to rise

More than 42,500 student visas approved since 2017

Venkat Raman

No, the immigration

doors for students

from India are

neither shut nor

ajar- in fact they are wide

open, and the number of

students has registered a

significant rise- 33.3% in the

past three years, if you were to

analyse the figures that have

just been received by Indian

Newslink from Immigration

New Zealand (INZ).

Enrol now in courses starting soon

Learn English with us

in class / for work / at home

LOW

COST*

However, along with the

number of approvals, the

number of applications

rejected for various reasons

was high in 2019.

According to INZ, the total

number of student applications

approved for the threeyear

period covering January

1, 2017 and December 31,

2019 was 42,646 (as against

53,670 applications received).

This figure represented a

significant rise of 33.3%

over the three-year period

To contact your centre

www.englishlanguage.org.nz

*Many courses are free

All Student Visa applications decided for Indian nationals from

1 January to 31 December 2019 (Includes decided and completed applications)

Reference Adh 8077 using AMS at 11 January 2020

Calander

Decision Type

Year

Decided Provider Type Approved Declined Total Approval Rate

University 1758 90 1848 95%

2017 Non University 12,687 3325 16,012 79%

Total 14,445 3415 17,860 81%

University 2040 93 2133 96%

2018 Non University 11,410 2183 13,593 84%

Total 13,450 2276 15,726 86%

2019

University 2937 262 3199 92%

Non University 11,814 5161 16,975 70%

Total 14,751 5423 20,174 73%

Grand Total 42,646 11,114 53,760 79%

covering 2014 to 2016- a total of

32,024 applications approved

(as against 61,564 applications

received).

The number of student visas

approved during 2019 was

14,751, compared to 13,450 in

2018 and 14,445 in 2017. During

the previous three years, the

number of student visas approved

was 7503 (2016), 12,584

(2015) and 11,937 (2014).

Based on the above statistics,

our analysis shows that the

average approval rate rose from

52% during 2014-2016 to 79%

during 2017-2019 three-year

periods.

New Zealand not the first

choice

A Radio New Zealand Report

of July 11, 2016 said that New

Zealand is not the first choice

study destination for most

Indian students.

“Countries like US, UK, Canada

and Australia are usually on the

top of the wish list. But when

the New Zealand Qualifications

Authority (NZQA) decided to

change the rules, the country

experienced an unprecedented

surge in Indian students wanting

to study here – what started

as a wave, quickly became a

tsunami,” the report said.

RNZ also said that more

students mean more money

pumped into the New Zealand

economy.

“The bad news is it is not

exactly going to plan. Over the

past few years, more and more

accounts of cheating, immigration

fraud, shoddy agents,

exploitation of workers and

low-quality education providers

have emerged. However, much

of its happens behind the scenes

or even before students land on

New Zealand soil,” the report

said.

Rise in approval and decline

The number of student visa

applications declined during

2019 was 5423, compared to

2276 in 2018 and 3415 in 2017.

The approval rate in 2019

was therefore the lowest at

73% while it was 86% in 2018

and 81% the year before. The

drop in approval rate could be

attributed to several factors including

incomplete applications,

genuineness of qualification certificates,

unverifiable financial

arrangements and other factors.

Immigration Minister Iain

Lees-Galloway told Indian

Newslink that INZ now has

additional 177 staff to ensure

faster and more efficient

processing of applications for all

types of visas.

With Partnership visas

now shifted to Hamilton, the

Mumbai and Delhi offices of

INZ will be able to concentrate

on student visa and visitor visa

applications, he said.

Student visa challenges

“Every application for student

visas has to undergo a series of

checks and verifications such as

qualifications, work experience,

financial arrangements and

other criteria. An application

could be approved in less than

half hour or could take weeks

depending on the information

and documents provided. Not all

information can be easily verified.

The focus of INZ is to take

the right decision and shift from

volume to value and ensure that

benefit accrues to New Zealand,”

Mr Lees-Galloway had told us

from Mumbai on January 15,

2020.

He said that there was a rise

in the number of applications

for university education, which

is testified by statistics.

University education

The total number of student

visa applications approved for

university education stood at

2937 as at the end of December

2019, registering an increase

of 44% over the previous year

(2040) and about 79% over

the approval numbers in 2017

(1758).

Polytechnics and Private

Training Establishments (PTEs)

accounted for a lion’s share of

approvals during the three-year

period – 11,814 in 2019, 11,410 in

2018 and 12,687 in 2017.

Commenting on the Indian

Market, INZ said that India has

a young, ambitious population

who are becoming increasingly

affluent and mobile.

“This has led to significant

growth in the number of Indian

nationals seeking to study

internationally.

INZ Mumbai Area Office

primarily assesses student visa

applications from applicants in

India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh,

Nepal and Bhutan. The visa approval

rates reflect the relative

ease or difficulty of verifying information

across the respective

countries, and the level of fraud

and misrepresentation present,”

it said.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Long-term career options at

Manukau Institute of Technology

Following is a Statement

issued today by the Auckland

based Manukau Institute of

Technology (MIT):

Take advantage of this unique

opportunity and get access to longterm

career options where you can

make a real difference.

Maori and Pasifika health professionals

are in high demand and we

need more of our people helping our

people.

To support this demand, MIT, in

partnership with Counties Manukau

Health (CMH), is excited to provide

aspiring nursing and health students

with access to Te Ara Oranga, a new

health career pathway for Maori

and Pasifika.

Support and Choice

We recognise learning is different

for everyone and Te Ara Oranga will

support you in a way that suits you.

You will get access to a dedicated

support team that will work with

you to develop a personalised

learning journey. We will connect

you with a range of industry networks

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you to succeed throughout your

studies and when you are looking

for a job, so you can graduate with

confidence.

Choose from a range of recognised

nursing and health qualifications

and graduate with specialist skills to

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concepts of health and wellbeing

are taught alongside the standard

qualification requirements so you

graduate with an additional skill set.

The Courses

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Manukau Institute of Technology

(MIT) aims to deliver vocationally

focused tertiary education,

research and technology transfer

that ensures Auckland’s economy,

graduates and communities have

the capability and skills to achieve

their potential. Manukau Institute

of Technology is the Sponsor of the

‘Business Excellence in International

Trade with India’ Category

of the Thirteenth Annual Indian

Newslink Business Awards 2020.

Summer holidays plus Maths classes

would not normally add up.

But that is exactly what more

than 150 Auckland primary

school pupils signed up for: a holiday

Maths programme, combining a

Pasifika cultural approach with the

latest robotics technology.

Massey University Mathematics

researchers Dr Jodie Hunter and her

mother Professor Bobbie Hunter,

based at Massey University’s Institute

of Education in Auckland, have been

transforming Maths education for

Māori and Pasifika students in low

decile schools around Aotearoa.

They are thrilled that 115 pupils from

Pomaria Road School in West Auckland

gave up (last week) their skateboards,

PlayStations and other holiday activities

to attend morning workshops that

focused on STEM (Science, Technology,

Engineering and Maths) activities.

Dr Hunter said that 45 more pupils

from Point Chevalier’s St Francis School

attended parallel morning sessions.

Mathematical thinking

“By the second day, the numbers

increased, including older siblings of

those who signed up initially and went

home enthused about how fun it was,”

she said.

Professor Hunter, who completed

applied research for her PhD on a

culturally-sensitive Maths education

model in 2008, said that the programme

comprises Maths lessons on basic

facts and fractions, as well as interactive

activities that require Maths

thinking – including Lego, coding and

robotics, with youngsters programming

children-friendly Bee-Bot robots to get

through a maze.

Why fractions?

“If children understand fractions it

can really accelerate their learning.

Educationlink

Massey turns the Maths magic on school students

Supplied Content

07

Professor Bobbie Hunter with children (Photo from Massey News)

It is an area of Maths many typically the Developing Mathematics Inquiry

struggle with because, she says, fractions Communities method, supported and

are “counter-intuitive and difficult to funded by the Education Ministry.

understand,” Dr Hunter said.

Eight-year-old Kaiser attended the

Her approach is to teach fractions first day and says he enjoyed the Lego

through everyday examples, like how to activities, building a train and learning

divide banana cakes and chocolate bars about fractions. His mother said

between uneven numbers of people. that he is good at Maths and that the

The spirit of inquiry

programme “is a fun way to extend his

The holiday programme is based on learning and for him to mix with other

the ‘Developing Mathematics Inquiry children. He can get bored really quickly

Communities’ model they have developed

over the last decade. It centres wanting to leave.”

but he is really engaged now and not

on collective problem-solving and the Funded Programme

application of Pasifika values to create Evelyn (7) said that she liked building

a culturally relevant and meaningful a maze and programming the Bee-Bot

learning environment. It has helped (robot for children).

to significantly boost achievement

“I learned that you can make different

– particularly among pupils in lower fractions equal to a whole chocolate

socio-economic areas and has been bar,” she said.

adapted by educators teaching culturally

diverse groups around the world, Algebra education teaching to prima-

Dr Hunter, whose PhD was on early

including Niue and the Cook Islands, ry-aged children, said that the holiday

Singapore, the United States and Britain. programme is being funded through

Mazes, chocolate bars and Bee-Bots an allocation of the Government’s

Children attending the programme 2019 Wellbeing Budget focused on

will be helped by teaching mentors Pacific wellbeing and by Massey

trained by the Hunters, and who have University.

been working with teachers around She hopes the programmes will run in

New Zealand schools to implement school holidays throughout the year.

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08

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Fijilink

Fiji says ‘Thanks New Zealand’ for cyclone relief

Supplied Content

The Fijian government has

acknowledged the relief

assistance provided by the

New Zealand Ministry of

Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT),

saying it would help uplift the

lives of those in the Lau Group in

the Eastern Divisions, affected by

Tropical Cyclones Sarai and Tino.

The Fiji National Disaster Management

team and government

officials have been deployed to the

Southern Lau Group to provide

relief supplies to families who

have been affected by the recent

natural disasters.

Damage assessment

Through this partnership, MFAT

and New Zealand High Commission

in Fiji are working closely

with the Fiji National Disaster

Management Office (NDMO) in

conducting a detailed damaged assessment

in the Lau Island Group

and also in the procurement and

delivery of food rations targeting

5412 people for one month.

The assistance worth F$

254,471.40 is provided through

the New Zealand Aid Programme.

In commending this assistance,

Foreign Affairs, Defence and

National Security Minister Inia

Seruiratu conveyed his government’s

appreciation and gratitude

to the New Zealand Government.

Mr Seruiratu said that the assistance

will contribute significantly

towards rehabilitation efforts

and rebuilding the livelihood of

families affected by TC Sarai and

TC Tino.

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr (fifth from left) with officials of Fiji

National Disaster Management Office at the Suva Seaport on January 21, 2020

(Facebook Picture)

Reflection of commitment

Mr Seruiratu said that the

assistance by New Zealand is

a reflection of the country’s

commitment and support for

the welfare and wellbeing of the

Fijian people.

As neighbours in the Pacific

region, Fiji and New Zealand have

demonstrated great partnership

in building economic resilience

and sustainable development.

Fiji and New Zealand also

share a common vision in the

area of resilience building and

climate change adaptation as seen

through the strong leadership

of Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

and Jacinda Ardern, respectively

Prime Minister of Fiji and New

Zealand.

Rehabilitation Programme

The Fiji National Disaster Management

Office is coordinating

the rehabilitation programme

for Lau Group through a multi-partner

mission consisting of a

dedicated team of approximately

80 personnel, including officials

from NDMO, Commissioner for

Eastern Office, Roko Tui Lau

Office, Fiji Red Cross, Education,

RFMF, Ministry of Health, Water

Authority of Fiji, Ministry of Agriculture,

Department of Energy,

Offices of the Prime Minister

(Construction Implementation

Unit), Department of Government

Buildings and Architect, Fiji

Roads Authority, Telecom Fiji,

Agriculture Marketing Authority,

Department of Energy, Department

of Housing, Ministry of

Women, University of the South

Pacific – School of Geospatial

Science and Fiji Council of Social

Services.

European Union gifts Disaster

Preparedness Kits

EU gives disaster preparedness kits to NDMO

Supplied Content

European Union Ambassador

to Fiji and the Pacific Sujiro

Seam gifted more than fifty

Disaster Preparedness Kits to

Fiji’s Infrastructure and Transport,

National Disaster Management and

Meteorological Services Minister Jone

Usamate in Suva yesterday (January

27, 2020).

Mr Seam said that Fiji, like other

Pacific Island countries, is vulnerable

to life-threatening natural disasters,

as recently experienced.

“It is anticipated that the frequency

and intensity of natural disasters will

increase because of climate change.

Therefore, it is important that people

are well prepared to face natural

disasters. The EU is proud to provide

the NDMO these disaster preparedness

kits, which will definitely boost

Fijians’ ability to prepare and protect

their families from future natural

disaster,’’ he said,

The Kits, valued about $F 11,000

include a solar power bank, water

bottle, Mini first-aid, emergency

whistle, solar lantern, waterproof

raincoat and female hygiene pack in

a red dry bag.

Mr Usamate said, “We all know

that Fiji has an enduring relationship

with the European Union over many

years and we are very thankful to

European and the European Union

for this big assistance. This is an addition

to EU’s commitment towards Fiji

including the relocation of Tukuraki

EU Ambassador Sujiro Seam handing over a

Kit to Fiji’s Disaster Management Minister Jone

Usamate (Picture Supplied)

Contents of the Kit (Picture Supplied)

village, the upgrading of the National

Emergency Operations Centre

together with the Divisional and

the District Emergency Operations

Centres around the country.

The EU funded the Building Safety

and Resilience Project implemented

by the Pacific Community through

the EU-ACP Group of States and refurbished

nine Emergency Operations

Centres across Fiji in 2019, increasing

the country’s disaster preparedness

and communication abilities before,

during and after a disaster.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Action Plan to curb violence against women initiated

Supplied Content

Fiji will implement a National Action Plan to

Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

(VAWG), Women, Children and Poverty

Alleviation Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa

has said.

She said that Fiji will be the first Pacific Island

Country to have in place such a Plan.

“Fiji will also be one of the only two countries

globally along with Australia, to have an

evidence-based approach to preventing violence

against women and girls,” she said.

Ms Vuniwaqa was a speaking at a press conference

in Suva on Monday, January 13, 2020 along

Health and Medical Services Minister Dr Ifereimi

Waqainabete, Education, Heritage and Arts

Minister Rosy Akbar and Assistant Minister for

Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations,

Youth and Sports, Alvick Maharaj.

Government’s obligation

“The Government of Fiji recognises its obligation

to prevent violence against women and girls.

My Ministry will lead the development of a fiveyear

National Action to Prevent Violence against

Women and Girls (2020-2025). Once developed,

Fiji will be one of the only two countries in the

world to have a whole of government, inclusive,

evidence-based approach to prevent violence

against women and girls. Fiji National Action

Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and

Girls will focus on preventing domestic violence,

intimate partner violence and sexual violence

against women and girls with an emphasis

on stopping violence before it starts. Data and

evidence from Fiji demonstrate that these are the

most prevalent or widespread forms of violence

against women and girls which urgently need to

be addressed,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

She said that ten women in Fiji were killed by

their intimate partners in 2018.

“This is unacceptable. As a nation, we have a

shared responsibility to recognise, challenge and

prevent violent and disrespectful behaviour and

attitudes towards women and girls,” she said.

Epidemic of violence

Fiji is facing an epidemic of violence against

women and girls in both public and private

spaces.

Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini

Vuniwaqa speaking at the press conference in Suva on

January 13, 2020. Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete

is also in the picture. (Picture from Facebook)

Education Minister Rosy Akbar at the press conference

in Suva on January 13, 2020. Health Minister Dr Ifereimi

Waqainabete (Picture from Facebook)

The country has one of the highest recorded

rates of violence against women and girls globally,

with almost two out of three (64%) women

experiencing some form of physical or sexual

violence in their lifetime.

Ms Vuniwaqa challenged the media to show

responsibility and greater gender sensitivity

when they report on violence against women

and girls, saying that “because gender inequality

is at the core of the problem, gender equality

must be at the heart of the solution.”

Health and Medical Services Minister Ifereimi

Waqainabete said, “almost all survivors of

violence end up on the doorsteps of the health

sector even if they do not disclose the violence

they have experienced or explicitly seek care for

their injuries. Violence against women and girls

has health consequences that can be immediate

and acute, long-lasting and chronic, and/or fatal -

whether from prolonged illness and disability or

homicide.”

Manifestation of gender inequality

“To me, at its core, violence against women and girls in all

its forms is a manifestation of gender inequality, men and

boys’ power and control over women and a failure to recognise

the inherent equality and dignity of women and girls.

While Fijian women and girls bear the brunt of the violence,

the social, economic, physical, and psychological and health

costs cut more broadly across our society, ultimately harming

everyone,” he added.

Ms Akbar shared her personal experience of coming from a

family where domestic abuse often took place.

“Evidence also shows that certain groups of women, such as

younger women and girls, are at a higher risk of experiencing

violence. Family history of violence also significantly increases

the risk that girls and boys will experience or perpetuate

violence as adults. Men are more likely to become perpetrators

if they are beaten during their childhood. Women are more

likely to experience violence as an adult if they have also

witnessed or experienced violence as a child. This is the cycle

of violence that must be broken in our homes and families,”

she said.

Role of education

Ms Akbar said that education has a significant role to play in

transforming the root causes of violence against women and

girls as it is an important mechanism for the social, emotional

and psychological development of young people.

“Schools make ideal environment to challenge some of the

harmful social and cultural norms or standards that accept

violence towards others,” she said, emphasising the need for

strategic interventions including progressive gender sensitive

curriculums in schools at all levels.

Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity, Industrial

Relations, Youth and Sports, Mr Maharaj said that amongst

other stakeholders and priority areas that can support the

prevention of violence and girls, youth and sport is key.

Gender inequality

“There is no doubt that the action to stop violence against

women and girls in Fiji must be taken now; and it must happen

in full force and through every possible avenue. Sport can

be one of the most powerful platforms for social change. Sport

brings people together across the community and provides

the opportunity to involve a diverse range of individuals and

groups across the nation.”

He acknowledged that “we have also been plagued by

disturbing allegation and news of sexual violence and harassment

by high profile sportsmen.”

The ministers confirmed that the cause of violence against

women and girls is gender inequality and patriarchy, and

pledged their ministries’ collective commitment to develop

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and implement the National Action Plan,

with other partners.

The Measures

The five-year National Action Plan will

set out short, medium- and long-term

measures to prevent violence against

women and girls by challenging its

underlying root causes. It will influence

social norms, promote community leadership

and set a much stronger culture

of equal and respectful relationships

between men and women.

The Women, Children and Poverty

Alleviation (MWCPA) Ministry plans

to complete the development of the

National Action Plan by 2020.

UN Women is the primary technical

partner to the MWCPA in developing the

National Action Plan. UN Women’s technical

and financial support is provided

through the Pacific Partnership to End

Violence Against Women and Girls.

What key work has already been

undertaken?

Advisory Group Meeting

The Ministry of Women, Children and

Poverty Alleviation (MWCPA) organised

a small advisory consultation group

of experts and key stakeholders to

participate in a two-day meeting on December

4 and 5, 2019 to advance critical

discussions and agreement related to the

content and development of the National

Action Plan to Prevent VAWG.

It was attended by representatives of

various government ministries, women’s

human rights organisations, transgender

people’s human rights organisation, a

disabled people’s organisation (DPO),

faith-based organisations, health-care

service providers, nongovernmental

organisations, and other civil society

organisations.

This ‘kick-start’ meeting resulted in

reaching consensus on the root cause

and key risk factors/contributing factors

for VAWG in Fiji; the scope of violence

and agreement on shared language and

definitions to be used moving forward;

along with recommendations on the

process for developing the National

Action Plan.

In addition, the participants agreed to

form and be part of a wider Prevention

Advisory Group to support the development

of the National Action Plan.

A strategic outcome document was

developed and validated by all members

of the Prevention Advisory Group and is

the foundational first step to developing

the National Action Plan.

Technical guidance

The advisory working group provides

technical guidance to the Government

of Fiji in the development and roll out

of the national action plan. A core group

from the advisory group will further

accelerate action on next steps. Members

of the core group include Shamima Ali,

Coordinator of Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre,

Reverend Sereima Lomaloma, House

of Sarah, Nalini Singh, Executive Director

of Fiji Women’s Rights Movement,

Hannah Mara, House of Khameloen,

Prem Singh, Empower Pacific, Ashna

Shaleen, Executive Director Medical

Services Pacific, Josefa Ravula, Fiji Red

Cross Society; and representatives of

Government agencies.

The next steps

The National Action Plan will be

developed in a participatory manner,

engaging both government and nongovernment

actors alike, with responsibility

for various stages of design and implementation

assigned appropriately.

Based on the main recommendations

from the Prevention Advisory Group

meeting, the following key steps will be

taken: (a) A series of nationwide consultations

and dialogues with stakeholders

from key settings/sectors and communities

will be undertaken in 2020 to inform

the development of the National Action

Plan. This will be led by MWCPA and

partners. It will be inclusive, ensuring

the voices of ALL women and girls in

all their diversities are included (b) The

Prevention Advisory Group will provide

technical guidance to the Fijian Government

in the development and rollout

of the National Action Plan (c) A core

working group nominated from within

the Prevention Advisory Group will

further accelerate action and provide

strategic and technical oversight, and

endorsement of the National Action Plan

and processes as it develops.


10

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Homelink

Cairns Group advocates cut in

agricultural subsidies at Davos

A

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Park (RNZ Picture by Dom Thomas)

proposal to cut “trade and

production-distorting subsidies”

in the agricultural

sector by 2030 has set out

important measures to ensure a

fair agricultural trading system.

Speaking after attending meetings

of Trade Ministers in Davos,

Switzerland, Minister for Trade

and Export Growth David Parker

welcomed the joint proposal from

the 19-member “Cairns Group”

of agricultural exporting nations,

which includes New Zealand.

The following is his Statement:

These subsidies are harmful

to the environment and prevent

countries like New Zealand and

many developing countries from

competing fairly on the world

market.

All countries rely on a functioning

sustainable, affordable and

effective global food system.

For those of us who have built

exporting agricultural sectors it

is particularly important that we

continue the work to update the

WTO rules on agriculture.

The Cairns Group

The Cairns Group members

account for more than 25% of

world agricultural exports.

We also welcome renewed

efforts to address trade-distorting

subsidies on industrial goods.

This should form part of a

package of measures that also

address the long-standing concerns

in agriculture trade.

I am very pleased that

Switzerland had been included as

a negotiating partner to the Agreement

on Climate Change, Trade and

Sustainability (ACCTS) initiative,

joining New Zealand, Costa Rica,

Fiji, Norway and Iceland.

A joint statement by ACCTS

partners reaffirms the importance

of developing international trade

rules that support and advance

climate and broader sustainable

development objectives.

Trade policy can, and must play

a role in addressing the climate

change challenge, and our six

countries are ready to act now.

Negotiations are expected to

begin in March 2020.

During his visit to the 2020

World Economic Forum in Davos,

Mr Parker took part in a range of

sessions and met counterparts from

key WTO member countries.

Advancing trade agenda

Mr Parker said: “The meetings

were an opportunity to advance

New Zealand’s trade agenda before

the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference

to be held in Nur Sultan,

Kazakhstan, in June.

New Zealand will be pressing

hard for delivery at the Nur

Sultan meeting on world leaders’

commitment to eliminate harmful

fish subsidies by 2020. Both the

Cairns Group proposal and ACCTS

developments represent progress

in advancing our strategic trade

interests at a time when there is

considerable threat to the rules that

underpin the trading system.

“New Zealand is a leading voice

in global efforts to embed sustainable

trade practises, and we are at

the forefront of new multilateral

initiatives to shape an enduring and

enforceable rules-based trading system,

that creates a fair, level playing

field for all exporting nations.”

David Parker is Trade and Export

Growth Minister. He represented

New Zealand at the 50th Annual

Meeting of the World Economic

Forum held at Davos, Switzerland

from January 21 to 24, 2020.

Digital trade deal with Singapore, Chile agreed

A

new trade agreement

signed by the New Zealand

governments with the

governments of Singapore

and Chile will help exporters and

consumers take advantage of

opportunities offered by digital

trade.

Trade and Export Growth

Minister David Parker, Chile Vice

Trade Minister Rodrigo Yanez and

Singapore Trade and Industry Minister

Chan Chun Sing announced

that talks on a Digital Economy

Partnership Agreement (DEPA)

have been conclusive.

Keeping up with technology

Mr Parker said that New Zealand

has played a key role in this new

initiative to support digital trade

and that it is an important step in

making sure that trade rules reflect

the digital era.

“We have moved quickly since

launching negotiations in May

last year to bring this Agreement

together because we recognise that

international trade rules have not

kept up with the unprecedented

growth of digital trade. We believe

that small countries, not just large

ones, should help shape the new

rules,” he said.

Mr Parker said that DEPA will

make it easier for New Zealand

businesses and consumers to take

advantage of digital trade opportunities,

while protecting public and

private interests.

Pathfinder Agreement

“We think that this will be a

pathfinder agreement that will

apply initially to those countries

but will expand over time. We have

ensured that issues of importance

to New Zealanders such as the

Treaty of Waitangi, personal

Trade and Export Minister David Parker (INL File Photo)

privacy, consumer protection,

data management, transparency

and openness are appropriately

protected,” he said.

Digital technologies can help

small and medium-sized enterprises

overcome the challenges of scale

and distance, support greater

participation by women, Maori and

rural communities, to help spread

the benefits of trade widely, which

is a key aim of our Trade for All

policy, Mr Parker added.

Complementing WTO

“Digital trade is constantly

evolving. We may not know what

new technologies will emerge, but

we know it is valuable to have open

channels of communication with

close partners to discuss issues this

change can bring,” Mr Parker said.

According to him, DEPA complements

the ongoing WTO-based

negotiations on e-commerce, as well

as work within APEC and the OECD.

“It is consistent with our support

for multilateral rules, the DEPA is

an ‘open plurilateral’ agreement,

meaning it is open to other WTO

members who can meet its high

quality standards,” Mr Parker said.


FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Homelink

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12

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Viewlink

The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

ISSUE 431 | FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Nats still face the moral

issue on donations

National Party Leader

Simon Bridges was

rather quick to absolve

himself and his Party

of any wrongdoing, following an

announcement by the Serious

Fraud Office (SFO) on Wednesday,

January 29, 2020 that it had

filed criminal charges against

four persons over donations.

SFO filed the charges after

a ten-month inquiry into the

donations of a Chinese businessman

to the National Party. Mr

Bridges and his Party’s General

Manager Greg Hamilton have

not been charged.

While they are clear from the

legal point of view, questions on

the donations and their opaque

nature will continue to linger on

the minds of the people.

For, New Zealanders expect

their politicians to be squeaky

clean.

As Electoral Law expert

Andrew Geddis told Radio

New Zealand, “The question

is whether mere compliance

with the law is sufficient for

political parties. Is this sort of

fundraising morally acceptable,

no matter what the law may say

about it?”

Coronavirus, a new

terrorist strikes the world

The mysterious new coronavirus

does not seem

to abate, but spreading

faster, so it seemed as

we wrote this Leader.

China said that as of Wednesday,

January 29, 2020, 132 had

died from the virus, which is

believed to have originated in

the central City of Wuhan.

The number of confirmed

cases rose to 5974, up from 4515

recorded the previous day.

Understandable fear

Most of the confirmed cases

have been in the Central Chinese

Province of Hubei, where

several cities, including Wuhan,

the epi-centre of the outbreak,

have been placed under what

amounted to be a lockdown.

The Chinese government has

imposed a mandatory curfew

on more than 30 million people

and it is possible that hundreds

of millions more are changing

their plans willingly or because

they are being instructed to do

so.

There is understandable fear

among the people in general

and those living in mainland

China in particular. Countries

which have their citizens in

China, either on business or

pleasure are doing their best to

Wider implications

Sam Sachdeva, Political Editor

of Newsroom said that Mr

Bridges’ claims of vindication,

while strictly accurate, miss

the wider import of SFO’s

announcement.

Mr Geddis however told him

that it was the donors, rather

than the Party, who are likely to

be under the spotlight. “But it is

unsurprising that Mr Hamilton

has not been charged, given that

the Electoral Law allows a Party

Secretary to ‘take on the face

value’ any information provided

to them by a donor.’

“If Mr Hamilton was given

a list of names as having each

given an amount under $15,000,

and is able to confirm those

people existed, then all he had

to do was bank the money, keep

a record of them as having

donated, and include them in

the total number of donations

of that size reported to the

Electoral Commission.”

Somehow, the situation does

not sit well in the public realm.

It raised the whole question,

again, of greater transparency

of party funding.

bring them back home.

Australia has said that they

will be quarantined in Christmas

Island, while New Zealand

would provide necessary care

within the country.

About the Virus

Coronaviruses are a large

family of viruses that cause

illnesses ranging from the

common cold to more severe

diseases such as Severe Acute

Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

and the Middle East Respiratory

Syndrome (MERS).

According to the World

Health Organisation (WHO),

it is the seventh coronavirus

known to affect people. Human

coronaviruses can sometimes

cause lower-respiratory tract

illnesses such as pneumonia or

bronchitis.

The disease has seriously

affected China, which have

serious implications to the rest

of the world.

While the loss from tourist

revenue this time of the year

could be substantial, the closure

of factories can cascade through

the global economy.

This is perhaps time to consider

India as a viable alternative

for international business.

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 and social media 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: info@indiannewslink.co.nz; Websites: www.indiannewslink.co.nz;

www.inliba.com; www.inlisa.com

A few imperative and inevitable thoughts on Indian Republic Day

Venkat Raman

Many of us, born before

January 26, 1950 would

consider this day as more

significant than August 15,

1947 (the day on which India gained

independence from the British Rule)

because it was on this day that India

was ‘complete’ as a Nation, establishing

its own identity, with a National Flag,

a Constitution and most important

of all, steering its own destiny with

self-determination.

For many of us, Republic Day is a

solemn occasion.

The Pride of Parade

And those of us who participated

in the Republic Day Parade, one of the

most colourful and best in the world,

that pride of association would linger

for ever. For more than 40 days, we

braved the chilling Delhi weather, lived

in barracks and practiced for more

than 40 days to present ourselves as

young cadets before the then President

of India, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

That pride and honour, accorded to

us, was unique and remains fresh in

memory.

Republic Day celebrations are held

at Rajpath before the President of India

and a Head of State or government of

another country as the State Guest Of

Honour. The celebrations are held to

showcase India’s unity in diversity and

rich cultural heritage that includes ceremonious

parades, state-wise tableaus,

award distribution by the President and

more.

Mexico President Jair Messias

Bolsonaro will be the Guest of Honour

this year.

The Pride of Constitution

I have always considered the Indian

Constitution to be ‘the most complete’

and ‘all-embracing’ document,

giving shape and character to the

Indian Nation. Led by Dr Bhimrao

Ramji Ambedkar as Chairman of the

Constituent Assembly which drafted the

voluminous document, the Constitution

is the supreme law of India. It has determined

the framework demarcating

fundamental political code, structure,

procedures, powers, and duties of

government institutions and set out

fundamental rights, directive principles,

and the duties of citizens.

It is the longest written constitution

in the world.

It imparts Constitutional Supremacy

(not Parliamentary Supremacy, since it

was created by a Constituent Assembly

rather than Parliament) and was

adopted by its people with a declaration

in its preamble.

Parliament cannot override the

constitution.

The Constitution was adopted by

the Constituent Assembly of India on

November 26, 1949 and became effective

on January 26, 1950. It replaced

the Government of India Act, 1935 as

the country’s fundamental governing

document, and the ‘Dominion of India’

became the ‘Republic of India.’ Ensuring

Constitutional Autochthony, the

founding fathers repealed all the earlier

Acts of the British Parliament.

The Indian Constitution has assigned

India as a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular,

The Constitution of India

(Original) (From Wikipedia)

Modern India is ready for business with the

world (Wikimedia Commons Photo)

Democratic Republic, guaranteeing its

citizens justice, equality and liberty,

endeavouring to promote fraternity.

The Original Constitution

The original 1950 constitution is

preserved in a helium-filled case at the

Parliament House in New Delhi. The

words “Secular” and “Socialist” were

added to the Preamble in 1976 during

the state of emergency declared by

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. When

she Parliament to be ‘above the Constitution,’

the Supreme Court of India

heard arguments saying, ‘Parliament

is a Creature of the Constitution; the

Creature cannot destroy its Creator.’

The Pre-Constitution Period

Most of the Indian Subcontinent was

under British rule until 1947.

From 1947 to 1950, the same legislation

continued to be implemented

as India was a Dominion of Britain.

Freedom Fighter and Independent

India’s First Deputy Prime Minister Sardar

Vallabhai Patel and Constitutional

Advisor and Political Reforms Commissioner

Vappala Pangunni Menon (V P

Menon) convinced various Princely

States to sign the Articles of Integration

with India, and the British government

continued to be responsible for the

external security of the country.

The Constitution of India repealed

the Indian Independence Act 1947 and

Government of India Act, 1935 when it

became effective on January 26, 1950.

And hence the significance of this Day.

The State of India today

Until two years ago, India was the

fastest growing economy in the world,

with a high rate of foreign direct

investment (FDI). The Narendra Modi

government, which initiated, ‘Make In

India’ programme in September 2014,

committed investments valued at US$

230 billion, while investment inquiries

worth US$ 21 billion were made over

the next 18 months.

As a result, India emerged in 2015

as the top destination globally for FDI,

surpassing USA and China with US$ 60

billion. Investment is allowed in almost

all sectors of the economy, except Space

Industry (74%), Defence Industry (49%)

National integrity at risk over political funding

Sourced Content

In November 2019, Transparency

International UK launched the updated

Anti-Corruption Pledge Tracker.

This global Tracker monitors the

progress of the commitments made by

governments at the 2016 Anti-Corruption

Summit held in London.

It is common for country leaders

to move on to their next challenge,

even when the last has not yet been

completed.

The global body, Transparency

International (TI), makes a strong case

for the pledges to continue to be a focus

of governments. TI regularly scrutinises

governments to ensure accountability

in their fulfilment of those promises,

suitably maintained for relevance.

Tracking commitments

For the past three years, TI has been

tracking progress of anti-corruption

commitments made at the Summit

through Transparency International UK

(TIUK)’s Promise to Practice Project.

Civil society’s role in picking up the

baton and ensuring countries are held

accountable has proven to be vital. This

is because governments that attended

the London Summit at then Prime

Minister David Cameron’s invitation,

did not adopt any formal mechanism

for implementation of the Summit

commitments.

Three years of pledge tracking have

identified big trends in the progress of

commitments related to certain themes

India’s First Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru attesting

the Indian Constitution

Republic Day Parade 2019 in Delhi

and Media (26%).

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was

re-elected with a whopping majority in

May 2019- winning 303 seats on its own

and 36 more seats with its National

Democratic Alliance in the 54-member

Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament),

a consideration improvement

over the May 2014 general election at

which the Party won 282 seats, again

with absolute majority.

Article 370, CAA and NRC

Year 2019 saw major changes to the

Constitution of India- revocation of Article

370 of the Constitution that accorded

a special status to Jammu & Kashmir,

enforcement of the Citizenship Amendment

Act providing a path to Indian

citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist,

Jain, Parsi and Christian minorities who

had fled persecution from Pakistan,

Bangladesh and Afghanistan before

December 2014.

The latter led to riots in many parts

of the world. Concerns have been

expressed that these changes are a

move to make India a ‘Hindu Nation’

(or ‘Hindutva’) deriding the letter and

spirit of the Indian Constitution which

accords a Secular status.

We have discussed these issues from

time to time in Indian Newslink and on

social media platforms but these are

not the purpose of our tribute to India

on its Republic Day.

Notwithstanding a myriad of

problems, Indians are confident of confronting

the challenges with a high note

of resilience. Perception of the future

is conditioned by cautious optimism,

although economists and analysts say

there is no need for major concern.

India is today recognised as an

emerging economic powerhouse of the

world. More Indians overseas want

to do business with India and more

Indians in India want to do business

with overseas.

The emerging scenario is complex

but one factor is clear: Indians, including

the Diaspora, feel a sense of pride

and belonging and enterprise more

than anytime in the past.

such as beneficial ownership or asset

recovery, as well as identifying specific

country case studies and lessons learned.

This is written up in a report ”Advocacy

in Action”

TINZ efforts

Together with 21 countries worldwide,

Transparency International New Zealand

(TINZ) supported TIUK in collecting

data for their innovative and interactive

global pledge tracker.

Monitoring 170 commitments towards

#anticorruption and compiling the

data, provides informative stories of

#AdvocacyInAction!

Of the countries whose pledges are

being tracked, 45% of commitments to

whistle-blower protection are completed

and overall, 31% of all commitments are

completed.

Source: Transparency Times, Transparency

International New Zealand,

Wellington.


FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Businesslink

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14

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Businesslink

Economic indictors bring good news for New Zealanders

Dr Deborah Russell

The economy is doing well!

That is the take-home

message from all the detailed

economic indicators.

The most recent growth rate

comes in at 2.4%, unemployment

continues to hover down around

4%, and inflation is sitting at 1.5%.

We are growing faster than

Australia, the UK, Canada, the EU,

Japan and the OECD average.

This is an excellent result.

There is more good news in the

government’s financial statements.

The latest results for the five

months ended November 30, 2019

show that the accounts are in surplus,

and government expenses

are tracking along close to the

forecast.

Debt remains low at 20.1% of GDP

and investment gains are higher

than forecast.

Positive result

The Crown financial statements

do tend to fluctuate from month

to month due to tax timing changes,

but nevertheless, as Finance

Image from business.govt.nz

Minister Grant Robertson said, this

is a positive result.

Business confidence is beginning

to improve.

Traditionally, it tends to be higher

than they are under National

governments.

This is because some business

people assume that they would

not do as well under Labour, even

when the evidence does not correlate

with the actual state of the

economy.

Fortunately, the latest business

confidence survey shows that

many business sectors are more

upbeat about the future and many

people recognise the importance

of social and environmental factors

on business.

What do these positive results

mean for small business owners

who play such a pivotal part in our

communities and our economy?

Small business complexity

It means small businesses will

continue to do well, with more

people in employment there are

more customers spending more

money.

When there is more money circulating

in the economy, it increases

prosperity for everyone.

The government does acknowledge

that the complexity of running

a small business is often

underestimated. Managing cash

flow and tax payments, as well

as actually running the business

can be challenging. Also, when we

have low unemployment it can be

difficult to attract and retain qualified

staff.

The newly launched Business

Boost initiative will help with

many of these challenges.

It provides mentoring and advice

for small businesses across a

range of topics, such as staff management,

cash flow planning, and

interacting with government.

The website for Business Boost

can be found here: https://www.

tools.business.govt.nz/boost/

Even though the economy is

ticking along nicely, it needs to be

looked after and supported, particularly

in the face of the global

headwinds we are facing from issues

like the US-China trade war

and Brexit uncertainty – which are

having an impact on businesses

here. We know we’re not immune

to the global situation. The budget

surplus and low debt give us the

opportunity for further investments

to strengthen the economy.

Infrastructure investment

That is why the government has

recently announced a $12 billion

investment in infrastructure.

This investment will have a dual

benefit: we get the public transport

and hospitals and schools that we

State of the economy may restrict fiscal manoeuvrability

Challenges facing Indian Finance Minister over Budget 2020

Satya Mohanty

While one way of looking

at the Union

Budget is through the

lens of accounting, it

is also an important tool for changing

the behaviour of an economy

by optimal allocation of real

resources.

The irony of the current situation

is that a lot is expected

from the government in a stagflation-like

situation when fiscal

space is highly restricted.

India’s tax to GDP ratio is falling

slowly and is expected to be below

7% of GDP.

Income tax has grown at 3%

against targeted 19%. CGST still

continues to be problem growing

much below the nominal growth

rate of the economy though it

has perked up during the last two

months. Net shortfall in revenue is

expected to be 0.5% of GDP.

Austerity Budget

Expenditure has been compressed

and essentially an austerity

budget is in place.

The fiscal deficit is likely to see

a slippage to 3.75% against targeted

3.3%.

Given this background, the

clamour for an income tax cut

on one hand and redistributive

spending on the other is gaining

force. Having reduced the corporate

tax rate which brings down

revenue by Rs 1.57 lakh crore,

now the argument for reduction

is personal income tax and GST is

ostensibly from an equity angle.

An increase in redistributive

spend is pushed as an argument

for easing the hardship of a large

number of people who have been

affected by the slowdown.

And why not, considering the reduction

in corporate tax rates was

itself a leap of faith which did not

immediately result in increased

investment, with India Inc sitting

on Rs 6 lakh crore because current

capacity utilization is 70% only.

Expectations demand that the

government invests to reverse

the slowdown through infrastructure

spend and productive

expenditure.

Targeting fiscal consolidation

In the background of slippages

in fiscal deficit targets, fiscal consolidation

is more likely to become

a medium-term target over a period

of four years without being an

immediate bother for the government.

Logically, the government

is expected to go for expenditure

route to provide stimulus to the

slowing economy rather than by

providing tax cuts.

With the public sector being

stretched with an expanded fiscal

deficit and public debt being 69%

of the GDP currently, fiscal manoeuvrability

is extremely limited.

But the government has indicated

preference for investment driven

growth.

The introduction of the National

Infrastructure Pipeline by introducing

a tax cut is a pointer to the

preferred course. Redistributive

spending during such time is unlikely

to grow beyond the nominal

GDP growth rate.

Quality expenditure in productive

areas designated as rail, road,

urban, etc may revive the demand

in the core sector and improve the

revenue base for the future.

But the dividend income from

RBI at Rs. 1.57 lakh crore is one off

in nature and divestment target

of BPCL and Air India may show

slippage.

There is some hope that the

pending judgment of the Telecom

case in Supreme Court could result

in an upside in expected telecom

proceeds. But that may not be

enough.

Wealth Tax possible

Given the sub-par performance

of tax revenue — there will be further

loss because of reduction in

corporate tax — the government

Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Minister of State for Finance

Anurag Singh Thakur before the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Friday,

July 5, 2019 (PIB Picture)

will have to think in terms of new

taxes such as a wealth tax.

In India, wealth is substantially

more concentrated than income.

Credit Suisse’s estimation is the

share of the top 1% of the population

of India is 53% of wealth.

Economist Ruchir Sharma found

out a few years ago that out of 2.5

million millionaires only 40,000

file tax returns. First thing the government

should try to do is bring

these eight million persons into the

wealth tax net with 1 % tax every

year for property and capital value

until monetisation of wealth takes

place .

As per Karvy Private, personal

wealth of individuals in India was

Rs 450 lakh crore in FY’ 2019.

With direct equity accounting

for over 60%, fixed deposit, insurance

and cash being 14% and

physical asset being Rs 167 lakh

crore.

By 2024 it is likely to be Rs 800

lakh crore.

This new scenario asks for

new taxes. A wealth tax at 1% by

self declaration but explaining

every holding with a threshold

of 30 crore can be the beginning.

Meanwhile, geo- tagging etc can

go on. But nearly 70% is in direct

equity and other trackable

investment.

Hence wealth tax on them can

be easily collected. The difference

is tax will be collected in advance

of monetisation with provision for

final adjustment when final monetisation

takes place. This may provide

an impetus to investment in

real assets.

While reduction of corporate tax

has provided an incentive for capital

accumulation within the firm,

this may do the reverse.

Withdrawing subsidies

Resolute action on withdrawing

some counter productive subsidies

will release certain amount

of expenditure rigidity. Except

food subsidy, which is part of a legal

mandate, both fertiliser and petroleum

subsidy can be rolled back

to release Rs 1.2 lakh crore, which

will be 0.6% of the GDP.

This will enable the government

to take up schemes it intends to

and to moderate fiscal deficit.

Fertiliser subsidy has led to the

gold-plating of fertiliser companies’

accounts and the distribution

of benefit has been between the industry

and the farmers.

A highly subsidised nitrogenous

fertiliser rules supreme at the cost

need to support our population, and

at the same time, our businesses get

more guaranteed work on big projects,

which enables them to keep

employing more people and spreading

the wealth throughout the different

sectors of the economy.

The government recognises that

not all businesses can participate in

building a new road or big new hospital.

The extra funding for school

maintenance announced late last

year is intended to benefit local

businesses and communities by creating

smaller scale projects that give

work to local tradies.

Spreading the wealth in this way

supports the economy and helps

future-proof it against economic

shocks. Of course, it also means that

our children, and the people who

work in schools, have good conditions

to learn and teach in.

That a win for all of us.

Getting the economy running

right is a complex and difficult task.

So far, the government is doing

well, as all the positive economic indicators

show.

That’s a great outcome for the

country.

Deborah Russell is elected Labour

Member of Parliament from

New Lynn (West Auckland) and

Chairperson of the Parliamentary

Select Committee on Finance &

Expenditure.

of phosphoric and potash.

Over-usage of urea in turn has led

to the reduction of production while

increasing expenditure.

To improve acceptability of subsidy

roll back the present Rs. 6000

under PM Kisan can be enhanced

to Rs 7000. Petroleum subsidy of Rs

40,000 crore need to be withdrawn

except for LPG subsidy to Ujjwala

beneficiaries.

Subsidies of 10%-20% of the cylinder

cost is not very consequential.

Kerosene subsidy is nothing but a

continuation of legacy.

Revenue forgone in the form of

tax exemptions and incentives to

corporates was Rs 1.09 lakh crore

during 2018-2019. Since the corporate

tax rates have been brought

down substantially, some of these

exemptions need to be withdrawn.

Unusual problems require unusual

solutions.

New instruments needed

One cannot battle current fiscal

crisis with the tools and instruments

used in the previous crisis.

The features and contours of the crisis

have changed and require new

instruments and a new way of tackling

the crisis.

The narrative of the traditional

economics which has become a

gospel believes that taxing wealth

would inevitably result in slower

growth, fewer jobs and lower

incomes taking a leaf from the inverse

relationship between taxes

and growth is not unassailable as it

is not supported by data, particularly

when there is a small tax.

Experience and empirics point in

the reverse direction.

Similarly, withdrawal of dysfunctional

subsidy does not exacerbate

deprivation.

The Finance Minister will have to

bite the bullet.

Satya Mohanty is Former

Secretary to the Government

of India and currently Adjunct

Professor of Economics at Jamia

Millia Islamia University based in

New Delhi.


FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Businesslink

Indian government puts up Air India for sale, again

Venkat Raman

India’s National Flag Carrier is

for sale, again.

Air India, which was once

the pride of the aviation industry

and an epitome of service and

creativity, is in serious financial

crisis, with some experts saying

that if there are no takers, the

airline will be forced to crash and

become extinct.

Woes of the Carrier

They say that the airline, which

has more than US$ 8 billion in

debts, is losing about US$ 2 million

every day. Air India’s current woes

have been attributed to low fares

and low-profit orchestrated by

unhealthy competition. More importantly,

India’s Open Sky Policy

has encouraged almost all other

national carriers to operate into

the country, increasing capacity.

A government notification said

that Ernst & Young LLP India has

been appointed Transaction Advisor

and that the bid for the airline

will close March 17, 2020.

The sale will not include, among

others, Air India’s iconic building

at Nariman Point, Mumbai and

Corporate Headquarters located

near Connaught Place in New

Delhi.

A similar open market sale

announcement in 2018 did not

enlist even a single response.

According to Bloomberg, bidders

this time should agree to absorb

Air India will soar again under new ownership

$3.26 billion of its debt.

The entire company will be sold

but effective control will be with

Indian nationals.

About Air India

Air India was founded by J R D

Tata as ‘Tata Airlines’ in 1932.

A licensed pilot, Mr Tata himself

flew the first singe-engine de

Havilland Puss Moth, carrying mail

from Karachi (now in Pakistan)

to the then Juhu aerodrome in

Bombay (now Mumbai).

This flight was later extended to

Madras (now Chennai).

After World War II, in 1946, Tata

Airlines became a public limited

company and was renamed Air

India. In 1948, the Indian government

purchased 49% stake and in

1953, nationalised it.

On February 21, 1960, the airline

took delivery of its first Boeing

707, named it ‘Gauri Shankar,’ and

became the first airline to induct a

jet aircraft to its fleet.

JRD Tata, the founder of Tata Airlines, predecessor to

Air India (Wiki Commons Media)

In 2000-2001, attempts were

made to privatise Air India.

From being one of the most

profitable airlines, known for

excellent inflight cuisine, entertainment

and service, Air India

became a loss-making company in

2007, after its merger with Indian

Airlines, India’s largest domestic

carrier, which also went into rough

weather.

Currently, Air India operates

domestic and Asian destinations

through its subsidiaries ‘Alliance

Air’ and ‘Air India Express.’

Air India’s mascot is the Maharaja

(Emperor) and its logo consists

of a flying swan and the wheel of

Konark inside.

Seven things to know about the

Sale (from NDTV)

The government is determined

to sell 100% stake in Air India,

which is operating domestic and

international routes.

March 17, 2020 is the deadline

Air India advertisements were known for their creativity

and humour

for potential buyers to submit

their initial expressions of interest,

agreeing to assume about US$3.26

billion debt, with other liabilities

While several of Air India’s

subsidiaries will be excluded from

the sale, the buyer will get 100%

of low-cost arm Air India Express

and 50% of AISATS, which provides

cargo and ground handling services

at major Indian airports, the bid

document showed. The deal will

not also include four Boeing 747

aircraft, reserved for VVIP travel.

Control of the carrier will

remain with an Indian entity,

limiting the scope of any foreign

bidders interested in the asset. The

successful bidder will control the

airline’s 4400 domestic landing and

parking slots and 1800 international

slots at Indian airports, as well

as 900 slots at overseas airports.

In 2018, the government had

tried to sell 76% stake in the ailing

carrier and offload about US$5.1

Enforceable ethical standards gain relevance in Australia

Howard Whitton

(Australia’s) Prime Minister Scott

Morrison has asked the Head of his

Department to investigate whether

Bridget McKenzie violated ministerial

standards when she dispensed

sports grants to clubs in marginal

seats and those being targeted by

the Coalition in last year’s election.

Fragile democracy

It is generally accepted by

Australians that “public office is a

public trust.”

The nature and extent of that

trust, however, is continuously

being debated.

This is especially true in an age

of virtually unlimited potential

for scrutiny of governments, and

unlimited scope for the court of

public opinion to take submissions

(and make judgements) about

ministerial conduct – well-founded

or otherwise.

The late (and much lamented)

John Clarke once told me that his

main role as satirist-in-residence

to the nation was to remind the

Australian people how fragile their

democratic institutions are.

Almost a decade later, we are told

on good authority that a significant

proportion of young Australians

do not trust “government,” to the

point where many might well prefer

military rule.

This is one reason why codified

and enforceable standards of

ministerial ethics and conduct will

remain relevant - and expected - in

our country.

Early steps toward enacting

standards

Australia hasn’t always had a set

of ethical standards for ministers

and government officials. It is a relatively

recent phenomenon which

came about during Prime Minister

John Howard’s time in office in the

1990s.

The idea was first broached in

1978 when Prime Minister Malcolm

Fraser commissioned Nigel Bowen

to conduct a review of conflict of

interest matters involving officials.

Instead of regulation, however,

the committee sought to rely on the

“court of public opinion” to deter

Australian Senator and National’s Deputy

Leader Bridget McKenzie

Opposition Senator John Faulkner

(AAP Photo by Alan Porritt)

unseemly conduct by MPs.

In the next few years, the culture

of government in Australia began

changing radically, and quickly.

When the Fraser government

introduced both the Administrative

Decisions (Judicial Review) Act and

the Freedom of Information Act, the

opportunities for public scrutiny of

ministerial decision-making – and

conduct more generally – significantly

affected public expectations

about the way “the business of

government” was done.

At a stroke, new standards of

conduct by decision-makers at all

levels were needed for the first

time, for a new era of accountability

and “speaking truth to power.”

Howard and Faulkner standards

While the Hawke Labour

government chose not to bring in

new ministerial standards in 1983,

Howard did so in 1996 - 20 years

after Bowen.

After Howard introduced his

ministerial code of conduct, a

significant number of ministers

were forced to resign over various

conflict of interest matters, and

the code was amended to be less

onerous.

Against this backdrop, Opposition

Senator John Faulkner introduced

draft ethics and integrity standards

to the Labour shadow cabinet. It

was adopted as party policy in 2001.

The Faulkner standards, which I

co-authored with George Thompson

on Faulkner’s staff, drew on public

ethics principles, legal definitions

and community norms regarding

the integrity expected of public

officials.

The standards recognised several

challenges for Parliament in policing

its own members, chiefly that

Parliament had not enacted a code

of conduct itself and had recently

passed laws prohibiting it from

expelling an MP for misconduct.

It therefore became the responsibility

of the Prime Minister to

enforce the standards.

The Rudd government endorsed

these standards of ministerial ethics

when it came into power in 2007.

And each prime minister since

then has endorsed a version of the

standards, largely unchanged.

Challenges of enforcing

standards

Every version of the standards

has reminded ministers of their

ethical and fiduciary duty to respect

the trust placed in them by the

public, and maintain public trust

in Parliament and our system of

government.

Yet, challenges remain when

it comes to interpreting and

enforcing the standards. Notably,

the standards impose a “waiting

period” for former ministers and

their staff to take up certain forms

of employment after leaving office.

Yet, no government has sought

to introduce statutory bans on

specific jobs for former officials.

There is also a lack of specific

information about what forms of

employment conduct are, and are

not, permissible.

This lack of specifics emerged

as a notable problem in the recent

cases involving Christopher Pyne,

Julie Bishop and Andrew Robb after

they took up new roles that raised

questions after leaving office.

There were similar problems

in earlier cases involving former

Labour ministers who left office.

This requires immediate remedy.

In the two decades since the

Howard code, new ways of

thinking about integrity in public

office – and ministerial conduct, in

particular – have also emerged.

The common law offence of

“misconduct in public office” has

become extensively used in North

America in cases involving unethical

and prohibited conduct by

government officials, such as abuse

of office, bribe-taking, vote-buying,

unlawful lobbying and conflicts of

interest.

There has also been a major

revival in the prosecution of this

offence in the UK, Hong Kong and

Australia in recent years, generally

for corruption cases.

The offence now ranks as the

charge of choice for anti-corruption

investigators and prosecutors

in a host of jurisdictions, yet it

has been the subject of relatively

little academic research or recent

commentary.

Personal responsibility for

conduct

But ethics standards can

only do so much – MPs and former

ministers, in particular, must also

take responsibility for their own

conduct, irrespective of any formal

sanctions which might apply.

It is always the minister’s

personal responsibility to uphold

the letter and the spirit of the oath

of office, because of what that oath

represents.

As former US Senator Alan

Simpson once said, “If you have

integrity, nothing else matters. And

if you don’t have integrity, nothing

else matters.”

Howard Whitton is a Visiting Fellow

at the University of Canberra,

Australia. The above articles and

pictures have been published under

Creative Commons Licence.

The airline that

treated every

15

passenger as Royal

billion of its debt, terms that potential

buyers viewed as too onerous.

With Air India reeling under

around Rs 80,000 crore worth of

debt, the government has said

there is no option but to privatise

the carrier.

The government needs cooperation

of Air India employees

for carrying out the privatisation

process

Air India was also known for

its creative advertising, with

good and clean humour. Press

advertisements and posters, with

the Air India Maharaja as the

central theme caught the attention

of people all over the world. We

will feature some of these, as we

feature ‘Air India Series’ from

time to time. This Reporter has

had close interaction with many

stalwarts of the airline for more

than 50 years.

New App brings

New Zealand

Police closer

Supplied Content

The New Zealand Police has released

a Mobile App that brings

information on the finger tips

of mobile phone users, with

special usage for New Zealanders.

The App is now available on Apple

and Android devices and provides

another channel for the public to

access policing services, information,

news and alerts while on the go and

when it suits them.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said

that the App gives users an easy way

to receive national and local Police

news, alerts and safety advice; report

incidents and issues to Police via the

new 105 online form; and access other

policing services.

With customisable notifications,

app users can opt in and choose what

Police news and alerts they want to

receive, he said.

Using modern technology

“Our staff will always be at the

centre of keeping people safe and

making them feel safe. However, as

Commissioner, I have also ensured

that we are able to maximise technology

developments to provide for

new and improved ways to access and

receive policing services, as part of our

mission ‘to be the safest country,” Mr

Bush said.

He said that the App is a part of a

wider suite of work Police is undertaking

to modernise its service delivery

to ensure everyone in New Zealand,

including international visitors, can

access policing services anywhere,

anytime.

“I look forward to announcing further

digital technology developments

in early 2020,” he said.

The NZ Police app is available for

download from the Google Play Store

and Apple App Store.


16

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Communitylink

Funding boost for creative, cultural events launched

Applications open from

February 3 to 28, 2020

Venkat Raman

The government has created

a new avenue for funding

creative and cultural events.

Called, ‘Major Events

Fund,’ the initiative will recognise

and reward events that highlight

New Zealand’s diverse culture and

build national pride.

The Fund will provide about $1.5

million until June 2022 for creative

events that meet the set criteria. The

focus will be on Maori and Pasifika

arts and culture.

Economic Development Minister

Phil Twyford said that ‘Creative and

Cultural Events Incubator’ will be

open to applicants from Monday,

February 3, 2020 to Friday, February

28, 2020.

Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford

(INL File Photo)

“Creative and cultural events

have historically received less support

than sports under the Major

Events Fund. We recognise creative

and cultural events often have a

different path to success, which

is why we have established the

Incubator to support this growth

and development,” he said.

Image from Ministry for Culture and Heritage Website

Celebrating Culture and Diversity

Mr Twyford said that the

Incubator will accord priority to

events that celebrate our culture

and diversity, and have a vision to

be major events of international

significance.

“This is a tremendous opportunity

for new and existing arts

and cultural events to develop

and flourish. New Zealand is well

known for hosting world-class

sporting events; now it is time to

focus energy on our creativity and

culture, continuing to grow its

appeal for our communities and

international visitors,” he said.

About Major Events Fund

Established within the Ministry of

Business, Innovation and Employment

(MBIE), Major Events acts as

an advisor to government ministers

on aligning events to government

objectives. It also acts as the link

between the events sector and the

operational and leverage arms of

the government, as an investor in

events to achieve outcomes that

align with government priorities

and partners with other event

Family Carers get $2200 pay rise as scheme expands

Staff Reporter

Associate Health Minister

Jenny Salesa announced

today an annual average

pay rise of $2246.40 for

funded family carers, in addition to

expanding the Scheme to include

spouses and parents of young

children with ‘high or very high

needs.’

Announcing the details, she

said, “The details of big changes to

Funded Family Care (FFC) include

(a) higher rates for qualified family

carers (b) expanded eligibility of

the Scheme to include spouses and

parents of young children with

high or very-high needs and (c)

removing the requirement for an

employment relationship between

family members if the concerned

families did not want it.”

Ms Salesa said that caring for

family members such as a spouse

or child is one of the most valuable

contributions anyone can make in

our society, especially when that

work requires giving up things like

paid employment.

“Our Government has listened to

the concerns of family carers about

the limits of the current scheme

and we have committed to making

it fairer,” she said.

About the Scheme

Funded Family Care is for eligible

people with high and very-high

needs relating to disability provided

by the Ministry of Health (through

the Disability Support Service) or

District Health Boards (DHBs). It

is also for clients with disability

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa (INL File Photo)

(Ministry) or long term chronic

health condition, mental health

and addiction, and aged care needs

(DHBs).

Family carers under District

Health Board policies are currently

employed by providers, and hence

already receive pay rates consistent

with the wider care and support

workforce as a result of the pay

equity settlement.

Changes to Funded Family Care

eligibility apply to both Ministry of

Health and DHB policies.

Minimum wage calculations are

based on April 1, 2020 minimum

wage of $18.90.

Key Reforms

Ms Salesa said that the government

will (a) enable eligible spouses

and partners to receive payment to

provide care to people with high or

very-high disability support needs

(b) expand carer eligibility to 16-18

year-old family members so that

they are able to be paid to provide

care to people with high or veryhigh

disability support needs (c)

expand client eligibility to include

under 18-year- olds with high or

very-high disability- support needs

(d) remove the current requirement

for an employment relationship to

exist between a disabled person

and their resident family member

in order to receive FFC (e) repeal

Part 4A of the New Zealand Public

Health and Disability Act 2000,

which currently prevents New Zealanders

from taking claims on the

basis of unlawful discrimination

to the Human Rights Commission

or before the courts and (f) lift pay

rates for family carers from the

minimum wage to $20.50-$25.50

per hour from April 14, 2020.

Details of eligibility

“Family carers will see their pay

rates lifted from the current minimum

wage to new rates, starting at

$20.50 and going up to $25.50, depending

on a carer’s qualifications.

If a family carer is funded for the

average 27 hours per week on the

new $20.50 minimum, this change

represents a 8.47% pay rise above

the minimum wage, or about $2,200

more than they would have got. For

family carers funded for 40 hours

per week, these reforms mean at

least $3,328 more per year. Lifting

the Government’s contribution is an

important step in the right direction

in acknowledging the important

work family carers do,” Ms Salesa

said.

The new rates align family carers’

pay with those carers employed by

formal providers as implemented

through the recent care and

support workers’ pay equity

settlement., she said.

Wage-lifting government

“This is a wage-lifting Government.

By the end of our first term

we would have lifted the national

minimum wage by $126 per week

for full time workers. We have

begun implementing the living

wage across the state sector, and we

are delivering a major pay boost to

family carers. Improving Funded

Family Care with these reforms

is also about building a more

equitable health system. We know

that Maori and Pacific families

make greater use of Funded Family

Care than other New Zealanders.

These changes are about fairness,

because carers would be paid these

stakeholders to attract, deliver and

leverage major events.

In July 2019, the Major Events

Fund changed its direction to prioritise

events that build national pride

and celebrate New Zealand culture,

as well as having a greater focus on

arts and cultural events.

The Creative and Cultural Events

Incubator was established to

ensure that arts and cultural events

are supported alongside sporting

events.

For further information, please

visit www.majorevents.govt.nz

rates if their loved ones with high

and very-high needs went through

formal providers,” Ms Salesa said.

Discrimination Claims

“We know there has been

frustration in the disability

community with the very limited

scheme introduced under the last

Government, and that’s why we

have been working with the sector

to make Funded Family Care fairer

and better for families,” she added.

“In particular, people were very

concerned that they were prevented

from making discrimination

claims on the basis of family status.

By restoring the right to make

discrimination claims in repealing

Part 4A of the Public Health and

Disability Act, we are showing

that we are serious about treating

family carers with the respect

they deserve. This is an important

symbolic change for the disability

and carers’ communities and I acknowledge

their ongoing advocacy,”

Ms Salesa said.

The Key dates

Legislation set to be introduced

to Parliament repealing Part 4A:

January 21, 2020

First Reading expected: February

2020

Ministry of Health FFC eligibility

expanded: April 14, 2020

New pay rates take effect, with all

carers lifted to at least $20.50: April

14, 2020

DHB FFC eligibility expanded:

End of June 2020

Part 4A Repealed: September 1,

2020

Hate speech has no place in civilised society says Minister

Venkat Raman

Interfaith dialogue and

interaction, love and tolerance

are important in every society

and more in a multicultural

country such as New Zealand, Ethnic

Communities Minister Jenny Salesa

has said.

Hate speeches and divisive comments

in the name of nationalism or

any other cause have no place in a

civilised societies, she added.

Compassion in tragedy

“The Christchurch massacre on

March 15, 2019 was the result of

hatred, which is alien to us in New

Zealand. The love and unity shown

by our communities in the aftermath

of that tragedy are important to all

of us. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

led the country through those difficult

times through understanding,

compassion and sympathy,” she said.

Ms Salesa was speaking at the

guest session of the 31st Annual

Convention of the Ahmadiyya

Muslim Jama’at NZ Inc at its Majid

Baitul Muqueet complex in the South

Imam Mustenser Qamar, Bashir Ahmed Khan,

Jenny Sales and Wally Mitchell (INL Photo)

Auckland suburb of Wiri on January

18, 2020.

She was among the Guests of

Honour along with Wally Mitchell, St

John Canterbury District Operations

Manager and Psychologist Adele

Saunders at the meeting, attended

by Members of Parliament Michael

Wood, Priyanca Radhakrishnan

(Labour) and Jami-Lee Ross (Independent)

and members of the Hindu,

Christian and Sikh communities.

Ms Salesa said that the theme of

the guest session was appropriate

and that unity and compassion are

imperative for all New Zealand.

Ethnic Communities

Development Fund

“We have invested $7 million

towards ‘Safer Communities’ and we

have made available additional sum

$4 million every year towards the

Ethnic Communities Development

Fund. New Zealand values all

peoples, irrespective of their country

of origin, religious or other beliefs,

language and all other considerations.

We value our Muslim people

and I have engaged with Muslim

women and Muslim youth to assure

them that we as a government will

not tolerate hatred or hate speeches,”

she said.

Ms Salesa said that terrorism

should be eliminated, the primary

step towards which is to eliminate

hate speeches from all modes of

communications.

“As a measure of fostering the

spirit of unity and compassion, we

will host a conference or seminar

involving four major and different

religious groups this year,” she said.

Among the other speakers were Mr

Mitchell, Ms Saunders, Imam Mustenser

Qamar, Imam Abdul Quddus

Arif, President, Ahmadiyya Muslim

Youth Association United Kingdom

and Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at NZ

Inc National President Bashir Ahmed

Khan.

Imam Mustenser spoke about

slavery, its abolition and its re-emergence

in some societies in the form

of discrimination, racism and other

divisive practices.

“Racist elements can be found in

all countries of the world. It exists

in one form or the other. Racism is

against the principles and teachings

of Islam. The Holy Quran says that

everyone – people who are Muslims

and followers of other religions and

even non-believers are equal in the

eyes of Almighty Allah,” he said, in

his speech titled, ‘From a Single Soul.’

Jalsa Salana

The two-day annual meeting is

known in the Ahmadiyya community

as ‘Jalsa Salana.’

Mr Khan said that the guest session

is also held every year to provide

an opportunity for the wider community

to hear about some relevant

topical issues facing New Zealand

today linked with Islam.

“This meeting is a part of the

efforts of the Ahmadiyya community

encourage dialogue and to increase

understanding between all faith

groups,” he said.

About Ahmadiyyas

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

is a dynamic, fast-growing

international revival movement

within Islam. Founded in 1889 by

Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

(1835-1908) in Punjab, India, the Ahmadiyya

Muslim Community spans

over 210 countries with membership

exceeding tens of millions.

Its motto of ‘Love for all and hatred

for none’ is evidenced through the

peaceful actions of its millions of

followers.

The New Zealand branch of this

community was established in

1987. It is a registered charitable

organisation and endeavours to be

an active and integrated community

within New Zealand society.


FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Tips to prevent crime and promote safer communities

Sergeant

Gurpreet Arora

New Zealand Police would

like to share crime

prevention tips with you

so that we can have safer

communities together in 2020.

Safety at home

There are many things you can

do to help prevent your home being

targeted, including (a) Storing cash,

jewellery, spare keys and financial

documents in a safe and secure

place, such as a safe or in an area

of your home which is not easily

accessed (b) Registering the serial

numbers of valuable possessions

online via the SNAP website (www.

snap.org.nz) to ensure they can

be traced in the event that they

are ever stolen and recovered (c)

Install an alarm system and fit

sensor lights (d) Call 111 if you see

any suspicious activity around

your neighbourhood (e ) Keep your

plants and hedges well-trimmed so

you don’t give burglars a place to

hide (f) Keep doors and windows

locked at all times when you’re not

home, and don’t leave your garage

door open, even if you are at home.

Leave Marmite at home, says Aviation Security

Ruth Hill

Guns, knives, cans of

petrol, fireworks and

even jars of Marmite

are just some of the

contraband items regularly

picked up by airport security

screening in New Zealand.

Figures supplied by the Aviation

Security Service show

that 713 “guns” (a category

that includes gun parts, replicas

and toys), 3303 explosives

and tens of thousands of other

potentially dangerous items

have been confiscated from

airline passengers this year.

Head of Operations Karen

Irwin said it was not uncommon

to find people carrying

large boxes of fireworks.

“They are obviously wanting

to celebrate Christmas and

New Year in style - but having

things that go bang is not a

good idea on an aeroplane.

Screening had even picked up

people carrying cans of petrol

“because people didn’t want

to leave them in the rental

car,” she said.

More than 40,000 “sharps”,

including knives, were found.

These were often concealed

in keychains and belts, she

said.

“When you ask someone

‘Why are you carrying that,?,

they will look at you and say,

‘I am going to Australia’. [It is]

probably not what most of us

would think about packing

when you go to Australia, cer-

Staff Reporter

The Oceania Canoe Slalom

Championships will be held

at Vector Wero Whitewater

Park, Auckland, from

February 1 to February 3, 2020.

As an Olympic Selection event, it

will bring together the best Oceania

athletes.

The competition will be the

first hit out this year between

trans-Tasman rivals Luuka Jones,

New Zealand and Jessica Fox from

Australia.

Exceptional performance

expected

As world number one in both the

women’s K1 (K1W) and C1 (C1W),

Fox will be hard to beat and it

promises to be a great competition

with exceptional international

performances by both athletes.

In 2016, Jones placed second at

the Rio Olympics followed by Fox

and at the 2018 World Champs Fox

took second place and Jones third.

Other women who will compete

at the Oceania Canoe Slalom

Championships and have already

qualified for Tokyo Olympics,

include Jane Nicholas (Cook

Islands) and Martina Wegman,

(Netherlands) in K1W.

Jones met the New Zealand selection

criteria for K1W after finishing

Aviation Security collected a ‘mountain’

of Marmite during screening in

New Zealand (Photo: 123RF)

tainly not me.’ We have had

people turn up with firearms

in their bags in a couple of

cases, and these people were

arrested and handed over to

the police. I suppose that some

people lead lives where they

just carry weapons all the

time,” Ms Irwin said.

‘Natural mistakes’

However, most contraband

found was usually the result

of “natural mistakes,” Ms

Irwin said.

“We collect a mountain of

butter and Marmite. If you are

a Kiwi living overseas, it is of

course your patriotic duty to

eat a jar of Marmite each year.

But just make sure you pack it

in the bag that is going in the

hold, not in your carry on,”

she said.

Any liquids or gels or anything

that can be “smeared”

cannot go in your carry-on.

However, things that

must stay with you are your

cellphone and laptop.

“Their batteries can burst

into flames and there have

been quite serious fires on

planes as a result. If your mobile

is going to spontaneously

explode, you want it to be

where you can see it, so you

can put the fire out.”

Generally, packing for

the plane involved “using

common sense”, she said.

Friendly suggestions

“Fireworks - no, flammable

liquids - no, weapons - no.

Certainly toy guns for the kids,

put in the hold. Be careful

about what you pack.”

Unlike many other

countries, New Zealand

only has security screening

on international flights and

intercity planes with more

than 90 seats.

Aviation Commentator

Peter Clark said that New

Zealanders are fortunate to

have such a free and easy way

of travelling.

“But I would say ultimately

that [more security screening]

may come about, and that is

very expensive to introduce in

some of our regional airports

in New Zealand,” he said.

It is ironic that the only case

of a plane being hijacked in

New Zealand was 12 years

ago (2008) when a mentally

ill woman attacked the pilots

and a passenger on board a

tiny plane leaving Blenheim,

he noted.

Published under a Special

Agreement with

www.rnz.co.nz

If you are going away for a long

period get a neighbour or friend to

regularly check on your property,

clear your letterbox and mow your

lawns.

You can also call CrimeStoppers

on 0800 555 111 to report information

about crime anonymously.

Personal Safety

Be aware of your surroundings at

all times and trust your Instincts.

Stay in well lit, populated pathways.

Avoid Shortcuts.

Pay attention to your surroundings

when using electronics on the

streets, subway and buses.

Do not carry large amounts of

cash and/or jewellery.

When going out try and walk

in pairs or a group. Avoid isolated

areas.

ATM (Automatic Teller Machines)

Do not withdraw large amount of

cash from ATM

Use an ATM machine in a busy

location

At night use an ATM in a well lit

area and ensure you are with other

people.

Do not leave your handbag,

laptop or suitcase or any other

belongings unattended.

Walk upright, be aware and hold

your handbag firmly. Look and act

confidently.

Consider keeping your Eftpos

Communitylink

17

and credit cards, and keys separate

from your handbag or wallet.

Exercise caution

Be wary of people who may be

trying to distract you. If you are

suspicious of their intentions, move

your belongings into a position

where it cannot be easily seized.

Contact Police on 111 if you

believe there is a threat to your

personal safety or to your belongings.

In non-emergency contact the

nearest Police Station.

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora is District

Ethnic Services Coordinator

at Counties Manukau District

Police.

(Picture Courtesy: Radio Spice)

Shincheonji Church of Jesus lashes at Pastor Jeon Kwang-hoon

Standfirst: Shincheonji

Church of Jesus has

alleged that Pastor Jeon

Kwang-hoon is causing

controversy with his recent

remarks, which it has dubbed

blasphemous. The Church has

also called for the shutdown of

the Christian Council of Korea

(CCK), of which Pastor Jeon is

the President.

The congregation of

Shincheonji Church of Jesus

urged on December 24, 2019 the

members of the CCK to leave the

organisation “because there is

no salvation there.”

Explosive remarks

Pastor Jeon spoke against God

by saying, ‘If you mess around,

I will kill you,’ and other similar

remarks directed towards God.

He has committed the sin of

blaspheming God and the Holy

Spirit. Pastor Jeon’s words are

the words of the CCK.

The true identity of the spirit

(god) over the CCK is finally

exposed.

God, Creator of the universe,

is a being all the people of the

earth worship and revere. Jesus

Canoe Slalom Continental Championships this weekend

Jack Dangen (Photo Supplied)

3rd at the 2019 World Champs in

Spain and earnt New Zealand a K1W

quota.

Now Jones just needs formal

nomination and selection by Canoe

Slalom New Zealand and the New

Zealand Olympic Committee.

She can also compete in C1W

in Tokyo as she has met selection

criteria in this class as well.

The race for the men’s K1 (K1M)

spot for New Zealand is intense.

Young Kiwi, Jack Dangen earnt

the K1M quota at the 2019 World

Champs in September.

Currently rankings have Jack

Dangen ahead of Callum Gilbert,

followed by Finn Butcher and all

three made 2019 World Cup semis,

with Gilbert breaking through with

a 2019 World Cup top finish of 5th.

Also in contention is young Zac

Mutton who has made two junior

world champs finals and is returning

from injury.

Home advantage for New Zealand

The only Olympic quota to be decided

at the 2020 Oceania Champs in

Auckland is the C1M as no Oceania

nation was successful at the 2019

World Champs.

Australia, New Zealand and Cook

Islands will contest for the quota

and on paper the Australians look

and the members of Shincheonji

are God’s spiritual children born

of God’s seed, as testified in Matthew

13:24-30 and 13:38-39; God

is the Father of the members of

Shincheonji. Why does Pastor

Jeon wish to kill our Father?

Members of the Shincheonji

Church of Jesus say that the acts

of the Protestant Churches that

belong to the CCK followed the

devilish deeds that have been

continuing since the Japanese

colonial era.

The Members have

listed CCK’s deeds that are

“anti-nation, anti-society, and

anti-religion,” which include

their worshipping and praising

Japanese Gods at their shrine,

how the CCK pastors added to

and subtracted from the Book of

Revelation, and how there have

been 12,000 convictions for the

crimes the Pastors committed

during the past ten years.

South Korea critics

We are afraid that our

country – South Korea – will

be pointed out and blamed by

the whole world as a country

of the devil, because of Jeon

Luuka Jones (Photo Supplied)

to have the edge, but the New Zealanders

will have the home course

advantage.

A large contingent of Australians

are expected at Vector Wero Whitewater

Park across all age groups

as its also Australian selection for

national teams.

Many internationals and some

who have already qualified for

Tokyo are expected at the 2020

Oceania Champs.

Entries close on January 22, 2020.

The following international athletes

have already confirmed: Ander

Elogesi, Spain, Men’s K1 (selected

for Tokyo Olympics), Klara Ozalabel,

Spain, Women’s C1

Cameron Smedley, Canada, Men’s

C1 (selected for Tokyo Olympics),

Michael Smolen, USA American

Kwang-hoon. The whole world

is speaking out against his

ludicrous and blasphemous

comments.

Members of Shincheonji

urged those who follow Pastor

Jeon by saying, “Believers who

are following blindly – do you

think there is salvation in the

CCK, an organization that says

to “kill God”? Flee from there.”

A representative of

Shincheonji Church of Jesus

said, “President Jeon Kwanghoon

claims that he has been

anointed, and even asserting

that the entire country of South

Korea centres around him and

that he will kill God if things do

not go his way.”

“Such assertions expose his

heretic beliefs that use religion

for power and oppose God. The

CCK, a political organisation

masked under religion, must be

shut down immediately.”

Choi Su-bin is Director, Public

Relations, Shincheonji Church

of Jesus based in Seoul,

South Korea. The above is an

edited version of the original

statement received by us.

Olympian, Camille Prigent, France,

Women’s K1, Kaca Kudejova,

Czech, Women’s K1 (former World

Champion).

About the Championships

Oceania Championship is the

continental champs for deciding

the remaining quotas for Tokyo

Olympics 2020. It is very important

for New Zealand and Australia.

There are three selection events

to decide who will represent New

Zealand: 2019 World Champs,

2020 Oceania Champs and

Australian Open Feb 2020.

Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships

are a part of the build-up to

New Zealand hosting the International

Canoe Federation Junior and

U23 World Champs at Vector Wero

Whitewater Park, April 2021.


18

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Sportslink

All Blacks Sevens win first title in Hamilton

Sheevas Dayal

The All Blacks Sevens beat

France 27-5 in the HSBC

Sevens Cup World Cup

Sevens Series at the FMG

Stadium Waikato in Hamilton on

January 25, 2020, extending their

record as the most successful team

on the home soil in the history

of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens

Series.

The title was New Zealand’s

10th on home ground but the

first in Hamilton. It was also their

60th title in series history and the

second of season after victory in

Cape Town last month.

France on backfoot

France, playing in their first ever

Cup final in New Zealand, were on

the backfoot early on after Tavite

Veredamu was sin-binned for not

being back 10 metres. All Blacks

Sevens Co-Captain Scott Curry

powered through two defenders

seconds later to open the scoring.

Veredamu quickly atoned for his

indiscretion, scooping up a pass

almost rolled around the ground

Supplied Content

A

group of 32 Rotarians,

with the experience of

criss-crossing the rugged

landscape of Nepal and

Bhutan, will participate in the Rotary

Car Rally, covering the length

and breadth of New Zealand.

Arriving from India on February

18, 2020, the contingent of

Rotarians, Rotary Anns and Rotary

Annetts (respectively wives and

daughters of Rotarians) from 12

different Rotary Clubs of Rotary

International District 3131, India,

hope to promote fellowship and

friendship and the internationally

known service organisation of 1.2

million Rotarians.

The purpose behind the meticulously

planned Rally is also to meet

fellow Rotarians in New Zealand,

learn about different service

projects, attend Rotary meetings,

participate in local community

service projects and initiate joint

projects.

Past District Governor

(PDG) India Dr Philly Karani, a

senior member of Rotary Club of

The victorious All Blacks Sevens Team (Pictures by Sheevas Dayal)

by Remi Siega with one hand to cut

the deficit to two points after the

conversion drifted left.

France were dealt two blows

when Jonathan Laugel was sinbinned

for a neck roll and New

Zealand made their man advantage

count, Regan Ware just keeping his

foot in touch as he grounded the

ball behind him for a 12-5 lead at

half-time.

Ware added a second before

Curry scored twice to seal victory

and extend the All Blacks Sevens’

advantage at the top of the standings

from nothing to 15 points over

South Africa, who could only finish

10th in Hamilton, and France on 48

points with England fourth on 39.

The rising team

All Blacks Sevens co-captain Tim

Mikkelson said: “The French have

that flair and they are a team on

the rise. They are playing extremely

well. We have not gone that well

the last couple of years; so, we felt

like we owed it to the crowd and

to our families here to go well this

Black Ferns Sevens smash Canada girls in Cup Final

Sheevas Dayal

The Black Ferns Sevens

continued their perfect record

against Canada in Cup finals

on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens

Series to become the inaugural

champions in Hamilton on January

26, 2020.

This was the seventh meeting of

the sides in a title decider and just like

the previous six it was the Black Ferns

Sevens celebrating, more so this time

after the 24-7 victory.

The win saw them crowned HSBC

New Zealand Sevens champions to

become the third team to win a title

on home soil.

It is a third Cup title in a row after

their success in Dubai and Cape

Town last month and extended their

winning run to 13 matches against

Canada, whose only win against the

Black Ferns Sevens came in Sao Paulo

back in February 2016.

Canada had opened the scoring at

FMG Stadium through Brittany Benn

in the fifth minute despite the high

tackle of Ruby Tui, which saw the

World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player

All Blacks Sevens Co-Captain Tim Mikkelson with Black Ferns Captain Sarah Hirini (PhotoSport)

of the Year sent to the sin-bin for two

minutes.

New Zealand holds firm

New Zealand held firm in her

absence and then with the clock deep

into the red at the end of the first half

they made the breakthrough, Stacey

Fluhler being stopped short before

Michaela Blyde went over from closer

range than many of her tries this

weekend.

Fluhler won the restart and the ball

was quickly worked along the line to

Blyde, who stepped her way through

the Canadian defence for her eighth of

the tournament.

Scott Curry dives in for a try in the Final (Picture by Sheevas Dayal)

tournament.

“Everything we do we do it for

each other, it doesn’t matter if you

start or come off the bench, you

have got a role to play. The boys are

just keen to work for each other.

To play in front of our families is

something special and to do that in

front of our families and to win it is

even better.”

Sydney, Paris and Tokyo

The teams now head across

the Tasman to Australia for the

HSBC Sydney Sevens at Bankwest

Niall Williams’ try with little more

than two minutes to play pushed the

Black Ferns Sevens out to 19-7 and all

but secured the title.

However, there was still time for

HSBC Player of the Final Fluhler to

turn another restart take into New

Zealand’s fourth try of the title decider

and see her become the first player to

score 10 tries in a series tournament

since her fellow Black Ferns Sevens

star Portia Woodman in Glendale in

October 2018.

“This is massive. To everyone who

has supported us over the last couple

of days, thank you very much. We love

all of our fans here in New Zealand,”

Captain Sarah Hirini said.

“It was the heart and grit that got us

over the line. We have been training

for this for so long to play in New

Zealand. Canada are amazing but the

way that the girls fought to get the ball

back in – obviously we’ve got some

speedsters to score us some tries as

well,” she said.

Opportunity well used

Fluhler added: “That was a very

enjoyable moment. We know that we

will get only one opportunity to play

here at home this season, so we really

wanted to make our fans, our friends

Stadium on February 1 and 2, 2020,

round four of the men’s HSBC

World Rugby Sevens Series 2020.

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens

Series 2020 concludes in Paris,

France on May 30 and 31, 2020

before 24 men’s and women’s teams

will travel to Japan for the Tokyo

2020 Olympic Games where Rugby

Sevens will be played for a second

time from July 27 to August 1, 2020.

Sheevas Dayal is Indian Newslink

Rugby Correspondent.

and our family proud and I think we

did exactly that.”

New Zealand sit top of the standings

at the halfway point of the series with

76 points, 12 clear of Australia who

finished fourth in Hamilton. Canada

are close behind on 62 points, two

more than USA with France’s bronze

medal taking them on to 56 points.

The teams will now travel to Sydney,

Australia for the fifth tournament

on the women’s HSBC World Rugby

Sevens Series where the event will

be hosted at the Bankwest Stadium

for the first time on February 1 and 2,

2020.

The HSBC Sydney Sevens is a combined

men’s and women’s event and is

the second double-header the women

will play this season following Dubai

and Cape Town in December.

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens

Series 2020 concludes in Paris, France

on May 30 and 31, 2020; thereafter, 24

men’s and women’s teams will travel

to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic

Games where Rugby Sevens will be

played for a second time from July 27

to August 1, 2020.

Sheevas Dayal is Indian Newslink

Rugby Correspondent.

Rotary Car Rally connects Rotarians from India, New Zealand

Rotary Club of Sommerville and Past District Governor Dr Philly Irani with fellow Rotarians in

India (Photo Supplied)

A section of the visiting Rotarians (Photo Supplied)

Somerville (in East Auckland) has are professionals in different fields

been coordinating the event with a (including medicine, business, engineering,

hospitality and education)

dedicated committee of energetic

Rotarians (from the Rotary of will spend two weeks driving in

Somerville) who have been working branded cars with magnetic Rotary

out the logistics of the Car Rally, led stickers that create awareness

by PDG Subodh Joshi.

about the various worldwide Rotary

Two weeks of Rotary Fellowship projects.

Rotarians from ages 21-73, who Mr Joshi said, “During the Rally,

Another section of the visiting Rotarians (Photo Supplied)

we will be promoting the core areas

of Rotary that starts with `Rotary

connects the world’ as well as focus

on world peace, global warming and

the worldwide campaign of `End

Polio Now’ that Rotary has been implementing

for the past 30 years. We

have helped immunise more than

2.5 billion children in 122 countries.

So far, Rotary has contributed more

than $1.8 billion toward eradicating

the disease worldwide.”

Mr Joshi said that he is looking

forward to creating goodwill and

getting to know the local Rotarians

starting with the host club, the

Rotary Club of Somerville.

About the visitors

The adventurous group of Rotarians

have successfully completed two

rallies in the past including 10,000

kms in 21 days covering India, and a

8000 km Rally across Nepal, Bhutan

and Bangladesh, which has won

them accolades.

The Rotary Club of Somerville,

led by President Farida Master will

be welcoming the Rally enthusiasts

at the Howick Club on February 18,

2020.

The Club has also arranged a

special barbecue at the Pakuranga

Sailing Club on February 21, 2020,

which will be attended by Rotary

District Governor Garry Langford,

Assistant Governors, District Chairs

and Senior Rotarians from neighbouring

clubs.


FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Sportslink

19

Congratulating

Years Of

From Radio to Print to Online;

Events to awards and more.

Tarana works with Indian Newslink across all boards and

mediums to bring the Indian diaspora accurate information and

up to date, quality content. We both share the same vision to

inform, educate and entertain you through media with hopes

you can stay connected to your roots whilst in New Zealand.

Tarana congratulates Indian Newslink on maintaining a

brilliantly solid news foundation for everyone in media to look

up to. We commend them on their authenticity, creativity, and

pure passion for Journalism. We appreciate all the work they do

in the community and would like to specially mention the

annual Business Awards which have been a successful showcase

year on year of the entrepreneurial work in our community and

highlighting the great Indian businesses that run New Zealand

at the forefront. In these past 20 years Indian Newslink have

achieved what no other Indian print and online newspaper

could. With too many accolades to mention, the newspaper - at

it's heart - is a true representation of all things Indian and what

matters most to Indians living in Aotearoa.

CONTRIBUTING

TO A STRONGER

MORE DIVERSE

UNDERSTANDING

WELL-INFORMED

UNITED

PASSIONATEN

Z

CULTURED


20

FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Sportslink

Cricket fans get a classy display of modern heroes

And what a Match it

was on Wednesday at

Seddon Park, Hamilton!

Ravi Nyayapati

Clinical India have made an

impressive start to their

seven-week tour of New

Zealand.

Much to the delight of huge

Indian crowds in Auckland, the first

two of the five match T20 series

were held at Eden Park.

The opening game set the scene

for what should be a great outing

for Captain Virat Kohli and his

young team. New Zealand won the

toss and scored big runs, amassing

203/5.

Captain Kane Williamson, and

batting supremo Ross Taylor came

off their recent slump in form to

make half centuries, along with

Colin Munro.

Indian seamers bowled well,

although the stats show otherwise.

The Indian reply was as good as

good it could possibly get.

Shreyas Iyer well settled

Kohli and opener KL Rahul set up

the platform for the big chase, and

Shreyas Iyer took the game away

with a 29-ball 58, after a mini panic

by the middle over.

Iyer’s chase was comforting

given the absence of MS Dhoni and

The third T20I Match (January 29, 2020) Analysis by Star Sports (Screenshot)

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma celebrate India’s victory at Seddon Park, Hamilton on January 29,

2020 (Picture Courtesy: AFP)

Hardik Pandya from the team. Iyer

seems fairly settled and a natural at

number 4.

What was outstanding was how

India chased down the huge target

at a consistent run rate of ten plus

an over. In the end they reached

the target with an over to spare.

Back at Eden Park on India’s

Republic Day, the patriotic and

vocal Indian crowd were gifted a

classy display by their modern-day

heroes.

The high-scoring pitch in game

one seemed a distant memory as

the drop-in pitch of the day presented

a totally different surface.

Black Caps fail to capitalise

New Zealand simply failed to

capitalise on their crucial toss win

and having opted to bat.

Their misery began early with a

docile Powerplay display.

Boundaries became a rarity, and

the accuracy of the ruthless Indian

seamers cornered the Blackcaps

to conjure a scanty 132/5, in spite

of an inferior fielding effort by the

Indians.

The Indian bowlers were superb,

with all-rounder crowd favourite

Ravinder Jadeja finishing his four

overs for a remarkable 2/18.

In India’s chase, Rahul was once

again on song, bringing up yet

another fifty in recent times.

Iyer also rose to the occasion

again, with a comfortable 44 off 33.

The game was sealed in the 18th

over as India made better use of the

conditions.

The Hamilton experience

The third game moved south

to Hamilton. Put into bat, Hitman

Rohit Sharma made good use of

the short Seddon Park boundaries

to score a 40 ball 65, including

clubbing pacer Hamish Bennett for

26 off the sixth over.

New Zealand fielding was exceptional.

The experiment to bring

youngster Shivam Dube at number

3 backfired for Kohli, with a loss

in momentum for the team. India

eventually finished at 179/5 thanks

to some late hitting.

The Black Caps reply was much

more spirited with some power hitting

by Martin Guptill and Williamson.

India’s fielding got worse from

their second game. Williamson

was operating on a different plane,

scoring his highest T20 innings of

95 off just 48 deliveries.

However, Williamson departed

and with six wickets in hand, needing

two runs off four deliveries,

New Zealand somehow forced

themselves in another super over

situation.

Super Over nightmare

Their Super Over nightmare

haunted them yet again. After

scoring a descent but jittery 17,

New Zealand were unable to

contain the power of Sharma who

blasted 12 off the last 2 balls.

Trailing the series at 0-3, New

Zealand need to get back on a

winning track. India, on the other

hand, are likely to test their bench

strength.

The choice of Rahul as Wicketkeeper

raises challenges.

Unlike his batting, his glovework

is below par for international

cricket.

Coach Ravi Shastri would be

aware of this and is perhaps tolerating

this as a stopgap measure to

give other newcomers a chance to

showcase their talent.

A lot is at stake for players given

the T20 world cup is only nine

months away.

Ravi Nyayapati is our Sports

Correspondent. He lives in

Auckland.

ASAP is a boon to short-term funding

Get your property

development loan

As Soon As Possible

John owns a villa with

surrounding land of

about 1200 Sq metres

in a good location in

Auckland.

‘With the housing shortage

continuing to pressurise the

market, and with the growing

demand for affordable dwellings,

I should develop the

property and build at least eight

units. Once I have the relevant

consents from I am sure that

any bank would be happy to

extend finance,’ he thought.

He was wrong.

Frustrating experience

Banks were happy to talk to

him, but unfortunately not able

to approve the funding required.

John was convinced that

his project made commercial

sense, that all the eight new

dwellings will be rented soon

after construction is completed

and that it would be a win-win

situation for all.

He contacted ASAP Finance

and less than ten days later, he

assigned the job to a contractor.

Parash Sarma

Today, the dwellings are full

with families and the property

looks more elegant than ever

before.

There are many people

like John who are frustrated

because conventional banks

would not allow them to become

good investors, thereby

not only securing their future

but also providing a solution

to the housing shortage in the

country.

And there are properties that

have passed their prime but

have the potential for redevelopment.

Commercial banks refuse

to lend because, in their view,

such properties do not satisfy

their development funding

criteria.

Helping genuine investors

There are many genuine

investors in Auckland and other

parts of New Zealand who are

currently facing difficulty in raising

development funding even

though their equity position is

very strong.

In the case of many properties,

there would be very little

debt or no debt at all.

They are perfect examples

of good investment- apply-approve-construct-and-hold

kind

of properties, but banks decline

the opportunity, and hinder

property owners from becoming

property investors.

This is where ASAP makes a

distinct difference.

We have helped a number

of investors who have taken

advantage of our bespoke

funding product to grow their

investment portfolio and create

long term wealth for themselves

and their families.

Consulting Approach

Unlike a mainstream lender,

ASAP can do away with

a number of standard bank

preconditions such as pre-sales,

registered valuations, fixed price

contracts and quantity surveyor/

progress valuation reports. Being

an asset lender, our team places

more emphasis on the value of

the project and equity contributed

by the client rather than

income or servicing calculations.

We also take a “consulting approach”

with our investor clients

looking for development funding.

Often, we have clients who have

great equity and rough concept

plans but are not sure about the

process of actually completing

the development.

We connect such clients

with many reputed and proven

consultants who assist them to

obtain the necessary consents

and approvals to get the development

project underway.

ASAP can assist in funding

the full cost of the project- from

obtaining consents to building

the dwellings and subdividing

into separate titles.

Refinancing by banks

In our experience, once the

development is complete, clients

are able to refinance to either a

main bank or other near-bank

lenders. Surprisingly, while banks

have very limited appetite to fund

the development, they are often

keen to refinance the completed

dwellings on a long-term basis.

We believe that there is a

For more information about their product and services, please contact:

Parash Sarma, Client Services Director on 021-864730. Email: parash@asapfinance.co.nz

wonderful opportunity for

investors, especially for those

with substantial equity, to build

new dwellings and grow their

portfolios.

The current situation in the

market is as follows: (a) Rents

are increasing and stock is

limited (b) For older dwellings,

regulation is getting tougher

and compliance cost is increasing

(c) New houses are more

attractive to tenants and usually

command premium rents and

(d) Unlike older dwellings, there

is usually no ongoing maintenance

and compliance costs.

Especially in Auckland, the

unitary plan has opened up

a lot of infill land for potential

developments and the Council

is supportive of new developments.

Long term holding costs are

very attractive with bank interest

rates at historic lows.

So, if you are an investor and

thinking of developing your

property and growing your

investment portfolio, ASAP

Finance may be able to help.

The team at ASAP Finance

brings over 50 years of commercial,

residential and development

finance experience between

them and is committed

to finding simple and efficient

solutions for their clients.

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