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The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

Issue 434 | MARCH 15, 2020 | Free


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Tough travel conditions as risk of COVID-19 escalates

Venkat Raman

All travelling arriving in New

Zealand ports must undergo

self-isolation for 14 days as

the global risk of the Novel

Coronavirus (COVID-19) escalates to

pandemic level.

The restrictions will apply to New

Zealand citizens and permanent

residents but exclude people from

Pacific countries (Cook Islands, the

Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji,

Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue,

Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic

of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon

Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

& Wallis and Futuna).

The new measures will come into

effect at midnight tonight (Sunday,

March 15, 2020) and will be reviewed

after 16 days.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said

that the existing travel ban for China

and Iran will continue and that Cruise

ships will be banned until at least June

30, 2020.

Andrew Coster is the new Police Commissioner

Venkat Raman

Acting Deputy Commissioner of

Police Andrew (Andy) Coster

has been appointed as the next

Police Commissioner of New


He will take over the role on April 3,

2020 from Mike Bush who has successfully

completed two terms in the high office.

The Commissioner of Police is appointed

by the Governor General on the

recommendation of the Prime Minister.

The State Services Commission managed

the recruitment process.

Impressive career

Announcing the appointment on

March 9, 2020, Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern said that Mr Coster becomes the

leader of the New Zealand Police at a

time when the government was adding

2000 new Police Officers to the frontline,

reforming gun laws to stop firearms

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the press conference

on March 14, 2020 (RNZ Picture by Jogai Bhatt)

Following a meeting of the full cabinet

today, she said that to date, New Zealand

has had a small number of cases (only six)

but termed it ‘unrealistic.’

“The Pacific are exempted from

this measure, though anyone from

these countries will be required to

automatically self–isolate should they

exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms upon

arrival in New Zealand. Alongside Israel,

and a small number of Pacific Islands

who have effectively closed their border,

this decision will mean New Zealand will

New Police Commissioner Andrew Coster (Acting Deputy Commissioner

then) receiving a Special Commemoration Award given to the

New Zealand Police from Auckland Mayor Phil Goff at the Sixth Annual

Indian Newslink Sports, Community, Arts & Culture Awards held on

Monday, June 24, 2019 at Ellerslie Event Centre, Auckland. (Picture by

Narendra Bedekar, Creative Eye Fotographics)

from falling into the wrong hands and making our

communities safer.

have the widest ranging and toughest

border restrictions of any country in the

world,” she said.

Advising people to avoid all non-essential

travel, she asked New Zealanders

currently overseas needing consular

assistance to contact

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

No panic buying please

Ms Ardern said that the restrictions

would not apply to cargo ships and cargo

planes, marine or air crew and that the

government would be working to ensure

we keep sea and air freight routes open

for imports and exports.

“No one needs to conduct a run

on their supermarket. It is worth

remembering that we have had travel

restrictions on China for over a month,

and those supply routes continue. We are

mindful that some items that come into

New Zealand travel via passenger flights.

That is why support, where needed, will

be provided to ensure that essential air

freight like pharmaceuticals continue to

be shipped into New Zealand,” she said.

“I know that he will lead a

team of 13,000 people across the

country with positivity, inclusion

and integrity. I first met Andy in his

role in Central Auckland. I have had

the opportunity to see him work on

policy issues such as recent gun law

reforms, but most of all I have observed

his passion for a Police force

that knows its strength lies in what

it can achieve with the community

it serves,” she said and thanked Mr

Bush for his services, including the

Christchurch massacre on March

15, 2019.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said

that Mr Coster has dedicated nearly

25 years to Police service and that he

richly deserved to become the Police


Preventing crime

“The Commissioner of Police is

focused on preventing crime and

Spot checks in force

The government has instructed

officials to step up enforcement of self

isolation through measures such as

spot checks. To date, more than 10,500

people are or have been successfully

self-isolated in New Zealand.

“People know that it is in the best

interest of their community and they’re

pulling together to look after one

another. After all, the combination of

restricting the virus coming here and

isolating it when it does are two of the

most important steps we can take to

avoid community outbreak. Since

self-isolation is very important, we

want to make it as easy as possible,” Ms

Ardern said.

She promised to increase community

support to those unable to support

themselves in isolation.

Next week, Finance Minister Grant

Robertson and Health Minister Dr David

Clark will announce respectively a

business continuity package and a suite

of additional health measures to scale

up the responsiveness of New Zealand’s

health system to the virus.

A public information campaign will

also be launched.

making our communities safer.

Andrew Coster has a strong history

of accomplishments following his

graduation from Police College in

1997, including serving in frontline

and investigative roles in Counties

Manukau and Auckland. He rose to

the position of Area Commander in

Auckland City Central before becoming

the District Commander for the

Southern Police District in 2013.

“On moving to Police National

Headquarters in 2015, he was

Assistant Commissioner, Strategy

and Transformation. Before taking

up his current role, he was Acting

Deputy Commissioner, Resource

Management,” Mr Nash said.

Varied experience

He said that Mr Coster was a

Solicitor in the office of the Crown

Solicitor in Auckland, and more

recently was seconded as Deputy

Chief Executive to the Ministry of


Indian Newslink

Indian Business Awards 2018


Supreme Business of the Year

Business Excellence in


Best Employer of Choice 2017

Best Medium-Sized Business 2017

Ashima Singh, Winner of the

Best Businesswoman of the year 2016

“Ultimately though, the best protection

for the economy is containing the

virus. A widespread outbreak will hurt

our economy far more in the long run

than short term measures to prevent

a mass outbreak occurring. These

measures, while disruptive, are needed

to make the space we need as a nation

to prepare and manage the spread of

COVID-19,” Ms Ardern said.

Major government-sponsored events

such as the Pasifika Festival in Auckland

and the memorial meetings of the

first anniversary of the Christchurch

massacre (in March 15) in Auckland and

Christchurch have been cancelled.

Holi, the Festival of Colours planned

by private organisations over the

weekend, have also been cancelled, as a

measure of prevention.

The government is expected to

announce restrictions on large public


“We have two choices as a nation.

One is to let COVID-19 roll on, and brace.

The second is to go hard on measures

to keep it out, and stamp it out - not

because we can stop a global pandemic

from reaching us, but because it is in our

power to slow it down,” Ms Ardern said.

Mr Bush said that he was

privileged to the Police Commissioner

and that Mr Coster shares his

passion and commitment to the New

Zealand Police.

“I know that he will do an

outstanding job as Commissioner

and he has the support of the whole

organisation with him. I am happy

to be handing over the leadership

to someone of Andrew’s calibre,”

he said.

Mr Coster said that it is a huge

honour to be selected for the role of

Police Commissioner.

“I am proud to be an Officer in

the New Zealand Police and I look

forward to leading an organisation

of 13,000 people who do incredible

work to keep our communities safe.

It is my intent to carry on a legacy

of transformation focused on high

performance that has been put

in place under the leadership of

Commissioner Bush,” he said.

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MARCH 15, 2020


Visa applications mount as INZ closes Beijing office

However, there is no ‘deliberate attempt’ to slow down visas in India

Venkat Raman

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has allayed

fears that visitor visa applications lodged

in India are being ‘deliberately delayed’

because of the increase in the incidence of

COVID-19 in many countries including India and

New Zealand.

The fears were fanned by cancellation of

flights by several airlines in the past few days

and delays in appointing officers to consider


“There is no attempt to delay any visa

application in India,” an INZ official told Indian


“However, there could be genuine and natural

delays caused by the closure of the Beijing office

as well as increasing number of applications for

temporary visas. Processing visa applications



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of all types, especially those relating to temporary

permits speedily continues to be a priority. We

have 50 dedicated INZ staff to process student and

temporary work permit visas,” the official said.

Impact of Beijing office closure

INZ Associate Deputy Chief Executive Catriona

Robinson said that Beijing office, which was closed

on January 24, 2020 following the threats posed by

COVID-19, processes 10,000 visa applications every

week and is responsible for processing around 50

per cent of all temporary applications decided by

INZ annually.

“The closure of the Beijing office means that a

reduction of 130 immigration officers to process

visas. Applications that would normally be

processed by Beijing continue to come in daily and

INZ has already transferred around 12,000 to other

offices,” she said.

Ms Robinson said that there are about 13,400

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applications on hand in Beijing,

6200 of which relate to individuals

in China who are unable

to travel to New Zealand due to

travel restrictions.

INZ is focused on distributing

the remaining applications

to other processing offices as

appropriate as soon as possible,

she said.

Student and Visitor Visas on


“We have considered many

options for managing the impact

of the Beijing office closure on

visa processing. However, it is

likely that processing times for

visitor, student and work visa

applications will increase in the

coming weeks due to the drop in

immigration officers available

to process visas. The aim is to

ensure that student and visitor

visa applications continue

to be decided within normal

timeframes,” Ms Robinson said.

Applications that are not

properly completed or not

accompanied by the required

documentation, will attract

further verification, lengthening

the decision-making process.

Essential Skills delayed

“As a result of the reallocation

of immigration officers, we

expect that there will be longer

wait times for decisions on

Essential Skills applications

(one of our temporary work

visas), particularly as we enter

the upcoming peak. Presently

the wait times for allocation of

Essential Skills visa applications

to an immigration officer is ten

days. Early modelling suggests

this may increase by up to six

weeks if no other factors change

in the intervening time. However,

we will continue to assess

these applications as quickly as

possible,” Ms Robinson said.

Election 2020 should vote out racist politicians


Singh Bakshi


few months ago

(Indian Newslink,

December 1, 2019),

I wrote an article

describing the Maori world

view using the famous Maori

proverb, “He Aha Te Mea

Nui O Te Ao (What is the

most important thing in the


He tangata, he tangata, he

tangata (It is the people, it is

the people, it is the people).

As New Zealanders recall

and mourn the unprecedented

and tragic terrorist attack

that occurred in Christchurch

on March 15, 2019, it is

deeply disappointing to hear

racist comments made by

New Zealand First Minister

Shane Jones against the

Indian community.

Unacceptable comments

The New Zealand National

Party and our Leader Simon

Bridges consider comments

made by Mr Jones over the

weekend that Indian students

have ruined our academic

institutions as completely


Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern needs to reprimand

her Minister for these

comments which he has

repeated several times. They

are wrong and hurtful to

Kiwi Indians.

A paradox

Bizarrely, the comments

came at the same time as

New Zealand First Leader

and Foreign Affairs Minister

Winston Peters were in India

claiming it is ‘a priority relationship

for New Zealand.’

Mr Jones, a Harvard

University alumni, will do

well to understand that any

migrant earns their right to

enter New Zealand and they

continue to do so by being

law abiding residents, paying

their taxes and contributing

to New Zealand.

As we approach the first

anniversary of the March 15

terrorist attack, let us stand

together against racism of

any kind and deliver a clear

message during the 2020

general election that racism

has no place in New Zealand.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

is Member of Parliament

on National List. He is the

Party’s Spokesperson for

Internal Affairs.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

National List MPbased


Manukau East






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MARCH 15, 2020


Christchurch massacre anniversary strengthens solidarity

Phil Goff

This week we mark one

year since the devastating

mosque attacks

in Christchurch that

killed 51 people and shocked

communities in New Zealand

and around the world.

The intention of the terrorist

who committed that cowardly

act was to divide our communities

against each other, and to

promote fear and mistrust. In

this, he failed utterly.

Out of the tragedy we

suffered on that day came an

outpouring of sympathy and

support for the victims, their

families and their communities.

Aucklanders and New

Zealanders came together in

grief to support the Muslim

community and to unite against

the hateful ideologies that

motivated the attack.

Embracing diversity

One year since that terrible

event, I am determined to

ensure that Auckland continues

to be a city where diversity is

embraced as a strength and not

a weakness.

We are a proudly multicultural

and multifaith city, where

all people are equal and all

people are treated with dignity

and respect, regardless of race,

colour or creed.

We have zero tolerance for

racism, bigotry and prejudice

Muslims praying during congregational Friday prayers at Al Noor mosque in

Christchurch (AFP Picture)

and as mayor I encourage

everyone to call out those who

would seek to demean or insult

others on the basis of their race

or faith.

While we will never forget

the terrible events of March 15,

it is important that we work

together to ensure a future

where such atrocities are never

allowed to happen again.

On March 15, 2020, we will

reaffirm our commitment to

multiculturalism, diversity and

mutual respect between all

peoples, and say strongly that

the ideology of the Christchurch

terrorist will never have a place

in our city or our nation.

Coronavirus outbreak

Dominating the news this

week has also been the coronavirus


With over 110,000 people

affected worldwide and a death

toll of around 3600, it is a significant

health concern. Its impact

will also be felt economically

as supply chains and travel

are disrupted, creating share

market instability and the risk

of a global downturn.

So far, we have been fortunate

to contain the incidences

of the virus here and health

authorities are working hard to

ensure an effective response to

it. They have stressed the need

not to panic and to take sensible

health precautions.

The Ministry of Health

has stated that as of now, the

possibility of a widespread

community outbreak remains

low. For now, it is important

to follow best-practice health

procedures: wash your hands

thoroughly and regularly, cover

coughs and sneezes and stay at

home if you feel unwell.

Should you need advice,

please call the Ministry of

Health’s information line on


Phil Goff is Mayor of

Auckland. He writes a regular

Column in Indian Newslink.

What is COVID-19?

“Recently, an outbreak of a

new coronavirus disease, now

called COVID-19 (sometimes

called novel coronavirus or

2019-nCoV) was identified.

Coronaviruses are a large

and diverse family of viruses

which cause illnesses such

as the common cold, severe

acute respiratory syndrome

(SARS) and Middle East respiratory

syndrome (MERS),”

a Health Ministry notification


The Symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19

are similar to a range of other

illnesses such as influenza.

They include fever, coughing

and difficulty in breathing.

However, having any of

these symptoms does not

necessarily mean that you

have COVID-19.

Difficulty in breathing is a

sign of possible pneumonia

and requires immediate

medical attention.

It is not yet known how

long symptoms take to show

after a person has been

infected, but current WHO

assessments suggest that it is

two to ten days.

If you have these symptoms

and have recently been to

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MARCH 15, 2020


Former doctor gets 19 years in prison for murder of Amber-Rose Rush

Tim Brown

Former doctor Venod Skantha

has been sentenced to at

least 19 years behind bars

for the murder of 16-year-old

Amber-Rose Rush.

The 32-year-old stabbed the

teenager to death in her bed shortly

before midnight on February 2, 2018.

She was found by her mother the

following morning.

Skantha will not be eligible for

parole until 2037.

Justice Gerald Nation sentenced

Skantha to one year for each count

of threatening to kill charges - terms

which would be served concurrently.

Justice Nation told Skantha he

accepted the Crown’s submission

that he killed the teenager to “silence

her” and prevent her from coming

forward with her career-ending


The murder was callous and

carried out after illegally entering her

home, Justice Nation said.

“Amber-Rose was killed in bed in

her home. She was in a place she

should have been able to feel most

safe,” he said.

Accused claims innocence

Skantha’s lawyer Jonathan Eaton

QC has indicated that the 32-year-old

maintains his innocence and will

appeal his convictions.

Skantha laid the blame on his

teenage friend, the prosecution’s key


Amber-Rose’s brother Jayden Rush

read a statement from his deceased

mother Lisa Ann Rush.

The murder had left her mother

“completely broken, completely

empty”, Rush said.

“I constantly wish that I wasn’t here

Former doctor Venod Skantha at his sentencing on March 6,

2020 (RNZ picture by Tim Brown)

Amber-Rose Rush (Facebook Photo)

and that I was with Amber,” the statement said.

Lisa Ann Rush died a few months after her

daughter’s death in a suspected suicide.

Skantha killed the 16-year-old to stop her

coming forward with claims he was showing

up to work drunk, plying minors with alcohol,

molesting teenagers and young women and

offering money for sex.

Unanimous Jury

At the end of a three-week High Court trial last

November it took a High Court jury just three

hours to unanimously find Skantha guilty of


He was also found guilty of four counts of

threatening to kill the prosecution’s key witness

- a teenager with name suppression - and his

family relating to an attempt to cover up the

circumstances surrounding Rush’s death.

At the trial the court heard Skantha’s life was

crumbling around him.

His job as junior doctor at

Dunedin Hospital was on thin

ice after he showed up to work

in July 2017, while off-duty and

after drinking, and treated a

patient - flushing the woman’s IV

line in the company of friends.

He only saved his employment

on that occasion by lying about

the death of his mother.

Text Message exchanges

On February 2, 2018,

Skantha and Rush shared a terse

exchange via a social media

messaging app.

At 743 pm she told him:

“You’re lucky I don’t go into the

hospital and tell them how you

turn up to work drunk, supply

minors with alcohol, touch them

up without consent, grow up

Vinny you’re 30 for f***’s sake.

I’m going to make sure everyone

knows what a sick c*** you are

including your work and the


When he questioned whether

she was serious, Rush replied:

“Best believe I am. I’m doing the

world a favour people like you

don’t deserve to walk freely.”

The heated back-and-forth was

the result of an incident about

a month earlier when Skantha

sexually assaulted the young girl.

Rush told friends she fell

asleep on the couch at Skantha’s

Duxford Crescent home and

awoke to find his hand down

her pants, and her bra and top


She was not the only one to

report such encounters with

Skantha. The court was told

other young women had been

indecently assaulted while asleep

or unconscious.

Friends of the 16-year-old told

the trial Skantha’s interest in her

was “creepy” and he had offered

up to $20,000 to have sex with


Amber-Rose Rush cut contact

with Skantha following what

happened in early January,

marking the end of a friendship

which had started in mid-2017

and was punctuated by boozy


Events on the night

The teenager’s last message

to Skantha on 2 February

2018 - sent about 1125 pm read:

“you know what you were doing

when you did it. For that you

deserve everything you’re gonna


Soon after, he picked up a

mutual teenage friend and asked

the boy for directions to Rush’s


Dressed in dark clothing and

wearing gloves, Skantha entered

the teenager’s Clermiston Avenue

home using a spare key kept

under a Buddha statue outside

the front door.

Skantha severed Rush’s carotid

artery and caused damage to her

spine and windpipe with a single

blow of a kitchen knife from his


“The nature of that wound

indicates that the person who did

that knew what was required,

knew what he’s doing,” Crown

Prosecutor Robin Bates told the


“The killer knew that’s where

you target somebody. That’s the

sort of knowledge Dr Skantha

has from his training as a


There was no evidence of a

struggle, but Skantha stabbed

and sliced the victim several

more times.

He took Rush’s cellphone

fearing the incriminating conversations

about his behaviour

could still lead to his career being


Camera captures images

But Skantha accidentally

activated its camera function just

after midnight as he attempted

to break it while on the street

outside her home. He disposed

of it in a swamp at Blackhead

Quarry in the hope of deleting

the exchanges between the pair.

It did not work.

The phone was found, reconstructed

and its data recovered,

including the images taken

accidentally by Skantha.

Two days after Rush’s death,

Skantha met with her grieving

mother and after questioning

whether the death was suicide,

he offered up her mother’s

partner as a suspect.

Rush’s mother died in a suspected

suicide just a few months

after her daughter’s murder.

When Skantha was questioned

by police later on 4 February,

he accused his teenage friend.

However, the interviewing

detective arrested Skantha about

45 minutes into the interview.

Tim Brown is Otago-Southland

Reporter of Radio New

Zealand. The above report and

pictures have been published

under a Special Arrangement

with www.rnz.co.nz

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MARCH 15, 2020

Sir Michael Cullen diagnosed

with terminal cancer

Former Deputy Prime

Minister Sir Michael

Cullen might have as

little as a few months

to live, after being diagnosed

with incurable lung cancer.

Sir Michael, 75, was told

he has stage four small cell

lung cancer unexpectedly

last week, while doctors were

looking for what they thought

might be a heart problem.

He had no symptoms and

no indication of the disease.

“It came as a complete

surprise,” he said from his

home in Ōhope.

Scans discovered it spread

from his lungs to his liver.

“It is inoperable, so the end

is inevitable in the not-too-distant

future. So now, we are on

four rounds of chemotherapy,

which should extend my life

somewhat, but somewhat

uncertain. It could be a matter

of a few months; it could

be over a year. Without the

chemotherapy, they told me it

would be six to 12 weeks,” Sir

Michael said.

Impressive political career

During a 30-year political

career with the Labour Party,

Sir Michael rose to be Helen

Clark’s right hand man in

their three terms in government

from 1999 to 2008, as

Minister of Finance for nine

years and Deputy Prime

Minister for six. He was the

architect of the now-lauded

retirement savings plan

KiwiSaver, which was

Sir Michael Cullen (INL File Photo)

launched in 2007.

He has held a number

of roles in the civil service

since retiring from politics

in 2009, including as Chair

of the Tax Working Group

and Earthquake Commission,

and Deputy Chair of New

Zealand Post. Until this week,

he was Chair of the Bay of

Plenty District Health Board

and a member of the Lakes

District Health Board, but has

resigned since the diagnosis.

Resigning from roles

“It is clear to me I will not

be in a fit state to carry on

all that I have been doing in

recent months. I have already

stood down reluctantly from

my long-held position as lead

claims negotiator for Te Kotahitanga

o Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

The only major role I will

maintain in the meantime is

as Chair of the Earthquake

Commission (EQC) to see it

through the release and the

response to Dame Sylvia Cartwright’s

report into EQC and

the Christchurch Earthquake

sequence. I expect to make

a decision shortly about the

timing of my departure from

that position.”

Three final wishes

Sir Michael started chemotherapy

this week, and can be

treated nearby at Whakatane


“I know what the end point

is, so, it is a matter of trying

to enjoy life ... Resting up,

spending more time with

family and friends. I have

got certain goals in terms of

that life span: one of them

to be well enough in July to

go with Anne [his wife] on

a birthday holiday for her

to North Queensland; the

second is to survive to the

general election, hopefully to

see Jacinda [Ardern] elected;

and the third is to survive

until the American election in

November, hopefully to see

Donald Trump defeated.”

He was knighted in 2012 for

services to the state.

Published under a Special

Agreement with www.rnz.co.nz




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MARCH 15, 2020

Australia’s news

landscape, and

the ability of

citizens to access

quality journalism, has

been dealt a major blow

by the announcement

the Australian Associated

Press is closing, with the

loss of 180 journalism


Although AAP reporters

and editors are generally

not household names, the

wire service has provided

the backbone of news

content for the country

since 1935, ensuring every

paper (and therefore

every citizen) has had

access to solid reliable

reports on matters of

national significance.

All news outlets have

relied on AAP’s network

of local and international

journalists to provide

stories from areas where

their own correspondents

couldn’t go, from the

courts to Parliament and

everywhere in between.

Speed and accuracy

Despite a shrinking

number of journalists in

recent years and a rapid

decrease in funding subscriptions,

AAP continued

to stand by its mission to

provide news without political

partisanship or bias.

Speed was essential for

the agency, but accuracy

was even more important.


AAP closure spells another death knell for quality journalism

Alexandra Wake

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AAP Bureau Chief Paul Osbourne holds his head

after the closure announcement

(AAP Picture)

But AAP has struggled in

recent years as newspapers

and radio and television

stations have sought to cut

costs and started sourcing

content for free from the

internet, thanks to global

publishing platforms, such

as Google.

When AAP shut down

its New Zealand newswire

in 2018, it said subscribers

were under pressure and

asking for lower fees.

Media mergers, such as

that of Nine and Fairfax,

have also been bad for AAP,

as companies consolidated

their subscriptions. Sky

News also gave up its

AAP subscription to use

News Limited in 2018.

The mantra within AAP

had long been, if a major

shareholder sneezes, the

wire agency catches a cold.

Independence and


In the opening to the

book, On the Wire: The

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Story of Australian Associated

Press, published in 2010

to commemorate the 75th

anniversary of AAP, John

Coomber wrote about the value

of the wire service, “AAP news

has no political axe to grind,

nor advertisers to please. News

value is paramount, and successive

boards, chief executives

and editors have guarded its

independence and reporting

integrity above all else.”

Because it supplies news and

information to virtually every

sector of the Australian media

industry, AAP can’t afford to

do otherwise. Unsupported

by advertising or government

handout, it has only its good

name to trade on.

Vast changes

So much has changed in the

news industry since AAP was

formed by Keith Murdoch in


Back then, it took a staff of

only 12 people, with bureaus in

London and New York, to bring

overseas news into Australia.

But even in its earliest days,

as an amalgamation of two

agencies, the Australian Press

Association and the Sun Herald

Cable Service, it was set up to

save money.

With the cost of cables, which

were charged by the word, the

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Dan Peled’s photograph of Sharnie Moran holding

her daughter near bushfires in Coffs Harbour last year

(AAP Picture by Dan Peled)

Julia Gillard loses her shoe as she and Tony Abbott are escorted

by police and bodyguards after being trapped by protesters

in a Canberra restaurant (AAP Picture by Lukas Coch)

pooling of resources was significant

at the time. The AAP

journalists were therefore

required to create concise

Australian-focused reports for

local papers.

Although AAP reports were

sometimes drawn together

from other news sources, the

agency’s reporters sometimes

did their own original

reporting. This led to wordage

blowouts on major events,

such as Adolf Hitler’s invasion

of Austria in 1938, which set a

record for the AAP’s wordage

for the year.

The second world war was

an unlikely boost to AAP as

senior journalists from Australian

papers were seconded

to war zones as AAP special


Stories that brought glory

The Sydney Morning Herald’s

Ray Maley, later Prime

Minister Robert Menzies’

Press Secretary, was sent to

Singapore. His story of the

first clash between Australian

and Japanese troops was

widely used in newspapers in

Britain and the US, as well as


Winston Turner, “our man

in Batavia” (now Jakarta), was

one of the last AAP journalists

to get out of the region, escaping

the invading Japanese by

the narrowest of margins.

Award-winning journalism

AAP’s glory days weren’t

just confined to the past. It

has published numerous,

award-winning stories

in recent years, such as

Lisa Martin’s report on Peter

Dutton’s au pair scandal.

Long-time readers of

Fairfax newspapers might

remember the federal budget

in 2017 when AAP filled the

pages of The Sydney Morning

Herald and The Age because

Fairfax reporters had gone

on strike. The copy written

by Fairfax’s skeleton staff was

sloppy, while AAP’s stories

shone with the agency’s

emphasis on accuracy.

AAP photographers, too,

have captured moments

of Australian history, such

as Lukas Coch’s Walkley

Award-winning picture of

Linda Burney in blue high

heels in the air celebrating

the passage of the marriage

equality law in 2017.

Coch also took famous

photo of then-Prime Minister

Julia Gillard in the arms of an

AFP officer when she lost a

shoe while exiting a Canberra

restaurant surrounded by


Rich training ground lost

One of the saddest parts of

the closure of AAP is the loss

of fantastic training opportunities

for young reporters

starting out in journalism.

AAP has produced some big

names in journalism, including

Kerry O’Brien, the PNG

correspondent in the 1960s,

and SMH editor Lisa Davies

and Joe Hildebrand, who both

started as AAP cadets.

AAP has solidly taken in

four or five cadets each year

for the past decade, and in

recent years, a small group of

editorial assistants. Over 12

months, the AAP cadets have

been taught to write fast and

accurately while also learning

shorthand, video skills, ethics

and media law.

During the global financial

crisis in the 2000s, AAP took

four cadets, while The Age

took on none, and the Herald

Sun only two.

As news of the AAP’s

closure spreads across the

country, it will be seen as yet

another blow to public interest

journalism in Australia.

Australia needs more sources

of news, not fewer. The loss

of AAP should be mourned

not just by newsmen and

women across the country,

but by every single person

who cares about democracy

and the valuable work

journalists do in keeping

the public informed and the

powerful to account.

Alexandra Wake

Programme Manager, Journalism

at RMIT University,

Melbourne, Australia. The

above article and pictures

have been published under

Creative Commons Licence.

Covid-19 exposes the risk of chasing

the student dollar

Dr Rowan Light

The deepening Covid-19

epidemic highlights

the connectedness

of our globalised

world and its fragility. China

is a critical junction in a vast

system of supply and demand;

New Zealand, a smaller

node; but for both, this global

interchange which has paid

dividends for many years has

become a source of anxiety

and instability.

A striking example of

this delicate balance is our

tertiary sector, particularly in

the exposure of its financial

models that rely on a constant

flow of international students

to sustain university coffers—

bringing in $4.6 billion in

2019, our fifth biggest export


No new jobs this year

The University of Auckland

announced last week that

it was freezing new staff

appointments to compensate

for a projected shortfall of

$30 million due to the lag

in international students.

Victoria University, facing

similar pressures, has hinted

at imminent doom for its

own balance sheets if the

Government doesn’t rescind

the travel ban “in the next

day or two.”

If a New Zealand university

cannot function without international

students, we have

a serious problem.

Our tertiary sector has gone

from operating as a public

institution providing an

academic voice in New Zealand

society to a globalised

educational product.

As Auckland University’s

freezing of new staff appointments

suggests, this change

may come to the detriment of

the quality of education that

domestic students receive.

Fraudulent practices

We have seen this impact

in other ways. In 2018, TVNZ

highlighted that the buying

and selling of assignments

was endemic among international

students at Auckland

University, threatening the

integrity of students’ degrees

and suggesting that universities

have little authority

to curb fraudulent practices

without jeopardising international

student revenue.

Conversely, departments

have been hollowed out

due to a lack of funding:

why teach New Zealand

ecology, literature, or history,

if it’s not going to appeal to

international students who

overwhelming want business


Covid-19 has given us a

chance to reflect on this

hyper-emphasis on the

international student dollar.

It goes to the heart of what

role we think our universities

play in our public life.

Is the purpose of a New

Zealand institution to act as a

kind of placeless degree farm

serving global markets, or is

it to interpret the world from

this place of Aotearoa New

Zealand based on local needs

and priorities?

Pursuing the international


Rather than being small,

targeted, and beneficial for

all involved, the pursuit of the

international dollar has reshaped

the very orientation of

our universities, leaving—as

Covid-19 shows—the whole

system vulnerable. There is

little to suggest that universities

feel an obligation to New

Zealand society.

If this crisis is an example

of an over-extension of global

tertiary products, then we

need to rethink the funding

model and how it relates to

the local. This will require

a new public conversation

about how we see our

universities connecting with

communities, rebalancing

global status with local,

regional, and iwi connections.

This means being honest

about what it would take

to lessen our institutional

reliance on international


Dr Rowan Light is a

Researcher at the Auckland-based

Maxim Institute.

MARCH 15, 2020

New think tank to promote credible, robust research

It will also combat

misinformation, declining

public trust

Supplied Content

Countering the global rise of

misinformation and declining

public trust with robust

research and evidence-based

advice is the fundamental goal of a

new think tank at the University of


The initiative, called, ‘Koi Tū:

The Centre for Informed Futures

is an independent and apolitical

established by Distinguished

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the

first Chief Science Advisor to the

Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Governor General Dame Patsy

Reddy launched the think tank at

the Government House in Auckland

today (March 4, 2020) the Centre is

focused on addressing global and

national issues arising from rapid

and far-reaching social, economic,

technological and environmental


Sir Peter said that the Centre

was born out of a realisation that

it has never been more important

for community and local, national

and global policy decisions to be

informed by evidence, and that

society is searching for information

it can trust.

Unhealthy environment

“Unfortunately, we live in

a world where the contest of

ideas is increasingly taking place

in an unhealthy environment

of misinformation and, in many

places, declining public trust in

democratic, scientific and societal

institutions,” he said.

Sir Peter said that social,

economic, technological and

environmental transformations

are occurring at a scale and speed,

Distinguished Professor Sir Peter


unique in human history.

“As scientists, we have a

crucial role to play in ensuring

our Rangatahi’s future is in the

hands of decision makers armed

with robust evidence,” he said.

Research themes

The Centre’s research themes

include societal and individual

resilience in the face of rapid

change; factors affecting social

cohesion, choices and decisions

about the impacts of rapidly

emerging technologies; and

understanding the trade-offs embedded

within the sustainability


Sir Peter said that as a small,

advanced country, New Zealand

can be the “canary in the mine”

to identify issues that are

emerging and “the headlights to

identify the road ahead.”

Deputy Director Dr

Anne Bardsley said that the

Centre will focus on how to help

communities and governments

understand better complex issues

and acknowledge inevitable

trade-offs and values, in ways

that lead to robust, societally-accepted


She said that the Centre

will offer thought leaders and

researchers a way to engage

with the community and

inform the policy discussion,

while also offering a

pathway to policymakers

to find the right advice.

Complex conversations

The Centre is

developing ‘complex

conversations’ tools

to assist traditionally

disempowered groups,

as well as other

stakeholders including the

business community, to

better participate in policy

development, aiming to

become a recognised

neutral space to initiate

conversations that catalyse

broader processes

and decision-making.

“We combine the scientific

disciplines, natural

and social, to provide

collaborative advice that

can help policy makers

and civil society better

understand the issues. We

want to connect better

the knowledge produced

in academia with true

engagement with society,

integrate their perspectives

and assist societal

decisions and the policy

community in a relevant

way,” Dr Bardsley said.

“Operating at the nexus

of academia, civil society

and public policy, and

between national and

international discourses,

we are uniquely placed

to explore these issues,”

she said.

The Centre staff include

experts in the Physical

Sciences, Humanities,

Law, Engineering,

Computer Science,

Social Science, Economics,

Health Sciences, Policy

and Matauranga Maori.

The Centre has

extensive domestic and

international partnerships

with science and policy

communities and is home

to the Secretariat of the

International Network

for Government Science

Advice, a growing global

network with more than

5000 members in 100


The name and its intent

Koi Tū describes the

intent of the Centre.

Koi is to be bright; to be

clever; it is the sharp point

of the arrow.

The Centre is koi by

integrating the various

knowledge disciplines and

to inform people through

true engagement and a

holistic approach.

The Centre places itself

at the sharp end of longterm

issues of complexity

such as societal resilience

and social cohesion,

sustainability, human

capital development and

societal decision-making

regarding emergent


Tū means to stand, to

set in place and infers


The Centre is future

focused, addressing areas

of concern to Aotearoa

New Zealand, small

advanced countries and

globally. It is committed

to making a stand; to

inform societal and policy

decisions over the mid to


Source: University of



Some fast facts about baby fat and some


Supplied Content

The facts and fictions

of baby fat have

been revealed in the

first-ever study of

Aotearoa New Zealand newborns

body composition, including

a surprise that could

refocus early healthcare.

Researchers in the Liggins

Institute-led study used a

special air displacement

machine combined with

tape-measurements and

sensitive scales to determine

the fat mass and fat-free

mass (everything else) of

440 babies born in Auckland

between May 2015 and April


Babies were classified

as either Maori and Pacific,

European or Asian.

Maori, Pacific, Asian


Researchers found that,

on average (a) Maori and

Pacific babies were bigger

(longer, larger head circumference)

than European and

Asian babies at birth, and

heavier than Asian babies

– all well-established facts –

but the revelation was that

they were also leaner: the

extra weight came from fatfree

mass (bones, muscles,

organs), not fat mass.

Asian babies were the

lightest, shortest and smallest,

but had similar amounts

of fat mass to babies of other

ethnicities, and therefore

the highest percentage of

fat mass.

Boy babies were heavier,

longer and had larger heads

than girl babies, but they

were also leaner, with a low-

Tanith Alexander

(Picture Supplied)

er percentage of fat mass – a

pattern long-recognised in

childhood and adulthood.

Surprising elements

Study Lead Tanith Alexander,

is a PhD student at

the University-based Liggins

Institute and dietitian at Kidz

First, Middlemore Hospital.

She said, “We wanted

to see if knowing body

composition at birth could

help identify risk factors

for later metabolic disease,

such as obesity and Type 2

Diabetes, and interventions

for long-term health. The

finding that Maori and

Pacific babies were heavier

but leaner was somewhat

surprising, because by the

time they reach childhood,

they experience the highest

rates of overweight and

obesity of all ethnicities. This

suggests that environmental

factors in our society are

mostly driving this shift in

body composition.”

While fat mass percentages

differed by ethnicity and

sex, the absolute amount of

fat mass was similar across

all babies in the study.

“This raises the possibility

of a ‘target’ mass of fat for

new-born babies to aid

transition to life outside

the womb. New-borns


need a certain amount of

fat to maintain their body

temperature and for energy

stores until breastfeeding

fully kicks in,” says Ms

Alexander said.

The ‘thin-fat’ types

“Although our findings

suggest that Asians are

born with the ‘thin-fat’ body

type, this underlines that

small or thin babies do not

need fattening up to make

them the same size as other

babies, as they all have the

same fat stores. In fact, rapid

weight-gain during the first

few years of life has been

linked to childhood obesity,

which in turn raises your

risk of developing health

problems in adulthood such

as obesity, type 2 diabetes

and cardiovascular disease.”

The researchers say that

the findings once again

highlight the importance

of health promotion from

the earliest years to set

children up for life-long

health. Actions could

include supporting mothers

to breastfeed, guidance

around introduction of

solids, community-based

promotion of healthy eating

and exercise for children

and whānau, and regulatory

or pricing changes to make

healthy food cheaper and

more accessible.

The study was published

in the journal Early Human

Development in January

2020 and funded by Counties

Manukau Health and The

Nurture Foundation for

Reproductive Research.

The other researchers are

from Massey University and

Boston University.




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MARCH 15, 2020


Fiji gets closer to New Zealand after Ardern’s visit

Balaji Chandramohan

New Zealand Prime Minister

Jacinda Arden’s recent

State visit to Fiji will reset

the country’s complicated

relationship with Fiji.

She scored high as a compassionate

leader, understanding the

sentiments of Fijians and embracing

the Pacific Island country with


Editor’s Note: Please read related

stories on our website and social

media filed by the Editor of

Indian Newslink who was a

member of the media delegation

that accompanied Ms Ardern to

Fiji and Australia from February

24 to February 28, 2020.

Accord on Climate Change

Ms Ardern and Fiji’s Prime Minister

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

were on the same page on issues

related to Climate Change.

It is now expected that New

Zealand will stand with Fiji on

many outstanding issues as Fijians

observe the 50th Anniversary of

their Independence.

One of the highlights of the visit

was the way in which New Zealand

could differentiate its approach

towards Fiji from the way in which

Australia has dealt with Suva.

Bainimarama and Ardern at the State Dinner in Suva on Feb 25


Ms Ardern has made a point that

New Zealand has much firmer roots

in the Pacific Islands than Australia

and New Zealand’s marked departure

towards the Pacific Islands in

general and Fiji in particular was

reflected during last year’s Pacific

Islands Summit held in Tuvalu.

Inspiring leadership

The Island countries were

attracted to the leadership of Ms

Ardern over that of Australian

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

She continues to advocate and

understand the importance of the

South Pacific in New Zealand’s

geopolitical thinking.

To a larger extent, this stance

also reflects the position held by

her Labour Party towards Fiji from

Brahmarishi Guruvanand

creates a spell on devotees

Venkat Raman

Fijians seeking self-realisation

and ‘true happiness’

received esteemed enlightenment

in the presence of

Brahmarishi (also Brahmrishi)

Vishvasant Guruvanand, the

Spiritual Leader, who simplified

Vedanta and philosophy of life

for easy assimilation.

The Schedule

The Master of Vedas addressed

two public meetings, the first

of which was held on Tuesday,

March 3, 2020 at Girmit Centre in

Lautoka (located at Kings Road).

The second meeting was held

on March 5, 2020 at the FMF

Foods Limited (formerly Flour

Mills of Fiji Limited) Gymnasium,

located at Laucala Bay Road in


A cross-section of Fiji’s population

attended the discourses,

during which the Brahmarishi

explained how to lead a meaningful

life and more important, sans


Guruvanand had earlier

concluded a four-day visit to

Auckland which saw more than

1500 people listening to his

speeches at Ram Mandir in West

Auckland and Bhartiya Mandir in

Central Auckland.

Teachings par excellence

To the world that is often

misguided with increasing tensions

and tendencies towards

suicide and homicide, Gurudev’s

teachings are palliatives.

Here is a sample: “In the

tapestry of life, weave a story that

is so inspiring and so meaningful

that posterity can say with pride

that you were indeed the heir of

the ‘Santana Dharma,’ the eternal

Dharma of the great Masters

of the past. Your thoughts and

actions today are indelible links

that connect the great shining

past and the glorious future

unfolding of the Divine Life, of

which you are an integral part.”

According to scores of disciples,

reciting his name with the Man-

Brahmarishi Vishvasant Guruvanand

(Picture from Facebook)

tra ‘Om Guruvanand Namah,’

provides ‘divine relaxation to the


“The name of this beautiful

mantra itself gives the mission

that Guruji wants to fulfil from

his inspiring and influential

presence, which is Awareness

and Peace. I owe my major

improvements, success, frame

of mind, vision and level of

thinking to Guruji,” an Auckland

based devotee said.

The Brahmarishi advises

people to live a beautiful life- so

beautiful that its fragrance eternally

permeates and pervades

the memory of fellow sojourners

in the journey of life.

“You have to shake to take out

dirt from a cloth. Similarly, dance

and rejoice in front of Mata Rani

and take out all your karmas and

be happy. Leave all your tensions

there and go home fresh with

happiness,” he said.

About Brahmarishis

Brahmarishis are revered as

sons of God, selfless protectors,

persons of the greatest ability,

and propagators of the highest

human values.

They are Divine Flames

dedicating their lives to the cause

and welfare of humankind.

They teach in a language understood

by common people and

consider service to humanity as

the greatest religion.

The teachings of Brahmarishi

Jacinda Ardern with children at Rise Informal Settlement at Tamavua, Suva

on February 26, 2020 (Facebook)

the days of former Prime Ministers

Peter Fraser, Walt Nash and Helen


After Fiji was expelled from the

Pacific Islands Forum following

the coup by Mr Bainimarama on

December 5, 2006, China encouraged

it to be an active participant in

the Melanesian Spearhead Group

and even provided funds for the

establishment of its Secretariat in


Signalling a paradigm shift, New

Zealand will approach Fiji with

a focus on developing its fragile

infrastructure, thereby developing

the base for providing jobs for its

young people who now seek jobs


It must be said that such a shift

Guruvanand are well founded

on tenets of innate goodness

of every person, transcending

barriers of race, religion,

language and other man-made


He believes that everyone

has something to contribute to

the progress and prosperity of

the human race as a whole.

“Live in the now, do not seek

faults in others and improve

yourself. Your faith will make

heaven come to you. Follow

your religion or your God or

your own Guru. Believe in

him with full devotion. Live

with happiness and not for

happiness. Happiness is in

small things. Love your family

and always spread smile,” he


Gurudev, the Pacifist

If you were to listen to the

speeches of Gurudev, you

would instantly like him and

his belief that religion is not

based on rituals and rites but

on love, peace, harmony and

understanding among people.

He radiates grace and kindness.

At each private meetings,

many have found answers to

questions that have daunted

them since long.

The Brahmarishi holds several

degrees including M Tech

from IIT Kharagpur (equivalent

to MIT and Harvard in USA);

PhD in Astrology; and Masters

in Sanskrit, Vedas, and Jyotish.

He was Honorary Principal

and Professor at various

academic institutions including

Banaras Hindu University.

With a background in Science,

it is natural that he looks for

ways to bring the scientific

mentality and the spiritualism

in creative dialogue.

With his life transformative

spiritual message, he inspires,

empowers, keeps people

informed and engages them to

move forward in their spiritual


was largely facilitated by New Zealand’s

Deputy Prime Minister and

Foreign Minister Winston Peters

with his ‘Pacific Reset Programme,’

and visits to Fiji.

New Zealand is likely to support

Fiji’s entry to the Polynesian Spearhead

Group, a regional multilateral

Forum for Polynesians.

Biketawa Declaration

New Zealand will also push for

the Biketawa Declaration 2.0.

Pacific Island Forum Leaders

agreed to the original Security

Statement in 2000, after a coup in

Fiji that year and ethnic tensions in

the Solomon Islands.

The Regional Assistance Mission

to the Solomon Islands was enabled

under the Biketawa Declaration,

under which, the Forum countries

could form such a mission and send

it into a member country upon the

request of the affected nation.

New Zealand’s then Prime Minister

Helen Clark had a major role to play

in this initiative.

Ms Ardern may follow suit and

involve New Zealand to be a part of

Biketawa Declaration 2.0, which will

work in tandem with the regional

security force Legion, comprising the

Melanesian countries.

Election prospects

She will be aware that carrying

Fiji along will go domestically well

for the Labour Party, especially in

the election year. Mount Albert,

her constituency in Auckland, has

significant Indo-Fijian and Native

Fijian population.

If re-elected, the new Labour

government will work actively in the

South-West Pacific, South Pacific and

South-East Pacific.

After years of neglect, New Zealand

has understood Fiji’s position and

has approached the relationship

with compassion and pragmatism,

punching above the weight in the

complex South Pacific geo-politics.

Balaji Chandramohan is Indian

Newslink Correspondent based in

New Delhi, India.

Subscribe to Indian Newslink

Please call (09) 5336377

Email: info@indiannewslink.co.nz

Joint action to manage Climate

Change imperative

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama


few years back, we entered a

new era of the Fiji-New Zealand

friendship; an era defined by

mutual respect and equality.

Today, our partnership sits at unparalleled

strength, as Prime Minister Ardern’s

personal commitment to the Pacific has

built new bridges of cooperation upon

the foundation of trust and openness our

governments know today.

Through her inclusive and compassionate

brand of leadership, she has earned

a profile that extends far beyond New

Zealand, winning the hearts and minds

of people in Fiji and all around the world.

I am glad to see it, because I believe our

world badly needs more leaders like


This is a

leader who

truly cares, who

not only leads

well but listens,

and who shares

the principles

of togetherness

and progress

that I hold most


But what I

have admired

most is how,

when tested by

great adversity,

she has summoned

the spirit

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama with his wife Mary and New Zealand Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern and her Parter Clarke Gayford in Suva on February 25, 2020 (Facebook)

of unity in a way that not only lifts up the

people of New Zealand, but inspires the

wider world.

Trade prospects

Prime Minister Ardern and I also see

the potential of a unity across the Pacific.

New Zealand is Fiji’s second largest

regional trading partner.

Every year, tens of thousands of Kiwis

visit our shores, and Fijian and New

Zealand businesses send flows of goods,

services and investments across our borders

that sustain and create jobs within

our economies.

What makes this partnership truly

special is that Prime Minister Arden and I

know the possibilities for our partnership

extend far beyond our patch of ocean.

From Tuvalu to the halls of the UN General

Assembly, our elevated voice on the

world stage has transformed the Pacific

from a region left off maps to one which

loudly and boldly defends humanity’s

greatest interests.

New pact on Climate Change

Both recently joined Iceland, Norway

and Costa Rica in a new Agreement on

Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability,

which we expect will generate global

momentum to spur sustainable, climate-conscious

flows of trade.

It is one of many ways Fiji and New

Zealand are leading the global race to


I want to congratulate New Zealand on

passing its climate change response Zero

Carbon Bill.

Fiji is proud to join you on the right

side of history by passing our own

Climate Change Bill this year, which lays

out our pathway to net-zero emissions.

Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama is Prime

Minister of Fiji. The above is an edited

version of the Statement that he issued

to the media following a bilateral

meeting between Fiji and New Zealand

in Suva on February 25, 2020. He

praised Ms Ardern for her leadership

on Climate Change, the aftermath of

the terrorist attack in Christchurch on

March 15, 2019 and said that he and his

government looked forward a closer


Ms Ardern and her delegation were

on a four-day official visit to Fiji from

February 24 to February 27, 2020.

MARCH 15, 2020


Action Plan ensures sustainable

housing for the homeless

Michael Wood

Our government is stepping

up to prevent and reduce

homelessness in New Zealand.

The Aotearoa New Zealand

Homelessness Action Plan, which

was released last week, establishes a

framework and funding to help the

homeless into sustainable housing.

This follows a decade of denial

and neglect under National, which

sold off state houses as the numbers

of homeless grew dramatically.

For a start, we will move more

vulnerable New Zealanders from

emergency motel accommodation to

transitional housing.

New transitional homes

A thousand new transitional

housing places will be delivered by

end of 2020 to reduce demand for

emergency motel accommodation.

This is in addition to about 1300

places already created.

We have campaigned on addressing

housing and homelessness and

we are delivering during the short

time we have held office.

We will introduce a 25% of income

payment, after seven days for those

in emergency motel accommodation

to bring in line with other similar

accommodation support payments.

We have allocated over $70 million

for programmes that will help

people who are at the risk of losing

their rentals and becoming homeless

and also to support people out of

RNZ Picture by Luke McPake

Infographics from Action Plan website

motels and into permanent


Long-term solutions

Alongside these immediate

actions, we are looking at longterm

plans of action to reduce


We have initiated a public

housing building programme

that hasn’t been seen in New

Zealand for 40 years. On

assuming office, our immediate

priority was to get people out

of sleeping in cars and garages

or on the streets into safe and

warm accommodation.

A major investment in

‘Housing First’ which moves the

homeless into housing and then

works to deal with underlying

issues such as mental health

and addiction, is already seeing

promising results in keeping

people off the streets.

Additional funding will also

enable preventing homelessness

among Maori and expand

housing supply that is delivered

by Maori.

More funds will enable

supporting of young people who

are leaving Oranga Tamariki

care into suitable accommodation

with wrap around support

services for them.

Mental Health services

Acute mental health services

as well as addiction inpatients

transiting into community with

housing and other support

services will also be funded.

Ministry of Social

Development will also launch

a new housing broker service

which will connect with local

landlords and support MSD

clients to secure private rental

homes. The Social Development

Minister Hon Carmel Sepuloni

is very sure of making housing

costs as consistent and fair as

possible to all.

Every New Zealander should

have a decent, safe place to

sleep at night. The legacy of

homelessness we inherited was

serious and it will take some

time to completely resolve the

issue. Under this government

however, real progress is being


Michael Wood is Member

of Parliament elected from

Mount Roskill in Auckland.

He is the Chief Government



Commerce Commission warns HSBC over disclosures

Supplied Content

The Commerce Commission has

issued a warning to The Hongkong

and Shanghai Banking Corporation

Limited (HSBC) over its failure to

comply with the information disclosure

requirements of the Credit Contracts and

Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA).

HSBC self-reported the matter to the

Commission following a routine audit of its

business in New Zealand. HSBC identified

six occasions between 2014 and 2018 when

it failed to disclose an interest rate increase

to borrowers.

Borrowers affected

The failures affected 225 loans and 180


In the Commission’s view, HSBC likely

breached the requirements of the CCCFA for

lenders to disclose changes following the

exercise of a contractual right or power.

Commission Chair said that HSBC advised

that these failures were due to inadequate

internal manual processes and failure to

identify errors in a timely way.

“The disclosure requirements are there to

protect consumers. They ensure that lenders

provide essential information about a loan

when it is first taken out or, as in this case,

when the lender makes a change to the loan,

as allowed in the contract. Lenders must

fully and accurately inform borrowers about

such changes and within the required time

limit. HSBC failed to do so in relation to these

cases,” she said.

Borrowers contacted

HSBC has written to borrowers providing

full particulars of the change following the

interest rate increase in 2018 and made

changes to its processes including moving

to automated disclosure processes where


It has also provided compensation to

affected borrowers totalling about $7000.

“In light of the actions already taken by

HSBC and the relatively small number of

affected borrowers, the Commission decided

that a warning was appropriate in this

case. We note HSBC’s pro-active conduct in

self-reporting the matter and its subsequent

co-operation with our investigation,” Ms

Rawlings said.


The CCCFA protects consumers when they

borrow money or buy goods on credit. It

sets out the rules that must be followed by

lenders when they provide loans.

Disclosure is important information about

a loan that lenders must give borrower at

different times during the loan, including

when it is first set-up, on an ongoing basis,

and if a loan is varied.

It helps borrowers understand what the

loan will cost them and what their and the

lender’s obligations are under the loan.

Where a lender exercises a right under

the contract to increase the loan interest rate

or loan payments, the lender must disclose

full details of the change to the borrower

within 5 working days of the change.

Warning letters

A warning explains the Commerce

Commission’s opinion that the conduct at

issue is likely to have breached the law. Only

the Courts can decide whether a breach of

the law has in fact occurred.

The purpose of a warning letter is to

inform the recipient of the Commission’s

view that there has been a likely breach of

the law, to suggest a change in the recipient’s

behaviour, and to encourage future compliance

with the law.

Source: The Commerce Commission,




Labour List MP based in Maungakiekie

Maungakiekie Office

09 622 2660


Level 1 Crighton House,

100 Neilson St, Onehunga

(entrance via Galway St)

| | priyancanzlp

Authorised by Priyanca Radhakrishnan

Labour List MP, 100 Neilson St, Onehunga


MARCH 15, 2020


Novel Coronavirus: Scare and Reality

New Zealand puts pandemic plan into action

Sourced Content

As we prepared this issue

for printers, New Zealand

had five confirmed cases

based on positive test results

and two probable cases. Of the

confirmed cases, one patient was in

Auckland Hospital and continued to

improve, with plans for discharge.

Of the other confirmed cases,

none required hospital level care.

Director General of Health Dr

Ashley Bloomfield said that protecting

the health of New Zealanders is

number one priority.

“It is good the key public health

measures of strict border controls,

self-isolation for people who have

come from overseas hot-spots or

been in contact with local cases

have had the desired impact so far.

Now is the time to be even more

vigilant. Everyone can help by

ensuring good health etiquette –

washing hands for twenty seconds,

sneezing into your arm and not

touching your face. Fundamental to

Health Minister David Clark and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield at a media brief

this is not putting yourself or others

at risk if you are unwell - not going

to work or being out in public if you

are sick,” he said.

He said that all of us have a role

to play in stopping further spread.”

North Shore situation

The woman being cared for as

a probable case at North Shore

Hospital who was on a cruise of

the Grand Princess (February 11 to

21) has now been discharged home

and is under the care of her GP.

North Shore Hospital and Auckland

Regional Public Health Service

are also in daily contact with the

patient and the Northern Region

Health Coordination Centre is

Panic buying aggravates fears

Andy Yap

The UK has found itself

in a panic buying frenzy

in response to the novel

coronavirus outbreak.

A very flustered Health Secretary

Matt Hancock urged restraint and

attempted to calm fears of shortages

on BBC television’s Question Time

after being asked about a lack of

paracetamol, dry pasta and toilet


Dangerous trend

The UK is not alone. Social media

has been flooded with images from

across the world of shopping carts

lined up at check outs, empty shelves

and crazed shoppers carrying sixmonths’

worth of toilet paper. Just

seeing this footage has fed the panic,

escalating the problem far beyond

anything that was noted during the

SARS epidemic when digital connections

were far less prevalent.

These kind of posts are spreading

hysteria and false news to the

extent that coronavirus hoaxes

have, arguably, right. If they want

panic buying to stop, governments

need to demonstrate that they are

in control through decisive action

and sustained and transparent


Regaining control

In the research that I conducted

with marketing Professors Charlene

Chen and Leonard Lee, we found

that consumers compensate for a

perceived loss of control by buying

products designed to fill a basic

need, solve a problem or accomplish

a task.

This is what we are seeing as

people rush to buy rice, cleaning

products and paper goods in illogically

large proportions.

This has led to price gouging and

shortages of vital health equipment

where it is needed most.

In times of crisis, people don’t

want a huge debate, they want

action. To assuage people’s anxiety

and help them regain a feeling of

control, it is up to governments to

signal that they have a game plan in

mind and are taking timely steps to

address the problem.

People queue outside a Watsons pharmacy in Hong Kong (Lewis Tse Pui Lung/Shutterstock)

Empty shelves in Sainsbury’s United Kingdom

The Singapore example

Singapore – which has had no

virus-related deaths, despite 112

cases and a rate of infection that’s

been outpaced by recoveries – has

emerged as an example of how

to contain both the infection and

maintain citizen’s trust.

A day after signs that people

were panic buying rice and instant

noodles, Prime Minister Lee Hsien

Loong was on television calling for

calm, and assured Singaporeans:

“We have ample supplies, there’s no

need to stock up.”

Singapore was one of the

first countries to impose entry

restrictions on anyone with recent

travel history to China and parts of

South Korea. The country has also

introduced temperature screening,

systems to identify people who have

been in contact with carriers, and

strict hospital and home quarantine

regimes for potentially infected

patients. Firm action, in the form

of fines and jail time, is being taken

towards those who breach these

new rules.

The government has made

regular public statements and been

very frank with its people about the

dangers posed by the coronavirus. A

week after the panic buying frenzy,

things have calmed down and shoppers

have gone back to purchasing

items in normal quantities.

Getting it wrong

This contrasts with what is

happening in Japan and Iran, where

governments are under fire for

their lack of transparency. This

distrust stems from concerns that

governments may be deliberately

concealing or may not have access

to accurate information.

This has led to people stockpiling

goods, which in Japan has resulted

in shortages of toilet paper. Longs

lines and price surges have followed.

Theft is now so common that

some establishments have taken to

chaining rolls to their dispensers.

While the UK government has

liaising with her family to check on

any wellbeing needs.

The first of the North Shore

Hospital staff stood down and asked

to self-isolate as a result of this

patient’s earlier hospitalisation will

be returning to work tomorrow.

Other staff will progressively

return. If they remain well, all staff

will be back at work by Monday,

March 16, 2020. There has been no

impact on clinical care from these

stand downs, and North Shore

Hospital continues to provide all

services as usual.

The test result from the one

remaining passenger being tested

for possible COVID-19 exposure

while also previously on the Grand

Princess has come back negative.

This passenger remains in

self-isolation as a precaution.

Cruise ship movements

There are a number of other

cruise ship movements which continue

to involve New Zealanders.

Four New Zealanders are currently

on the Grand Princess.

“We are not aware of any health

published an official coronavirus

action plan, setting out advice for

how the public should respond

during each stage of the outbreak

and what to expect if it becomes a

pandemic, there have been hiccups

in communication that have stoked

rather than tempered fears.

The communication fumble

The most recent problem was the

decision to withhold daily updates

about the geographical spread of

the virus. The government has

since made a U-turn on this, calling

it a “a communication fumble”

and acknowledging that such lack

of transparency would only lead

to feelings of government secrecy

and aid the potential spread of fake


concerns around these people. The

New Zealand Embassy in Rome

has made enquiries around MSC

Opera and found that rumours of

the quarantine of the vessel are

unfounded. One New Zealander

is reported on the quarantined

Asara on a Nile River cruise. We are

not aware of any health concerns

around this individual,” Dr Bloomfield


According to the Health Ministry,

at press time, there were five

confirmed cases, two probable

cases, 281 negatives and 47 cases

classified as under investigation

Healthline and self-isolation

Healthline continues to manage a

large number of calls on COVID-19

and has now registered a total

of 8963 people or households for

self-isolation since the process


There are currently 2334 registrations

(people or households) for


An additional 5929 have completed


What you should know

Supplied Content

New Zealand

is one of 77

countries and

territories to

report confirmed cases of


Keeping individuals,

families and our communities

safe and healthy

in the current global

environment requires

a team effort and that's

what we're seeing across

New Zealand.

It is critically important

that we both protect New

Zealanders from the virus

and play our part in the global

effort to contain it.

Healthline's dedicated COV-

ID-19 number, 0800-3585453,

is free and available 24 hours

a day, seven days a week.

Interpreters are available.

The Ministry’s TAG Expert

Advisory Group will meet

again today for further advice

on case definitions and testing.

The Government confirmed

this week that travel restrictions

currently in place for

China and Iran will continue

for a further week, while people

entering the country from

South Korea and northern

Italy will now be told to go into

How action is communicated,

including when and how often, is

critical to diffusing panic.

The situation of any pandemic

is so volatile that government

policies may need to evolve rapidly

in response. As seen in Singapore,

strong communication can be the

difference between seeming to

understand the dynamic nature of

the situation and not knowing how

to address it at all.

Andy J. Yap is Assistant Professor

of Organisational Behaviour,

INSEAD (Institut Européen d’Administration

des Affaires). The

above article and pictures have

been published under Creative

Commons Licence.


The Expert Advisory Group has

also recently revised the advice

to health professionals about

identifying possible cases of COV-

ID-19 by adding Hong Kong, Iran,

Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea,

Singapore and Thailand to China

as countries and territories of

concern when assessing patients.

Anyone arriving in New

Zealand who has visited those

countries in the previous 14

days is advised if they develop

symptoms of fever, cough or

shortness of breath they should

seek medical advice by first

phoning Healthline’s dedicated

COVID-19 number 0800-3585453

or phone ahead to their GP

before their visit.

JANUARY 15, 2019

YEP, training our youth is an economic imperative

Staff Reporter

An Auckland based organisation is

advocating training young people as an

economic imperative with a major role

for businesses.

Youth Employability Programme (YEP) helps

14-24 year-olds to gain the insight, confidence and

skills to get work, keep work and create careers.

An initiative of COMET Auckland- Te Hononga

Akoranga, YEP is supported by Employers and

Manufacturers Association (EMA).

The Programme Auckland Regional Coordinator

Alysha Bentley said that with the ageing population

and the increase of advanced technologies

implemented in all sectors, the role of employers

in training youngsters cannot be over-emphasised.

Persistent attitude gap

There is a persistent ‘attitude gap’ between

employers and young people.

“Many employers feel that young people lack

the attitude and work ethic they need to be successful

on work placement, let alone as employees.

So, businesses are not putting their hands up,” she


The Programme bridges this ‘attitude gap’ by

enabling employers to see the value young people

bring to the workplace, including “fresh perspectives,

new and innovative ideas, and digital skills,

among other things. It also enables young people

to gain experience in the ‘real world’ so that they

understand their responsibilities as an employee

and employer’s expectations.

Ms Bentley said that trades, hospitality, retail, IT

and logistics are among the main areas of interest

for young people on the programme.

“But getting employers from a wide range of

careers to engage with our young people opens up

more opportunities for them. They may not have

thought of such opportunities,” she said.

According to the latest EMA Employers Survey,

many businesses expressed concerns with the level

of work readiness skills among school leavers.

Developing skills

Often, the young person lacked communication,

teamwork, positive attitude, thinking skills,

resilience and self-management skills.

Image from Comet Auckland website

Youth Employability Programme Facilitators

(Image from Comet Auckland website)

YEP supports young people to develop these

skills, so that they enter or return to the workforce

with the ‘Licence to Work’ certificate.

EMA Chief Executive Brett O’Riley said that

young people need to be shown how to successfully

navigate the journey from school to work.

“The Youth Employability Programme gives

employers the opportunity to help youth prepare

for work by offering 80 hours of work experience,”

he said.

Ms Bentley said that each year they get a fresh

group of young people on the Programme who are

looking for further training or employment.

“Now is the best time to let us know that you are

interested in offering work experience,” she said.

YEP is currently seeking businesses in the south

and west Auckland area. To express your interest

contact, alysha.bentley@cometauckland.org.nz;

For more information, please visit Youth



Ethnic Youth Forum

Saturday 21 March

12 Noon to 2pm in Mt Roskill

We are hosting a meet-up for progressive youth (and youth adjacent)

from our diverse ethnic communities to hear about what matters to

you. It could be specific policy matters or issues related to broader

topics like multiculturalism and identity; authentic leadership

within our diverse communities or anything else you think your

government needs to be aware of.

If you’re between 20 and 40 and identify with an ethnic minority

community this may be of interest to you. Please contact

ethnic_communities_labour@parliament.govt.nz for an invitation.

Contact Labour’s

Ethnic Communities Team:

09 622 2557


Level 1, Crighton House, 100 Neilson Street,

Onehunga, Auckland 1061


Authorised by Priyanca Radhakrishnan Labour List MP,

100 Neilson St, Onehunga


ELSEWHERE$45. 88 SAVE $96. 50

• •


MARCH 15, 2020


The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

ISSUE 434 | MARCH 15, 2020

Engaging with an

enigma called

Shane Jones

New Zealand First

MP Shane Jones is a

colourful politician.

As he admits, his vocabulary

is often muscular and

bombastic and he is aware that

his comments are inflammatory

and hurtful.

His outbursts against the

Indian community caused

furore, attracting condemnation

from the Prime Minister, Leader

of the Opposition and others.

Mr Jones and his Leader

Winston Peters defend their

comments saying that ‘the

Indian community tells them.’

But who are these people? Do

they represent the Diaspora?

Has there been any verification

of their comments? Have

these leaders considered the

enormous contributions of

Indian businesses and people

towards the economic progress

and social development of New

Zealand for more than 110

years? If there are problems,

how we can we all get together

and address them?

If Mr Jones is an enigma, it is

our duty to solve the puzzle. It is

Let us foster our

unique unity

It is in the law of nature

that every living being will

come to collective defence

in the face of adversity.

It happens all the time in the

animal kingdom.

The human society is torn

by hatred, jealously, greed and

rage against colour, creed,

religion- all of them ironically

made by humans themselves.

And in this atmosphere of

intransigence and intolerance,

the unimaginable happens- as it

did on March 15, 2019.

But we New Zealanders

proved that we are different.

The death of 51 innocent

men, women and children in

Christchurch Mosques and the

49 other people injured have

touched our hearts.

As we marked the first

anniversary of the tragedy, we

proved that we are a caring

nation, and that there is no evidence

of any root of terrorism

amongst us.

The massacre was a reminder

of how similar white-nationalist

and jihadist killers really are.

As the Economist wrote,

important to hear him out fully,

find out what really bothers

him and how we can address

his concerns. On his part, Mr

Jones must stop castigating a

community and work with us.

Promoting dialogue

After all, any problem can

be solved through discussions.

Communities and nations are

pitted against each other only

because of failure of communications

and worse, refusal to


Indians are known for ability

to undertake intelligent discourses,

analyse situations and

provide solutions that can build

a cohesive society – a society

that Mr Jones aspires.

“A democratic society, in its

thirst for liberty, may fall under

the influence of bad leaders,”

worried Plato, who also feared

that “popular acclaim will

attend on the man who tells the

people what they want to hear

rather than what truly benefits


These worries seem all the

more pertinent today.

“though the two groups detest

each other, they share methods,

morals and mindsets. They see

their own group as under threat,

and think this justifies extreme

violence in “self-defence.” They

are often radicalised on social

media, where they tap into a

multinational subculture of


The deadliest virus

It is unthinkable that in this

day and age, certain groups of

people can consider themselves

superior because of the colour

of their skin or the religion to

which they subscribe. It is time

that people realised that their

strength rests on unity than


There is a larger threat that

looms large today across the

world- the Coronavirus. It has

already affected more than 145,

000 people in 118 countries,

killed about 5410 people and

has become pandemic. This

is an opportunity for all of us

to unite and fight this deadly


Nothing else matters now.

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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


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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

Well, your grammar can or may be questioned

Michelle Sheehan

People get corrected on their

language all the time.

With written language, this

is mostly about spelling and


In some cases, though, especially

when speaking , we are pulled up

on our grammar.

Whatever you think about ‘Grammar

Nazis,’ there are some times

when they are just plain wrong.

Here are five examples of grammar

you may have been pulled up

on which really make no sense at

all, grammatically speaking.

Can vs May

How many accidents have been

caused by overzealous teachers

correcting their students’ language

when they innocently ask: “Can I go

to the toilet, please?”

“You mean ‘May I go to the

toilet?’” was the stock response

whenever I asked, and it confused

me because I, like everyone else,

including the teacher, knew that

“can” has two different meanings,

depending on context.

Yes, it can describe what you are

able to do (the “dynamic meaning”

in linguistic terminology), but it can

also dictate what is permitted. In

fact, those same teachers would also

say, “You can take your pencil cases

out now,” using the permissive (or

deontic) meaning.

The ability reading of “can” is

older, but the oldest OED example

of the permissive reading is from

1489, so the idea that “can” is only

descriptive makes no sense.

“Can I go to the toilet” is simply


It can either describe your ability

to (well, you get the idea) or it can

mean: “Do I have your permission

to go to the toilet?”

In fact, the word “may” is ambiguous

in a similar way in statements

(but not questions). Compare “You

may come in now” with “It may

rain later, judging by those clouds.”

So, in short, when asking permission

you may use “may”, but you

can also use “can”.

Well vs Good

How many times have you been

corrected for saying “I’m good,

thanks” in answer to the question

“How are you?” This is another kind

of correction which makes no sense.

The verb “be” (am, are, is, was,

were) is what linguists call a “copular

verb” (ascribing a property to a


This verb can be followed by an


Think: “It is cold,” “I am tired.” “I

am good” is no different.

So, what are people objecting to

Labour picks Michael Wood again for Mount Roskill

The Labour Party has selected

Michael Wood to contest Mt

Roskill at the 2020 general


Following is a Statement issued

by Mr Wood:

It is an honour to be selected

again to contest my local community

of Mount Roskill for Labour.

I have worked hard to be a strong

voice for Mt Roskill and I want to

continue to make progress for local

people as part of a government that

is delivering for New Zealanders.

Diverse Electorate

I am proud to represent Mount

Roskill, New Zealand's most diverse

electorate. This is a place that

people have come, seeking to build

a good life for generations, and I

look forward to campaigning to

represent my community again

as part of a re-elected Labour-led


Under Jacinda Ardern’s

leadership, New Zealand is making

progress on the issues that matter

Photo by jeshoots.com on Unsplash

here? There is another adjective

“well,” which can also be used

to describe wellbeing and, until

recently, was used rather than

good for this purpose.

This adjective developed from

the adverb “well” in Old English.

Often when people correct “I am

good,” they claim that we need an

adverb here.

In fact, the opposite is true;

“be” needs to be followed by an

adjective and “well” only works

because it can be either an adverb

or an adjective.

So, the moral of the story is that

all’s fine with both well and good.

“I’m well” is older, but “I’m good”

is first recorded in 1921, so only

people over the age of 99 can claim

it to be a recent abomination.

You and Me

This is something that gets

corrected again and again, and it

makes little sense, because many

people say “you and me” or “me

and you” whenever they join these

two little words together (in a


Of course, there is some logic to

saying that we should use “you and

I” as a subject, as “I” is the subject

form. You would not say “me like

chocolate,” and so, according to

some, you should not say (or write)

“you and me like chocolate.”

What makes no sense is when

people are corrected for using “you

and me” in object position or after

a preposition such as “for.”

People say “for you and I,”

because they want to avoid saying

“for you and me,” but we wouldn’t

say “for I” would we? This

“hypercorrection“ shows us that

the distinction between subject/

non-subject is breaking down in

this context.

Things get even more complex

when you joint two possessors

together. Is it “mine and John’s

book” or “my and John’s book,”

“John’s and my book” or even “me

and John’s book”?

I have heard people use all of


Whom or Who?

“Whomever wants to help, can,”

says Walter White in Breaking Bad.

In fact, White says “whom” a lot.

I guess this is because he is an

Michael Wood (Picture Supplied)

most. Our economy is growing

strongly under our strong economic


With wages rising and unemployment

low, our families are

better off.

Our economy is performing

better than Australia, the UK,

and the US. Because we’ve run

the economy well we can afford

the biggest investment in new

infrastructure like roads and rail

(admittedly somewhat corrupted)

high school Chemistry teacher and

using “whom” marks him out as

an educated person. But what is


Once upon a time, English was

a language with rich grammatical

case (like Latin, German, Russian

or Polish), a means of encoding

whether a noun phrase is being

used as a subject, object, indirect

object and so on.

We still have it to some extent in

our pronoun system (as discussed

in the previous point), and we

used to make a subject/non-subject

distinction with who/whom too.

Nowadays, most English speakers

no longer make this distinction, and

many people who use “whom” use

it (because of hypercorrection) in

contexts where it would not have

been used historically, like Walter

White does.

Avoiding the passive

The passive is to be avoided at all


To be honest, this was not really

advice that I received at school but it

is something I have been told (oops

– that people have told me) at many

training sessions about good writing

in my adult life.

This myth has already been

debunked online, notably Language

Log, but it is so commonly cited that

it needs to be mentioned here.

The passive is just a way of

making the under-goer of an active

sentence into a subject, and we use

it, especially, when we don’t want to

say who the instigator of something


When I wrote “I have been told”

above, I did so precisely because I

didn’t want to specify exactly who

had done the telling.

The passive allows me to do

this. Now, in some cases, we need

to know who did something. The

passive allows us to include this

information too “I have been told by

some people.”

In fact, because this information

is optional, a case could be made

that including it actually creates


So, in short, there is nothing

wrong with the passive. Just like

there is nothing wrong with using

“can” instead of “may” or saying

“I’m good.”

We are all entitled to our grammatical

preferences, but grammar

itself does not care about them one


Michelle Sheehan is Reader in

Linguistics at Anglia Ruskin

University, United Kingdom. The

above article has been published

under Creative Commons Licence.

for more than 20 years.

Long-term issues

Importantly, we are also focused

on the big long-term issues.

We are addressing climate change

by getting New Zealand on track for

a net carbon zero economy, and we

are taking mental health seriously

with a record investment to build

community level mental health

support for people in need.

In Mount Roskill, the progress is

tangible and I am proud that after

first being elected in 2016, I can

point to the work that the government

has underway on issues on

which I campaigned.

Local schools are receiving major

upgrades after years of neglect,

hundreds of new state and affordable

homes are being built in Roskill

South, and with our investments in

more police and fog cannons, we

have seen a big decline in attacks on

our local small businesses.

I am running to continue that progress

and deliver for local people.

MARCH 15, 2020



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MARCH 15, 2020


Shane Jones’ attack hurt Indians but aimed elsewhere

Peter Dunne

There should be little surprise

at Shane Jones’ latest racist

outburst against Indians

living in New Zealand. The

typically florid, bombastic, pompous

comments were, by his own admission,

aimed neither at the Indian

community, nor the vast majority of

the rest of the country, but rather at

just the small percentage of it that

identifies as supporters of the New

Zealand First Party.

After all, they have had a tough

time in recent weeks defending the

apparently indefensible way their

Party funds itself, so might welcome

the Party making the headlines for

other reasons.

Electoral cynicism

What better way therefore to

make the Party troops feel positive

again than trotting out some good,

old core message rhetoric as light


No matter the offence the

comments understandably and

justifiably caused the Indian

community, because although they

were the group attacked, they were

not the group at whom the remarks

were aimed. Playing minorities off

against the rest of the population

in this way is a classic New Zealand

Shane Jones

(Newsroom Photo by Lynn Grieveson)

First tactic and is the height of

electoral cynicism.

But it is also much more than

that. It is a blunt expression of New

Zealand First’s beliefs.

Moreover, what it really shows

is that racially motivated criticisms

by New Zealand First MPs are not

just some casual occurrence to be

brushed aside as “their personal


There have been too many

instances of this type of behaviour

over the years for them to be dismissed

credibly as just coincidence.

Rather, they are at the heart of

New Zealand First’s monocultural,

anti-immigrant message, which the

Soft approach hardens criminals

to reoffend

Dr Parmjeet Parmar

This week we have seen the

government’s soft on crime

attitude has hit an all new


For a start, Corrections released

a prisoner on bail after he staged a

hunger strike for 25 days.

Instead of dealing with the

offender inside prison, Corrections

took the easy option.

As a result, we now have a

recidivist offender with an extensive

criminal record living in our


Dangerous precedent

Corrections has set a dangerous

precedent and has essentially

opened the floodgates, what will

prisoners try next to force Corrections’


What is even worse is that the

prisoner himself did not even think

that he should have been released.

What does that say about the state

of our justice system under this


This is just one example of the

Government’s soft on crime attitude

filtering down, and this time, it is

Corrections reacting to it.

No voting power please

If releasing a prisoner on bail

because he went on hunger strike

was not bad enough, then the

government introduced a Bill that

will allow prisoners to vote.

Losing the right to vote is a

consequence of serious offending,

and National has been very clear

that we will oppose any change to

the law on this.

It is difficult to be sentenced to

prison, and you have to have committed

serious crimes to get there.

Prisoners who have received

sentences of up to three years are

not petty criminals.

They are people who have committed

serious assaults, robberies,

family violence and sexual offences.

Losing the right to vote is consistent

with the loss of other freedoms

when going to prison.

Once offenders come out of

prison and have re-joined society

then they have this right returned

to them.

Going to prison is a punishment,

it should be treated as such.

Instead, this government is intent

on making it seem like a holiday,

even releasing prisoners early if

they become too difficult to deal


Bad example

But with this sort of behaviour

happening, it is no wonder other

criminals are feeling emboldened

under the current Government.

We have seen a sharp increase

in gang membership as well, since

October 2017 almost 1600 more

people have joined gangs, with this

number continuing to grow.

It is making excuses for drug use,

we saw last year that drug dealers

who could prove their addiction

caused the crimes could receive

a 30 per cent discount on their


If you commit a crime you should

not get off easily.

This is not fair on victims. They

have not asked to be put in this

position and we should be putting

them before criminals.

National has always been very

clear, we unapologetically stand on

the side of victims, and a National

Government would ensure victims

feel as though they have received


It is becoming obvious at the

election this year there is a stark difference

between a Labour, Greens,

NZ First soft on crime Government

clearly on the side of offenders,

and a National Government that is

tough on crime and puts victims at

the heart of our justice system.

Dr Parmjeet Parmar is a Member

of Parliament on National List

and the Party’s Spokesperson for

Research, Science and Innovation

and Associate Spokesperson for

Economic Development.

Party is unashamed and unabashed

in promoting.

It is a deliberate pitch to that

segment of the population that

holds similar views.

A habit for New Zealand First

One only need recall Winston

Peters’ quarter century of attacks

on non-white migrants; former

deputy leader Peter Brown’s

outburst that there were too many

Asian immigrants coming to New

Zealand; former MP Richard

Prosser’s references to people

from “wogistan,” Ron Mark telling

a Korean born MP to “go home,”

or Clayton Mitchell’s anti-Semitic

comments in Parliament.

The list goes on and on. Shane

Jones is no different – he is just

playing the same old tune his Party

has scratched out for years.

But it is not just the frequent

attacks on foreigners and their

values that mark New Zealand First

out as racist. It has also been the

Party most consistently opposed

to correcting Treaty of Waitangi

imbalances, or enabling greater

power-sharing with, or public

participation by, iwi in the nation’s

life. New Zealand First has always

opposed moves in this direction

as encouraging separatism, an anti-social

justice and equality tactic

frequently employed by white-supremacy

groups elsewhere.

Deliberate race card

New Zealand First has consistently

and deliberately played the

race card in New Zealand politics

like no other Party in the last quarter

century. And given its electoral

success in that time it has to be

conceded, sadly, that the strategy

has succeeded.

Unfortunately, its overt racism

has legitimised the latent prejudices

of a small group of New Zealanders

who have supported New Zealand

First as the public expression of

their own private bigotry. And, at

three of the eight elections held

under MMP, that support has been

sufficient to put the Party in a key

position which it came to government


Battle for survival

However, this year, the Party is

locked in a real battle for political


There are steady signs that New

Zealanders may be tiring of the

New Zealand First presence in

Parliament. But, as previous elections

have shown, the Party often

performs best when its back is to

the electoral wall. And it does so by

playing to its traditional appeals.

Therefore, during this year’s

election campaign, all ethnic and

cultural minorities are likely to

be targets of some type or other

of New Zealand First’s hostility, if

it considers that fomenting such

division is in its selfish political


After all, it has worked for them

in the past, so why would it not do

so again.

Unfortunately, therefore, any

hope that New Zealand First will

moderate its racism in the slightest

in the lead-up to this year’s election

seems likely to be extremely


Ironic and incredible

All the while, it is becoming

increasingly ironic and incredible

that the Labour Party, which

professes itself to the world as

progressive, compassionate and

kind should be propped up in office

by such a regressive, racist coalition


Sadly, while National has already

reduced New Zealand First’s

relevance for the future by ruling

out working with it, Labour is too

electorally reliant on New Zealand

First’s potential numbers to do

likewise. And with the Prime Minister’s

do-nothing response to New

Zealand First’s racist attacks likely

to continue, the country seems set

to endure yet more ignorant and

intemperate outbursts from Shane

Jones and his colleagues over the

next few months until the election,

when a majority of New Zealanders

will have the opportunity to finally

put an end to this racism in politics

once and for all.

Peter Dunne was a Minister of the

Crown under the Labour and National-led

governments from 1999

to 2017. He lives in Wellington.

Money transfer firm fined $2.55 million for

money laundering

Supplied Content

Jiaxin Finance Limited, assisted

by its owner Qiang Fu and his

mother Fuqin Che, have been

convicted of offences under

the Anti-Money Laundering and

Countering Financing of Terrorism

(AML/CFT) Act.

Between April 2015 and May

2016, Jiaxin Finance and its brokers

were responsible for remitting

over $53 million into New Zealand

for an international customer.

The charges

Jiaxin Finance failed to conduct

customer due diligence and failed

to report and keep records of

suspicious transactions relating to

this customer.

Ms Che also separately

structured transactions to try to

avoid the application of AML/CFT

requirements for this customer.

She did this by making 14

separate cash deposits totalling

$710,772 into his New Zealand

Image from 123RF

bank account. These payments

were spread over a period of

four days and made at different

branches of the bank.

On March 3, 2020, in the Auckland

High Court, Jiaxin Finance

was sentenced to pay a fine of $2.55

million. Mr Fu wad sentenced to

pay a fine of $180,000 and Ms Che


First criminal action

AML Group Director Mike Stone

said this is the first time criminal

action has been taken under

Ex-council employee pleads

guilty to graft

Supplied Content


former Auckland Council

employee has pleaded

guilty to a corruption

charge brought by the

Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Sundeep Dilip Rasila (42)

admitted accepting a $7500 bribe as

council employee in the Auckland

High Court on February 26, 2020.

Mr Rasila was employed by

Auckland Council as a Procurement

Relationship Specialist at the time

of the offending.

His counterpart, Sunil Chand (56)

also pleaded guilty at the hearing.

The charges

He gave Mr Rasila the kickback

in return for his company being

awarded an Auckland Council

contract valued at $140,150. The

contract was for the supply of

22,000 USBs of various sizes.

Mr Rasila and Mr Chand were

remanded on bail to reappear for

sentencing in the Auckland High

Court on 12 May.

Sunil Chand gave Mr Rasila

a $7,500 bribe in return for Mr

Chand’s company, On Time Print,

being awarded an Auckland

Council contract valued at $140,150

(excluding GST).

Crimes Act offences

105 Corruption and bribery

of official: (1) Every official is

liable to imprisonment for a term

not exceeding seven years who,

whether within New Zealand or

elsewhere, corruptly accepts or obtains,

or agrees or offers to accept

the Act by any of the AML/CFT


“We worked closely with Customs

and Police to piece together

the full picture of the extent of the

offending. Money-laundering is a

global issue, and unfortunately it

does happen here. An estimated

$1.35 billion from fraud and

illegal drugs is laundered through

legitimate New Zealand businesses

every year. The true cost and social

impact is much higher.

“It is vital that businesses know

what to look for and report suspicious

activities or transactions.

Most businesses we supervise

want to do the right thing, but

when a business intentionally

fails to comply with its AML/CFT

obligations, we will take strong

regulatory action.”

For more information visit our

website www.dia.govt.nz/AML-


Source: Department of Internal

Affairs, Government of

New Zealand

or attempts to obtain, any bribe

for himself or herself or any other

person in respect of any act done or

omitted, or to be done or omitted,

by him or her in his or her official

capacity (2) Every one is liable

to imprisonment for a term not

exceeding 7 years who corruptly

gives or offers or agrees to give any

bribe to any person with intent to

influence any official in respect of

any act or omission by him or her

in his or her official capacity.




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MARCH 15, 2020

Impact of Development

Contributions on House Prices

Parash Sarma


key but often underestimated consideration

for developers is the cost and impact of Development

Contributions (DCs).

These costs are confirmed by the City Council after

lodgement of Resource Consent; however, getting a

good idea of the likely cost of Development Contributions

prior to lodgement of resource consent is vital

to assessing the profitability of your project.

For land bankers, understanding future DC

policy may significantly change the strategy as far

as the timing for lodgement of resource consent is


Development Contributions

DCs are levies imposed by local councils on a

developer and are raised as contribution toward the

cost required to upgrade and maintain council and

public infrastructure within a designated area.

The amount can vary according to the infrastructure

requirements of the area, as well as the type and

size of the proposed development being carried out

(measured by the increased number of residential

dwellings or Household Unit Equivalents — HUEs).

In Auckland, developers looking to complete a

subdivision typically incur DCs of between $27,000

– $33,000 per lot, depending on location and the

demand on infrastructure in the area.

This is in addition to private infrastructure works

within the subdivision which are funded by the developer

and is a common condition in any resource


Levin, governed by the Horowhenua District Council,

has no DC’s; all infrastructure costs are effectively

subsidised by rate payers. This strategy was adopted

to incentivise development in the area.

The purpose

The purpose of DCs is to recover from developers

a fair, equitable, and proportionate part of the

total cost of capital expenditure necessary to

service growth over the long term. So, the standard

approach whereby councils’ charge DC’s (as a

percentage of total cost) is not altogether wrong.

But the implementation of this policy can have a

significant impact on the supply of new housing.

Increasing DCs to a level that fully recovers costs

could have serious consequences for home buyers, as

developers can simply add it onto their section price,

pushing house prices further out of reach.

What economists say

Councils generally bank on the developer being

willing to wear the cost or pass it on to the landowner

or the house buyer. But economists have argued

that house prices are at maximum affordability

levels; developers won’t be able to keep passing these

costs on to buyers. Instead, they will be building

the cost of DCs into their feasibility studies, causing

them to pay less for developable land in order to

maintain margin. This will result in lower profits for

the existing landowners, rather than increased house

prices for the final buyers.

For developers buying bare land, increases to DC

levies pose a significant risk.

For example, between 2016-2017, and 2019-2020,

DCs for Rotokauri catchment in Hamilton increased

from approximately $30,000 for a standard residential

lot, to $70,000 - a 130% increase. To put that into

context, a small 20 Lot subdivision that would incur

DCs of $600,000 in 2016/17, would cost $1,400,000

today. It is easy to see that such a dramatic rise can

make a number of developments uneconomic.

Another important factor to consider is that DCs

can rise during the course of a four- or five-year

project. For land bankers, understanding current and

future policy is key.

For developers buying unconsented land, the

message is apparent - build in appropriate allowance

for DCs and allow for unforeseen increases in cost

that may arise as a result of council changing the DC


Parash Sharma is Client Services Director, ASAP

Finance Limited based in Auckland. He can be

contacted on 021-864730. Email: parash@asapfinance.co.nz

ASAP Finance Limited is a Sponsor of the Thirteenth

Annual Indian Newslink Business Awards



Homes run as boarding houses

are heading for trouble

Venkat Raman

People running their homes as

boarding houses are breaching

tenancy agreements and may

be liable for punitive measures.

They may be violating the provisions

of the Residential Tenancies Act


That was the gist of a Ministry of

Business, Innovation and Employment


Indian Newslink has learnt that

some property owners are renting

spare bedrooms in their homes and

that many people (mostly students

and singles) are accommodated in a

single room.

Tenancy Service Information and

Education Manager Jennifer Sykes

said that such homes, with shared facilities

such as a bathroom or kitchen

for six or more people are boarding


Many landlords may not be aware

that they are breaching the RTA, she


Legal requirements

She said that boarding house landlords

have a number of requirements

under the Act and that they should be

aware of them.

“Many may not be aware that they

are operating a boarding house under

the law and that they must meet the

first compliance date, which is July 1,

2021. The Healthy Homes Standards

became law last year, and set

minimum requirements for heating,

insulation, ventilation, moisture

ingress and drainage, and draught

stopping,” she said.

Ms Sykes said that the new standards

are about ensuring that boarding

houses are warmer and drier for

tenants and will also help maintain

the property for years to come.


Financial penalties

“Boarding houses that are not

compliant with the healthy homes

standards by July 1, 2021 may be

subject to a financial penalty. While

boarding house tenancies and standard

tenancies share a lot of the same

requirements under the RTA, some

things apply only to boarding houses

and it’s important that boarding house

landlords know the differences,” she


Ms Sykes said that boarding houses

must also comply with new requirements

as a part of their tenancy

agreements, including a statement

of their level of compliance with the

healthy homes standards in any new,

varied or renewed tenancy agreement

from July 1, 2020.

Insurance Statement

“In addition to this statement, it is

also a requirement for all landlords

to include an insurance statement

with every new tenancy agreement.

Landlords who are operating a

rental property with six tenants

or more with shared facilities who

are uncertain if they are operating

a boarding house under the law

should visit tenancy.govt.nz for more

information,” she said.

The website provides information

about the roles and responsibilities

required when operating a boarding

house, as well as templates for

required statements and a boarding

house agreement. “We also suggest

they subscribe to Tenancy Services’

electronic updates via

tenancy.govt.nz/subscribe to keep

up to date with legislation changes

that will affect them,” Ms Sykes said.

Specific information about the

healthy homes standards is at



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MARCH 15, 2020


The forgotten women who helped build Islam in Britain

Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor

The two first British Mosques were

established in 1889 in Liverpool

and Woking, and women played

a major contribution to the

communities that helped to set up these


But you wouldn’t necessarily know

it. Indeed, women’s contributions

throughout history are consistently

forgotten – often lost so the past becomes

“his story.”

I hope that my new research will play

a part in changing this.

I used archive material linked to the

two earliest British Mosques to examine

the everyday lives of women in these

historical communities.

This research presents a coherent and

compelling narrative of women’s lives

and roles as contributors and leaders of

their communities.

Suspicion and ridicule

Women in these communities were

usually middle-class converts, who encountered

Islam through travel, Mosque

publications or public lectures.

They lived in an environment

that viewed Islam and Muslims with

suspicion and ridicule.

British Muslims were perceived as

“loyal enemies” and “infidels within” the

society of that time.

At both the Liverpool and Woking

Mosques, women were included in Eid

celebrations, debates and other events.

The women at the Liverpool Mosque

also ran a home for the city’s “destitute”

children, which was established in

January 1897.

Women wrote for Mosque publications,

which also celebrated women’s


In January 1895, the Liverpool

Mosque Newsletter noted that Mrs

Zubeida Ali Akbar had the honour of

being presented to the Queen.

On March 20, 1895, it noted that Miss

Teyba Bilgrami, “a young Mahommedan

The Shah Jahan Mosque, Britain’s first Mosque (Woking), built in 1889

(Picture from Mosque Website)

Jessie Ameena Davidson wrote about her conversion

in The Islamic Review in June 1926.

lady of Hyderabad,” had passed the first

exam in the arts at Madras University.

Refreshments and entertainment

Women were nearly always in charge

of refreshments and “entertainment”

at Mosque events, including an annual

Christmas breakfast that the Liverpool

Zainab Cobbold (born Lady Evelyn Murray)

a Scottish diarist, traveller and noblewoman,

converted to Islam in the Victorian era.

Muslim Institute organised.

Women were initially excluded from

the literary and debating society – this

being only for “young men.” Then,

in March 1896, for the first time, a

woman, Rosa Warren, gave a talk on

the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Articles in Mosque publications, usually

written by men, show how Muslim

patriarchy of the time converged with

that of Victorian society to marginalise

women. For example, poetry published

in the Liverpool Mosque newsletter

The best way to mark Women’s Day is to respect them

Venkat Raman

The World observed ‘International

Women’s Day’ on

Sunday, March 8, 2020.

Designated by the United

Nations, the day marked usual

speeches, statements and feature

articles in newspapers, magazines

and social media. Governments

announced new plans to lift the

status of women in their societies,

national and international

organisations pledged to work

towards the betterment of women

and there even be public events to

celebrate the day.

Bur so long as employers in

government, commercial, industrial

and social services sectors

continue to accord women a place

of secondary importance and do

not remove discrimination, mere

celebration of International Women’s

Day will have no meaning.

Pay disparity, gender inequality

Gender equality or inequality

has been a topic of discussion since

long, but the issue has been generating

heat in the public domain in

recent years.

Two major reasons have been

cited for its re-emergence – the

global financial crisis that brought

to the fore many ills of companies,

and recent reports, which indicate

that companies with women (at

least one) on the board of directors

and on management boards tend

to perform better than others. It is

indeed time to address this issue

with greater thoroughness and


For many years, researchers and

corporate consultants have been

saying that New Zealand is among

the countries with a poor record of

gender equality and that in many

cases, women are paid less than

men for performing the same type

2020 marked 25th Anniversary of the

Beijing Platform for Action to promote

equal opportunities for women.

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter

of jobs, often within the same


Indian community better

It seems there are no valid

reasons for this inequity and

like many things in life, there is

greater interest in preserving the

status quo ante than in thinking


We are happy that the situation

in the Indian business community

is far better, compared to their

counterparts elsewhere in the


We have women occupying

positions of importance- as

owners, directors, HR managers,

chief financial officers and so on

in companies that are owned, operated,

managed and franchised

by businesses of Indian origin.

We have seen them participate

in all management decisions,

setting policies and strategies and

steering their organisations towards

higher levels of productivity and


Minister’s Message

Minister for Women Julie Anne

Genter wants to ensure all women’s

contributions are valued as she looks

ahead to International Women’s Day.

She issued the following Statement:

This International Women’s Day

I acknowledge everyone who is

working every day to help women

and girls achieve their potential in

Aotearoa New Zealand.

This Government is making a

difference for New Zealand women.

We have delivered to ensure

women are paid fairer in record pay

settlements for female dominated

workforces, and have reduced the

gender pay gap in the public service

to the smallest gap since government

started measuring it.

Minimum wage lifted

We have boosted the minimum

wage by $1.95 since taking office.

Women make up 60% of minimum

wage workers, so these increases have

really benefited the female workforce.

New parents have benefited from

increased paid parental leave to 26

weeks (from July 1, 2020).

We are particularly committed

to doing better for wahine Maori

with the Mana Wahine kaupapa

inquiry claim progressing and the

Government proactively addressing

issues raised.

This International Women’s Day,

let us ensure that all women’s contributions

are recognised and valued.

There are many hours of unpaid work

carried out by women in the home, in

schools, and in the community across

New Zealand.

I wish to use this day to celebrate

all of the women who are the centre

of our communities and not always


Group Photo at the Shah Jahan Mosque complex

in Woking (Woking Mission Photos Index)

Women (seated at the back) at a Muslim

Prayer (Woking Mosque Archives)

derides “the New Woman” who (a) had

studied mathematics (b) knew all about

mythology … her mind was drilled in

science (c) knew all the dates of history

(d) Could talk with great loquacity on

questions of capacity, but couldn’t sew a

button on her little brother’s pants.

Trailblazing women

Yet there were also women who

challenged these patriarchies.

As part of my research, I uncovered

many interesting stories of women and

their roles in the Mosques. There was

Mrs Nafeesa T Keep, for example, a convert

to Islam who arrived in Liverpool

from the United States. She gave talks

on Islam and women’s rights, challenging

both patriarchal understandings of

Islam and stereotypes of Islam.

She was appointed Assistant Superintendent

of the Medressah-i-iyyumal-Sebbah,

an institution aimed at

educating young Muslims on religion.

There was also Madame Teresa

Griffin Viele (1831-1906), who took the

Muslim name Sadika Hanoum. She was

a news correspondent for the Liverpool

Mosque, writing the “Resume of

Political Events” in its journal from September

1894 to April 1895. And Lady

An Islamic centre located at

27 Ben Lomond Crescent,

Pakuranga East Auckland,

is closing for at least two

weeks in an effort to prevent the

novel coronavirus spreading in its


With members who often

travel to Iran, the Islamic Ahlulbayt

Foundation in Pakuranga, Auckland,

is shutting its doors for at least two


It is one of the largest Shia Islamic

centres in Auckland with about 100


Sayed Mohammed Taghi Derhamy

leads Friday prayer which was called

off yesterday.

“Right now we have had, I think,

two travellers who have come back

recently from Iran. That was what

made us really quickly close the

centre as a precaution,” he said.

That person had not shown any

symptoms, but it was too close for

comfort and they would only reopen

when they were happy there was no

risk to their members.

Other mosques were open for

Friday prayer yesterday but were

asking anyone who was sick, or had

recently travelled to a hotspot, to

stay home.

Other gatherings and public

events are going ahead, but with an

increased focus on hygiene.

Large events are now in the

spotlight, after the Ministry of Health

said one of the confirmed cases went

to a concert for rock band Tool, at

Auckland’s Spark Arena last Friday.

Director-General of Health Ashley

Bloomfield said that public events

should still go ahead; people just

have to be sensible.

“If anyone is symptomatic with an

influenza-like illness or a cold then

Evelyn Zainab Cobbold, a high-profile

convert from an aristocratic British

family, who became one of the first

European women to perform the Hajj

or pilgrimage to Mecca.

Extraordinarily for her time, she performed

the pilgrimage on her own, in a

motor car and then wrote a best-selling

book in 1934 about her experiences.

Other women in this community

include Fatima Cates, who was a

key member and indeed founding

treasurer of the Liverpool Muslim

Institute, the body that itself founded

Britain’s first Mosque in the city.

Meanwhile, another woman, Begum

Shah Jahan of Bhopal, India, funded

Britain’s first purpose-built Mosque in

Woking. Women were therefore central

to the foundation of the first Mosques

in Britain.

Rewriting history

Indeed, as my research shows,

history puts women at the centre of

the establishment of Islam in Britain.

And in their own different ways, these

women took on roles of leadership

and representation. They lived at a

time that was socially and culturally

extremely different from that of

contemporary British Muslims.

Yet the issues these women encountered

in their practice of Islam, their

negotiations with multiple patriarchies,

and their daily lives are not unlike the

issues around gender and Mosque

leadership debated in contemporary


By shining a light on the history of

Muslim women in Britain, contemporary

issues seem less insurmountable.

These women shaped the Muslim

communities of their time and it is

imperative that their

Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor is Assistant

Professor in Faith and Peaceful

Relations at the Centre for Trust, Peace

and Social Relations, Coventry University.

All pictures appearing in this

article were provided by her. Published

under Creative Commons Licence.

Pakuranga Mosque closes for two

weeks in East Auckland

Hussainia Mosque of Islamic Ahlul Bayt Foundation in East

Auckland (Website Picture)

they should not attend those events, because that is the

best way to protect others. The second is, for people

attending those events, please do look at the advice on

our website about attending mass gatherings, and do

follow those basic hygiene precautions particularly

hand washing,” he said.

This weekend, the New Zealand Ironman in Taupo,

and the country’s largest fun run, Round the Bays in

Auckland, are going ahead as normal.

Music and art festival Womad in Taranaki next weekend

will too, but one of its artists cannot travel from

South Korea due to the government’s travel restrictions.

There is one event that would not be going ahead,

mostly because other people need them - the GP’s

conference next month.

The Royal New Zealand College of GPs said it was

important family doctors and other health professionals

stay where they were needed most - at work.

“We couldn’t responsibly have so many New Zealand

GPs, practice nurses, and practice managers out of

circulation in late April, even for a short time, in light of

the evolving situation with Covid-19,” Chief Executive

Lynne Hayman said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that good hygiene

was not just good practice for the individual, but for

everyone, especially those with compromised immune


“While a vast majority of people who may have

Covid-19 will only ever experience mild to moderate

symptoms, there are those who are vulnerable or have

underlying health concerns where the impacts will be

greater. Wash your hands; stay home if you’re sick,” she


MARCH 15, 2020

Debut vocalist transcends entertainment to spirituality

Meenakshi Iyer

The debut vocal performance

of Arabi Jeyashankar held on

Saturday, February 29, 2020

at Dorothy Winstone Centre

(Auckland Girls Grammar School) was

a display of innate talents of this promising

young Carnatic music singer.

It would be an understatement to say

that Arabi excelled in her performance.

She mesmerised the enlightened audience

of nearly 700 music enthusiasts on

that memorable evening.

Arabi’s dedication, determination

and devotion to this classical form of

music was exceptionally displayed at

every stage.

Enlightening audience

Carnatic music is an art form and a

science by itself with the nuances explained

analytically and above all with

precise mathematical calculations. It

is just not for entertainment, but filled

with spirituality and the sole purpose is

to enlighten the audience.

Born and brought up in New

Zealand, Arabi was fortunate to be

exposed and to explore the horizons

of music at a young age. She had

her initial training under Dr Padma

Govardhan and later under the tutelage

of Kalaimamani Rajeswari of Chennai.

Arabi Jeyashankar in concert ‘Kavadi Sindhu’ was a highlight of Arab Jeyashankar’s concert (Pictures Supplied)

The evening’s repertoire included

rare gems of compositions and selection

of Ragams and songs were excellent. Full

justice was done to each piece by Arabi.

We could feel the energy flowing on

the stage. Everyone seemed calm, serene

and blissful.

Arabi rendered compositions like ‘Swaminatha

Paripaalayaa’ by Muthusamy

Dikshitar, ‘Nannu Kanna Thalli’ by

Saint Tyagaraja, ‘Sarojadbala Nethri’ by

Shyama Sastri.

She was at her best when she rendered

Yaman Kalyani Ragam in ‘Bhavayami

Gopala Balam’ and reminded me of the

late Bharata Ratna Dr M S Subbulakshmi.

‘Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi’ in Shanmukhapriya

was rendered proudly by

the young artiste.

The composer was her Guru Rajeswari.

Programme highlights

A few highlights of the evening’s program

were ‘Kavadi Sindhu,’ ‘Sai Bhajan,’

‘Meera Bhajan’ in Darbari Kanada and

‘Chinnanchiru Kiliye’ by the great Tamil

poet Subramanya Bharatiyar.

The audience was left spell bound by

‘Thillaanna’ in Madhuvanthi Ragam.

The accompanying artistes of great

calibre, motivated and encouraged

Arabi to come out with a splendid


Anantha Krishnan on the Violin

was commendable. Dr K Murali was

excellent on the Ghatam. He was indeed

very supportive of Arabi.

Avinash Jeyashankar was played

brilliantly on the Mridangam. He is a

student of Suresh Ramachandran and

brother of Arabi.

Tambura by Deeksha and Aarthi

(Arabi’s sister) was delightful.

Dr Mala Nataraj gave a detailed

musical analysis of the event.

Anusha Suresh, a talented young

artist was at her best as the Master of


Her knowledge in classical art forms

was evident in her commentary about

the performance.

Arabi has begun her musical journey

and I am sure she will keep exploring

the wider horizons of Indian classical


Guru Kalaimamani Rajeswari

presented a certificate to Arabi.

The Concert went on smoothly and



packed audience appreciated and

applauded every song.

The five-and-half hours need not

have been interrupted by an interval.

Arabi will go places and make her

supportive family, Gurus and the

community proud.

About Kalaimamani Rajeswari

Subramanian Rajeswari is the first

recipient of the ‘Kalaimamani Award’

presented by the Tamil Nadu government

in 1984.

Trained by Carnatic Music masters

such as Tanjore Balasubramaniam,

Ramnad Krishnan, Madurai N

Krishnan, S Rajam, and D K Jayaraman,

she earned MPhil degree for her

dissertation on the ‘Pada Varnams’ of

Lalgudi G Jayaraman.

A top-ranking artiste of All India

Radio, Ms Rajeswari began her teaching

career as a Lecturer and later became

a Professor and Principal-in-Charge at

the Chennai based Government Music


She taught vocal music at the Indira

Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture,


Ms Rajeswari has also excelled in

Nattuvangam and vocal music for

Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi. She

has performed with renowned artists

in notable dance festivals across the


Meenakshi (Meena) Iyer Meenakshi

Iyer (Meena Venki) is a teacher, with

unquenchable interest in the performing

of arts of India and reviews music,

dance and other programmes of the

Indian community. She lives with her

husband in Auckland.

All Blacks lead the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’

Kieran Madden

The futurists are hailing that

the “the fourth industrial

revolution” is upon us, a

time where robots will take

over predictable and routine tasks

in our jobs. It’s important we have

a game-plan in place to make the

most of the transition rather than

be left behind.

It is true that many jobs face

obsolescence, and our policies must

soften this blow, especially for those

in lower-skilled roles.

But there are also opportunities,

with technological advances

creating new roles, if we are set-up

to take them. While I wouldn’t

usually leave labour market and

skill development policy to Rugby

players and coaches, we can gain

inspiration from the trail-blazing

way the All Blacks led their own

revolution, and subsequently, the


The All Blacks attributes

The All Blacks have dominated

world Rugby for decades precisely

because they play nothing like


Where increased specialisation

was the key to success in the last

century of work, generalisation is

the way of the future.

Their sheer versatility, with each

player fulfilling many roles and

adapting to conditions on-the-fly,

was key. Sports historian Tony

Collins says that their success is

because their “skill set has perfectly

matched the modern game and

given them an advantage over

teams that don’t have that skill set

(e.g. forwards who can handle and

distribute well).”

Their success helped define the

modern game, resting on the ideas

of Rugby coach Jim Greenwood’s

book Total Rugby.

Writing in a context where each

position had traditional and specialised

roles, Greenwood promoted

a kind of “open, ebullient” Rugby

where “every player is equipped

to plan an active role as attacker,

defender, and supporting player.”

He also emphasised judgement,

the ability to think on one’s feet,

rather than relying on set-plays or

sticking strictly to a well-drilled

game-plan. Some specialisation

is necessary—agile footwork for

wingers or heft for forwards for

example—but all should be able to

pass, tackle, ruck, and develop their


Employers’ search

Employers are already looking

for people with a versatile skillset

like this—for All Blacks of the

workforce. We need to shift the way

our development, education, and

training systems work.

For parents, it means giving

children a range of experiences,

rather than the traditional idea

of 10,000 hours drilling the same

sport or art for example, give them

opportunities to play different ones.

For educators, it means exploring

“soft” skills development, looking

broader than a STEM-focused

education, and improving links

with employers.

For workers, seeking short bouts

of training and re-training become

critical to become or stay relevant

to a changing world of work.

Play-safe Rugby

Greenwood calls the alternative

to total Rugby “play-safe” Rugby,

where rather than going for a

win, the tactic is to minimise risks

to avoid losing. It is not only dull

to watch, but denies players “the

preparation that would develop

their talent, and the opportunity

to use it.” Playing safe with our

workforce means continuing on

the same specialised path of skills

development that we always have,

but this will result in an inevitable

loss. Instead, we should aim to

again lead the world in skills


Kieran Madden is a Researcher

at the Auckland based Maxim


Endeared social and community worker passes away

Reginald Vinod Nand

(24.04.1942 to 08.02.2020)

Pratima Nand

Reginald Vinod Nand, known to

Rotarians, members of the Fiji

Indian community and many

other New Zealanders as a

kind-hearted social welfare worker,

passed away on February 8, 2020.

He was 78 years old and left behind

his wife Maureen, their son Sanjeev,

daughter Seema Woollaston, four

grandchildren, six sisters and three


He was my elder brother and was

my mentor and closest friend.

Reginald was born on April 24, 1942

in a humble and poor family in Fiji.

He spent his childhood and adolescent

years in Sigatoka. Being the eldest

of the sons, he was a joy to his parents.

Reginald Nand (INL Photo)

He was a people’s person, kind, gentle

and above all a genuine humanitarian,

readily available to anyone seeking his

advice and guidance.

Source of inspiration

He strongly believed in keeping

families united. He was a source of

inspiration to many and continued to

help people until his last breath. He possessed

a special skill to deal with people

from a diverse range of commercial

and professional disciplines. He was

an effective leader, creative thinker,

inspiring, respectful, friendly, loyal and

professional at all times.

He married Maureen Deoki in 1969.

Reginald was well versed in the

biblical scriptures and was dedicated

to Christian doctrines and had a strong

belief in the power of prayer. He

respected all religions and cultures,

saying, “People are people to me,

regardless of their background.”

He believed in one people, one world

and one God.

Whilst in Fiji, he was a dedicated

member of the Methodist Church. He

humbled himself as God’s servant,

working and helping those in need

without seeking recognition. His

commitment, courage, diligence, determination

and perseverance amazed

people of all ages.

Education and employment

Completing his primary education

at Sigatoka Methodist Mission School,

and secondary education at Natabua

Secondary School, Lautoka, his tertiary

education and career advancement

included the following:: Asian Trade

Union College, Manila (1970), University

of South Pacific (1973), Pacific Rim

Bankers’ Programme, University of

Washington, Seattle, USA (1983), Certificate

in Language Teaching to Adults

(1996), Graduate Diplomat in TESOL

(1998), ESL International Language

Centre, Kuala Lumpur, ESOL Teaching/

Research (1998).

His career in education included

the establishment of the Advance

School of Language and managing

it as ESOL Tutor, Principal, Manager

and its Part-Owner and home tutoring

programme to overseas students.

He was employed with Westpac Bank

for 35 years in Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia

and New Zealand at various levels,

retiring as a top manager. As well as

promoting ‘localisation of jobs’ in Fiji,

he was Founder-Member and President

of Fiji Bank Officer’s Association.

He won the Customer Service Award

while managing Relationship Management

portfolio in Brisbane, Australia.

Community engagement

His involvement in community

service involved the Methodist Church,

Jaycees International, Fiji Society for

the Intellectually Handicapped (former

President), Lions Club of Lautoka

(former President), BA Soccer Association

(Chairman of Board of Control),

Rotary Club (Ba in Fiji, Mount Roskill,

Auckland), AUT Language Education

Advisory Committee (Member), Wesley

Methodist Church, Christian World Service

(Mount Roskill Coordinator), Moral

Re-Armament, now called Initiative

of Change (Member), Citizens Advice

Bureau (Accredited Member).

Reginald was a keen gardener, and

spent much of his leisure hours in the

garden, planting fruit trees, flowers and

herbs. Cooking was his other passion.

He was a very good host and loved

socialising with friends and families.

He will always be remembered for

the sumptuous Barbecues and his

hospitality at his residence.

Among his favourites were the

following lines from a poem by Lindsey


Keep looking for the sunshine that

always follows the rain

Life is a mixture of laughter and

pleasure; tear drop and pain

All days cannot be the same, it is

certainly true

But there was never a cloud that the

sun did not shine through.

Pratima Nand is a community

leader and social worker based in

Auckland. A Justice of the Peace and

Marriage Celebrant, she has been

involved in promoting the welfare of

communities in which she serves. Ms

Nand occasionally writes for Indian

Newslink. The above article, which

was sent to us on February 24, 2020

has been delayed at our end, for

which we tender our apology.


MARCH 15, 2020


Arangetram exemplifies yesterday’s art with today’s debutant

Venkat Raman

Bharata Natyam teachers, enthusiasts and debut artistes

choose at one item in a dance concert to extol the qualities

of Lord Shiva, who is revered as ‘Lord Nataraja,’ or

‘The King of Dances.’

He constitutes the continuity of this ancient Classical Dance

of South India, which is now gaining increasing popularity

around the world.

Extolling Lord Shiva in Varnam

The Attitudes and Attributes of Lord Shiva formed the basis

of ‘Konjum Salangai,’ for presenting ‘Varnam,’ the longest and

most challenging item at the Arangetram of Rishta Anushri

Sharma, held on February 29, 2020 at Hawkins Theatre in the

South Auckland suburb of Papakura.

In many ways, it was an event to cherish and yet another

achievement for Rishta’s Guru Kalaichchelvi (Selvi) Uthayakumaran,

who adheres strictly to the tenets of the art, with

mellifluous Carnatic Music and her impeccable Nattuvangam.

Rishta executed ‘Konjum Salangai’ in Lathangi Ragam and

Social Worker Wanted

Are you a qualified Social Worker? (Bachelor in Social work)

Do you want to work amongst the seniors of the

South Asian Community?

Do you want to respond to Elder Abuse cases?

Do you want to make a difference to the lives of our seniors?

Do you want to work only 20 hours a week?

(Social Work Registration not mandatory)

Contact Nilima Venkat on (09) 6221010 or email your cv to


Shanti Niwas is a registered Charitable Trust and has been

assisting South Asian Seniors for more than 25 years in

Auckland. Based on Onehunga, Shanti Niwas conducts weekly

health, wellbeing and social support programmes and services

at Onehunga, Balmoral, Manurewa and Glenfield. The Trust is a

Level 2 MSD Accredited Organisation and runs an Elder Abuse

Awareness and Response programme as well as

a transitional home for Abused seniors.

Adi Thalam, with poise and near perfection,

exuding the piety towards Lord

Shiva. The longest and masterpiece of

an Arangetram, the Varnam was easily

the most admired item at the Concert.

Gender Equality

The principle of gender equality and

the fusion of the male and female to

retain the balance of energy is often

described as ‘Arthanareeswarar’ (or

‘Ardhanaareeshwaram’) and Lord

Shiva and his Consort Parvathi are

known as ‘Arthanareeswarar’ and


Rishta’s presentation of this Keerthanam

composed in Madhyamavati

Ragam and Adi Thalam was a testimony

to her understanding of the essence

of the concept. The bhava in this

number was well expressed, although

there is scope for further improvement.

The oneness of male and female led to

the expression, ‘The Better Half’ in later


Lord Krishna as the prankster was

depicted in ‘Vishamakara Kannan,’ a

number that is often heard as a folk

song in many music concerts.

Rishta presented eulogies to the

Lord in a composition set to Senjuruthi

Ragam and Adi Thalam.

Job Vacancy

Automotive mechanic/service

technician wanted for busy

workshop in Manurewa.

This is a gereneral mechanical

role consisting of replacing tyres,

servicing and repairing vehicles of

all makes and models. Knowledge

of grooming is a bonus as we also

import vehicles from Japan.

A positive attitude at the

workplace is a must.

Please apply with CV to

manurewatyres@xtra.co.nz or

Phone (09) 2689167

High test of endurance in Varnam

Ayigiri Nandini in praise of Goddess

Durga (Mahishasura Mardhini)

Woman Power

The item that followed- ‘Ayigiri Nandini,’

composed by Adi Shankaracharya in praise

of Goddess Durga, worshipped in this string

of slokas as ‘Mahishasura Mardhini’ (the

vanquisher of demon Mahisash)- was another

energetic number that tested the artiste’s ability

to bring out varied emotions and expressions- of

rising temper, ruling rage, mellowing down,

calmness and composure. In essence, it was a

demonstration of the fury that raises to destroy

the evil.

The Thillana, which concludes a Bharata

Natyam performance had its high moments as

Rishta matched her master’s expectations of

vivacity and exuberance.

The Arangetram began with the traditional

‘Pushpanjali,’ followed by ‘Ananda Nartha Ganapathi,’

setting the tone for the evening. Rishta

danced to the song composed by Oothukkaadu

Venkatasubbaiyar, set in Nattai Ragam and Adi


In ‘Jatheeswaram,’ the dancer brought alive

the intricacies of the composition in which the

swaras were set to various Jathis to fit in the

framework of Thalam. This number was in

Ragamalika and Misra Chapu Thalam.

Shanmuga Kavuthuvam

‘Kavuthuvam’ forms an integral part of

Bharata Natyam Arangetrams in recent years,

performed earlier within the hallowed precincts

Shanmuga Kauthuvam, in praise of Lord


of temples.

‘Shanmuga Kavuthuvam,’ presented by

Rishta, dancing to Gowlai Ragam and Eka

Thalam had a fascinating scope for praising

Lord Murugan, worshipped as ‘The God of the


‘Padam’ is probably the most lyrical aspect of

a Bharata Natyam concert, in which the dancer

‘speaks’ of some aspects of love for the Supreme

Being, love of a mother towards her child, or

that of her lover or husband.

Excellent Support

Selvi had chosen ‘Main Nahin Makhan

Khayo,’ a Bhajan involving Lord Krishna as a

child and His mother Yasodha. The Padam was

well utilised to depict how a mother melts as her

child pleads innocence.

The team of support artistes was well constituted-

Kalaichchelvi (Nattuvangam), Kishore

Kumar Subramania Iyer (Vocal), Shankar Venkatraman

(Violin), Ravichandra Mathiaparanam

(Mridangam) and Venkatesh Sritharan (Flute).

Apart from continuing her rigorous training

in Bharata Natyam, Rishta is an avid environmentalist,

evincing interest in the projects of the

Auckland Council and Epsom Girls Grammar

School, where is a Year 11 student. Her parents,

teachers and peers are proud of her high academic

achievements and her keen participation

in sports.

Shanmuga Kauthuvam, in praise of Lord Murugan


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MARCH 15, 2020




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.











MARCH 15, 2020

New Zealand First MP

Shane Jones has reduced

his tone against the Indian

community but has called

for a serious, nationwide discussion

to put in place a robust Population


He is also concerned with the

exploitation of migrant workers

and international students, including

those of Indian origin.

He conceded that he was singling

out ‘people from India,’ whereas he

meant the Diaspora.

“I take your point that you want

your community to be treated in

a compassionate way because all

communities have bad eggs it is

not the entire community,” he said

during an exclusive with Indian

Newslink on March 12, 2020.

Racist rants

Mr Jones has been widely

criticised by politicians on both

sides of the divide and members of

various communities for his recent

outburst singling out the Indian


His comments on ‘Indian students

from New Delhi destroying

our educational institutions’ were

not only seen as outrageous but far

from the truth.

Mr Jones conceded that his

vocabulary may sound muscular

but maintained that New Zealand

has for too long allowed ‘too much


“I am willing to take it on the

chin that some of my language is

bombastic,” he said but insisted

that unchecked flow of migrants

was not helping anyone.

Mr Jones wanted all New

Zealanders to think of population

growth and the attendant pressure

on the infrastructure and public


According to him, there are

hundreds of thousands of Pakehas

Current Affairslink

Shane Jones backs down a bit but advocates Population Policy

Venkat Raman

Shane Jones (Picture supplied)

and Maori are worried that in a

remarkably short period of time,

not necessarily only through

immigration, our population has

reached to five million.

‘Population explosion’

“If we continue through

excessive immigration, we will be

8 to 9 million people by 2050. I am

implacably opposed to that. I am

a Maori and I will not dilute my

constitutional rights of my own

right. I don’t think that we can walk

back from the fact from people

who have for a lot longer than me;

people like (former Immigration

Minister) David Cunliffe and the

caucuses in the Labour Party have

been deeply concerned about how

low-skilled, temporary migration

has been used to such an extent

that in my view they represent a

major problem and it threatens

social cohesion,” he said.

When contacted, Mr Cunliffe

distanced himself from Mr Jones’


Serious concerns

Mr Jones said that Population

Policy would be a major issue for

NZ First in the coming election.

“I want to put forward a

Population Policy and the role of

Immigration in that Policy and

the ongoing problems that we see

as unaddressed far too long both,

for the treatment of the Indian

language students and the ongoing

awful conduct chartered out

through the courses, where a lot of

Indian Newslink

these students are being treated of

what I consider to be in medieval

fashion,” he said.

He said that short term migration

should be frozen, until such time

we have the social infrastructure

and “we are confident that the

ongoing activities that goes with

exploitation, whether it is Pakehas

doing to indian employees or people

within the community.”

“The gene is out of the Bootle,”

he said.

Worsening exploitation

Mr Jones said that New Zealand

received about 20,000 people and

that the prospects of exploitation

have worsened because of their

vulnerable status.

He said that New Zealand

employers had addicted to ‘this

type of labour flow,’ and that the

emerging issues will undermine

social cohesion.

Mr Jones said that he is a product

of biculturalism.

“I do understand that I want to

say do rankle and they offend the

multicultural advocates and indeed

some in the Indian community. My

vocabulary has been dismissed as

too muscular and overblown. But

I say to you Sir, that in this election,

we will take this issue forward. I

am willing to take it on the chin that

some of my language is bombastic

but I want to say to you that I am

a politician whose ancestry goes

back a 1000 years in this country

and I want people to focus on the

lingering and continuing problems

that wash up in our district court

and in our high court and leaders of

the Indian ethnic community and

leaders like yourself cannot walk

away from that,” Mr Jones said.

Additional Reading: ‘Shane Jones

welcome to the Indian community’

on Page 20 and our Leader,

We do understand that there are

problems; we need immigration

should be smarter.


India suspends tourist and OCI visas for a month

Efforts to stop spread of COVID-19 after one man dies

Venkat Raman

The Indian government

has announced that all

types of visas including

those issued to ‘Overseas

Citizens of India’ (OCI)

will be suspended with effect

from 1 pm New Zealand time

on Saturday, March 13, 2020,

corresponding to Greenwich

Mean Time (GMT) 12 am.

However, those holding Indian

passports, valid visas held

for diplomats, government

officials, representatives of

the United Nations and its organisations

and international

bodies will be exempt from

this suspension.

People holding employment

and project visas will also

be exempt and can travel to


However, everyone allowed

into the country would be

subject to a 14-day quarantine.

The notification followed

rising concerns over the

spread of new Coronavirus. A

decision on the suspension of

visas was taken at a meeting of

ministers chaired by Federal

Heath Minister Harsh Vardhan

in the Capital on March 12,


One death in Karnataka

A Health Ministry official

said in New Delhi that a

76-year-old man died of

the disease in the Southern

State of Karnataka. This was

the first casualty related to


Karnataka State Health

Minister B Sriramulu said that

the man had returned from

Saudi Arabia on February 29,

2020 after a month-long visit.

A group of students wearing protective masks at a railway station in

Kochi, Kerala on March 10 (Reuters Picture by V Sivaram)

“He was screened at

the airport on arrival but

showed no symptoms. He

had breathing difficulties

on March 5, 2020 and

was taken to the hospital

immediately. We are

trying to trace and isolate

those who travelled with

him,” Mr Sriramulu said.

Advice to foreigners

The Federal government

notification said

that visas of all foreigners

already in India will

remain valid and that they

should contact the nearest

office of the Foreigners

Regional Registration Officer

(FRRO) or Foreigners

Registration Officer (FRO)

through e-FRRO module

for extension or conversion

of their visa or grant

of any consular service if

they choose to do so.

“Visa free travel

facility granted to OCI

card holders shall be kept

in abeyance till April 15,

2020. This will come into

effect from 1200 GMT

on March 13, 2020 at the

port of departure of any

foreigner for onward

journey to India. Any

foreign national who

intends to travel to India

for compelling reasons

may contact the nearest

Indian Mission for a fresh

visa,” the notification said.

It is understood that

all incoming travellers,

including Indian nationals

arriving from any

destination and having

visited China, Italy, Iran,

Republic of Korea, France,

Spain and Germany on or

after February 15, 2020

will be quarantined for

a minimum period of 14


This order will also

come into effect from 1200

GMT on March 13, 2020

at the port of departure of

such travellers.

Indian nationals presently

abroad are advised

to avoid non-essential

travel. They may be quarantined

for a minimum

period of 14 days on

arrival in India.

At the time of reporting,

WHO said that there were

125,288 confirmed cases

of COVID-19 with 4614

deaths spared across 118


At the time of reporting,

WHO said that there were

125,288 confirmed cases

of COVID-19 with 4614

deaths spared across 118





Call for Entries

Open to all businesses incorporated in New Zealand, owned,

operated, managed and franchised by people of Indian,

Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Nepalese origin.

Nomination Process: Direct by Entrants;

Nominations for Individual Categories (14 to 18) by companies and individuals.

Nominations by corporates, banks and financial institutions and chartered accountants

for companies and individuals with information prescribed in the entry forms available

on the Awards website (www.inliba.com).


1. Business Excellence in Retail Business

2. Business Excellence in Innovation

3. Business Excellence in Marketing

4. Business Excellence in Customer Service

5. Best Employer of Choice

6. Business Excellence in Health & Safety

7. Business Excellence with Ethics and Compliance

8. Business Excellence with Social Responsibility

9. Best Small Business

10. Best Medium Business

11. Best Large Business

12. Business Excellence in International Trade with India

(Open to all companies in New Zealand)

13. Business Excellence in International Trade with Fiji NEW

(Open to all companies in New Zealand)

14. Best Accountant of the Year

15. Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year

16. Best Financial Advisor (Mortgage)

17. Best Financial Advisor (Insurance)

18. Best Businesswoman of the Year

Supreme Business of the Year Award

(All entries will be entered for this category)

Winners will be presented with their Awards at a

Gala Black Tie Dinner on Monday, November 30, 2020,

details of which will be announced later.

For more information on Awards, Terms and

Conditions & Free Workshops, please visit


Conditions of Entry: Entries and Nominations must be in electronic format sent by

email. Those sent by post, fax or other means will not be accepted. The decision of

the judges would be final and no correspondence will be entertained in this

connection. The management and staff of Indian Newslink and the supporting

and sponsoring organisations are not eligible to enter the Awards.

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