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Issue 437 | May 1, 2020 | Free


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Sikh and Muslims associations

in New Zealand have joined

several charitable organisations

to donate food and essential

items to poor people, senior citizens

and residents and others since the

country moved to Alert Level 4 on

March 25, 2020.

The Supreme Sikh Society of New

Zealand has donated (at 3 pm on

April 30, 2020) more than 17,000 food

bags at Sri Kalgidhar Sahib, the Gurudwara

that its owns and manages

at 70 Takanini School Road in the

South Auckland suburb of Takanini.

Society Spokesperson Daljit Singh

said that more than 3000 more food

bags will be given away to people this


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Venkat Raman

Demand for tax concessions

and write-offs, postponement

of debts, reduced interest

rates on loans, relief from

rents and a host of other issues are

being raised as New Zealand hopes to

get down to Alert Level Two after May

11, 2020.

At press time, the New Zealand

Parliament was considering a tax

package, details of which were not

available. We will update the outcome

on our website and social media.

The waiting period

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

told her daily media conference that

people are now enjoying food from

takeaway outlets, but reminded the

importance of social distancing.

“Please continue to act like you have

the virus when you are out and about

and if you see breaches, please report

them. Now is not the time to loosen up

our compliance,” she said.

Ms Ardern constantly expresses

Venkat Raman

Demand for relief

abounds as the economy

opens to business

Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Jacinda Ardern (Picture Courtesy: Newshub)

her gratitude to New Zealanders for

their cooperation in observing the

lockdown rules and to those who

provided essential services during

Sikhs and Muslim communities

donate food for the needy

Following is the Schedule: Auckland:

Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Gurdwara,

70 Takanini School Road, Takanini:

Saturday, May 2: from 4 pm to 530 pm;

Sunday, May 3: 330 pm to 530 pm.

Rotorua: Sri Amardas Sahib Gurdwara,

24 Ward Avenue, Fenton Park:

Saturday, May 2: 330 pm to 530 pm.

Pukekhoe: 25 Paerata Road: Sunday,

May 3: 11 am to 12 pm.

Mr Singh said that anyone in need

of food, irrespective of their religious

beliefs can benefit from this noble


“The Takanini Gurudwara has been

designated as a food distribution

centre by the Ministry of Health in

terms of the Health Regulation Act

promulgated to eliminate Covid-19.

Volunteers will place the bags in

their cars as they drive out of the

Alert Level 4 (from March 25 to April

27, 2020) but does not forget to point

out the risk of ‘losing it all.’

“Alert Level 3 means we are in

Daljit Singh

Dr Mustafa Farouk

Volunteers preparing food bags at Takanini


Gurudwara. The same procedure

will be followed at the other two

centres,” he said.

the Waiting Room. Whether we will

move down to Alert 2 after May 11,

2020 will depend on how safe we are

at that time,” she said.

Complaints of non-Compliance

There have been complaints that

social distancing was not being

practiced at several takeaway places

since they opened on April 28.

She said that the government

expected high standards to be upheld

by takeaway services and enforcement

was being taking seriously.

There have been 185 breaches

over the past two days, including 81

and 48 new warnings on the second

day of Alert Level 3.

Ms Ardern said that a breach

reporting tool set up by Police had

received 1035 complaints by 530 pm

on April 29, with 277 referred to the

Compliance Assessment Team.

“Of those, 104 have been tasked

with further action by agencies.

Some are being followed up by

MBIE, police, WorkSafe and MPI,

Each bag contains milk, bread,

vegetables, fruits and other items

lasting up to four days.

Muslims in Ramadan Spirit

Federation of Islamic Associations

in New Zealand (FIANZ) has initiated

a national programme to encourage

Muslims all over the country to

donate generously to foodbanks in

the wider community, including

Salvation Army and City Mission.

“This is in-keeping with the spirit

of sacrifice during the month of

Ramadhan. The bank transfer details

for donations to these organisations

are on the FIANZ website www.

fianz.info,” Dr Mustafa Farouk,

President of the Association said.

He said that the ‘You Are Us’

inclusiveness that New Zealanders

have shown to Muslims after last

year’s tragedy (March 15, 2019) has

left an indelible legacy.

“Since fast-breaking gatherings

at Masjids and Islamic Centres are

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all dependent on the type of breach

that may have occurred. A majority

of these complaints were about the

lack of social distancing, business

breaches by patrons or staff, safe

operating practices for cafes,

recreational activities or in-home

gatherings. People should still act like

they have Covid when out and about.

We are following up complaints from

people about others not following the

rules,” she said.

Covid-19 Numbers

Director General of Health Dr

Ashley Bloomfield said that there

were three new cases of Covid-19, the

12th consecutive day of single-digit


He said that seven people are in

hospital, none in intensive care.

The total number of confirmed

and probable cases is respectively

1129 and 347.

Additional Reading: Throughout this

issue and our Leader, ‘Covid-19 has

slowed, not the risk,’ on Page 8.

not taking place this year, we should

take this opportunity to donate the

funds instead to help those who

have had their lives impacted by

Covid-19,” he said.

Dr Farouk said that already a

number of local Muslim associations

in Auckland and Hamilton have

been raising funds and giving food

parcels to communities.

“This programme is an extension

to the national level. We are

also conscious of fellow Muslims

suffering in places like Somalia,

Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh,

Rohingya, Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq

and other places and we encourage

Muslims to send their Zakat (Charity)

directly to organisations working in

those countries. FIANZ will not be

collecting Zakat this year. However,

we are encouraging our Regional

Muslim Associations and Local

Islamic Trusts to collect Zakat to help

others,” he said.

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MAY 1, 2020


Gains made should be consolidated under Alert 3

Michael Wood

New Zealand has been at

Alert Level Three since

1159 pm on Monday, April

27, 2020.

New Zealand’s Covid-19 Alert

Levels outline the public health

and social measure to be taken,

depending on how a public health

assessment of the virus in New


The alert system can help

people see and plan for the kinds of

restrictions we need to adhere to in

each stage, such as closing schools

and limiting travel.

The Alert Levels

The four Alert Levels are: Level 1:

Prepare; Level 2: Reduce Contact 3:

Level 3: Restrict Level 4: Eliminate.

At midnight on Monday 27 April,

we moved into Level 3 after 33 days

of lockdown at Level 4.

At Level 3, the risk still remains

and our goal is to restrict contact

with one another as much as


Staying at home is still the most

effective way to break the chain of

transmission and save lives.

Moving to Level 3 has permitted

some aspects of the economy to

reopen in a safe way that will allow

the economic recovery to begin.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

has announced that our Government

will review the Alert Level

again after two weeks on May 11,


Combined effort

We must all remember that our

actions to go hard and early put us

in a good position.

What we are doing is working and

the numbers speak for themselves.

Our shared actions have saved

many lives.

Now is the time to lock in the

hard-won gains and not allow the

deadly virus to bounce back.

We need to keep on top of Covid-19

as we start rebooting economic


We can be very proud as New

Zealanders that we were able to

prevent the wave of devastation

seen elsewhere in the world and

that we took decisive action judged

to be the best for us as a country.

Because of this hard work from

all New Zealanders, we are in a good

position to eliminate the virus.

Our aim is to do it once and do it

right. We are continuing to ramp up

our testing capacity to help stay on

top of the virus and keep our nation


About Alert Level 3

Let us have a closer look at what

Level 3 will look like.

Many things will remain the same

while the key differences are that

you can expand your bubble a little.

Level 3 is a progression, not a rush

to normality.

Many things will remain the same.

Work and essential services – You

must continue to work from home

if you can. If you cannot, you can

return to your place of work only if

it can comply with the health and

safety expectations in the same way

that businesses operating at Level

4 did.

400,000 more New Zealanders are

expected to have returned to work

in key sectors such as construction,

manufacturing and forestry.

Businesses still closed

Food delivery, drive through,

online shopping and options such

as click and collect shopping are in

operation while bars, restaurants

and cafes along with malls and retail

stores will still remain closed.

Businesses that offer face to

face services such as hairdressers,

massage, house cleaning and door to

door salespeople are not allowed to


However, tradespeople that offer

in-home services who do repairs

and installations that can keep two

meters separation from the household,

can offer their services.

Education – a partial reopening

of education up to year ten will

occur, but initially this is just for the

children of essential workers. My

own children are staying at home

and enjoying the distance learning

resources supplied by their schools.

Gatherings - Funerals and

weddings will be able to go ahead

with limited attendance of up to

10 people. Services are permitted

to be held but no meals, food or

receptions are permitted.

Travel restrictions remain in

place. Only essential travel within

your region is permitted.

A general approach of keeping

two meters away from each other

still applies, be it in a workplace or

education facility.

I want to briefly cover how Level

3 apply to seniors who are over 70

and those who are at a higher risk.

Small extension of Bubble

Under Alert Level 3, seniors can

extend their “bubble” carefully by

letting in a close family member or

caregiver into their home. This can

only be someone from within the

same region, and it must be ‘exclusive’

meaning that the other person

cannot make further increases to

their bubble either. People can go

to a local beach or park for fresh air

and exercise using common sense

and maintaining distancing. You can

shop for essential services such as

going to the chemist or supermarket

and take children to school if you

are caregivers in the same bubble.

Generally speaking, the same

restrictions apply to Seniors as other

people, but we ask that you take

extra care.

I hope that you are all safe in your

bubbles. We have made so much

progress together to stamp out

Covid. We cannot be complacent;

now is the time to finish the job

so that we can transition back to a

more normal way of life again.

Michael Wood is elected Member

of Parliament from Mount Roskill

and Senior Government Whip.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

National List MPbased


Manukau East






1/131 Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland

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MAY 1, 2020


Have your say on Emergency Budget in Auckland

Phil Goff

New Zealand’s success

in achieving one of

the lowest levels of

COVID-19 transmission

in the world means that on

Tuesday. April 28, 2020, we

were able to move down to

Alert Level 3.

This eases restrictions,

allowing more than 130,000

Aucklanders to resume work.

We will be able to travel

slightly farther within our

region to beaches and parks,

and restaurants will be able

to reopen with non-contact

takeaway services.

We can increase our bubble

slightly to include close family

members of one other bubble.

Restraint needed

We can celebrate the

progress New Zealand and

our City have made in limiting

the number of new cases and

deaths. However, we still need

to remain vigilant and observe

safety rules to stop a re-emergence

of the virus, which some

other countries have suffered


My thanks to all the Aucklanders

who worked so hard

during the Level 4 lockdown.

By following the rules around

staying home and maintaining

physical distancing, you have

helped us break the chain of

COVID-19 transmission and

have undoubtedly saved lives.

This collective effort has

helped us to avoid a catastrophic

situation which could potentially

have cost thousands of lives, as

we have seen in other countries

around the world.

So please keep up the good

work: stay home, work from

home if you can, travel only

for essential employment or to

access essential services, and

maintain physical distance of at

least two metres from anyone

who is not in your bubble.

Following good hygiene

Be sure to continue regular

handwashing, and if you are

sick, stay at home and quickly

seek advice from your GP or

Healthline about getting a test.

Working together in this way

will give us the best chance of

ensuring that we can move

quickly to Level 2 and that we

do not have to return to Level 4


As we enter Alert Level 3, you

will notice more activity across

the city.

Auckland Council and its

agencies worked

hard during the

lockdown to

ensure that construction


could restart

as soon as the

country moved

to Level 3, and

from Tuesday

construction has

resumed, with

safeguards in

place to protect

employees and the public.

The resumption of construction

activity is important,

not only for the thousands of

workers who will be back on

the job, but also for our wider


Impact on businesses

It will progress much-needed

Auckland infrastructure and

generate jobs and growth to

assist the economic recovery as

we move out of the COVID-19


As we have already seen, the

international recession caused

by COVID-19 and the lockdown

will have a serious impact

on jobs and businesses, and

unemployment will grow.

Auckland Council’s major construction

projects—including the

City Rail Link, the Downtown

programme and the development

of Wynyard Quarter—will

play an important role in

helping to boost jobs growth and

stimulate the economy, as will

the ‘shovel ready’ projects we

have put forward to the government

for funding through the

national stimulus package.

COVID-19 has also had

a huge impact on council

revenue, with a loss of between

$350 million and $450

million a year, depending on

the length of the disruption.

While the drop has come from

non-rates revenue, it is the

equivalent of a rates revenue

loss of 15% to 30%.

Reducing costs

At Auckland Council, we

are looking to reduce costs,

increase efficiencies and save

money wherever possible.

Chief executives of the council

and its agencies, as well as

myself and other councillors,

have taken a 20% salary

reduction for the next six


Board chairs, directors and

senior executives across the

council group have also had

their salaries reduced during

the crisis.

We will consult this year on

a lower than planned rates

increase of 2.5%, as well as the

previously flagged 3.5% rise.

This will allow us to continue

to deliver the services that

Aucklanders need and enjoy,

such as rubbish and recycling

collections, water supply and

libraries and leisure centres.

We will also ensure that

anyone who is unable to pay

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their rates because of financial

hardship can defer or

postpone payment, and we are

committed to being flexible

and reducing the pressure

for ratepayers and businesses

wherever we can.

Consultation on the Emergency

Budget will start next

month, and I encourage you to

have your say. Visit ourauckland.nz

for more information.

Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland.

He writes a regular

weekly Column in Indian


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MAY 1, 2020


Thousands pay tribute on ANZAC Day

No parades, gatherings- each

from home and bubble

Venkat Raman

Thousands of New Zealanders

paid tribute to the brave soldiers

who fought and perished at

Gallipoli during the First World

War as they marked ANZAC Day in

various parts of the country earlier on

March 25, 2020.

But it was a remembrance with a

marked difference.

There were no pre-dawn prayers,

soldiers in their full gear or gatherings

to pay verbal tributes.

Instead, people stood in front of their

houses, on their driveways or balconies

and prayed in silence for thousands

who gave their lives in the service of the


Commitment to empathy

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led

this remembrance from the driveway

of the Premier’s House in Wellington,

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with her

Partner Clarke Gayford and father Ross

Ardern at the driveway of the Premier’s

House in Wellington early this morning (Poll/

Getty Images)

joined by her Partner Clarke Gayford

and her father Ross Ardern.

In her address, Ms Ardern said that

this year New Zealand had to find new

ways to commemorate together but our

purpose remains the same.”

“Today, we honour the Anzac

commitment and will reflect on our

enduring hope for peace in a world

that does not ask for the sacrifice of

war, but instead asks for a commitment

to empathy, kindness and to our shared

humanity. Through Anzac Day, we are

all connected.

“It is a day to reflect on the many

ways in which war has shaped our

communities, and the myriad different

perspectives and experiences among

us. This year, a new threat faces all nations

as the impact of the Coronavirus

deepens worldwide. As we face these

significant challenges, we remember

the courage of those who have served

in the name of peace and justice,” she


Opportunity to care

Ms Ardern said that the day was an

opportunity “to look after each other

in difficult times, to make Aotearoa a

place that stands up at home and in

the international community for the

values of inclusiveness, kindness and


“Anzac Day is a time to reflect on the

contribution made by each and every

New Zealander who has served in war

Dr Bloomfield: ‘elimination’ does not mean eradication

Jo Moir

Director General of Health

Ashley Bloomfield has had

to walk back comments

made by him and the Prime

Minister yesterday about the country

having achieved elimination of


New Zealand has been hailed

in international media including

The New York Times and The Daily

Telegraph as having won the battle

in eliminating Covid-19.

While elimination has been

achieved at alert level four - giving

Dr Bloomfield the confidence to

move the country into level three -

the war has not been won.

At the daily press conference on

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director

General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield

(NZME Photo)

April 27, 2020, Dr Bloomfield was

asked whether New Zealand had

achieved elimination.

It was his answer that “We have

achieved [elimination] through

alert level 4” - and the Prime

Minister chipping in that New

Zealand “currently” had eliminated

the virus - that resulted in the


Realising the waters had been

muddied, Dr Bloomfield arrived

at Parliament armed with a


No elimination yet

Asked whether he accepted the

remarks had given the country

and the rest of the world a false

impression, and whether he was

concerned New Zealanders would

be breathing a sigh of relief at a

time they should still be vigilant, Dr

Bloomfield did not mince his words.

“I can just clarify we have not

eliminated it, and we have not

eradicated it.’’

He said elimination is about

having a low number of cases,

and conflict. Over the decades, it has

become a time also to reflect on who we

are as a nation, and the values that we

stand for,” she said.

In a broadcast this morning, Defence

Minister Ron Mark said that many of

the usual Anzac Day activities could not

take place this year under lockdown.

However, there is still plenty that

Kiwis could do to mark the day, he said.

“Pause, reflect, pay our respects and

give thanks to those who gave so much

not just 105 years ago at Gallipoli, or

the six long years of the Second World

War but for every conflict and ever

operation which we have been involved

with since them. We owe them that it is

a privilege to do so,” he said.

Day of Significance

Anzac Day is a national day of

remembrance in New Zealand and

Australia that commemorates all

Australians and New Zealanders who

served and died in all wars, conflicts,

and peacekeeping operations to protect

us and our country.

The word ‘Anzac’ is a part of the

and a knowledge of where they

are coming from and identifying

people early.

Then it is a case of stamping

out the virus and continuing to

maintain strict border restrictions

to be sure no new cases are being


Elimination is by no means

eradication and the Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern said this is a situation

of entering into the world of


Awaiting vaccine

“And they know well what each

of these terms mean in a health

sense, but of course in an everyday

sense they mean, often, something


“Elimination does not mean

zero cases... we will have to keep

stamping Covid out until there is a

Smart money choices made simple.

culture of New Zealanders and


When Britain declared war on

Germany on August 4, 1914, it was

committing not only its own men, but

those of its Empire.

The five ‘Dominions,’ namely,

Australia, Canada, Newfoundland

(which joined with Canada in 1949),

New Zealand and South Africa, were

self-governing but had no power over

foreign policy. Most entered the war

willingly, proud to go to the aid of the

empire, often pictured as a lion with its


But as the war dragged on and

their young men died in droves, they

pressed for more say in its conduct and,

after it ended, more control over their

destinies. The men who came home

often found that fighting for Britain

had, paradoxically, made them feel

more distant from it. A century later,

many historians see the first world

war as the former dominions’ ‘War of


vaccine,’’ she said.

National’s Health Spokesperson

Michael Woodhouse said Dr

Bloomfield probably felt the need

to clarify on behalf of the Prime


“This underscores the importance

of talking in plain English.

The public are not epidemiologists,

they do not have the same information

that the Prime Minister has

and it is really important they get

on the same page, talk in English,

and make it clear to New Zealanders

where we are at and how we

have got to stay there.’’

Jo Moir is a Political Reporter at

Radio New Zealand. The above

Report and picture have been

published under a Special Agreement

with www.rnz.co.nz

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MAY 1, 2020

Advice to septuagenarians: Easy does it

Venkat Raman

People above 70 years of

age are vulnerable, and

the oncoming winter

season could be harsh

and hence should consider their

movements carefully during

Alert Level 3 from the morning

of Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

Septuagenarians and their

seniors can go to work places if

they so desire, but they should

be conscious of the fact that they

belong to high-risk group.

Tracey Martin, Minister for

Seniors said that it is important

for people to know what is

expected of people over 70 years

of age and what they are allowed

to do under Alert Level Four.

Freedom of movement

assured but..

“The basic rules are the same.

We want everyone, wherever

possible, to say in their bubble

and work from home to reduce

the risk of catching or spreading

Covid-19,” she said.

Ms Martin said that while

the seniors in this and other

higher-risk groups have the same

rights as others to go to work,

exercise and access essential

services like supermarkets and

banks, they should be careful.

“Like everyone else, travel

should be kept to a minimum.

Therefore, please use online

services or have others shop for

you where possible. When you

are out, please keep two metres

distance from other people,” she


Ms Martin said that Under

Alert Level 3, seniors can (a)

extend their bubble carefully; for

Tracey Martin, Minister for Seniors

example, by letting close family

or a caregiver into their home

(b) go to a local beach or park for

fresh air and exercise (c) shop

for essential services such as at

the chemist or supermarket (d)

take children to school if they

are caregivers and (e ) volunteer

or go to work if inevitable, but

is safe.

“No workplaces should be

operating unless they are safely

managing Covid-19 risks; so,

there is no reason to exclude

workers on the basis of age or

disability. The other side is that

some people have specific health

conditions; meaning that they

need to manage themselves

differently, and they need to talk

to their employers and agree on

these work and leave arrangements,”

Ms Martin said.

Leave Support Scheme

The Covid-19 Leave Support

Scheme covers workers who

are unable to work from home

and need to self-isolate, has

been expanded to all businesses,

organisations and self-employed

people, in addition to those

providing essential services.

Ms Martin said that various

groups and individuals have

been seeking clarification on

Alert 3.

“People want to do the right

thing. Seniors have been incredibly

good at doing their bit and

following the rules and a whole

range of groups and individuals

have been great at providing

support to them. We just need to

make sure this continues,” she


Today by Numbers

The Ministry of Health said

that as of this morning, there

were nine new Covid-19 cases, of

which five were probable cases.

The total number of Coronavirus

cases in the country is now 1470,

while the total number of people

who have recovered now stands

at 1142. There are now seven

persons in various hospitals.

The total number of Covid-19

deaths in New Zealand is now 18.

If you suspect you have

COVID-19 symptoms, please call


For any other COVID-19 related

queries, please contact the government

helpline 0800-779997

For text messages: 1737

Visit allright.org.nz for practical

mental health and wellbeing


For essential business enquiries

essential@mbie.govt.nz or


To report breaches of self-isolation,

please visit 105.police.


Stay up to date on all the

latest information on the

New Zealand government’s

website, Facebook, WhatsApp,

Instagram and LinkedIn.





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Pritesh Patel - Insolvency Practitioner was appointed as the Liquidator

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If you were a subscriber, and if you believe you are now a creditor of the company,

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MAY 1, 2020


Masks from Massey Varsity staff face high demand

Supplied Content


Massey staff member has

joined in the nationwide

effort against COVID-19

and deployed Massey’s 3D

printers in Auckland to create face

shields for first responders and

frontline workers.

Food and Advanced Technology

School Technical Services Manager

Sean Rasmussen said that he saw

an article about the ShieldsUp

project and decided to put Massey’s

facilities to use.

ShieldsUp is a not-for-profit

organisation formed by Tim Carr

from Mindkits, who put out a call

for people with 3D printers at home

to download and start 3D printing a

face shield design from Prusa Printing.

People all over New Zealand

have joined in producing the face

shields, which give frontline health

workers extra protection against


Increase in production

“We have all the resources needed

to help and we have been able to

Sean Rasmussen modelling a 3D printed

face shield

Fund Kiwi scientists

to develop Covid-19


Dr Parmjeet Parmar

Let us back Kiwi scientists in

our fight against Covid-19

National is calling on the



back New



by funding

them to

join the


effort to


and manufacture




Our scientists believe that we

have the capability to develop

and manufacture a vaccine here.

Professor James Ussher of Otago

University has called for up to $10

million to be made available.

Time and demand

Development of an effective

vaccine could still take about 12

months, and once it is ready, it

could take several more months for

New Zealand to access supplies of

it from overseas.

Supporting collaborative

research in this country could help

us access a vaccine quicker.

We should be mindful of the

fact there are 213 countries or

territories New Zealand will be

competing with for vaccine stocks

once they are available.

I am calling on Research, Science

and Innovation

Minister Megan

Woods to support

this work

as there is only

a small window

of time for the


to act before

it becomes too

late for New

Zealand to

join the global


The sooner we get our hands on

a vaccine, the sooner we can reignite

our economy and get our lives

back to normal. National backs our

Kiwi scientists to get this done.

Dr Parmjeet Parmar is Member

of Parliament on National’s

List for Mount Roskill and the

Party’s Research, Science and

Innovation spokesperson.

Community healthcare workers at Turaki

Healthcare in Mangere, Auckland

significantly increase production

on the project, and now we are

now one of the ShieldsUp hubs for

Auckland. We are coordinating

with the district health boards

and anyone on the frontline with

medical needs. The priority is for

the people who the need it most

urgently and then working down

the list,” he said.

He said that ShieldsUp has been

inundated with requests for the


“The number of orders coming

through is immense. There are

over 15000 orders with an immediate

need, and 20000 is what

ShieldsUp wants to have on hand.

Massey has fielded a few 1000

orders already,” Mr Rasmussen


He said that the workshop at

the Auckland campus has four

desktop 3D printers that can print

four face shields at a time, and

two large SLS (Selective Laser

Sintering) machines that can each

print 80 shields at once.

Their first big run of shields is

in the SLS printer now, and they

produced around 300 shields in

the last week.

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A community effort

Mr Rasmussen said it is a collective


“My wife Aida is on board

contacting medical professionals and

practices, and friends who have time

on their hands are helping to field

phone calls. It has been a really cool

story of everyone coming together

and helping out,” he said.

Mr Rasmussen was joined by

workshop technicians Blair Dixon

and Gabriel Phang who are able to

access the workshop when they need

to, one person at a time. The three are

taking shifts to be on-call, and they are

also looking into other solutions for

medical devices.

“We have already delivered 20 here,

30 there, and some people are nearly

in tears when they get them. They are

mostly going to doctors, nurses, and

some have gone to the local COVID-19

testing centre. We’ve since had

other testing centres contacting us for

shields,” he said.

Other staff involved

It is not just staff in Auckland who

are getting involved– in Manawatū,

Professor of Robotics Johan Potgieter

of Agritech will be running 3D

printers on campus.

Olaf Griewaldt from the School

of Fundamental Sciences will be

taking 3D printers home to operate,

and staff at the Wellington School of

Design are looking into how design

can inform product innovation and

development in areas related to the

COVID-19 response.

ShieldsUp founder Tim Carr said

that they are grateful to have the

support of Massey.

“It is phenomenal what Massey

University is doing to support the

ShieldsUp initiative and it is exceptional

to see the community coming

together. We would love more

organisations with appropriate

facilities to follow their lead and

support us, and we are thankful for

the help of the nearly 600 people

throughout the country who have

got on board so far,” he said.

ShieldsUp are looking for more

volunteers with 3D printing or laser

cutting machinery, or other skills

to contribute and are asking the

public to support their efforts with


Sydney transforms Commerce stream

Supplied Content

The University of Sydney Business

School has transformed

its Master of Commerce qualification

with a greater focus

on core skills that will be in-demand in

future workplaces.

Commencing with the first semester

in 2021, the new Programme will give

students access to eight specialisations

to build their skills in areas such as

global logistics, data analytics and

digital transformation underpinned

by the core principles of responsible

management and innovation.

Professor Greg Whitwell, Dean of the

Business School, said: “Our students

come from over 130 countries around

the world and bring with them significant

experiences and perspectives that

add to the rich academic and cultural

life at the University of Sydney Business

School. From our work-integrated

learning to specialised streams of

study, our students graduate with skills

in responsible management that will

benefit them in their future careers no

matter where in the world they work.”

Consultation with industry

As a part of the Programme redesign,

the University conducted a survey

of over 300 industry practitioners,

including those who work at some of

the world’s biggest brands, to identify

what skills they value in graduates

entering the workforce.

Professor Greg Whitwell

(Picture from Website)

Programme Director of Master

of Commerce, Associate Professor

Teresa Davis, said, “It was clear

that employers need graduates

to not only have the technical

know-how, but also the creative

and innovative agility needed

for solving complex problems in

rapidly shifting contexts.”

While the comprehensive

review of the Master of Commerce

was conducted last year,

Associate Professor Davis said

that the Coronavirus outbreak

and its devastating impact on

many in the workforce highlights

the importance of learning core

skills to navigate industry wide


“In an increasingly volatile

world, graduates will need to be

adaptable and dynamic across

many aspects of business. It is

these core skills that will help

cushion our graduates against

major market shocks,” she said.

Choice of specialisation

Students enrolled in the new

18-month Master of Commerce

will have the opportunity to

choose one specialisation while

those studying the two-year Master

of Commerce (Extension) can

choose two from eight different

specialisations. Scholarships

will also be awarded to eligible

applicants in both Programmes.

Work and industry experience

The emphasis on work-integrated

learning units in the

Programme was guided by

input from current Master of

Commerce students and alumni

from the 70,000-strong global


Jessie Huang came to study

the Master of Commerce at

Sydney from Canada in 2016 and

completed an industry placement

program with a cosmetics

company in Sydney.

“The Programme provided opportunities

for me to not only gain

practical experience in my area of

study, but also to network and build

relationships with business contacts

within the company and industry.

It helped my gain first-hand

experience in applying my learning

to real-life projects and helped me

to secure a position at the company

after graduation,” she said.

Both postgraduate courses allow

eligible applicants to complete an

industry placement Programme.

These include self-sourced and local

placements as well as international

options in China and the United

States, once travel restrictions lift.

With digital ways of working set

to be critical in a post-coronavirus

environment, students participating

in work-integrated learning units

will develop highly valued skills

through online placements and industry-linked

group based business


Employability skills

Director of the Work-Integrated

Learning Hub, Associate Professor

Rachael Hains-Wesson, said: “Our

bespoke work-integrated learning

units, which are a key part of the

new Master of Commerce, are

designed to develop and master

key employability skills in our

graduates and give them the work

experience they’ll need to thrive

in their careers, while delivering

tangible benefits to our partner

organisations and communities.”

Professor Whitwell said that the

redesign of the Programme demonstrates

the School’s commitment to

equipping students with real-world

industry experiences underpinned

by an excellent academic offering.

“Our aim is always to deliver a

truly transformational education.

We are proud of the way our worldclass

teachers and researchers bring

exceptionally designed courses

to life, embedding creative and

analytics skills in our responsible

business graduates as they enter

the workforce,” Professor Whitwell


This year, the QS Graduate

Employability Rankings named

University of Sydney graduates the

most employable in Australia.

MAY 1, 2020



What we all need to know

about Alert Level 3

Now is a good time to pause for a moment, and be grateful for the progress we

have all made – including the many lives we have already saved.

But it’s also a moment to consider how far we still have to go. Alert Level 3 is still a high alert. If we don’t all follow the rules,

the virus could flare up again, forcing us to return to Alert Level 4. Nobody wants that.

Here’s what stays the same at Alert Level 3:

• stay local for exercise or to pick up

essential supplies

• wash your hands often with soap,

then dry them

Here’s what has changed at Alert Level 3:


• all public venues including libraries,

museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms,

pools, and parks must stay closed

• you must work from home if you can

• you must learn from home if you can

• if you are sick you must stay home

• if you are vulnerable or aged 70+

you should stay home to stay safe.



Nobody can attend

funerals, tangihanga

or weddings

Shop for essential

items only

You can’t buy

non-essential items.

Only essential workers can

come in to the workplace

Non-essential travel

is not permitted

Limited public transport

available for essential

travel only

Schools and Early

Childhood Education

Centres are closed

Up to ten people can attend funerals or weddings in a contactless way

Formal tangihanga involving large gatherings are unable

to occur under Alert Level 3, but funerals of up to 10 people

can go ahead.

Shop in a contactless way for all types of goods

You can shop online or by phone for any goods you like,

as long as you don’t make physical contact with others.

Paying for goods:

• payment need to happen online, over the phone,

or in a contactless way at the store.

Workers who can’t work from home, can come in to the workplace

Travel is still restricted

You can travel for work, school, recreation, to go to the

supermarket, pharmacy or for medical reasons. You can

travel to pick up goods purchased in a contactless way.

Public transport more widely available

You can use public transport for work, school, recreation,

to go to the supermarket, pharmacy or for medical reasons.

You can travel to pick up goods purchased in a contactless way.

Schools and Early Childhood Centres

Childhood centres and schools are open for students up to Year 10 that need them.

However, children that can stay and learn at home should do so. Sick or vulnerable children

should also stay home and they will be supported to do so.

Organisers must: collect everyone’s details for contact tracing.

There must be no receptions or meals.

Receiving goods:

• most goods should be delivered in a contactless way

to the customer’s doorstep

• where deliveries can’t happen customers can pick-up

goods from the shop front in a contactless way

• retailers cannot open their premises to customers

• you cannot browse in-store, or discuss issues

face-to-face with staff.

However, you must continue to keep your travel as close to

home as possible. You can cross a regional boundary to go

to work or school.

If you are able to travel on public transport, please try and

avoid peak times unless you are a worker or are travelling

to an educational facility. Physical distancing applies.



Stay in your bubble

You can extend your bubble a small amount

You can extend your bubble slightly to bring in close family,

isolated people, or caregivers.

Remember: more people equals more risk.

Keep your bubble as small as possible.


Non-essential businesses

cannot trade

Non-essential businesses can trade if they follow the Alert Level 3 rules

If your business involves physical contact, you cannot open.

Other businesses must:

• trade in a contactless way (see above)

• use contact tracing.

REMEMBER: At Alert Level 3, wherever possible, you should continue to work from home.

They must also have a health and safety plan to help stop

the spread of COVID-19, including:

• good hygiene

• physical distancing

• and the regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces.

We’re a team of 5 million. Formidable.

We can do this. So thank you New Zealand for making the right decisions, when it really counts.

Got questions? Find the answers faster at Covid19.govt.nz


MAY 1, 2020


The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

ISSUE 437 | MAY 1, 2020

Covid-19 slows down

but not the risk

With New Zealand

shifting down its

Alert Level from

Four to Three

from Tuesday, April 28, 2020,

there have been suggestions

from some people that ‘the

worst is over’ and that the

government should open up

all businesses.

But if the scenes at many

drive-through fast-food outlets

on the first day of Alert

3 are any indication, there is

need for greater caution since

a second wave of Coronavirus

could be devastating as

experienced elsewhere.

Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern has described Alert

Level 3 as ‘The Waiting

Room,’ and that the move to

Alert Level 2 would depend

on a number of factors.

Simply put, it would

depend on how we have

between now and May 11,

2020 and more importantly,

how Covid-19 behaves and


The second wave fear

The declining rate of in

reported cases on day-to-day

basis places New Zealand on

top of the world, but the fear

is that the second wave of the

Lest we forget:

Girmit Anniversary

In two weeks from now,

the world will quietly add

yet another year to the

Girmit Period that rocked

the lives of more than 60,000

men and women from India

for 40 years, immersing them

into a subjugated state of

slavery and deception.

The story of the Indo-Fijians

as indentured labourers

is one of betrayal, torture,

sacrifice and death. Successive

generations have heard

how their ancestors suffered

the brutality of their colonial

masters, whipped like

animals and were pushed

towards suicide- many of

them ended their lives either

hanging at home or falling

into the nearby river; many

others simply perished as a

natural outcome of physical

and mental abuse.

There are undoubtedly a

number of success stories of

people who have established

their presence commercially

and lifted Fiji’s economy in

later years, especially after

the country gained independence

in 1970.

Trials and tribulations

But they did not achieve

success overnight; they too

virus cannot be ruled out as

experienced by Singapore

during over the past three


A majority of Indian

Newslink readers and member

of the Indian community

believe that the country

should have continued under

Alert Level 4 for some more

time (perhaps two more

weeks) and then move to

Alert Level 3.

Such opinions hold water

during a health crisis, especially

in dealing with a worldwide

pandemic in which

very little is known about the

virus- how it catches on, how

it spreads, how early or late

the symptoms appear and the

rate of its spread.

Countries that have either

not taken adequate measures

or have moved out of

lockdown are experiencing

the disastrous effects of their


Many countries are now

experiencing a second wave

of the disease, and the situation

is getting out of hand in

some parts of Europe.

The risk is alive in New

Zealand as well.

struggled, alongside their

compatriots, risked their

fortunes and promoted businesses.

It is said that without

Indo-Fijian enterprise, the

country’s economy would be

far more impoverished and

regressive than it is today.

The reason for the massive

abuse of Indians by the

Colonial Sugar Research

(CSR) Company is not known

but it is assumed that they

practiced subjugation

through terror was far more

effective in gaining control

over the migrant workers

than letting them live and

work in dignity.

The first shipload of

Girmitiyas aboard Leonidas,

accounted for 522 men and

women, who were apparently

taken from various parts

of India on false pretences.

If those people sported a

dream of making it in Fiji

through hard work followed

by happiness and prosperity,

they only got the former.

Indo-Fijians are among

the most hardworking and

enterprising people in the


We salute them on this

Girmit Anniversary.

IIndian Newslink is published by Indian Newslink Limited from its offices located at 299A Riddel

Road, Glendowie, Auckland 1071. All material appearing here and on our web editions are the

copyright of Indian Newslink and reproduction in full or part in any medium is prohibited. Indian

Newslink and its management and staff do not accept any responsibility for the claims made in

advertisements. Managing Director & Publisher: Jacob Mannothra;

Editor & General Manager: Venkat Raman; Production Manager: Mahes Perera; Financial

Controller: Uma Venkatram CA; Phone: (09) 5336377 Email: info@indiannewslink.co.nz;

Websites: www.indiannewslink.co.nz; www.inliba.com; www.inlisa.com

New business models to ensure growth

Jai Basrur

The post Covid-19 landscape is a

daunting one for Kiwi businesses.

Here are some observations and

predictions on their future, and

an action-plan to progress in the vastly

changed environment that lies ahead.

People and countries are naturally concerned

about what has happened during

the Covid-19 pandemic. It has affected

almost every aspect of life and living, and

it will take some time for people to regain


The macro environment has become

more dynamic than ever.

It is tempting to speak in terms of

pre- and post-Covid-19, but the reality is

that that there will not be a clear moment

when the world is liberated from either

the direct effects of COVID 19 or the

precautions considered necessary and

desirable to take to avoid, or be prepared

for, a similar event.

The actions taken to prevent the spread

of Covid-19 are likely to endure for the next

two to three years, at least.

Changing perspectives, focus

Government participation and policy

setting focus will change.

Businesses may need to alter current

business models and arrangements as

accepted principles. Definitions will

change. Post-Covid-19 we are likely to see

different indicators being used to measure

progress. These are likely to be focused

on health, wellness and the fulfilment of

essential requirements.

While change is often painful, in the

long term, we can achieve a greater

balance and harmony in the world, along

with less reliance on our scarce natural


Covid-19 will inevitably create opportunities

to pause, reconsider and realign at

many levels.

Progression post Covid-19 will require

a considered, cooperative and compassionate

approach which is balanced and

beneficial to the larger community.

For businesses it offers an opportunity

to pause and reset.

The macro environment

Countries have enforced strict border

controls. These are likely to continue for

some time as they appear necessary to

protect the wellbeing of their citizens.

As a result, the movement of people will

be restricted for some time.

Industries such as travel, airlines and

international tourism have already been

adversely affected and these effects appear

likely to continue for commercially and

economically relevant periods. They are

not short shocks, but long-term tremors.

In New Zealand’s regional economies

like Rotorua and Queenstown, which are

dependent on travel and tourism, will

continue to be adversely impacted by the

lack of people movement.

While global trade will continue,

countries will view cross-border

investments and exchanges differently. We

are already seeing Japan and the United

States encouraging and even funding

companies to withdraw from international

investments which they have set up and

explore alternative geographic areas to

relocate and invest anew.

Public Policy emphasis

For some time, countries will emphasise

social and governmental safety nets.

Health and welfare are likely to be the

basis of any economic policy settings with

the latter being secondary. As economies

reset, we should see low or near-zero

interest rates (often resulting in negative

long-term real rates). We are also likely to

see a convergence of health and economic

policy, and increased fiscal interventions

by governments.

A key issue may be market and personal


Quantitative easing of money assisted

the reinstatement of market liquidity

following the 2008 financial crisis. We have

also seen substantial growth in asset values

(often debt induced).

Quantitative easing encouraged

confidence and consumption.

This time, while massive quantitative

easing programmes have been established,

Post-Covid era will offer many turning

points for businesses

(Photo by Deb Dowd on Unsplash)

the lack of demand may limit the

effects of stimulus creation.

Financial support

In these conditions, we are likely to

see mixed ownership companies which

need government financial support,

associated governmental ownership,

and economies scaled with government

funding for start-ups and more direct

debt and equity funding for larger


My prediction is that we will

see substantial changes in taxation

following government intervention.

Possible changes could include flat

taxation, and/or reduced indirect

taxation on essential items such as food

and utilities (especially as the focus will

be on wellbeing with an emphasis on

healthy living).

We could also see resource

rental arrangements developing,

with governments owning assets and

charging asset operators an economic

rental for the right to use the assets and

derive private benefits from operating


Therefore, governments and related

institutions will move to directly

owning assets as well.

A possible consequence is that

companies could be encouraged to

‘aggregate’ to achieve scale and enable

effective capital allocation and minimise

risk. Such aggregation may be

caused by the companies themselves,

enforced or created through legislative


Companies could find business

aggregation a cost-effective method for

scaling. This would also be necessary in

the context of changed demand drivers.

Market demands and trade

Post Covid-19 economies and

businesses will become domestically

focused in the absence of overseas

visitors, overseas students and near nil


New Zealand will be no exception.

Consumer demand is likely to alter

and could be based on essentials

for consumers themselves and their

families. Consumer demand will be

influenced by where people spend

money; the reasons why they buy; how

they access products and services; the

quantities they buy; and the way they

live, interact and work.

Demand is likely to be strong for

necessities and essentials such as food,

horticulture, water, fish, housing,

medicines, health services, education,

data products, safe retirement living,

home-based entertainment, fitness and


Demand for supply and delivery

chains and associated sectors, such as

logistics and associated technologies

(such as medical technology and

devices, agricultural, food and

biotechnology), could also benefit from

this emphasis.

We are also likely to see changes

in the type of products needed - for

example, the type of housing as

affordability changes, more people

work from home, and people alter their

level of commuting.

Despite financial stimulus, people

are not likely to invest in discretionary

products in the next few years

(especially white and brown goods, and

leisure travel), and make risk-based

investments, at least for some time.

Business models

Post COVID-19, businesses could be

required to address changes in business

and operating models; growth and

scale; value propositions; performance

and value measures; pricing; and

leadership styles. All these aspects are


We are likely to see smaller firms emerging

and collaborating.

Technology will enable and encourage this.

These firms will not focus on creating

extensive firm boundaries and resource


They will cooperate with other companies

which have similar ethics, human and leadership

values and with whom an integrated

value chain can be developed.

Companies and firms are likely to change

and operate as ability and service business

clusters, and communities

Increasing work at home

An associated likely consequence is that

people will change the way they work, meet

and communicate.

Working from Home (WFH) may well

become the new norm and businesses will

need to seamlessly move to this altered

environment of working.

Growth and scale have been emphasised in

recent times.

Technology has altered resource requirements,

reduced production costs and enabled

businesses to scale and grow by focusing on

customer acquisitions.

Continuing this trend, exchanges in the

future will be increasingly digitised (as evidenced)

with physical exchanges being based

around products and basic products.

Digital technology-based scaling and growth

will therefore be emphasised post Covid-19.

In turn, this could create demands for

technologies such as additive manufacturing,

artificial intelligence and big data.

Refreshing perspectives

Growth will be driven by connections and

market presence, not by scale. Dollar values

will be a consequence.

Post Covid-19, we are also likely to see a

reduction in the cost of doing business as

governments become active participants and

supporters of businesses.

We may need to refresh our perspectives

on market power as cooperative clusters grow

with government participation.

The way forward

Post Covid-19, business managers must reset

and focus on core values; basic needs being

met; security of supply; responsible pricing;

developing learning and adaptive businesses;

developing connections and developing strong

institutional leadership with demonstrated


This will call for a change in leadership

styles. Leadership post COVID-19 will need to

be open, sharing, optimistic, compassionate

and cooperative rather than adversarial. It

will need to move from a limited resource

focus to an open system focus.

To move forward, businesses will benefit by

undertaking a current state diagnostic.

This would involve an honest assessment of

the values which drive the business; the larger

needs they meet or are capable of fulfilling;

the markets in which they operate; costing

and pricing; abilities; digital capabilities;

connections; financial and economic resources

(such as cashflows); contractual commitments;

likely opportunities; service capacity; and


Progression and action plan

Make a plan which specifies actions to be

taken, where resources should be allocated, as

well as timelines and responsibilities.

The Progression Plan should also identify

the way the existing business could be melded

with future directions.

It is likely that this would dovetail into an

assessment of business values at different


Business restructuring and reallocation of

resources, if needed, should be preceded by

a revised approach to business and business


Resources and time should be allocated to

developing abilities, values and connections

using digital technologies.

These are challenging times. Change is

inevitable. A crisis creates opportunities.

Covid-19 has the potential to create many

phoenixes, transformed businesses and


This is an opportunity to redesign, realign,

restructure and refocus.

Systematic approaches are warranted,

while knee jerk reactions should be avoided.

Businesses in the future will need trust,

cooperation, optimism and courage as basic

human needs, and core values get emphasised

and a new balance emerges.

Jai Basrur is Founder-Director, CGB Consulting

based in Auckland. Email: jai@cgb.

co.nz; The above article appeared in ‘New

Zealand Business’ on April 24, 2020. This is

an edited version. Full text on this website.

MAY 1, 2020


Audit process begins to uncover wage subsidy violations

Venkat Raman

The government

has stepped up

its procedures to

verify if companies are

properly utilising the wage

subsidy scheme implemented

on March 25, 2020 following

the enforcement of Alert 4 to

contain the spread of Covid-19.

Thus far, the government

has paid out $10.4 billion to

more than 1.6 million people.

Complaints of irregularity

However, there have been

complaints of irregularity and


Indian Newslink

understands that these include

non-payment in full or part of

the wage subsidy to employees,

use of the wage subsidy to

pay employment termination

obligations, use of the wage

subsidy for purposes other

than its prescription and other


Finance Minister Grant

Robertson said that the wage

subsidy scheme was introduced

to protect the integrity of New

Zealand businesses.

He said that now an audit

process is now being conducted

on priority to investigate into

the complaints that have been


Detecting fraudsters

Social Development Minister

Carmel Sepuloni said that

a dedicated team from the

Ministry of Social Development

(MSD) is working with Inland

Revenue Department (IRD) and

the Ministry of Business, Investment

and Employment (MBIE)

to ensure that businesses using

the scheme as intended and are

not being undermined by the

actions of a few.

“We moved quickly to get

support in place for businesses

and workers early by designing

a high-trust model for the

wage subsidy to get money

out the door. We knew that a

majority of New Zealand business

owners would access the

scheme as intended, to protect

jobs, support workers’ wages

and stay connected during the

lockdown. It is great to see these

business owners doing right by

their workers,” Mr Robertson


He said that the government

is keen to ensure that the taxpayers’

money is not misused.

From the start, those applying

for wage subsidy were told that

they would have to repay the

subsidy if they provided false or

misleading information in their

application. They were also told

that they may be subject to civil

proceedings for the recovery

of any amount received that

they were not entitled to, and/or

prosecuted for offences under

the Crimes Act 1961.

The Team and Numbers

A team of 104 fraud experts

and investigators is working to

identify cases that may require


MSD has thus far completed

2435 random and targeted

audits, of which 2252 have

been resolved and additional

reviews of 183 cases are being


It is understood that 292 allegations

have been received thus

far and that MSD has resolved

88 of these allegations.

As on April 20, 2020 there

were 1170 complaints and

allegations received by MSD,


As at April 21, 2020, about

1280 applicants had voluntarily

advised that they want to refund

all or part of the subsidy.

This has led to $16.2

million of refunds requested

and $6.9 million has

already been refunded.

As at April 21, 2020, the

government’s auditing had

resulted in 56 applicants

being asked to refund

either all or part of their

subsidy. A total of $1.25

million has been requested

from these applicants

with $168,000 already


MSD will lead criminal

prosecutions in collaboration

with other agencies.

Chance to correct

Ms Sepuloni said that a

majority of businesses are doing

the right thing and hence do not

have to worry about the audit


“For some businesses,

circumstances change following

receipt of the subsidy, including

where insurance may have

been received, or new revenue

forecasts show the business

will not suffer a 30% drop. A

number of businesses have

come forward when this

happens by offering to repay

the subsidy, and we encourage

any business who may have

made a mistake to do the same.

But New Zealand taxpayers

and those who have accessed

the scheme properly expect to

see a fair process. If a business

provides false or misleading

information and knowingly

commits a crime, they will be

held to account. That is a given,”

she said.

National body

advocates jobs first

for New Zealanders

Pancha Narayanan


New Zealand

(MNZ) advocates


industry gaps to be filled by

unemployed New Zealanders

before opening up borders

and workforce to returning


The Covid-19 outbreak

has swiftly and drastically

changed New Zealand’s economic

and social landscape.

Industries such as tourism,

hospitality and arts & entertainment

have all closed their

doors, with small and large

businesses alike suffering


The rule and exceptions

Widespread job losses have

occurred and is expected to

increase over the coming

months, with economists predicting

between 10% to 30%

unemployment nationwide.

New Zealand’s borders

remain closed to those who

are not citizens or permanent

residents as we continue

to focus on eliminating the

Covid-19 outbreak.

This includes people with

temporary work visas. There

are some exceptions for those

who have essential work visas


in areas such as healthcare.

There has been a call from

different sectors, especially

from primary industries

like dairy, agriculture and

horticulture that are heavily

reliant on migrant workers,

for New Zealand to allow

workers with temporary work

visas back into the country.

Priority for New Zealanders

Considering the current

extraordinary circumstances,

it is the view of MNZ that

New Zealand needs to look

at giving these jobs to the

growing number of kiwis who

will now be without work.

MNZ strongly recommends

that the Government and

Immigration New Zealand

ensure proper labour market

testing measures are in place

to prioritise the employment

and training of New Zealanders

before the work is given to

people with temporary work


In order to preserve the

wellbeing of the population

and the economy, we will

have to look at avenues to

connect jobseekers with

training and employment

before outsourcing these roles

to potential immigrants.

Pancha Narayanan is

National President, Multicultural

New Zealand based

in Wellington.

Email :




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MAY 1, 2020


LVR restrictions on

mortgage loans removed

Venkat Raman

The Reserve Bank of New

Zealand has written to

commercial banks and

lending institutions to

consider moving away from the

Loan-to-Value Ration (LVR) on

mortgage loans to stimulate the

market and help the economy

to recover.

In his letter sent this

morning, Deputy Governor and

General Manager (Financial

Stability) Geoff Bascand said

RBNZ has proposed the move

in response to the Covid-19


RBNZ has proposed that the

banks consider the move; it is

therefore a suggestion and not

a directive at this stage.

“LVRs were introduced as

a macro-prudential financial

stability tool in October 2013

and have been adjusted over

time. Adjusting the use and

calibration of macro-prudential

tools in response to economic

conditions is how they are

intended to be used,” he said.

The LVR provision allows

the Reserve Bank to respond to

cyclic pressures.

Mr Bascand said that the

removal of LVR will help banks

to keep lending to support

customers, including with

mortgage deferrals.

“As is normal for changes to

macro-prudential measures, we

are consulting on this proposal.

In this case, consultation is

open for seven days. Feedback

will be collated from industry

stakeholders over this period

and a decision will be made

promptly after that,” he said.

The change, if effected, will

be made through a change in

bank Conditions of Registration.

Monitoring lending activity

If the decision is made to

remove the restrictions, the

Reserve Bank will monitor

lending activity and feedback

from retail banks over the next

12 months as the economic

impact of the Covid-19

pandemic becomes clearer.

Thereafter, RBNZ will review

whether to reinstate LVR


“This will provided

banks and customers

certainty that no

further changes to LVR

requirements will be

made for at least one

year,” Mr Bascand said.

About the LVR

Loan-to-Value Ratio

(LVR) is a measure of how

much a bank lends against

a mortgaged property,

compared to the value of

that property.

There are currently

two macro-prudential

LVR restrictions (‘speed

limits’) in place: (a) Banks

are permitted to make no

more than 20% of their

residential mortgage lending

to high-LVR (less than 20%

deposit) borrowers who are

owner occupiers (b) Banks are

permitted to make no more

than 5% of residential mortgage

lending to high-LVR (less than

30% deposit) borrowers who

are investors.

The calculation of new

lending under the LVR policy

would capture only the new

amount of lending associated

with any mortgage deferral,

arising from the capitalisation

of principal and/or interest

during the deferral.

Ethnic Communities

Office gets new boss

Supplied Content

Anusha Guler has been

appointed to the role of

Executive Director, Office of

Ethnic Communities (OEC) at

the Department of Internal Affairs (Te

Tari Taiwhenua).

She will take up the role on June 1,


Ms Guler will be responsible for

building relationships and partnerships,

delivering advice and services to

improve outcomes for New Zealand’s

ethnic communities and strengthening

their inclusion and participation in the

wider community.

Principal Advisor

The OEC is government’s Principal

Advisor on ethnic diversity in New


Through the group’s important

work, people across society feel their

lives are enriched by diversity and

see diversity as a valued part of New


Internal Affairs Chief Executive Paul

James described Ms Guler as a strategic

and inclusive leader with proven

experience leading multi-disciplinary

and culturally diverse teams.

“I am confident that her ability to

engage and build strong relationships

with communities will stand her in

good stead to further the important

work of the Office of Ethnic Communities,”

he said.

Ms Guler, a postgraduate in Public

Administration from the University of

KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, said

that she is looking forward to further-

Anusha Guler

ing the ambitious and progressive

work programme of the Office of

Ethnic Communities, and working

with a motivated team.

“New Zealand’s ethnic communities

have valuable contributions to

make to society, and as a team we

will support them to do that and

realise their aspirations,” she said.

Ms Guler migrated to New

Zealand from South Africa in 2002

and has held senior management

positions in government agencies in

both countries.

She joins the Internal Affairs

Department from Wellington City

Council where she has worked

since 2011, most recently as Chief

of Staff providing strategic advice

to the Mayor, Chief Executive and

Executive Leadership Team.


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MAY 1, 2020

New and renamed electorates announced

Venkat Raman

New Zealand will have new electorates

coming into effect with

the General Election scheduled

to be held on September 19,


The Representation Commission,

which listened to public submissions

and considered revision of territories,

has also announced renaming of a few

electorates, which will also be effective

this year.

These changes may be reviewed after

the General Election in 2023.

Judge Craig Thompson, Chairman of

the Representation Commission said

that where possible, the Commission

has maintained existing electorate

boundaries and no changes have been

made to 36 electorates.

Boundary adjustments

“The boundaries of 30 general and 5

Māori electorates have been adjusted to

some degree. The number of electorates

in the Auckland region has increased

from 24 to 25. The new electorate is in

South Auckland and its final name following

public consultation is Takanini.

In total, there are 72 electorates – 65

general electorates and seven Maori

electorates,” he said.

The areas where there have been the

most boundary changes are the Auckland

region, Waikato, Christchurch,

Otago, and Southland.

“There are name changes for 11

electorates. The names were either

proposed by us or suggested in public

submissions to better describe the

redrawn electorate areas,” Judge

Thompson said.

New Electorate in South Auckland

A new electorate has been created in

South Auckland, called Takanini, comprising

the population from Manurewa,

former Hunua Electorate and Papakura,

including those of Wattle Downs and

Takanini. While Manurewa is a Labour

favourite, Papakura as it existed prior to

the change belongs to National Party.

Following public consultation, a

small area around Mount Wellington

(Maungarei) will become a part of

Panmure-Otahuhu. Population from

Waikato has been added to Hunua

which has been renamed Port Waikato.

Adjustments have been made to the

boundaries of Waikato with Coromandel,

Hamilton West, and Taupo.

There have also been adjustments to

the boundaries of Whangarei and Bay

of Plenty.

There are no boundary changes for 31

electorates including all the electorates

in the southern half of the North Island

and in Auckland- Auckland Central,

Botany, East Coast Bays, Epsom, Kelston,

Mangere, Mount Albert, North Shore,

Northcote, Pakuranga, Tamaki and Te


The boundaries of 30 General and 5

Maori electorates have been adjusted to

some degree.

Change of Name

Eleven Electorates have been renamed

to reflect their geographic areas.

They are as follows:

• Whangarei becomes Whangārei

• Helensville becomes Kaipara ki


• Rodney becomes Whangaporoa

• Manukau East becomes Pan


• Flat Bush, the proposed name for the

new electorate, becomes Takanini

• Hunua becomes Port Waikato

• Rimutaka becomes Remutaka

• Port Hills becomes Banks Peninsula

• Dunedin North becomes Dunedin

• Dunedin South becomes Taieri

• Clutha-Southland becomes


South Island General electorates

The number of South Island electorates

has been fixed at 16.

Changes include the following:

• Brightwater is moved from Nelson to

West Coast- Tasman

• A redraw of the fastest growing electorate,

Selwyn, which loses the Banks

Peninsula area to Banks Peninsula (formerly

Port Hills). Adjustments are also

made to Ilam, Wigram, Banks Peninsula,

Christchurch East and Rangitata

• Waitaki loses the Alexandra and

Clyde area to Southland (formerly


• The Otago Peninsula is moved from


er, ASAP can do away with rough concept plans but are

As house prices

a number of standard bank not sure about the process

preconditions sign off for work such completed as presales,

take longer. registered valuations, ment However, project. with such uncertainty

will of Continuing completing uncertainty the develop-

move, so should you,

er, ASAP This

fixed can may

price do cause

contracts away significant with flow

and rough over

We concept the near-term

can put plans future,

clients but in are now

Post Covid-19

As house prices

on affects for your construction is a great time to ask yourself

a number quantity of surveyor/progress

standard bank not sure touch about with a the number process

programme. Such delays are not whether is feasible to move of reputable

ahead with and the the proven project develop-


in the

preconditions valuation only costly reports. such in terms as of Being presales,

an and registered asset holding lender, costs, valuations, the but team it may ment ants current project. who environment. can assist them

interest of completing


Checklist for Developers

move, so should you,

fixed places even price mean contracts more that emphasis sunset and dates on on We in can It obtaining is evident put clients that the returning necessary


quantity the your value surveyor/progress

pre-sale of the agreements project are and triggered

touch consents normalcy with a will number and approvals slow of and reputable


it is to

valuation equity reports. enabling

contributed Being buyers to cancel

by the get and that

the proven the Government

development consult-wilantway.

who can assist them



your project going forward.


The impact of the

their contract.

wind us down the Alert Levels in

rents are

ings on your current invest-ament and the property. development programme? places servicing more emphasis calculations.

in obtaining ASAP the can necessary assist in

asset client lender, rather the than team income or

rising, four-week mortgage


Is that going to affect continuity Reliable funding partner a staged approach.

lockdown imposed

Of course, without a reliable The extent to which this will

interest rates are at

In Analyse fact, your we have contractor been - contractors

help will a number amongst of inves-

the hard-

able the value Although of the ASAP project caters and consents funding and the approvals full cost of to

by the New Zealand

funding partner no project can be continue to impact construction the

historical lows and

to Government on non-essential

equity to completed. a contributed wide range by of the clients get the project- sites development – and from the broader obtaining underway.

consents – is unknown. to building Furthermore, the there


Residential house prices have rents just are



tors est on hit your in and the current the last cashflow couple investment



services will be far-reaching

of client and rather It funding will go than a long requirements,

income way if you or

forecast rising, to mortgage rise more steeply

this interest At a high

years. property. from lockdown will test


servicing engage

construction calculations.

with your lender early and

and development

finance ASAP is caters their biggest funding into the separate full cost titles. of the

ASAP remains

dwellings can significant assist and subdividing in uncertainty as

the financial solvency of large and

year than rates level, developers

originally are at

In fact, In some we have cases, been we able have a frank discussion about the to what the working environment

small contractors alike. have Although

will be facing increased interest

and debt-servicing costs –

going forward. Funders will be increased regulation and oversite

project and the likely challenges will look like post lockdown with

expected. historical lows and

to help seen Is a the number net firm cash with of flow which investors

investor dealing, the last financially go couple 4-5 resilient? of times, Keep and thrives funding on requirements,

funding solutions consents house to build, building small the

for you the are to a market wide range and the of clients company project- So, from whether obtaining it be a single

house Last prices month, have Westpac just been

primarily due to delays in their

mindful of the potential significant

construction sites likely. subdivision,

The cost and infill of subdividing housing any such or regulation a

forecast revised to rise their more house steeply

this forecast year than to 10% originally




while in mind net smaller equity firms has and doubled

some tractors after cases, that a work project we on have a is low com-



construction programme.

construction for decrease clients and in who property development

situations therefore finance the is where their loan to biggest they value are ratios into much separate will undoubtedly larger titles. brownfield create further or

are values often and in dwellings

on the back

While such delays may


seen and

of stronger than anticipated

plete. net high cash cashflow for business the model

erode profit margins and increase

cost, Westpac contingencies are


market would

frustrated and potentially the with company be a lot higher

the rigmarole So, delays.

greenfield whether subdivisions,

it be a single

will likely to be impacted the most.

Last market. month, Parash Sarma

Finance go up Partners 4-5 times,

than originally anticipated.

The shining light out of all

In the event your contractor runs thrives of trying on funding to obtain solutions development

funding who are from often mainvision,

a solution infill housing for your or develop-


house ASAP build, Finance small subdi-

probably has

built into project budgets for

As a developer, you will have to of this is that demand for new

revised Auction their house rooms price

while net

are getting

into Offering financial equity bespoke trouble, has doubled

packages after a project for projects is com-from

situations stream where lenders. they are much ment larger needs. brownfield or

if you funding ensure for clients

precisely these reasons.

come up with strategies to mitigate

the lender’s risk to the best – particularly within the affordable

housing appear to remain strong

forecast full again, to 10% clearance on the back rates project previously because

At the same time, identifying

Utility Companies (Power, Water, that you have all Council inspection

records to (including $30,000,000, producer frustrated Consulting extent with possible the Approach so rigmarole that the fund-greenfield housing ASAP subdivisions,

category. Finance lends in all

of stronger have increased than anticipated significantly, you may have considered


any cost-saving opportunities

a lot that of exist agents elsewhere are re-

in Parash and

Telecom-providers) (e) Financiers $200,000

market. and it not Sarma (f) Insurance providers (Contract

Works Insurance).

feasible but with

Finance ASAP statements) Partners Finance on hand, partners you may be of trying We for to also the obtain project take development

approach” funding Also, review from your

a can “consulting continue. ASAP the We Finance major expect cities probably this sector and towns has of the in

Auction porting the budget rooms “higher will are than help getting limit expected”

sale clearance on your bottom

the rising prices, the numbers

Offering able to

with investors, bespoke avoid unnecessary

developers funding project

with mainstream

looking lenders. for development ment Christchurch, needs. Wellington,

insurance in

our clients a solution market

New Zealand for to remain your with develop-

resilient to any


full again, impact

prices. rates line.

As a starting point, we are delays when onboarding a new

project may previously start looking because attractive

packages and home for projects builders from

detail and have a discussion with potential downturns and continue

for both

Cost saving opportunities

encouraging all of our clients to engage

and communicate with all the Review supply chains

ensure that the cover you have in ment.


your broker/insurance provider to to see opportunities for develop-

have Property increased market significantly, reboundsyou again. may have considered $200,000 residential to $30,000,000, and commercial Consulting funding. Approach ASAP Hamilton Finance and lends Tauranga in all being

the cities key markets. and towns in

exist within all projects and

and a All lot in of all, agents it appears are re-thaporting

the “higher property than market expect-

is on rising may prices, be an the opportune numbers time

it not feasible Similarly, but for with an investor, it

ASAP projects. Finance partners We also Often, take we a have “consulting clients the major

sometimes it can be as simple

third parties involved the project We also recommend a full review place is robust and adequate. As a developer, your opportunity

Zealand to add with value Auckland,

to your project

with investors, The mantra developers

as rethinking the flooring, or

about additional challenges as a of supply chain to for understand the team the is approach” who For have those with good lucky our clients equity enough and to be New

ed” the sale the rebound. prices. bathroom and kitchen may result

to start of

build looking Covid-19.

up your attractive portfolio.

and to home impact make that builders the Covid--19 process for both will of have se-ocuring

and materials.

looking the for planning development stages, timelines Christchurch, has never been Wellington, greater. As a

Property As fitouts.

Post lockdown, the developers

a market developer, rebounds this could again. With the provisions of the

residential access to

funding commercial Be aware that

and completing

a project for the client as Often, we have clients ing the key markets.

funding. will not be immediately impaired Hamilton funder, and we know Tauranga it is our be-

job to

All be in Third-party

an all, ideal it appears risk

who emerge with the least amount a two-week delay from a supplier

opportunity that to Similarly, unitary plan for an allowing investor, for it projects.

as most architects and designers support you during these times.

As a Developer, the success

of loss or damage will be the ones

China could result in a onemonth

delay to your project in New home.

will have the ability to work from Stay home and stay safe.

the property launch your market development is on may more be an density opportune and intensification,

up your may portfolio. be able to

time The fast, mantra simple for and the efficient team is as who have good equity and

of your project is dependent

with the best project management

the rebound. project.

to build to make possible. the process of securing

Unlike funding a mainstream and complet-

on a number of third parties

and communication skills.


As a You developer, may have this deferred could a With put the a provisions number of of new the dwell-

such as (a) Project Consultants

(Planners, opportunity Engineers, to unitary Please plan examine allowing the for financial poing

a chain project will cause for the project client delays. as

Some immediate steps

Any shortcomings the supply lend-

be an ideal

launch For Architects) your more development (b) information Contractors

sition and availability of resources

more about density product and intensification,

you may be able to possible.

and services, fast, simple Councils

get and and

in efficient other government

touch as with

project. (Builders, Civil Contractors) (c)

from your project consultants. bodies will have a backlog of work

Parash Local Authority Sarma, (Council) Client (d) Services Have there Director been redundancies, on 021-864730

and everything





You may have deferred a put how a number will they of allocate new dwell-

resources to Unlike consents a mainstream to inspections lend-

and final

For more For information more information about product about product and services, and services, get in touch get in with touch with

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


Dunedin South to Dunedin North, and

South Otago is added to Dunedin South

from Clutha-Southland.

As a result of these boundary changes

these electorates are renamed Taieri,

Dunedin and Southland

It was proposed that Winton and The

Catlins be added to the Invercargill electorate.

Public submissions have resulted

in both Winton and The Catlins staying

in the renamed Southland electorate

with Invercargill expanding into western

Southland, including Tuatapere.

No changes have been made to

Christchurch Central, Kaikōura and


Maori Electorates

The number of Māori electorates

remains at seven. Boundary changes

have been made that affect 5 electorates:

Tamaki Makaurau has gained an area

around Te Atatu South from Te Tai

Tokerau and an area to the east of

Manurewa and Waiheke Island from

Hauraki-Waikato. A minor adjustment

between Ikaroa-Rawhiti and Te Tai

Tonga has been made in Naenae.

No boundary changes have been

made to Te Tai Hauauru and Waiariki.

North Island General electorates

The number of General electorates in

the Auckland region has increased from

24 to 25.

Changes include Rodney is redrawn

to include Dairy Flat and Coatesville,

and renamed Whangaparaoa;

Helensville is extended into Northland,

Whangaparaoa, and Upper Harbour, and

loses the Waitakere Ranges to New Lynn.

The redrawn Helensville electorate

is renamed Kaipara ki Mahurangi

following public consultation; To move

population southwards to create the

new electorate consequential changes

have been made to Mount Roskill,

Maungakiekie, Manukau East, and Manurewa;

Following public consultation,

the redrawn Manukau East electorate is

renamed Panmure-Otahuhu.


MAY 1, 2020


Taiwan leads the world in combating Covid-19

And yet, WHO continues to ignore the country

Dr Chen Shih-chung

The threat of emerging

infectious diseases to global

health and the economy,

trade, and tourism has never


Pandemics can spread rapidly

around the world because of the

ease of international transportation.

Among the most salient examples

are the Spanish Flu of 1918, the

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

(SARS) outbreak of 2003, and the

H1N1 influenza of 2009.

Intermittently, serious regional

epidemics, such as Middle East

Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in

2012, Ebola in West Africa in 2014,

and the Zika virus in Central and

South America in 2016, have also

reared their heads.

Today, a novel form of pneumonia

that first emerged in Wuhan,

China, at the end of 2019 and has

since been classified as Coronavirus

disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused

a global pandemic.

Editor’s Note: As of April 29, 2020,

World Health Organization data

shows that more than 3.13 million

carry the disease, with 217,596

death in more than 210 countries

and territories. The total number

of cases registered in Taiwan was

429, of which 311 were listed as

recovered. The number of deaths

was six.

Timely actions

In the 17 years since it was hit

hard by the SARS outbreak, Taiwan

has been in a state of constant

readiness to the threat of emerging

infectious disease.

As a result, when information

concerning a novel pneumonia

outbreak was first confirmed on

December 31, 2019, Taiwan began

implementing onboard quarantine

of direct flights from Wuhan that

same day. On January 2, 2020,

Taiwan established a response team

for the disease and activated the

Central Epidemic Command Center

(CECC) on January 20 as a Level 3

government entity, upgrading it to

level 2 and level 1 on January 23

and February 27, respectively.

The CECC is able to effectively

integrate resources from various

ministries and invest itself fully in

the containment of the epidemic.

As of April 9, Taiwan had tested a

total of 42,315 persons showing 380

confirmed cases, of which 54 have

been indigenous, 326 imported and

five deaths; 80 people had been

released from hospital after testing

negative. Despite its proximity to

China, Taiwan ranked 123rd among

183 countries in terms of confirmed

cases per million people. This has

shown that Taiwan’s aggressive

efforts to control the epidemic are


Borderless disease

Disease knows no borders.

In response to the threat of

the COVID-19 epidemic, Taiwan

has implemented dynamic plans

concerning border quarantine

measures, including onboard

quarantine, fever screening, health

declarations, and a 14-day home

quarantine for passengers arriving

from nations it has listed under

Level 3 Warning.

Moreover, Taiwan has established

an electronic system for

entry quarantine, which allows passengers

with a local mobile phone

number to fill in health information

via mobile phone.

A health declaration pass will

then be sent to them via a text


This is connected to the community

care support management

system, which allows government

agencies to provide care services

and medical assistance. Individuals’

travel history is now stored on the

National Health Insurance (NHI)

card to alert physicians to possible

cases and prevent community


For those undergoing home quarantine

or isolation, the government

is working with telecom operators

to allow GPS tracking of their


Punitive measures

Quarantine offenders are subject

to fines or mandatory placement

according to relevant laws and

regulations, so as to prevent


Taiwan has also increased laboratory

testing capacity, expanded

the scope of its surveillance and

inspections based on trends of the

COVID-19 epidemic, and retested

people with higher risk who had

already tested negative, including

patients with symptoms of severe

influenza, community cases with

upper respiratory tract infections

who were already being monitored,

and cluster cases of upper respiratory

tract infections, to identify

suspected cases and perform treatment

in isolation wards.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has

designated 50 regional hospitals

and medical centres and 167

community hospitals and clinics to

create a tiered system for testing.

These hospitals and clinics are

required to set up special wards

or areas; in principle, COVID-19

patients are isolated and treated individually

in these wards and areas

to prevent nosocomial infections.

Mask made at home

Moreover, Taiwan has banned

the export of surgical masks since

January 24, requisitioned masks,

and expanded domestic mask

production to more effectively

allocate masks.

On February 6, Taiwan launched

a name-based rationing system for

mask purchases at NHI-contracted

pharmacies and local public health


It added an ordering system for

masks on March 12.

This allows people to order online

and pick up masks at convenience

stores. These measures have helped

us achieve effective allocation

of limited resources and meet

healthcare, epidemic prevention,

household, and industrial needs.

A crisis anywhere readily

becomes a problem everywhere.

Global health security requires

the efforts of every person to ensure

an optimal response to public

health threats and challenges.

Good global citizen

Taiwan, though not a member of

WHO, cannot stand alone and must

be included in the fight against such

threats and challenges.

Taiwan has fulfilled its

responsibilities as a global citizen

and abided by the International

Health Regulations 2005 (IHR 2005)

in notifying WHO of confirmed

COVID-19 cases.

Moreover, Taiwan has communicated

with other countries such

as Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore,

Malaysia, the Philippines, the

United States, Canada, Italy, France,

Switzerland, Germany, the United

Kingdom, Belgium, and the Netherlands,

as well as the European

Centre for Disease Prevention and

Control, to share information on

confirmed cases, travel and contact

histories of patients, and border

control measures.

Taiwan has uploaded the genetic

sequence of COVID-19 to the Global

Initiative on Sharing All Influenza

Data (GISAID). Taiwan has worked

with global partners to respond to

the threat of COVID-19 to ensure

Verdict favours News Corp but not press freedom

Peter Greste

It is easy to assume Australia has

a free press.

Our squawky newspapers are

filled with stories about the failings

of government, acid-tongued

columnists routinely lash our

politicians, and until May last

year the Police hardly ever raided

newsrooms or journalists.

Raid held invalid

On Wednesday, April 15, 2020,

the High Court appeared to uphold

the principle of press freedom

when it ruled that the warrant the

Australian Federal Police (AFP)

used to search News Corp journalist

Annika Smethurst’s home in 2019

was invalid.

You might recall that the Police

raided her home (and searched

through her underwear drawer)

looking for the source of a story

Smethurst had published in The

Daily Telegraph more than a year

earlier. Her story revealed that

the government was considering

expanding the powers of our international

electronic eavesdropping

agency, the Australian Signals

Directorate, so it could turn its

sophisticated bugs on Australian


(The very next day, the AFP

searched the ABC’s Sydney headquarters

looking for the sources

of another story – the Afghan Files

– about Australian Special Forces in


Smethurst’s story was important

because it revealed details of a

shift in policy that affected all

Australians. Regardless of what you

think about the rights or wrongs of

such a change, it is hard to argue it

shouldn’t have been part of an open

public debate.

Example of free press

At the same time, nobody has

ever suggested that national

security suffered as a result of the

story. It was a fine example of a free

press doing its job by uncovering

government actions that we all

ought to know about.

News Corp went to the High

Court to argue that the Police had

written the warrant so badly that

it failed to explain why they were

conducting the search and what

they were looking for.

In a unanimous slap-down for

the Police, all seven judges on the

bench agreed the warrant “lacked

clarity” and ruled it invalid.

A victory for journalism? Not


News Corp also asked the court

to order the Police to either return

or destroy any evidence collected

during the raid. In a decision split

4:3, the judges rejected the request.

This effectively allowed the Police

to still use the evidence for any

investigation and prosecution.

The reasoning is complex and

highly technical, but its overall

effect is to undermine the already

paper-thin protections for press

freedom in Australia.

Narrow points of law

This is not the fault of the court.

(Image Courtesy: B&T Magazine)

It was doing its job adjudicating on

narrow points of law and Police

procedure, but it does underscore

the urgent need for robust reform

of our legal code.

Australian journalists operate

freely in spite of the law, rather

than because of it.

While the United States Constitution

has its First Amendment and

the UK has Article 10 of its Human

Rights Act (to name just a few), the

most we have is a hopelessly weak

“implied freedom of political communication“

that’s merely inferred

in our constitution.

Without more explicit protections,

we have seen a slew of

national security laws undermining

the ability of journalists to investigate

government and keep their

sources safe.

This matters because the ability

of the press to act as a noisy (and

nosy) watchdog is vital to the way

our democracy works.

Nobody is arguing for complete

and unfettered protection for


Much of the work of our security

agencies, individuals’ private

details and commercially sensitive

information must be off-limits, but

there are ways of striking a balance

between those imperatives.

Suggested reforms

A host of organisations have

already proposed a set of reforms.

The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom

(which I represent) published

a White Paper on Press Freedom

in Australia three weeks before the

raids. The AJF proposes (a) protections

for journalists’ sources (b) the

chance for news organisations to

contest warrants even before the

that global health is not imperilled

by a lack of communication and


If it is indeed WHO’s mission

to ensure the highest attainable

standard of health for every human

being, then WHO needs Taiwan just

as Taiwan needs WHO.

WHO exclusion inexplicable

Yet Taiwan has long been

excluded from WHO due to political

considerations. This has been

regrettable given all that Taiwan

could share with the world thanks

to its renowned public health

experience, health system, NHI, and

ability to perform rapid testing as

well as research and manufacture

vaccines and drugs against


We can also share our methods

for analysing the virus.

We hope that after this pandemic

abates, WHO will truly understand

that infectious diseases know no

borders, and that no country should

be excluded, lest it become a major

gap in global health security. WHO

should not neglect the contribution

to global health security of any


We urge WHO and related

parties to acknowledge Taiwan’s

longstanding contributions to the

international community in the

areas of public health, disease

prevention, and the human right

to health, and to include Taiwan

in WHO and its meetings, mechanisms,

and activities.

Taiwan will continue to work

with the rest of the world to ensure

that all enjoy the fundamental human

right to health as stipulated in

the WHO Constitution. Echoing the

mantra of the United Nations’ 2030

Sustainable Development Goals, no

one should be left behind.

Dr Chen Shih-chung is Minister

of Health and Welfare of the

Republic of China (Taiwan).

Police carry out their searches (c)

an “exemption from prosecution,”

so that when journalists are

engaged in legitimate work, press

freedom is assumed.

It would then be up to the

Police to show a judge why there

is enough of a risk to national

security to justify setting aside that

principle and issuing a warrant.

It is impossible to reform every

corner of our statute books, though,

so we also need a Media Freedom

Act that enshrines the principle of

press freedom in our legal code.

That way, every court up to and

including the High Court has to

take it into account in every case

that threatens to undermine media


Together, those kinds of

protections would give comfort

to journalists and their sources:

as long as they are not violating

clear and strictly set-out rules on

national security and privacy, and

are otherwise acting in accordance

with the law, they should not be

subject to prosecution.

It would also help the Police

avoid being accused of launching

politically motivated inquiries.

Our press might look free and

fearless, but without significant reforms

that remains a dangerously

fragile illusion.

Peter Greste is Professor of Journalism

and Communications at

the University of Queensland in

Australia. The above article has

been published under Creative

Commons Licence.

MAY 1, 2020




MAY 1, 2020

Ramadan Special

Mark Ramadan in the safety of your bubble

Dr Mustafa Farouk

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Assalaamu Alaikum wa

Rahmatullahi wa Barkatuhu

Greetings to the New Zealand

Muslim community.

I hope you are safe and well in

your bubble during this Coronavirus

lockdown period.

Alhamdulillah, with Ramadan

starting today, I am confident that you

had looked forward to welcoming this

beautiful month, despite the current

pandemic situation.

Additional Challenge this year

While some may feel that facing

fasting is an additional challenge at this

time, know that it is the decree of Allah

SWT in His Infinite Wisdom that we

should encounter this month during the

Alert Level 4 and Alert Level 3 period.

Editor’s Note: Muslims always

express ‘Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala’ (abbreviated

as SWT), meaning ‘Glory

to him, the Exalted,’ every time they

mention the name of Allah.

This means that we will likely not

be able to do many of the rituals and

activities that we associate with Ramadan,

such as Tarawih prayers, Iftars

at the Masjids, Itikaf, group gatherings

at the Mosques to listen to Tafsir of

the Holy Quran, coming together to

break our fasts at friends’ homes and


Overall, we will miss these social

interactions that Ramadan often

engenders, and we will most likely feel

even more nostalgic about them due

to the physical distancing and isolation


Teachings of Islam

During situations like this, we must

remember to be true and consistent

with the teachings of Islam on how to

behave during a pandemic; about the

importance of relying on competent

authorities in everything we do (21:7);

that Allah SWT does not burden any

human being with more than he is well

able to bear (2:286); and that we are

A Holy Month for abstinence and sacrifice

Today is the first day of

Ramadan in New Zealand

Venkat Raman

On behalf of all us in Indian

Newslink, we offer our greetings

to all our Muslim brothers,

sisters and children.

Ramadan Mubarak.

As per a notification of the Wellington

based Federation of Islamic Associations

of New Zealand (FIANZ), today is the

first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Because of time zone differences and

sighting of the Moon, the start date

differs between countries.

Holy Month with Covid-19

The world is undergoing a severe

health crisis perpetrated by Covid-19,

the deadly Coronavirus, which has thus

far afflicted more than 2.83 million

people and claiming the lives of about

197,000 people in most parts of the

world. Almost all countries are in various

stages of lockdown. Borders have

been closed and there are restrictions

on movement of people.

These restrictions will impact

Muslims in observing the requirements

of the Holy Quran, the most important

of which is praying five times a day

at Mosques, and getting together for

Iftar at places of worships and other

community gatherings.

However, the hope is that, at least

in New Zealand, the last ten days of

the Holy Month, the most significant

for Ramadan, the country will move

down to Alert Level 2, permitting such


But we are sure that Muslims in New

Zealand will continue to move with the

times, as they have always been which

in essence their quality.

Ramadan (or ‘Ramzan’) the Holiest

Month in the Islamic Calendar will

begin on or around May 5 this year,

requiring Muslims to abstain from

eating, drinking and smoking from

dawn to dusk.

They will also be required to pray

at specified hours and break their fast

with a special prayer after sunset. Piety,

sacrifice and giving alms to the poor

and needy are among the sacred duties

of every Muslim during the Holy Month.

Means of Salvation

According to the Muslim faith, it

was during Ramadan, the ninth month

of the Muslim calendar that the Holy

Quran, the sacred book, “was

sent down from heaven, guidance

unto men, a declaration

of direction and a means of


This is also the time of the

year when Muslims concentrate

more on their faith and spend

less time on the concerns of their

everyday lives.

In the Arab world, where this

writer lived and worked for

more than two decades, governments,

philanthropists, welfare

organisations and community

groups offer alms.

The Red Crescent Society (The

International Red Cross is so

called in these areas) offers rice,

wheat, vegetables and fruits and

other essentials to the needy.

Fasting and Iftar

“Fasting is one way of realising

the true state of hunger and

the Holy Month is devoted to

understanding the sufferings

of some sections of the society.

Abstinence from pleasures of life

(all entertainment and night club

activities are suspended during

the Month, even after dusk)

including sex with spouses helps

Muslims to concentrate on the

teachings of Islam,” a religious

leader said.

At the end of the day, the fast

is broken with prayer and a meal

called the Iftar.

In the evening following

the Iftar, it is customary for

Muslims to go out visiting

family and friends. The fast is

resumed the next morning. It is

also customary for commercial

and industrial undertakings in

the Arab world to host special

dinners after Iftar for staff and

clients, at least once during the

Holy Month.

Pregnant women, children,

those in poor health and

suffering from certain types of

ailments including diabetes are

exempt from fasting, in addition

to Muslims travelling overseas.

But many travellers do observe

the fasting hours, irrespective of

their schedules.

According to the Holy Quran:

“One may eat and drink at any

time during the night ‘until you

can plainly distinguish a white

thread from a black thread by

the daylight: then keep the fast

until night”

The Muslim Faith also states

that the good accruing from

fasting can be nullified by the

following: telling a lie, slander,

denouncing someone in his or

her absence, a false oath and

greed or covetousness. While

these are considered offensive at

all times, the offense is believed

to be multifold during Ramadan.

Significant dates

Muslims also spend several

hours praying and studying the

Holy Quran. Many Mosques

conduct special classes for both

Muslims and non-Muslims keen

on learning the teachings of the

Holy Book. In addition to the five

daily prayers, a special prayer is

recited during Ramadan. Called,

‘Taraweeh,’ this night prayer

is usually longer. Steadfast

Muslims spend the entire night

in prayer in Mosques.

Laylat Al Qadr or the Night

only expected to do our best (64:16).

Being conscious of these Islamic

instructions should help us confront

the prospect of fasting under whatever

level of lockdown with patience and joy.

We should endeavour to live the

spirit of Ramadan to the fullest, like we

have previously done, by bringing our

efforts that we used to do at the masjids

back to our homes.

We can still fill our homes with

prayers and Nawafils, Zikr, reading the

Holy Quran, listening to Tafsir, contemplation,

learning about our Deen and

other such things; we just need to keep

it inside of our bubbles.

Although currently we cannot

invite others to ours home for Iftars

or sponsor the same in Mosques, we

can still share food by estimating the

amount we would have spent on the

Iftars and donating to charities that are

feeding the poor and indigents in New


The good side of lockdown

We should also realise that there

are many advantages to fasting

during lockdown. For instance, this

makes it easier to eliminate or reduce

ostentation (Riya) in the performance

of all our acts of worship; to avoid more

of the challenges and provocations

that weaken or break our fast and to

lessen the pressures on spouses from

cooking and entertaining large number

of Power is observed on the

evening of the 27th day of

Ramadan. Muslims believe that

it was on this night that Prophet

Mohammed (Peace Be Upon

Him) received the revelation of

the Holy Quran. According to the

Holy Book, this is also the time

when God determines the course

of the world for the following


Muslims in New Zealand

The Muslim community

in New Zealand, comprising

citizens, migrants and visitors

will also observe Ramadan as its

members congregate in Mosques

for daily prayers and take up

social work after dusk.

Ramadan this year will

remind us of the sacrifices made

by New Zealanders during the

lockdown period that began

on March 25, 2020 and due to

end on Monday, April 27, 2020

and the services rendered by

essential workers.

We are a caring nation, and

there is no evidence of any root

of terrorism amongst us. We are

a tolerant society, home to more

than 200 ethnicities speaking 160

languages and there has never

been any sign of intended harm;

we may have occasionally felt a

tinge of racism here and there,

but never to a scale that would

lead to massacre, hate speech

and other despicable acts.

Indian Newslink once again

greets its Muslim readers,

advertisers and well-wishers on

the occasion of the Holy Month

of Ramadan and wishes them

success in all their pursuits.

of persons.

I urge myself as much as you to

reflect on the current pandemic and

how fortunate we are to be fasting in

this amazing country with its beautiful

people, weather, low COVID-19 cases,

short fasting hours, and with food


Contrast that to other places where

Muslims will be fasting under all sorts

of challenges and with no provisions to

start or break their fast.

Issues in FIANZ

I remind myself as I do you all that

despite some of the internal issues

within FIANZ, we are still one of the

best, most united and most democratic

Muslim communities in the diaspora.

Therefore, in the spirit of Ramadan,

may I plead to you all to work hard to

strengthen this unity by forgiving one

another and working together for our

community and country.

I start with myself by humbly

asking forgiveness from anyone I have

knowingly or unknowingly offended, as

I forgive everyone who offended me.

May Allah SWT enable us to witness

the coming month of Ramadan, May He

Accept all our Ibadah, Forgive our sins

and the sins of all who passed away

before us, Protect us, our families, our

communities and our countries from

COVID-19 and all other diseases and

calamities and Grant us all Jannatul-


Dr Mustafa M Farouk is President,

Federation of Islamic Association

of New Zealand (FIANZ) based in


Teachings of

Prophet Mohammed

The Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed by

Almighty Allah

Wealth does not come from having great riches;

(true) wealth is contentment of the soul.


The similitude of the one who contemplates his

Lord versus the one who does not is that of the living

versus the dead.


Actions will be judged according to their intentions.


Show mercy to those on earth so that He who is in

heaven will have mercy on you.


Whoever is deprived of gentleness is deprived of

all good.


Whoever suffers an injury done to him and

forgives (the person responsible), Allah will raise his

status to a higher degree and remove one of his sins.


Do not be people without minds of your own, saying

that if others treat you well you will treat them

well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong.

Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do

good and not to do wrong if they do evil.


The most virtuous jihad is when one speaks a

word of truth before an unjust ruler.


The Muslim does not slander, curse, speak

obscenely, or speak rudely.


Honesty leads to righteousness and righteousness

leads to Paradise. A man remains honest and

concerned about honesty until he is recorded as an

honest man with Allah. Lying leads to sinfulness and

sinfulness leads to the Fire. A man keeps lying and

remains partial to lies until he is recorded as a liar

with Allah.


Once the Prophet was seated at some place in

Madinah, along with his Companions. During this

time a funeral procession passed by. On seeing

this, the Prophet stood up. One of his companions

remarked that the funeral was that of a Jew. The

Prophet replied, “Was he not a human being?”

MAY 1, 2020


Tragic story of Hitesh Navin Lal and lessons for the future

Thakur Ranjit Singh

It has now emerged from

information of the adopted mother

of the slain Hitesh Navin Lal that

he emerged from a dysfunctional

family in Fiji, and was given refuge in

New Zealand with them initially.

On the night of killing, he was a very

agitated, distressed and disturbed man.

He appeared to be a man on a death

wish, not wanting to live because of

betrayal by his family in Fiji.

Aruna Prasad, wife of Author and

former Ba Town Clerk Rajendra Prasad,

is the paternal aunt of Hitesh. In Fiji

Hindi, we call her Fua, father’s sister.

Troubled relations

Hitesh tragically lost his mother at

age 4 and was an abandoned child

after his father remarried. Seeing his

plight when the Prasad family visited

Fiji in 1980s, they decided to adopt and

give him love, care and a good future in

New Zealand.

Hitesh, according to family

and friends, was kind and very

hard-working person. He got married

and divorced, and later migrated to

Australia, worked in mines, saved some

money and invested with his family

in Ba.

Aruna tells his tragic story

“He was hardworking, kind, compassionate

and fearless to a fault. People

knew about his trusting nature and the

goodness of his heart, which eventually

Hitesh Navin Lal

cost his life. Hitesh sincerely wanted

to assist his stepmother and two-step

brothers in Ba to help them rise out of

grinding poverty. He forgave the family

…. Felt he had an obligation to help ‘his’


“It appears Hitesh’s compassionate

nature was cause of his ruin and death.

According to his adopted mother, he

decided to invest over $200,000 to

buy a 100-acre farm in Ba, planted

sandalwood trees and established

goat farming business. He also helped

the family in establishing kava and

liquor business. As things began to

show promise, those he trusted turned

against him.

“The farm lease was not in his name

but in the name of his stepbrother

(name withheld). It appears despite all

his show of goodwill, his family in Ba

turned nasty and asserted ownership

of the land and denied any financial

assistance that Hitesh and his partner

had given them.”

Aruna Prasad

Deceit and torment

Aruna Prasad tells a harrowing story

of deceit, mock and torment from those

who Hitesh has trusted and regarded

as his own, on the night of his death.

That night, on Sunday, April 19, 2020,

Hitesh’s step-brother, with his friends,

called him at 11 pm knowing well about

Hitesh’s habit of drinking and when he

is most vulnerable, especially knowing

also that he has an explosive anger.

He was mocked, tormented and they

spoke for about an hour. Hitesh was

laughed at for his stupidity and was

reminded by the beneficiary of his

generosity that he was now a beggar

and Hitesh could do nothing to him.

His friends also mocked and laughed

at him.

This incident mentally ripped and

tore Hitesh and he snapped. Soon afterwards,

he told his partner that he did

not want to live, as everyone he helped

betrayed him. In a fit of fury, he left

home with a machete, which ended in

Melody bridges people, technology closes distance

Thirty artistes present ‘Vellai

Pookal,’ in a new context

Venkat Raman

Although much of the world

is under lockdown for fear

of contracting the deadly

Coronavirus, the pandemic

has spurred the imagination of

people, one of who has given a new

dimension to the world of music

with his own brand of creativity.

Yugendran Vasudevan, true to

his lineage (he is the son of the

celebrated singer, the late Malaysia

Vasudevan) has brought together

32 artistes, including 21 singers, six

instrumentalists and five videographers

to present his own version of

one of the most popular songs of A

R Rahman, a pride of Tamil Nadu

and the only Indian winner of two

Oscar Awards.



Explosively emotional

Yugendran has retuned,

‘Vellai Pookal,’ a song written by

Vairamuthu and picturised (by Producer-Director

Mani Ratnam) on

actress Nandita Dass for ‘Kannathil

Muthamittal,’ an explosively emotional

Tamil film focusing on the

sufferings of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Those of us in the know, will

appreciate the beauty of Tamil

language in the song, which underscores

today’s world as countries

begin to lift lockdown and gradually

return to normalcy.

“Let white flowers blossom all

over the world; let the dawn bring

peace; may the Sun’s rays fall on the

earth; let the child awaken in the

embrace of the mother and may

the world awaken to the laughter of


The artistes

Each of the singers has added

melody to the original rendered

by A R Rahman himself. They

are (in alphabetical order) Devan

Ekambaram, Haricharan, Harihara

Sudhan, Ishann Dev, Kishan

Naarayan, Nikhil Mathew, Pravin

Saivi, Priyanka, Rajaganapathy,

Yugendran Vasudevan

Ramya Ramachandran, S P B Charan,

Saii Naarayan Prakash, Sam Vishal,

Santesh (Malaysia), Sathyaprakash,

Shabir, Shakthisree Gopalan, Sharanya

Srinivas, Srinidhi, Swagatha S

Krishnan, Visashan Naarayan Yugendran

and Yugendran Vasudevan.

The supporting artistes were

superb- Rajhesh Vaidhya (Veena),

Lydian Nadhaswaram (Piano &

Merlin), Palakkad Sreeram (Flute),

Uma Shankar (Ghatam), Vagu Mazan

(Lead and Bass Guitar), Bhuvanesh

(Keyboard) and Sruthi Balamurali


Their renditions, in their respective

homes in New Zealand, India

(Chennai), Malaysia and Canada

(Toronto) were captured on video

by Bhargavi, Kishan Naarayan, T

Balamurali, Varshan and VK.

The single-track album has been

released by Rambutan Media Works,

owned and managed by Yugendran

in Singapore and New Zealand.

The inspiration

Inspired by a long-distance short

film called, ‘Family,’ featuring

Amitabh Bachchan (Hindi),

Rajnikanth (Tamil), Chiranjeevi

(Telugu), Mammootty, Mohanlal

(Malayalam), Ranbir Kapoor (Hindi)

Diljith Dosanjh (Punjabi), Alia Bhatt,

Priyanka Chopra (Hindi), Prosenjit

Chatterjee (Bengali) and Sonalee

Kulkarni (Marathi).

“I shared the film with my wife

Hayma Malini and she asked,

“Why don’t you try something

like this?’ I was immediately

inspired,” Yugendran said.

The support from singers

from various parts of Asia was

almost instantaneous.

The first among them were

Rajhesh Vaidhya and Lydian


“That was a brilliant start.

Each singer performed within

the confines of their homes and

sent the video clippings to me.

From start to finish, it took only

three days. The experience was

exceptional but not without

challenges,” Yugendran said.

The experience was exceptional,

he says, but it was not

without its challenges. “I had to

liaise with many people. You see,

I am based in Auckland, and the

time difference is a big issue,”

Thankfully, he said, people were

cooperative, “It was probably

because everyone was at home!”

he laughs.

About Vellai Pookal

Yugendran chose ‘Vellai

Pookal,’ because it emanates

peace in a troubled and unsettled


“Many of us cannot sleep

at night because we spend

very days as we keep hearing

Covid-19 news from all over the

world. This song brings respite

as it has beautiful melody and

the words are meaningful,” he


His sons, Visashan Naarayan

and Kishan Naarayan also make

an appearance in the video.

“My children love music. I

suppose it is in our blood. They

prefer English tunes, but my

wife and I encourage them to

listen to Tamil songs. I always

tell them; this is our culture.”

Seven-year-old Darshan

Naarayan, their youngest son,

also loves music and like the

chip of the old block, they would

also blossom and spread the

fragrance of music all over the


Venkat Raman

an encounter with the Police, leading to

him being shot and killed. Note that he

never hurt any humans, just damaged

property. It appeared he left home with

the intention of not coming in alive, like

somebody with a death wish.

Unanswered Questions

And it appears, with many

unanswered questions, the way Police

handled this matter, they made it easier

for Hitesh to be granted his death wish.

It appears, well-trained officers did not

respond early, despite being in heart

of Manukau and so many calls going

to the police. Some have raised the

issue whether the dog handler, with a

gun is most qualified to handle such a


My Facebook posting have many pros

and cons issues.

While the family has absolved the

Police from any wrong-doing, they do

not entirely remain blameless. We do

not question the right of the Police to

shoot a person in such a situation.

However there remains many

unanswered questions.

As the story above reveals, he was a

mentally-disturbed man with a machete

and appeared to have a wish to die. And

the Police appear to have made it so

easier for that wish to come true. Here

are some unanswered questions: (1)

Under the principle of reasonable force,

were police reasonable with the force

used? (2) Were they consistent and

proportionate? (3) The first respondent

was a dog-handler. Was he adequately

trained to apprehend an assailant

alone in such a situation? (4) Or should

the dog handler have maintained safe

distance till trained units arrived? (5)


Why wasn’t a Taser gun used or other

methods to disable and/or disarm the

offender? (6) Does threatening the New

Zealand Police with a machete carry a

higher risk of being shot by the Police

than when threatened by a gun? (7)

Was not shooting to death of Hitesh

an overkill? (excuse the pun) and (8)

Finally, in situations like this, are Police

trained to shoot to kill?

Future improvements

Hope this note of concerns on behalf

of our community and the family will

make New Zealand Police improve their

response in future cases.

And may it also give greater motivation

to mainstream and side stream

media to be more probing, investigative

and act as a guardian of the community.

They need to listen to all sides of

the story, without treating the police

version as the cardinal truth. Police

are not faultless, as Navtej Singh’s case


And the community may also learn

from this to provide support to such

people in our community who need

our help.

The questions raised above, among

others, will help Police Conduct

Authority to probe deeper into this

case and learn from it to avoid another

wanton death.

We extend the deepest sympathy to

Aruna Prasad and the extended family

of the deceased.

May his soul rest in a more peaceful

place now.

Thakur Ranjit Singh is an Auckland-based

journalist and media

commentator. He is active on Social

Media and runs his Blog, ‘Fiji Pundit.’

Every drop holds a flower and

may a thousand bloom

A young group releases a music album forging unity

We have always

promoted the power

of the youth and

the need to harness their

energies and talents so that

their positive vibrations reach

across the world and we were

pleased to release a musical,

single track album that

bespeaks seamless energy of

our young New Zealanders.

‘Moksha Base,’ a musical

group of young men and women

from Rotorua and Hamilton,

initiated a unique project

that explores and exposes the

talent inherent among our

younger generation, doing us

and our own elders proud.

The eleven-member group

should not be taken lightly as

just melody-makers. Among

them are high-end IT professionals,

engineers, medical

practitioners, consultants,

accountants, biotech and

biochemistry experts and

other providers who keep

the wheels of the economy


About Cheru Meghamay

The album comprises ‘Cheru

Meghamay,’ (Small Cloud), a

Malayalam song that connects

Nature and everything it

offers- peace, confidence,

satisfaction, tranquillity,

stillness, the dynamics,

and most important of all,

universal happiness. If ever

drop of water- from wherever

it occurs, in this song, from

rain- holds a flower, then let a

million flowers bloom, leading

to blossoming of lives with

the fragrance of happiness,

goodwill and understanding.

And the title cannot be more

appropriate to New Zealand –

Aotearoa- the Land of the Long

White Cloud,’ that holds people

of every disposition from


Shankar Ramanathan, our

own version of T M Soundararajan,

S P Balasubrahmanyam,

Yesudas, Hariharan, Haricharan,

Karthik and scores of the

modern singers, set the tune,

challenging Aswathy Anand to

write the lyrics.

Extolling goodness

I have witnessed the instant

flow of creativity with Kavinjar

Kannadasan delivering the

lyrics to tunes set by Viswanathan-Ramamurthy


minutes. I am not sure how

long Aswathy took for ‘Cheru

Meghamay,’ but considering

that the entire project was

completed in one day- including

orchestration and recording,

it would have been almost


The lyrics extol the goodness

in people, as indeed there is in

every creation of God.

The song is a tribute to

humanity itself. Here is a

sample (in translation): “There

is love and friendship in the

air- it is everywhere; it rains

and the Sun shines on this little

flower; and like the honey in

that flower, may your

life be sweet, serene and


Strengthened bonds

“The song captures the

essence of our existence.

It recapitulates the

importance of family and

the life around us. As we

move out of Alert Level 4

a minute before the dawn

of Tuesday, April 28, 2020

(New Zealand time), we

would have realised how

close we have become to

our own families in our

bubbles and with our

friends, colleagues and

relatives on virtual, audio-visual

platforms over

the past five weeks. This

is the only (but the best) aspect

of Covid-19. It has brought us

all together as unified human

beings,” Shankar said.

Aswathy deserves credit

for her meaningful lyrics,

mellifluous voice and calm

and unaffected presentation

and visuals of her home and

the seashore with her husband

and their only child, while

everyone connected to Moksha

Base will undoubtedly receive

global applause for their

superb presentation of this


The Artistes

The artistes of Moksha Base

include, in alphabetical order,

Abhishek Raj, Anjali Abhilash,

Aswathy Anand, Bobby

Philipose, Dalton Hargreaves,

Dinesh Ravi, Joshua Shodavaram,

Maathangi Krishna,

Shankar Narayanan, Shelin

Shelz and Siva Kumar.

Indian Newslink hopes to

feature each of them, in a

future issue as ambassadors of

love and friendship. They are

among those creating a new

World Order.


MAY 1, 2020


Muthtamil Sangam in Auckland enters 20th year

A veritable platform for

promoting Tamil language,

culture, and people

Venkat Raman

Auckland’s Muthtamil Sangam

recently entered its 20th year

and although festivities will

commence later in the year

after fears of Covid-19 are gone, the

office-bearers and members continue

to be active on the social platform,

exchanges a number of educative and

entertainment information.

Members of the Sangam, who are

proud of their heritage and language,

have fostered a new sense and spirit

of unity during the past four weeks of


Impressive leadership

The Sangam was formed at a time

when the Tamil population was on the

threshold of demographic change, with

a larger number of people of Tamil

Nadu origin originating from their

home state and other parts of the world,

Tamilians from South East Asia, Indian

ocean States and others. Their lack of

interest in any kind of politics then,

allowed the Sangam to grow and as the

only organisation representing Tamils

(other than those from Sri Lanka, for

whom there is another, older Association

exists in the City), Muthtamil

Sangam enjoyed exclusive membership

until about five years ago.

The Sangam has had the benefit of

the leadership of a cross-section of the

community, who have served – and

continue to serve- in various offices.

Significant activities

Says Sadasivam Kutty, the current

President: “Our Muthtamil Sangam,

since its inception in 2001, has been

striving to preserve, project and

promote Tamil language, culture and

Muthtamil Sangam current President Sadasivam


people. With our motto, ‘Being happy

together,’ we bring together our people

at a variety of events,” he said.

These include Pongal Vizha, Kodai

Vizha, Chithirai Vizha, other festivals,

picnics, competitions, and participation

in the programmes organised by


As a socially responsible organisation,

the Sangam conducts blood

donation camps every year, and

participates in Environmental cleaning

activities organised by the Auckland

Regional Parks and Reserves, he said.

“Our growth over the years would

not have been possible without the

generous contribution and support

from our Sponsors, dedicated time and

efforts from all who served as office

bearers and help and support from our

volunteers,” Mr Kutty said.

Weekly Tamil classes

Muthtamil Sangam Secretary Kathiravan

Sam said that the Association

considers it a ‘sacred duty’ to carry the

language to the next generation.

“As a part of our efforts in this

connection, we conduct weekly Tamil

The current Officer-bearers of Muthtamil Sangam: (Seated): Sri Swamy, Sadasivam Kutty, Kathir Sam, Usha Shyam. (Standing): Prema Jagadeesan,

Sheeba Soundararajan, Meenal Chandrakanth, Jayaraaman Madhavarajan and Ramasubramanian Narayanaraja. Subramaniam Natarajan

is not in the picture.

classes for children. We are grateful to

our senior member Senthil Nathan for

conducting these classes with the help

and support of teachers who teach the

language on a voluntary, community

service basis,” he said.

Mr Sam said that classes are held on

Saturdays from 230 pm and 330 pm at

Ranfurly Road, Epsom, Auckland (not

during the Covid-19 lockdown period)

and that Mr Nathan has established

the ‘Padi Murai Tamil,’ or step-by-step

learning method.

Radio Programme

The Sangam launched its radio

service (soon after its establishment)

broadcasting on Planet FM 104.6 on

Saturdays from 750 am to 825 am.

Called, ‘Sangam,’ the Programme

is being managed by Maninilavan

Arivukkarasu (who has held various

positions in the Association including

that of President) and presented by

Raja Mani.

“Our Radio programme is presented

by volunteers. This is a weekly occasion

to listen to ‘Thirukkural,’ the most

extensive and most widely translated

couplets. Written by Thiruvalluvar

more than 1700 years ago, the 1330

couplets cover every aspect of every

living being, nature, and the ways

and means of maintaining a healthy

environment. The Radio Programme

is also used to carry announcements,

forthcoming events of Muthtamil

Sangam,” he said.

People anywhere in the world can

listen to the programme online current

programme and up to three earlier

broadcasts. Please visit www.planetaudio.org.nz/muthtamilsangam.

Planet FM MobileApp can also be

downloaded on to mobile and other

devices. It is free.

Past Presidents

Over the past 20 years, Muthtamil

Sangam has had the good fortune of

dedicated teams of people serving the

community as office-bearers under

the leadership of their respective


The inaugural President of Muthtamil

Sangam (2001-2002) was Ray


Following the successive Presidents

from 2002: Nathan Saminathan, Purushotham

Madanagopal, Vai Ravindran,

Ilango Krishnamoorthy, Thangamani

Periasamy, Premkumar Kandasamy,

Soundararajan Tiruppathi, Maninilavan

Arivukkarasu and (currently)

Sadasivam Kutty.

About Tamil Language

Respected as the oldest language

in the world, Tamil is one of the six

‘original’ languages (the other five

being Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Hebrew

and Chinese).

Tamil is rich in Literature with a

natural extension to Performing Arts.

From Carnatic Music to Bharata

Natyam and an extensive variety of

religious and folk dances, the contributions

of Tamil Nadu are immeasurable,

transcending time and modernity.

Tamil-speaking people from Tamil

Nadu and other countries take pride in

learning and presenting various forms

of Performing Arts, apart from evincing

interest in the ocean of Literature.




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