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The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

Issue 443 | August 1, 2020 | Free


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Through the hard work

of our team of five

million and with the

leadership of Jacinda

Ardern, New Zealand has

done so well in recent months.

We are the only country

to have eliminated Covid-19

from the community and

we have amongst the lowest

rate of serious illness and

death. Because of this, we are

able to move forward with

our economic recovery and


As the global pandemic continues

to rage it is important to

not put this progress at risk.

We need a government that

is focussing on things that

matter to New Zealanders.

Response and Recovery

We have a plan to guide

New Zealand’s recovery and

rebuild, the work is underway

and it is important we keep


The emphasis of this

year’s Budget was the $50

billion Covid-19 Response and

Recovery Fund.

Investments from this fund

are already protecting jobs,

creating new ones, helping

workers to upskill or retrain,

and supporting the sectors

affected most.

Treasury forecasts that

these investments could

bring unemployment back to

pre-Covid levels within two

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years and have the economy

growing again as early as next


But they are possible only

because of the discipline the

government showed early on

in meeting the Budget Responsibility

Rules and getting debt

below 20% of GDP.

Edge to invest

That low debt that we

had pre-Covid has given us

considerable edge to invest

and stimulate the economy.

But we know that we have to

pay back this debt.

That is why we continue to

make the investments carefully

with an eye to the future.

Last week, the Finance

Minister made it clear that our

responsible approach to managing

the government’s books

pre-Covid has not changed.

We are making sure that

we are balancing the need

to support businesses and

households through the worst

of this economic shock, while

managing debt tightly, and

keeping funds in reserve for

any future rainy days.

The government has decided

not to spend the remaining

$14 billion from the Covid-19

Response and Recovery Fund

before the election. It will be

set aside to use if we need it,

especially if we have to deal

with a second wave of the


Our Finance Minister was

firm that if this money was

not needed, we do not have to

spend it.

He was very clear that there

are strict criteria for accessing

the Covid-19 Response and

Recovery Fund. We will not be

using it for political projects a

decade away at the expense

of making sure that we can

invest immediately to protect

New Zealanders from a

second wave.

Strong border controls

Our strong controls at the

border continue to stop the

virus spreading through New

Zealand, and there remains no

evidence of any cases in our


But with Covid-19 now

exploding beyond our borders,

and likely to be around

for some time, we must be

prepared for the worst.

I think this reflects the

government’s priorities more


When asked recently about

the upcoming election, the

Prime Minister responded,

“My focus, my time, my

energy, is going into our

Covid-response and that is

what it should be. I think that

right now politicking does not

matter much to New Zealanders.

They want to know that

we are focused on Covid and I

can assure them that we are.”

I am proud to be a part of

a team that is focused on the

things that matter: keeping

New Zealanders safe, while

minimising the ongoing

impact of the virus.

Let us keep moving.

Michael Wood is Member of Parliament

elected from Mt Roskill and

Senior Government Whip.

Raj Pardeep Singh


LLB/BA (Hons.)

E: raj@legalassociates.co.nz



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Indian Newslink

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Business Excellence in


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Best Businesswoman of the year 2016

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Government ready to tackle

second wave of Covid-19

Michael Wood

World’s Most Eloquent Leader at Our Lecture

Jacinda Ardern on ‘My

Vision for New Zealand’

on August 6, 2020 in


Venkat Raman

Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern will be the

Guest Speaker at

this year’s Indian

Newslink Lecture, scheduled

to be held on Thursday,

August 6, 2020 at 630 pm at

Mahatma Gandhi Centre,

145, New North Road, Eden

Terrace, Auckland.

‘My Vision for New

Zealand,’ is the theme of her

Lecture, which is expected to

set the pace for future course

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (Getty Images)

of direction for various

sectors of the economy. passionate, without shying

On Thursday, July 30, 2020, away from tough issues,”

the Developing Academy of the Academy said in a Press

Acuity Training of United Release.

Kingdom named Ms Ardern It said that world leaders

‘The Most Eloquent Leader in have the ability to inspire us,

the World,’ ahead of German motivate us, shock us and

Chancellor Angela Markel even scare us.

and India’s Prime Minister “There is tremendous

Narendra Modi.

power in great public

Empathetic leadership style speaking. But despite the

The Academy reviewed requirement to make several

more than 100 hours of footage

from press conferences, speeches in their roles, there

public appearances and

speeches and other public are some world leaders

addresses of world leaders who are not always on the

throughout 2020 and selected right track when it comes to

Ms Ardern as the topper. addressing their nation,” the

“Jacinda Ardern employs Academy said.

an empathetic leadership National Party MP and

style. She challenges the Finance Spokesperson Paul

common perception that Goldsmith will provide his

emotional communication ‘Reflections’ on the Lecture.

shows weakness, instead Attorney General and Minister

for Trade and Export

choosing to approach the

public with softer touch. Growth David Parker will be

She has a measured and the Master of Ceremonies,

authoritative sincerity about Auckland Mayor Phil Goff

her – she is kind and com- will deliver the Welcome

Address, Barrister & Solicitor

Gurbrinder Aulakh will

provide ‘A Point of View’

and former Labour MP Dr

Rajen Prasad will give the

Concluding Remarks.

About INL Lecture Series

The Indian Newslink Sir

Anand Satyanand Lecture

was instituted in 2011, subscribing

to the broad theme

of Good Governance, with

Honesty, Integrity, Accountability

and Transparency

as its core principles. The

Series has been rebranded

this year but would continue

to feature topics of interest

to those in governance

roles, those on the growth

path of their career and to

chief executives and other


This formal, Black Tie

Event includes dinner and


For tickets and other details,

please call 021-836528. Email:



AUGUST 1, 2020


Collins puts forth ambitious $31 billion infrastructure plan

Jo Moir

An eye-watering $31 billion is

the price tag that the National

Party has put on the infrastructure

upgrade required

to fix the country’s transport network

and Auckland and upper North

Island’s congestion crisis.

In her first big policy announcement

on July 17, 2020, National Leader Judith

Collins delivered the opposition’s

infrastructure plan - a policy that

former leader Todd Muller was meant

to make before quitting on Tuesday,

July 14, 2020.

Collins has also announced that a

National government would repeal

the Resource Management Act (RMA)

completely, and replace it with two

new pieces of law.

Massive investment Upper North

More than half of the money announced

by Collins today ($17 billion)

would be invested in the Upper North,

which Collins says is home to half of all

New Zealanders.

To fix the congestion issues, Collins

has announced “National would go

ahead with everything Labour has

said it will do in transport” - with the

exception of Transport Minister Phil

Twyford’s “light-rail Ghost Trains, and

the probable exception of the $360

million Skypath 2.”

She said that National would also

go much further, with some work

beginning immediately and the

larger projects rolled out over the next


One of the most ambitious projects

announced is four-lane expressways,

including tunnels under the Brynderwyn

and Kaimai mountain ranges,

National Party Leader Judith Collins (RNZ Picture by Simon Rogers)

to connect Whangarei, Auckland,

Hamilton and Tauranga.

Definition of City

“National’s vision is to transform

the four cities to be one economic

powerhouse, unlocking their potential

so the upper North Island becomes

Australasia’s most dynamic region,’’

Collins said.

Also a part of the announcement

is Auckland’s rapid transit network,

including rail to the airport and new


“One rough definition of a city is

that it is a place you can get from one

side to the other in an hour, or a place

that the average time to get to work

is 30 minutes. National will measure

our progress against the goals of 30

minutes to get to work and one hour

to get across the city,’’ Collins said.

An additional harbour crossing has

also been announced - Collins said

planning work would begin immediately

with spades in the ground by


“National’s Plan is that the crossing

should be a tunnel or tunnels, and be

for both road and rail, and new public

transport technologies that come

online,’’ she said.

Other plans included expanding the

ferry network in Auckland and new

walking and cycling links as well as

expanded park-and-ride facilities.

Digger-Ready Projects

In addition to the larger long-term

projects, $300 million worth of

“digger-ready” projects across the

country in 2021 would fix potholes,

roundabouts and crash corners.

Collins said the $17 billion for

Auckland and the upper North Island,

and the $14 billion for “soon-to-beannounced

projects in the southern

half of the country” would be paid for

out of the current government’s Covid


At this year’s Budget, Finance

Minister Grant Robertson set aside

$20 billion of untagged funding for

Covid-related recovery projects.

“New Zealand Transport Agency

(NZTA) will also be allowed to better

leverage its balance sheet by borrowing

up to $1 billion a year, and there

will be tolls on the new Brynderwyn,

Waitemata and Kaimai tunnels,’’

Collins said.

Transport spokesperson Chris

Bishop said Aucklanders would also

benefit from National’s repealing of the

Auckland Regional Fuel Tax within its

first 100 days in office.

That would put $150 million in

savings per year into Aucklanders’

back pockets.

“We will not increase fuel tax or road

user charges in our first term,’’ he said.

RMA repeal

Collins said that previous

governments have tinkered with the

RMA with amendments, and that is a


She plans not to reform it, but repeal

it altogether.

“We will replace it with two new

pieces of law: an Environment Standards

Act, setting our environmental

bottom lines; and an Urban Planning

and Development Act, giving clarity

and consistency. We will begin this

work in our first 100 days.

“We will introduce new legislation

by the end of next year,’’ she said.

That process will however be too

slow for the projects that she has

announced in her infrastructure policy


The RMA fast-track legislation passed

in response to Covid-19 provides a

useful interim framework, but is too

limited, she said.

“National will make far more

extensive use of the fast-track Act. New

Zealand is facing an extraordinary jobs

and economic crisis; and it demands

a proportional response. We simply

cannot let the RMA stand in the way

of urgently needed infrastructure

development,’’ she said.

The following is from another report

by Jo Moir:

Former Leader Simon Bridges did

not vote for Collins.

“I will make no secret of the fact

that I voted for Mark Mitchell. He is

someone I have got a high regard for

who was there close to me when I was

Leader of the National Party. But now,

we have got Judith and I think that

she is going to do a really good job,” he


Collins told Morning Report that she

is not fussed at the admission, saying

that she also publicly said that she

voted for Muller as Leader.

She said that it is a free vote with no

ramifications, as evidenced by Bridges

high ranking in the party reshuffle

announced on July 16, 2020.

“I think that he is very happy with

me as Leader,” she said.

Jo Moir is a Political Reporter at Radio New

Zealand. The above Report and Picture have

been published under a Special Arrangement

with www.rnz.co.nz

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

National List MPbased


Manukau East






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AUGUST 1, 2020


Action Plan to rescue Auckland from Covid-19 impact

Phil Goff

The impact of Covid-19

on our City has been

dramatic, with the full

economic effects still to

be felt.

The good news is that, by

working together, we stopped

the community spread of the

virus, saving potentially thousands

of lives and preventing

our hospitals from being


However, the economic

cost of the virus, causing the

lockdown and worldwide

recession, is high, not least the

effect on Auckland Council’s


Emergency Budget

Council income has been

slashed by nearly $500 million,

meaning that we need to dramatically

cut our expenditure.

That is why the Council has

had to pass an Emergency


Since the budget went out

for public consultation; on top

of that we have also had to

find a further $224 million to

pay for new infrastructure to

increase water supply.

After this year’s worst-ever

drought, the Met Service

forecast is for a drier spring

and summer, with the risk

of severe water restrictions.

Few in Auckland would

question the need to make this

If Auckland succeeds, rest of New Zealand will prosper (Auckland Council Picture)

investment, so the money has

to be found.

The Emergency Budget is

the most challenging budget

Auckland Council has ever


We have had to balance

the need to cut spending with

the need to protect the vital

services we provide for Aucklanders

and keep as much

as we can the investment we

need to make in infrastructure

to match future population


We cannot just borrow to

pay for all of this. If we do

not manage our finances

prudently, we risk losing our

credit rating, adding hundreds

of millions of dollars in higher

interest rates and putting

the debt unfairly on future


Curtailing expenditure

The first thing we did was to

cut our spending.

Staffing has already been

cut, with over 600 temporary

and contract workers going.

Another 500 permanent jobs

will also be lost. Any non-essential

services have had to be

cut back.

The Council must become a

smaller and leaner organisation

that does more with less.

Council spending has been cut

by more than $200 million.

Secondly, we will sell

surplus property to the value

of around $220 million and

use that capital to avoid

cutting infrastructure projects.

There is no better time than a

recession to spend money on

building for the future, while

stimulating economic recovery

and creating new jobs in the

construction industry.

Infrastructure investment

By careful management of

our budget, we will invest this

year over $2.2 billion in new

infrastructure, more than

the average of $1.6 billion

spent annually over the past

five years.

And while some services

have had to be trimmed

back, we will continue to

provide critical and valuable

council services like public

transport, libraries and

community facilities, parks

and playgrounds, and waste

and recycling services.

The loss of nearly $500

million in income is the

equivalent of a rates cut of

around 28%.

As a result, we will need

to leave in place an average

general rates rise of 3.5%, as

originally announced. While

we would have liked to cut

that, the cost in terms of lost

services and infrastructure

was too great.

Rates increase

The difference between

a 2.5% and a 3.5% rates

increase for the owner of a

$1 million property paying

the average general rate

is around 47 cents a week

more for the higher rate.

The lower rate would,

however, have slashed

spending by another

$17 million and cut our

investment in infrastructure

by $60 million.

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rates cut, we have targeted

support to those facing real

hardship because of Covid-19,

putting aside $50 million

to allow postponement

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It was a tough budget to

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Auckland, now and for the


Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland.

He writes a regular column in

Indian Newslink

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AUGUST 1, 2020


Andy Coster sets three key priorities for New Zealand Police

Venkat Raman

Enhancing human capital, high

quality service delivery and prevention

of crime through partnerships

are three key priorities

that the new Police Commissioner Andy

Coster has set for the New Zealand

Police during his five-year term.

Speaking at a special Powhiri held

in his honour on his appointment as

Police Commissioner at the Pipitea

Marae in Wellington on Friday, July 31,

2020, he said that inclusion, constant

consultation with all communities and

closer working relationship with other

public services will also form a part of

his regime.

About 500 men and women,

representing the Police, government

departments, the judiciary, officials of

public and private sector organisations

and community leaders.

Among them were Deputy Commissioners,

Assistant Commissioners,

Deputy Chief Executives, District

Commanders, Inspectors and other

sworn and non-sworn officers of the

New Zealand Police, members of the

Police Commissioner’s Maori, Pacific

and Ethnic Focus Forum, Director

General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield,

Commissioner Coster’s parents Dr

Gregor and Heather Coster, his wife Jo

and their sons Daniel, Joshua and Sam.

Service Delivery

Mr Coster mentioned ‘Be First, then

do,’ as his primary objective as Police


“This is to ensure that New Zealand

Police is delivering from a position of

internal strength; that we embody the

kind of organisation that we need to be

to achieve our outcomes in communities.

We need to be an organisation that

brings humanity to all our interactions,

Police Commissioner Andy Coster speaking at

the Powhiri

if we are to achieve the most positive

impact we can in people’s lives,” he


Emphasising the human aspect of

policing, he said it was imperative

to understand what happens at the

human level in order to select the most

appropriate response to a situation.

“Given the increasing complexity

of what we need to navigate, we also

need our people to be able to bring

the best of themselves to their work.

This will happen when we create an

environment in which diverse thought

is welcome, and leaders see it as their

role to enable our people to be their

best,” Mr Coster said.

He said that a proper understanding

of public expectations is essential to

deliver the quality and level of service


“There are some core expectations

that the public have of us as an

organisation, and we must make sure

we meet them. We have a range of

different demands to balance and we

need to be well attuned to changing

expectations, as well as looking after

the core responsibilities that are always

with us,” Mr Coster said.

Police Commissioner Andy Coster with his wife Jo and parents Gregor and Heather

Prevention through Partnerships

Describing the Police as a ‘genuine

blue line,’ he said that New Zealand can

become the safest country in the world

only through community partnerships.

“I am greatly heartened by the level

of collaboration that I am seeing in

communities and across the public

service. We need to keep building on

this, seeking genuine partnership to

strengthen communities. There are a

range of practical things that fall out of

these priorities and we have already

started,” Mr Coster said and reiterated

his commitment to make ‘New Zealand

Police an organisation for its people

and for New Zealanders it serves.’

He spoke of the challenges that

confront the New Zealand Police and

cited family harm and organised crime

as examples. He said that as an organisation,

New Zealand Police has shown

the ability to rise to the challenges.

Mr Coster said that he was keen to

promote the policing as calm, compassionate

and confident service –qualities

that were underscored by the service

during Covid-19 lockdown.

“Our model is underpinned by

idea of maintaining the community’s

consent for what we do. Walking this

line is no mean feat – the community

does not always speak with one voice.

However, I believe we have demonstrated

what can be achieved when we

go about it the right way,” he said.

About Andy Coster

Graduating from the Royal New

Zealand Police Academy in April 1997,

Andy Coster worked for the next six

years in various frontline and investigative

roles at Counties Manukau Police

and Auckland Metro Crime.

He was admitted to the High Court of

New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor

and worked as Solicitor at Meredith

Connell in the Auckland Office of the

Crown Solicitor in 2004. The following

two years were spent as Response Manager

and Section Supervisor at Counties

Manukau West and in 2006 became the

District Deployment Manager of the


Mr Coster took charge as the Area

Commander of Auckland City Central

in 2009 and over the next five years

countered the challenges posed by the

Central Business District of the busiest

city in the country. During this period,

he also served as the Armed Offenders

Master of Ceremonies Deputy Commissioner

Wallace Haumaha

Squad Commander for Auckland.

He was appointed District Commander,

Southern Police District in 2015 and

a year later, became the Deputy Chief

Executive at the Ministry of Justice and

moved to the Police Headquarters in

Wellington in March 2018 as Acting

Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and

Partnership. Shortly thereafter, he took

charge of Strategy and Partnerships

in the same capacity, until his appointment

by the Prime Minister as the

Police Commissioner.

Mr Coster is a Member of the

Institute of Directors New Zealand and

former Trustee of the Mangere Genesis

Youth Trust.

Other Speakers

Among the speakers at the Powhiri

were Justice Sector Reform Advocate

Sir Kim Workman, Chief Executive

Te Arawhiti Office of Maori Crown

Relations Lil Anderson, Children’s

Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft,

Professor Gregor Coster and Police

Commissioner’s Focus Forum Member

Tino Pereira. Deputy Commissioner

(Maori, Pacific and Maori Services)

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AUGUST 1, 2020

Past lessons should

challenge future actions

Rowan Light

The notion that

“history is written by

the winner” might

seem clichéd but,

as the Chinese Communist

Party’s (CCP) crack-down

on history education in

Hong Kong shows, it is one

that should give us cause to

reflect on how precious (and

precarious) the teaching of

history can be.

In one of the more sinister

aspects of the attack on civil

liberties in Hong Kong, one

pro-Beijing spokesperson

threatened that teachers

should remember this lesson

of history: “The winner is

king, the loser an outlaw,”

adding that “When you lose

and fail, you will be beheaded.

And there is no achieving

justice by violating the law.”

Squashing dissent

Having won the fight, the

CCP is determined to squash

all signs of dissent, even from

the past.

Passages from the philosopher

Su Xun, known for

11th-century essays on wars

and military reforms, have

already been redacted from

school textbooks, because Su’s

teaching could “incite violence

in students or make them

think revolution is good.”

Such flagrant repression

reveals something important:

the CCP is well aware

(and fearful) of the power of

history. If you control history,

you can shape how people

see their world – including

omitting the parts that are

discomforting or threatening

for those in positions of


As New Zealanders, we

are fortunate to be able to

learn about our past free

from government edict. Such

precious freedoms, however,

need to be cultivated, and

not taken for granted.

One way we might do this

is by paying attention to our

own history education.

New National History

In the next month or so,

the group of historians who

have been developing the

new national history curriculum

in schools will release

their proposed resource for

public consultation.

Unlike the people of Hong

Kong, the New Zealand

public will be able to have

their say on how and what

history should be taught in

our schools.

As the CCP knows, rigorous

history teaching can provide

crucial skills and knowledge

for critical thinking. Without

these tools, we can be more

easily caught up in dogmatic

political narratives.

For this reason, we should

be suspicious of history that

only puts our society in a

flattering light. Rather, it

is the parts of history that

make us uncomfortable that

we should pay attention

to. What is unfamiliar and

unsettling can open up new

ways of thinking about the


Space for dialogue

We should hope for a

national curriculum that

creates space for controversy,

debate, and critique;

one in which we encounter

a past that challenges us

and provokes arguments

across the dinner table and


History education is key

to a healthy political culture.

This also means that thinking

about the wider “ecosystem”

of how we share stories of

the past: the networks of

civil society, such as families,

communities, and museums,

as well as the classroom and


The history curriculum

isn’t just something for government

panels and teachers

to consider: it is something

all New Zealanders should

want to engage with and take


It is only then that we can

ensure that history is not just

“written by the winners” but

shared by everyone.

Rowan Light is a Researcher

at Maxim Institute based in





AUGUST 1, 2020


Labour gains strength among voters but challenges rise

Employment and

Economy are major,

influencing concerns

Venkat Raman

The following article, in pdf

format was released on

Monday, July 20, 2020 as

Tourism Minister and Deputy

Leader of Labour Party Kelvin Davis

at the Electionlink (a special section

in Indian Newslink launched once

in three years before the general

election) at Mahatma Gandhi Centre

in Auckland City. Among those

present were the then Immigration

Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, Ethnic

Communities Minister Jenny Salesa,

Labour Party President Claire

Szabo, Labour MPs, new candidates

contesting in the ensuing general

election (on September 18, 2020),

supporters and Indian Newslink


On the face of it, the general election,

due to be held on September 19, 2020,

could be a foregone conclusion, with

Jacinda Ardern recording the highest

ever public approval as Prime Minister

and her Labour Party endorsed high in

opinion polls.

Predications are that Labour will

be able to govern on it own; if it

does, the Party would create history;

being the first since the Mixed

Member Proportion (MMP) system

was introduced in 1996. That could

set the trend to debate the efficacy

of the system and perhaps lead to

the establishment of a bicameral


Rise of Jacinda Ardern

A politician who was seen as a

young woman with a lot of hope at the

Indian Newslink Electionlink launch

held on February 28, 2017, has today

risen to be one of the most admired

leaders of the world, and certainly the

most determined Prime Minister of

this Century.

The empathy and love that she

showed on the aftermath of the

Christchurch massacre on March 15,

2020 made Ms Ardern the champion of

the common people. According to her

critics, she also handled equally well

the Whakaari/While Island eruption

on December 9, 2019 and the concerns

it raised around the world.

Covid-19 afflictions

Covid-19 has afflicted most countries

the Continents since December 2019

and continues to pose serious threats

to human lives and economies.

New Zealand is among a handful of

countries that handled the pandemic

situation well. The country is now fully

open to all businesses with freedom of

movement, although the borders are

closed for international traffic.

The government has the unenviable

task of managing New Zealanders

returning from overseas in isolation

and quarantine facilities. This has

become a messy task with breaches

by some people and leaks by a

couple of National MPs. The constant

condemnation of former National

Party leaders Simon Bridges and Todd

Muller were seen as scaremongering


Ms Ardern has a team of capable

ministers who have risen to the

occasion to position their ministries

and officials for quick and efficient

response to Covid-19 with cash and

other relief packages to employed

and self-employed people, businesses,

and others. There have however been

criticisms that the government has

ignored small businesses.

Tourism Minister and Labour Party Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis

speaking at the Electionlink (of Indian Newslink) launch in Auckland

on July 20, 2020 (INL Picture by Narendra Bedekar)

The Judith Collins factor

Notwithstanding the high level of

public endorsement that Ms Ardern

and Labour enjoy eight weeks into the

general election, the rising importance

of Judith Collins as the Leader of the

National Party since her election on

July 14, 2020 can neither be ignored

nor underplayed. She is an aggressive

politician and carries her campaigns

on war-footing.

That attitude could be selfdestructive.

Since the onset of

Covid-19, the National Party and

its Spokespersons have continued

to attack the government on every

issue, while they should have

been supportive in fighting off the


Nonetheless, the fact that the

National Party is in the process of

rejuvenation cannot be discounted. Ms

Collins has stimulated national debate

with her eye-watering $31 billion

infrastructure upgrade plan required

to fix the transport network in many

cities, with the largest share going to

Auckland, followed by upper North


Employment and Economy

Labour’s election campaign rests

on five major issues: (1) Investment

in human capital (2) Creating jobs (3)

Preparing for the future (4) Supporting

small businesses and (5) Positioning

New Zealand globally to promote

trade, tourism, education, investment,

and other sectors

“It is about investing in our people, it

is about jobs, preparing for our future,

supporting our small businesses,

entrepreneurs and job creators and

positioning ourselves globally. I have

seen economic downturns before and

what they can do to those left behind.

We must be mindful of the debt that

future generations may carry because

of what we need to do now. But we

Kelvin Davis launches Electionlink with (from left) Ross Robertson, Jacob Mannothra, Iain Lees-Galloway, Jenny Salesa and

others (Pictures for Indian Newslink by Narendra Bedekar)

would be wrong to characterise debt

as solely being financial. If we choose

not to invest now, during the rainy

day we have been preparing for, we

burden the future with debt of another

kind,” Ms Ardern said, speaking to the

Labour Party Congress on July 5, 2020.

The size of a country and its ability

to punch above its weight is often a

determinant on the global scene in

gaining attention and response. On

such a score, Ms Ardern has been

able to establish synergy with diverse

leadership across the world.

New Zealand continues to score

high on the world map as a reliable,

well-meaning and honest friend, and

its impressive status of being the least

corrupt country on the Corruption

Perception Index of Transparency

International (although perception

can be divorced from facts) is a source

of endearment for international

businesses and investors.

Transparent governance

But none of these would cut ice

with New Zealanders who are largely

unimpressed by grandeur. What

matters to them is good and firm

leadership, sound fiscal management,

policies and programmes that promote

a higher standard of living and most

important of all, clean and transparent


As the election campaign gets under

way, Labour’s slings at the possible cost

of other National Party’s policies would

be watched with abiding interest.

Democracy under trial

Democracy is going through a

difficult time. Where autocrats

have been driven out of office, their

opponents have mostly failed to

create viable democratic regimes.

Even in established democracies,

flaws in the system have become

worryingly visible and disillusion with

politics is rife. Yet just a few years ago

democracy looked as though it would

dominate the world.

As the Economist wrote,

democracies are on average richer

than non-democracies, are less likely to

go to war and have a better record of

fighting corruption.

“More fundamentally, democracy

lets people speak their minds and

shape their own and their children’s

futures. That so many people in so

many different parts of the world are

prepared to risk so much for this idea

is testimony to its enduring appeal.”

Major investments keep the economy moving

Investing in our people, backing

businesses, and upgrading

infrastructure and housing

throughout the country are

among Labour’s plan to recover

and rebuild.

Kiwis deserve high-quality care

they can rely on; so, we are making

sure that DHBs have the infrastructure

that they need to deliver vital

services for New Zealanders.

That is why we are replacing

Auckland Hospital’s 50-year-old

infrastructure, future-proofing the

facilities for generations to come.

While often behind the scenes,

away from patients and whānau,

it is the critical infrastructure that

keeps hospitals running. This work

will get underway while the DHB’s

existing infrastructure projects

are progressing. Construction on

the hospital will also create jobs,

employing as many as 350 workers

Labour Party Leader Jacinda Ardern with her


(Picture from Labour Party Website)


Upgrading hospitals

After a long period of under-funding,

we are tackling the

long-term challenge of bringing

our hospitals back up to the standard

New Zealanders expect.

Auckland Hospital is just one of

the health infrastructure upgrades

being funded by our record $3.5

billion investment to improve our


We also announced more than

$30 million in funding to support

strategic tourism businesses.

This investment will help drive

domestic tourism through developing

regional events and increasing

businesses’ digital capabilities.

Boosting tourism

The funding will go to 126 tourism

businesses in total, and could

help protect the jobs of around 3000

people directly employed in the industry.

This announcement means

that the $400 million Tourism

Recovery Package we announced at

Budget 2020, is now fully allocated.

We are expanding the Kāinga Ora

- Homes and Communities Retrofit

Programme, making around 1500

older state homes warmer, drier,

and healthier. The upgrades will

take place in 30 towns and cities

across New Zealand over the next

two and a half years.

Source: Labour Voices August 1, 2020

AUGUST 1, 2020


Renewed confidence puts National back on the track

But the mood of voters

does not allow for


Venkat Raman

National Party Leader

Judith Collins is upbeat

about the general election

scheduled to be held

on Saturday, September 19, 2020

saying that National will form the

next government, but she is beset

with a series of challenges that can

prove to be formidable.

Ms Collins is a stern, no-nonsense

leader, who has proved her mettle

as a Minister of the Crown holding

a wide range of portfolios- 14 of

them- during the John Key and Bill

English governments between 2008

and 2017.

Soon after being elected Leader of

the Party on July 14, 2020, she dealt

with decisiveness the indiscretions

of two members of her Caucussacking

one and demoting the

other. She still has faces a number

of issues, not the least of which is to

ensure discipline within the ranks

of her parliamentary colleagues at

least over the next seven weeks.

With the past two opinion polls

showing National under poor light,

Ms Collins has the task of getting

her Party back on track with sound

policies and programmes. Mere

rhetoric would not go any good.

The glasshouse effects

The exit of Todd Muller as the

Leader of the National Party had a

rippling effect among politicians,

National Party caucus and the

media, but the hoo-ha died down

as quickly as it rose; in fact, it was

so short-lived that it went almost

unnoticed. Ms Collins was perhaps

a candidate of convenience and an

antidote to the smote that National

had suffered. She was in effect the

instrument of painless change,

orchestrating a move which could

have otherwise caused ruptures.

Clearly, the Nats cannot afford

another division.

For all the smear campaigns that

he suffered during the last days

in office, Mr Muller may not have

been directly responsible for the

implosion, but some of his own

Bakshi launches his campaign in Panmure-Otahuhu

Venkat Raman

National Party MP

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

launched his campaign

for the ensuing general

elections at the Panmure-Otahuhu

Constituency in the midst of a

number of fellow lawmakers and

new candidates contesting across


The event was held on July 25,


The first India-born candidate

to enter Parliament as a List MP

in 2008, Mr Bakshi is currently the

Ethnic Communities Spokesperson

for his Party.

Among those at the launch were

National Party Directors Alastair

Bell, Andrew Hunt and Stefan Sundae,

current MPs Simon O’Connor,

Alfred Ngaro, Agnes Loheni, Paulo

Garcia and new candidates Christopher

Luxon and Nuwi Samarakone.

Following is an extract from a

RNZ report:

On July 14, 2020, the Party elected

Judith Collins as its new leader to

National Party’s Simon Bridges with (from left) David Carter, Mark Mitchell, Rima Nakhle and

other MPs and supporters at the Electionlink Launch held on Monday, July 27, 2020

New National Party candidates from various constituencies in Auckland Nuwi Samarakone, Jake

Bezzant, Lisa Whyte, Simon Watts, Bala Beeram, Rima Nakhle and Christopher Luxon.

colleagues in the National Caucus

did things that were unforgivable.

Leaking names of Covid-19 patients

to the media and scaremongering

the public with unsubstantiated

accusations were distasteful.

Even as people were worried

about their own health and the risk

of Covid-19 spreading, the National

Party leadership and some MPs

National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi speaking

at this Campaign Launch

replace Todd Muller, with Gerry

Brownlee as her Deputy. Collins,

61, was first elected as an MP for

Clevedon in 2002 and has been part

of six Parliaments.

“I think it is really important that

we all have a common goal ... to get

rid of the current government and

put in place a better government,”

she said after emerging from the

Caucus meeting.

“One of the things that unifies

any party is if they see that we are

getting the results that we want ...

I think you are going to find that

have been taking cudgels against

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

and the government for their

translucency, without realising the

glasshouse effect.

Holding the government to


They were too willing to have a

go at all their political opponents,

interrogating their honesty and

National MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Alfred Ngaro, Simon O’Connor and candidates Christopher

Luxon, Nuwi Samarakone and others

we are very focused on winning.

There is no chance at all that I am

going to allow ... Ardern to get

away with any nonsense to do

with our economy. I am going to

hold her to account. I would say

experience, toughness, the ability

to make decisions ... that would be

myself. Jacinda Ardern is someone

we should not ever underestimate.

We are actually better. If you look

at our team, our experience ... it is

better than Jacinda Ardern and her

team,” she said.

She said the Party’s policies would

integrity, without realising that

they may one day be ensnared in

their own words.

But arguably, it is the opposition’s

call to keep the government under

check and pressure, giving the

ministers a run for their policies

and even the money that they earn.

The Nats have done their job well

on that score; but in terms of enunciating

policies and programmes

and readiness to take over the

mantle of governance should there

be a need, they have thus far failed

to impress.

Although thrillingly effective

in the gladiatorial arena of the

debating chamber in Parliament

and, from Collins’ point of view,

a welcome endorsement of her

leadership credentials, Mr Muller’s

imagery seemed less well-judged

during his short tenure.

Two tough Leaders

Ms Ardern has earned the love

and admiration of a majority of

New Zealanders for her empathy

and quick actions following the

Christchurch massacre on March

15, 2019, the Whakaari-White Island

eruption on December 9, 2019 and

Covid-19 thus far this year. She has

also shown her toughness in the

handling of a number of erring Ministers

of her Cabinet, more recently

in the exit of Dr David Clark (Health)

and Iain Lees-Galloway (Workplace

not see any major changes.

About Judith Collins

Ms Collins, Member of Parliament

elected from Papakura, has been

the Shadow Attorney General since

May and holds the National Party’s

spokesperson roles for several

areas, including Economic Development,

Regional Development and

Pike River Re-Entry.

She has previously been the Minister

for ACC, Corrections, Energy

and Resources, Ethnic Communities,

Justice, Police, Revenue and Veterans’



Relations & Safety).

Ms Collins is also an Iron Lady

and her non-nonsense approach

was seen even during her early

years as Minister of Corrections

(2009), Police and later in other


If people are tired of the

incumbent government and need

a change, they must be given

adequate reasons for exercising

their franchise in favour of the

National Party.

Inclusive Politics

More, the Party would have to

come out of its restrictive approach

and embrace minority communities

as well.

There are wider issues to discuss,

which this newspaper would do in

course of time.

The launch of Electionlink

signals the beginning of the battle

for the ballot.

But Ms Collins would like to call

it a War over Labour and its allies.

Just how the situation would pan

out remains to be seen.

But we know one thing for sure;

Election 2020 would continue to be

wordy, nasty, and even personal,

just as it has been over the past few


We would ask the parties

involved to exercise restraint and

concentrate on issues of concern to

New Zealanders.

According to her National

Party profile, she holds a Bachelor

of Laws, Master of Laws with

Honours and a Master of Taxation

Studies from the University of

Auckland and was a lawyer and

company director before being

elected to Parliament.

Mr Brownlee said he was there

to support Collins “and the rest of

the team and that is what I will be

doing.” He ruled out ever wanting

the leadership.

No further distractions

Ms Collins replaced Todd Muller,

who resigned on July 14, 2020,

saying that it had become clear he

was not the best person for the job.

Mr Brownlee offered his


“I was devastated for Todd

Muller and his family, I found Todd

a wonderful person to work with

... I am sure that he will continue

to be just that,” he said.

Ms Collins said that the Party

would continue to support Mr

Muller in what was a difficult time.

She said it was important that

National MPs had no further

distractions before the Election.


AUGUST 1, 2020


Expect more scandals and fall outs as Gotcha Politics grips

Peter Dunne

The 52nd Parliament is hurtling

towards an inglorious end.

It will finish in just over two

weeks and will be dissolved

shortly thereafter on August 12, 2020 in

preparation for the September 19, 2020

general election.

It has been a dramatic term –

dominated by huge tragedies, from the

Christchurch Mosques massacres, to the

Whakaari White Island eruption, and

now Covid-19.

But in recent weeks, the focus has

been more on what many would

describe as farce.

The revelations concerning the

personal conduct lapses of a number

of MPs that led them to stand down

have raised many questions about

the culture of Parliament, the stresses

placed upon MPs, and the responsibility

of political parties.

But while inappropriate and unprofessional

conduct by MPs should never

be condoned, no matter their status, the

current situation needs to be kept in


Turnover of MPs

The present number of 20 MPs (at

last count) standing down at this elec-

Hamish Walker Andrew Falloon Iain Lees-Galloway

tion is not out of line with the numbers

retiring at previous elections.

Historically, New Zealand has had a

relatively frequent turnover of MPs, the

average length of service is just over six

years. Of the MPs elected at the 2014

election, 53 have now either retired

or been defeated. Only 26 of the MPs

elected at the 2011 election are seeking

re-election this year.

So, the turnover of MPs is not the

problem; indeed, many would argue

that a frequent turnover and refreshing

of the House is no bad thing. Others argue

for term limits to stop MPs serving

for too long, although just as many are

surprised to learn that very few MPs

serve for more than ten to fifteen years,

let alone longer.

Also, the average age of MPs has been

dropping over the years, meaning that,

consistent with patterns in the wider

workforce, MPs are more likely to move

on to do other things, as part of a range

of career experiences.

If anything, the turnover rate for

MPs is therefore likely to increase in the

years ahead.

Personal conduct lapses

But the unusual thing about this

year’s crop of Parliamentary departures

is the number where the decision to

stand aside has been brought about

by circumstances relating to personal

conduct. During this term, National has

been rocked by the scandals involving

Jami-Lee Ross (now running as an

independent and unlikely to succeed);

Hamish Walker and Andrew Falloon.

But the problem is not solely related to

National. Labour has lost two Ministers

for personal conduct lapses: Meka

Whaitiri following an altercation with

a staff member (although she is seeking

re-election as an MP) and now Iain

Lees-Galloway, as well as others for


The Lees-Galloway saga

Most of the cases have been clear-cut,

but there are some aspects of the

Lees-Galloway case that are curious. He

had been a controversial Immigration

Minister, and there had previously

been calls for his resignation, especially

in the wake of his decision to grant

residency to the convicted Czech drug

smuggler Karel Sroubek, who had a

lengthy criminal record in both the

Czech Republic and New Zealand. Had

the Prime Minister dismissed him at the

time of that incident, there would have

been little argument, given the lapse of

judgement involved and his admission

that he had not read the full file before

making his decision.

Yet she did not, and instead backed

him strongly. All of which makes the

decision to get rid of him now because

of a consensual affair with a staff

Tuariki Delamare to contest in Auckland Central

The former

Immigration Minister

returns to politics

after 20 years for TOP

Supplied Content

Former Immigration Minister

Tuariki Delamere has jointed

The Opportunities Party

(TOP) as Auckland Central

candidate and Spokesperson for


Mr Delamere is a former New

Zealand First MP and a Cabinet

Minister under the first MMP

Coalition Government. He held

ministerial portfolios including

Immigration and Overseas

Investment Office.

Since 1999, he has owned

and managed his Immigration

Consultancy Tuariki Delamere &

Associates and the famous Finale

Restaurant & Cabaret on Karangahape

Road in Auckland CBD.

He was also Political Advisor to

Māori Monarch King Tuheitia.

Impressive policies

Mr Delamare said that he chose

to join TOP after a break of 20

years because of its impressive policies

and the passion of candidates

to the Party.

“I was impressed by the enthusiasm,

passion, and commitment

of the candidates in 2017. This

year, I realised that if I was serious

about maximising TOP’s chances

then I should get off the side-lines

and offer myself as a candidate,”

he said.

His record and reputation in

Parliament was that of fighting

for what is right, not what is

politically convenient at the time.

As Associate Treasurer in 1996,

he faced down the National Party

over funding for Te Matatini, after

discovering that the single biggest

cultural event in New Zealand

received zero funding from the


Mr Delamere told the then

Prime Minister Jim Bolger that he

would vote against the Budget,

which resulted in Te Matatini receiving

$1 million of state funding.

As Immigration Spokesperson

for TOP, Mr Delamere brings a

wealth of experience to the role as

former Immigration Minister and

Tuariki Delamare (Picture by Dileepa

Fonseka for Stuff)

current immigration lawyer.

He said that Delamere New

Zealand will always need migrants.

Wrong immigration mix

“Recent governments have

continued to get the immigration

mix wrong and allowed high

numbers of people to migrate

to New Zealand who provide no

discernible benefit to New Zealand.

TOP welcomes immigration

policies that will benefit New

Zealand but will vigorously oppose

immigration policies with no

perceivable benefit to the country,”

Mr Delamere said.

He has taken aim at the government’s

handling of thousands of

skilled migrant residence visas sitting

in backlog under Immigration

New Zealand (INZ).

Many of these applicants have

waited a year or longer for a

decision, he said.

“The current fiasco of 15,000

skilled migrant residence visa

applications just sitting, not being

processed is a gross indictment

on the Government. This fiasco

continues to grow exponentially

with every passing day of the

Covid-19 pandemic. It is clear that

many will be declined and told to

return to their home country. The

Government needs to be open,

transparent, and honest with these

15,000 applicants,” Mr Delamare


Quota system squashed

One of his first actions as Immigration

Minister was to cancel a

quota limit singling out students

from China which he considered

“racist and discriminatory.”

“China had an imposed quota

of 400 students. However, we

had many thousands of students

from Malaysia, South Korea,

Japan, Vietnam, Thailand. Why

was that? There was no quota for

any other country, just China. I

immediately cancelled China’s

quota because it was racist and

discriminatory, and made it

open like any other country,”

he said.

TOP Leader Geoff Simmons

welcomed Delamere as an

experienced candidate for

the hotly contested Auckland

Central electorate, especially

following current MP Nikki

Kaye’s retirement from politics.

“There is no one like Tuariki

Delamere in New Zealand politics,

and we are looking forward

to the September Election with

him beside us. He has acted as

an Advisor to our Executive

Team for some time now, and

we are proud to have him on

the team in a public facing role

as a candidate,” Mr Simmons


Mr Delamare said that he

is focused on the survival and

prosperity of Auckland Central.

“TOP’s policies offer solutions

to tackle today’s problems,

many of which are present in

my electorate. I am looking

forward to once more working

for a better, brighter, kinder

New Zealand,” he said.

About The Opportunities


The vision of The

Opportunities Party is to

create the greenest economy

in the world through science,

technology, and innovation. The

Party believes in the younger

generation regaining access to

the housing market, preserving

and regenerating New Zealand’s

extraordinary environment.

“So, we are once again known

internationally as the place talent

wants to live. TOP believes

that it is time to enshrine our

democratic freedoms with a

constitution, and to safeguard

our independence from foreign

influence,” Mr Simmons said.

“The days of an economy

based on selling houses to each

other, with the profits exported

directly to the Australian banks,

or where we continue to exploit

the environment and watch

carbon emissions rise along

with the world’s sea levels, have

to end,” Mr Delamare said.

As New Zealand gets set for general election,

the two main players- Labour Party under

Jacinda Ardern and National Party under

Judith Collins will hope to bank on their

individual charisma to steer their respective Parties

to victory.

However, the outcome of the elections will be

determined not by the individual charisma but the

substance of the policy which will be articulated

by both Parties, how the cadres will be able to steer

their chances to the electorate and of course the

complex arithmetic of the coalition politics.

Labour Party

From Labour Party’s point, as an incumbent

Party, it has built a of a government that would

bring transformative policies on the strength of

which employment and incomes.

This approach, Labour supporters say, would ride

better through global ups and downs than under

the present National Party.

Labour will present its case to the electorate that

it will be tested in some corers.

Unlike Helen Clark’s time when it had the luxury

of having talented leaders such as Phil Goff, David

Cunliffe and Martin Gallagher, the Labour Party

today does not seem to have strong people to handle

key portfolios.

New talents such as Priyanca Radhakrishnan

will prove their mettle in the government if given

an opportunity to handle key portfolios such as


All in all, one can agree that Ms Ardern has

member that ended some time ago

and was apparently widely known a

little puzzling. It leaves unanswered

questions about whether, for example,

he used his Ministerial position to the

advantage of the staff member. The

Prime Minister’s call – after the sacking

– for Ministerial Services to investigate

whether any official resources had been

misused during the affair is also bizarre.

Normally, the evidence is gathered first

in a serious matter like this, not called

for after the event.

Potential embarrassment

Overall, it raises the suspicion that

Lees-Galloway’s dismissal was based

more on getting shy of a potential embarrassment

ahead of the election than

a judgment on his personal conduct. The

Prime Minister may also have felt she

had no alternative, given both the way

in which the Leader of the Opposition

had raised the matter, and had the

previous day dismissed Andrew Falloon.

Whatever the reason, it will have

further eroded confidence in a political

system reeling after recent events.

Nominations to stand for Parliament

at this year’s election close on August 21.

With dark rumours still swirling from

both sides of politics, and the mentality

of “gotcha politics” that has become an

unwelcome aspect of New Zealand politics

in recent years, the daunting reality

now is that more scandals coming to

light before then cannot, unfortunately,

be ruled out.

Peter Dunne was a Minister of the Crown in

the Labour and National-led governments

from November 1999 to September 2017. He

lives in Wellington.

Election 2020 will transcend personalities to policies

Balaji Chandramohan

This year, Transparency International New Zealand

(TINZ) asked each political party to answer

seven questions that are important to addressing

corruption through building stronger integrity

systems with greater accountability and transparency.

These questions are about fighting corruption,

integrity, accountability and transparency.

Parties’ responses will be provided in the August

edition of Transparency Times.

Meantime, below is a list of suggested open-ended

questions for voters to ask candidates.

Voters’ concerns

TINZ knows that many voters have the same concerns

as TINZ has. These questions are for readers to ask their

candidates. Readers are also encouraged to pass on this

newsletter to other voters, referring them to this list of

questions: (1) Integrity and trust- What does political

integrity mean to you? What will you do to build trust in

your leadership and your party?

2) Post pandemic recovery (2) As the country deals

with Covid-19 response and recovery, what will you

do to (pick any) Prevent the misuse of public funds for

personal gain? Deliver relief fairly and transparently?

Protect democracy and fundamental human rights?

Respect Treaty partners? (3) Political Party and campaign

funding-What actions are you personally taking to disclose

your campaign funding from all sources? How will

Jacinda Arden

Judith Collins

travelled a long way from the back benches to the

post of Prime Minister, proving herself as an adept

lawmaker especially when her Party was in crisis.

Another aspect of which the Labour Party will be

tested is the issue on National Security as it comes

close to the elections.

In the past decade, after Ms Clark’s departure

from the New Zealand political scene, Labour has

focused more on the immediate issues concerning

the welfare of the New Zealanders than on the

abstract and complicated issues related to national


National Party

On the other hand, National, under Judith

Collins, will hope to replicate its chance of winning

and hope to see the days when some of the calibre

of John Key was able to get back the voters to

turn their head on him through his charismatic


As mentioned, Election 2020 will witness the

clash of personalities – Jacinda Ardern and Judith

Collins but the outcome will be determined by the

substance of the policy which they could articulate

and the complex political manoeuvring involved

before and after the elections.

Balaji Chandramohan is Indian Newslink Correspondent

based in New Delhi, India.

Questions of integrity for political candidates

you make sure that money donated to your campaign

is not given with the expectation of specific policy or

action on your part? (4) Whistle-blowers-Describe your

attitude about whistle-blowers who expose wrongdoing,

(or alternative question): Are there too many, or too few,

whistle-blowers in New Zealand, and why?

Note: A whistle-blower is a person who exposes

secretive information or activity within a private or

public organization that is deemed illegal, unethical, or

not correct (Wikipedia).

These questions for voters to ask candidates, are

downloadable (.pdf format).

Questionnaires for political parties

In this election cycle, TINZ is asking each political party

to complete a similar but more detailed questionnaire.

Responses will be published in the August Transparency

Times, on our website, and through social media in

advance of the election.

Our members contributed to the development of these

questions which align with our mission – fighting corruption,

integrity, accountability and transparency. Our

aim is to examine each political party’s understanding of

anti-corruption issues and their ideas about addressing


The above article appeared in the July 2020 issue of Transpar

ency Times of Transparency International

AUGUST 1, 2020

Unemployment, free training lift student numbers at institutions

John Gerritsen

Victoria University and Manukau

Institute of Technology have

reported hundreds more midyear

enrolments than normal as

job opportunities dry up because of the

pandemic’s impact on the economy.

Both institutions say that the average

age of the new students is higher than

normal and the enrolments are skewed

toward postgraduate qualifications,

trades, and nursing.

Victoria University

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor

Grant Guilford said it received hundreds

more mid-year applications than usual.

“That has flowed through close to

700 more enrolments than we had last

year, or close to double what we had

last year. Of these, 550 students received

fees scholarships that the University

is offering to people affected by the

pandemic,” he said.

Historically, enrolments increased

whenever unemployment increased, he


Sourced Content

Education New Zealand (ENZ)

has awarded funding to New

Zealand academics under the

long-standing New Zealand-China

Tripartite Fund and for the first time,

an arrangement with leading Brazilian

research foundation agency FAPESP.

Online work encouraged

ENZ has pledged $105,000 to the

FAPESP under the inaugural funding

collaboration. This will fund nine

research projects, each led in tandem

with academics from New Zealand and


And for the 15th year, ENZ has

supported the joint work of New

“When the economy starts to drop

off, jobs start to become more difficult

to hold on to, people tend to particularly

turn to the humanities and social

sciences and the commerce faculties in

that situation. So, that is where we are

expecting to see the biggest lift and it

seems to be playing out this year as well.

There are already signs that next year’s

enrolments would be higher,” he said.

Manukau Institute of Technology

Manukau Institute of Technology

Chief Executive Gus Gilmore said it had

about 650 more mid-year enrolments

than at the same time last year.

“Our Semester Two enrolments are

tracking currently 60% up on last year

and a lot of that growth is in the trades

area. Engineering, Digital Technologies

and Nursing are all showing strong


We are seeing an older age profile

coming through the applications where

the 26 to 35-year-olds and 36 to 45 are

showing really strong increases,” he


Internationalisation remains a key focus for ENZ

Zealand and Chinese researchers

through the Tripartite Fund. This year’s

funding round provided NZ $20,000 to

five projects (rather than the traditional

NZ $30,000 to three) due to the ongoing

COVID-19 travel restrictions.

As the government is currently

advising New Zealanders not to travel

internationally, this funding was pledged

on the proviso that the researchers either

work together online or delay any international

travel to a later date.

Internationalisation is a crucial part of

the New Zealand International Education

Strategy (NZIES) under all three pillars.

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson

said that supporting and investing in

international academic mobility is a unique

way of achieving the goal.

“We see short-term benefits, like person-to-person

links and the strengthening

of diplomatic relationships, as well as

long-term benefits like increased trade

flow,” he said.

Global links forged

Building international links between

Many of the students had lost their

jobs and needed to retrain, and many

were benefiting from the government’s

decision to make some trades training

fees-free from July, he said.

Canterbury Institute of Technology

Canterbury Institute of Technology

(Ara) Tony Gray said its enrolments were

about 5% or 6% higher than normal,

but he was expecting more enrolments

throughout the year.

“There are a whole range of other

things that are coming into play. I do

institutions can also directly impact

their rankings.

Times Higher Education recently

released their Latin America University

Rankings 2020, which featured seven

Brazilian universities in the top 10.

The Times Higher Education’s

methodology includes five factors

– learning environment, research,

citations, international outlooks and

industry income – all of which can be

positively impacted by initiatives like

the NZ-FAPESP funding and Tripartite


“Internationalisation is all about

building and maintaining relationships.

I am very proud that ENZ has not

only managed to sustain this crucial

link with China, but built new connections

with Brazil,” Mr McPherson said.



not think that we have seen yet the full

context of the targeted training and

apprenticeship funds that have been

released, and I do not think that we

have seen the full impact of what is

happening from an economic point of

view either,” Mr Gray said.


AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack

said that domestic enrolments

were about 150 students lower than at

the same time last year, but the gap had

been closing steadily this week.

It was not yet experiencing a pandemic-influenced

jump in enrolments,

McCormack said.

“It might be a bit of a lag phase

as people think through what they

are doing as some jobs now start to

become non-viable, some companies

down-sizing after they’ve gone through

a period of wage subsidy. I think that we

might see that happening perhaps in the

first semester next year rather than right

now,” Mr McCormack said.

John Gerritsen is Education Correspondent

for Radio New Zealand. The above Report has

been published under a Special Arrangement

with www.rnz.co.nz

“Over the history of the Tripartite

Fund, we have seen positive outcomes

across a variety of research areas

including environmental protection

and climate change, health and

medicine, animal science, educational

development, media literacy, renewable

energy and the conservation

and heritage of national parks. The

partnership with FAPESP also started

with relevant areas for New Zealand,

like education, engineering, biological

sciences and health. It is a mark of the

high-quality and reputation of New

Zealand’s universities’ that they all are

able to enter in the Tripartite Fund

and arrangements like the one with

FAPESP,” he added.

Source: Education New Zealand


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AUGUST 1, 2020


Fiji goes for high deficit US$ 1.7 billion Budget

Christine Rovoi

Fiji’s government has projected a

$US 1.7 billion National Budget for

the 2020-2021 financial year.

In delivering the historic Budget

on July 17, 2020, Minister for Economy

and Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

also announced a $US 930 million

stimulus package to fund the country’s

recovery from the impact of the Covid-19


He said that the deficit will be steep - at

20.2%, pushing the debt to GDP ratio to


But the costs of doing nothing were far

steeper, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Restructuring loans

“The government has worked with

financial sector to restructure over $US

1.6 billion in loans, freeing businesses

and families from mandatory monthly

loan repayments,” he said.

He said that 86,000 Fijians had

accessed relief payments from their pension

fund (Fiji National Provident Fund)

in phase one of unemployment benefits

and another 26,000 were accessing relief

payments in phase two.

“Over F$ 62 million has been paid

out to the affected Fijians, with the

government stepping in with around

F$12 million to top-up accounts to ensure

that full payments were delivered to all

who qualified.

The third phase of unemployment

relief would be funded by the government

with another $US 9.3 million,” Mr

Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Tax reductions and rebate package

He said that tax reductions, valued at

about $US 232 million, “an unprecedented


“Apart from the reduction in taxes,

the government will be working through

Fiji Airways to provide the first 150,000

visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime travel

Fiji’s National Economy and Finance Minister

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

stipend of around $US 185 per passenger

to go towards tourism packages

including flights, hotels and meals and

beverages,” he said and announced a

recovery rebate package worth $US 28

million to revitalise the tourism sector.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that the move

was aimed at filling hotels by creating

attractive packages for visitors to escape

the pandemic in “paradise.”

“This has the potential to rekindle the

immense, far-reaching economic impact

the industry has on Fijian families,” he



Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that Fiji’s

remittances are projected to fall 15% as

other economies decline and that foreign

direct investment is set to plunge 40%.

The once-thriving garment-makers

have seen orders halted and supply

chains disrupted.

“Driven by this global fallout, we

are now projecting the single largest

economic contraction in Fijian history,

some 21.7%. Already, 115,000 Fijians -

one-third of our workforce - have had

their hours reduced or lost their jobs

entirely,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that the government

had allocated $US 9.2 million

for unemployment relief.

Those whose working days or hours

have been reduced are to receive $US

20.40 per fortnight for everyday out

of work. Workers who are now only

employed three days a week can get up

to $US 40.70 every two weeks. Those

working only one day a week can receive

$US 81.50 and unemployed people are to

receive $US 101.90 per fortnight.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that before

the pandemic, Fiji expected its tourism

numbers to climb.

“We were expecting to welcome a

number of tourists that matched the

number of Fijians. But with international

passenger flights grounded, tourism

revenues have evaporated. That is 40%

of our GDP lost in a matter of days, or

even hours, and the ripple effects have

dropped Fiji’s economic activity to its

lowest level ever,” he said.

Tourism tax removal

To assist the tourism industry,

operators get back on their feet, the

government has removed the 6% Service

Turnover Tax (STT).

He said that other measures include

reducing the Environment and Climate

Adaptation Levy from 10% to 5% across

the board, removing F$ 100 off the

departure tax.

“For the reduced ECAL, the turnover

threshold is now F$ 3 million annually,

more than double the previous amount

of F$ 1.25 million. So, for mid-sized

tourism operators and other businesses

like restaurants, rental car companies

and cafes, ECAL is dropping to zero,” Mr

Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Business licence ends

He said that from August 1, 2020, the

business license regime will end.

Anyone keen on starting a business

in Fiji in the next financial year can

complete an “easy, online business

incorporation and tax registration and

you’re in business.”

Mr Khaiyum said that there is no

longer necessary to fork out the money

or the time it takes to obtain a business

licence in Fiji.

But he said there were some guidance

around this.

“Once they have registered with the

Companies Office, low-risk businesses

(for example, a shoe store) can open

their doors and start selling to customers


“Other higher risk businesses,

which involve people’s health, such

as restaurants, will need to tick a few

more regulatory boxes before starting

operations,” he said.

Salary, spending cuts

The government will cut salaries for

all Permanent Secretaries, CEOs and

Heads of Commissions and independent

bodies by 10%, effective from next


This does not apply to the legislature

and judiciary as they are independent

arms of the State, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum


He said that in the Covid-19 Response

Budget released in March 2020,

government ministers had taken the first

salary cut of 20%, which would remain

through the next year.

“For the rest of the Civil Service, we

are not cutting salaries. Pay cuts start

with the leadership and that is where the

biggest cuts have stopped, because that

what leaders do,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that the government

aims to reduce spending: meal

allowances from $20 to $10. Instead of

paying overtime, the government would

give ‘time enough in lieu of overtime.’

“We will be suspending the rural housing

allowance and bundled insurance

will now only apply to social welfare

recipients,” he said.

Other budgetary announcements

The guaranteed price for cane in the

final third season will be reduced from

$US 39 top $US 32 a tonne.

The data levy, introduced last year

and the telecommunications service

licensing fee, have been replaced with a

2% revenue-based telecommunications

licence fee.

For subsidised customers of Energy

Fiji Limited, the first 100 units of power

will continue to be discounted through

March 31, 2021.

The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has

been allocated $US 162 million, up from

$US 128 million in the Covid-19 Response

Budget, with $US 32.4 million for road


Free education will continue with

free textbooks provided. Subsidised

transportation to school will be paid by

the government.

Free medicine would be paid as a part

of the free healthcare access.

Funding to NGOs will continue.

Vulnerable citizens will continue to

receive special efforts to ensure they

keep pace with others

The government will cut $US 3.7

million across its foreign missions by

centralising country accreditation.

Missions in Washington DC, Seoul, Port

Moresby, Brussels and Kuala Lumpur

will be closed permanently.

Instead, diplomatic missions in

Geneva, New York, Tokyo, London,

Abu Dhabi, Wellington, Beijing, Jakarta,

New Delhi and Canberra will expand

country accreditation and engage more

locally-based staff. For example, the New

York Mission will represent Fiji in Washington,

which is only one hour away by

plane, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

The Fijian Parliament will resume on

July 22, 2020 and the Budget debate will

begin on July 30.

Christine Rovoi is Pacific Journalist at Radio

New Zealand. The above Report and Picture

have been published under a Special Arrangement

with www.rnz.co.nz



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AUGUST 1, 2020

Team of Six Million’ dubs Covid quarantine fees unfair

Laura Walters

Overseas Kiwis affected by the

new managed isolation fees say

that the Policy does not stand up

to the usual tests of efficiency or


When Minister in charge of Managed

Isolation and Quarantine Dr Megan

Woods announced a new, user-pays managed

isolation system, expat Facebook

groups quickly became crammed with

impassioned comments.

Coordinated opposition

Over the past few weeks, these groups

have been dedicated to mounting a coordinated,

sustained and well-reasoned

opposition to a fee for Kiwis coming into

the country.

There have been surveys, petitions and

legal advice, as well as the exploration

of potential human rights breaches and

breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, should a

charge be introduced.

The pages have been filled with

tear-inducing stories about those who

would be cut off from spouses, children

and parents.

At first glance, the Government has

done exactly what many overseas Kiwis

feared: there will soon be a $3100 fee

for the first person’s two-week stay in

managed isolation, with a $950 charge

for each additional adult, and $475 for

each additional child.

The Policy in practice

But a second look shows that is not

really how the policy would work in


Anyone moving home permanently

would be exempt. Those unable to pay

will be exempt. People with sick or dying

Quarantine fees will apply just to 10% of arriving

people (Photo for Newsroom by John Sefton)

relatives: exempt. Other extenuating

circumstances: probably exempt.

It is those occupying the “squeezed

middle” who look most likely to be

affected. A small number who are not

in financial hardship, but generally

live pay-check to pay-check, and would

struggle to travel with this added cost.

Given that there is such a long list of

exemptions: why bother at all?

The fees are expected to apply to just

10% of those using managed isolation

and the amount that the government

expects to recover in costs is between $2

million and $9 million.

It will cost $600,000 to administer.

It is about fairness

When asked if the law was supposed

to be a deterrent, rather than a revenue

gatherer, Dr Woods said, “No, it is about


Sense Partners Economist Shamubeel

Eaqub said that every policy needs to

meet an efficiency and fairness test.

“I suspect that efficiency is limited in

this case, given regulatory burden and

very low revenue likely to be generated,”

he said.

But not all the costs and benefits are

financial, and the trade-off between

fairness and efficiency are not equal.

Some of it is about signalling that the

government is using the country’s collective

resources wisely and thwarting


Mr Eaqub said that from a purely

economic perspective, this Policy will

Transparency comes to the fore as polling date nears

Suzanne Snively

On September 19, 2020,

New Zealanders will

elect the government

that will lead the

economy towards recovery

from the downturn caused by

the unprecedented Covid-19

pandemic crisis.

Political parties are in election

mode already. Candidate

selections are being completed.

The Parties’ list candidates are

being confirmed. Parliament

is sitting late into the evening

to progress as much legislation

as possible prior to the

official beginning of the election


Elections and the Economy

In past election years, once

the central Government campaigning

starts, the economy

has tended to march in place.

It is only when the election

outcome is clear, that activity

begins to gear up again.

The extent of the normal preand

post-election slowdown

may be allayed with the current

coalition Government’s extension

of the $5.2 billion business

cash-flow loan scheme for

Covid-19 impacted businesses

until the end of the year.

The challenge is to find

timely economic data that is

as transparent as the daily

reporting of Covid cases. Such

transparency to inform

business decision-making will

be the difference between the

government stimulus package

aligning with business.

It is also a way to ensure that

the business sector invests in

future prosperity instead of

resources being channelled into

corrupt purposes.

Politicians fill the vacuum

generated by limited economic

data with their own analysis of

the likely outcome of economic

policies. This is where transparency

about the basis for

their analysis and the integrity

about their reasoning leading

to outcomes, is important for


Addressing corruption

As has become customary,

Transparency International

New Zealand (TINZ) has

prepared a questionnaire for

all major political parties about

their approach to addressing

corruption through strengthening

integrity systems.

There are two innovations in

this year’s questionnaire. One is

feedback from TINZ’s members

to shape the questions. Secondly,

the questions are designed to

gain an understanding of how

the different political parties

are preparing to ensure that

spending during the pandemic

recovery is applied to support

business recovery, rather than

for corrupt purpose.

Political parties have been

asked to provide answers

about their approach to

preventing corruption through

their principles, values, and

practices in 7 broad areas: (1)

Post pandemic recovery (2)

Political party and campaign

funding (3) Code of ethics (4)

Protection for whistle-blowers

(5) Sustainable development (6)

Open government (7) Beneficial


The responses will be published

in our August edition.

Questions for voters,


Another TINZ initiative for

this important pandemic-recovery

election has been to develop

a set of questions that members

of the public can ask political


These open-ended questions

not be worth the bother.

“But from a political economy perspective,

it is,” he said.

Dr Woods said that all Kiwis would

agree a fee is fair “in the right balance.”

Election strategy

But with September 19 (general election)

looming, this decision seems to be

more about being seen to be fair, rather

than actually enacting a fair scheme.

Infometrics senior economist Brad

Olsen agrees this needs to be seen in the

context of the upcoming election.

The government needs to have regard

for financial prudence in the face of

higher debt stemming from the pandemic,

and it does not want to be seen as

providing everything for free.

There are no good options here, Mr

Olsen said.

But while the small amount of

revenue generated hardly seems worth

the while, it is important to remember

the country does not have a money tree

funding various Covid-related costs.

Everyone benefits from isolation, he


“If everyone benefits, it seems

appropriate that everyone (taxpayers

and those returning) both shoulder the

cost,” Mr Olsen said.

Debate and disagreement

But those who have been excluded

from the ‘Team of Five Million’ say that

this Policy does not seem fair.

While the debate began under the

guise of cost burdens and the prudent

use of taxpayer funds, it is become about

values and a disagreement over what

constitutes fairness.

It is sad to hear those who are usually

cheerleading for New Zealand (often ad

nauseum) saying they have lost their

pride in their country over the way the

debate has played out.

are broadly aligned with the

topics above.

The antidote for corruption is


Parliamentarians have a

major role to play in national

leadership and in their electorates

to contain the virus. The

government has an important

stewardship role.

Transparently monitoring

and reporting negative as well

as positive economic trends

enables everyone to see for

themselves what is working

and what is not working.

Unknown factors

There are many unknowns

about the health consequences

of the novel Covid Coronavirus.

What is known from experience

to date is that integrity of

analysis about the number of

cases and open communication

with the wider public can

reduce the spread of the virus

and save lives.

It can also build assurance

and confidence about the


As New Zealand moves

through response to and

recovery from the Covid-19

pandemic, the government’s

integrity when addressing

corruption becomes more

important than ever.

New Zealand has demonstrated

that our team of five

million can work together

to contain Covid-19. Now, by

strengthening integrity systems,

there can be a more robust economic

recovery. Transparency

leads the way to prosperity.

Suzanne Snively is the Chair of the

Wellington based Transparency

International New Zealand Inc.

The above article appeared in the

July 2020 Edition of Transparency

Times.’ Suzanne Snively (Photo

Credit: David Dunsheath)

There has been a string of comments

from Kiwis saying people who abandoned

their country not only did not

deserve government-funded managed

isolation, or call themselves citizens, but

did not deserve to live.

One expat said that they have never

been more disappointed in New Zealand,

another said they were embarrassed to

be a Kiwi.

“It’s a shame that the team of five

million apparently do not care about

anyone but themselves. I was so proud

of you all before. Proud to be a Kiwi

watching you come together to protect

our country and our people. Now all you

have done is show that Kiwis are not so

kind after all,” one said.

Throughout the pandemic, New

Zealand spoke about working as a team;

about coming together (apart).

Looming separation

Now, overseas Kiwis have detailed

how this fee will keep them from

their spouses, their children, and their

parents, at a time when they felt they

needed to be together.

For someone like Yvette Webster, it is

hard to sell this fee policy compromise

as fair.

Webster lives in Scotland with her

husband, and has lost 80% of her income

due to Covid.

Earlier this year, her father was

diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer. He was

too sick to attend Webster’s wedding in

Scotland, and will undergo surgery later

this year, after four rounds of intense


She was planning to travel home in

December after being away for four


Her husband has never met his


“Paying for quarantine will cripple us

financially and we would have to borrow

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Parliament Buildings, Wellington.


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Electorate this


I am delighted the Mt Roskill electorate

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western boundary will be Whitney St. Go

to www.vote.nz for detailed information.

Dr Parmjeet Parmar

National List MP

based in Mt Roskill


money to be able to pay for it,” she said.

The real costs

Flights, managed isolation charges,

and the time off work would put the trip

at a cost of $14,000. She has no idea if she

would be exempt from the fee.

Ms Webster said that it is unfair that

expats - and New Zealand-based Kiwis

needing to travel overseas to visit family

- should be lumped with costs when

quarantine benefits everyone.

“A majority of Kiwis are returning

home for genuine reasons. I do not think

that many Kiwis are just planning a

holiday - we have a variety of reasons

for coming home and the majority of

us just want to see our loved ones. The

law change is creating a second class of

citizens who are deemed as ‘tourists’ in

their own country,” she said.

Like others, Ms Webster is eagerly

awaiting further details on how the

system will work.

Team of Six Million

Max Harris, one of the coordinators of

advocacy group The Team of Six Million

- Kiwis United Against Quarantine Fees

said that the decision not to charge those

returning permanently was good news

for thousands of New Zealanders.

For those affected by the scheme, the

announcement was a “major disappointment,

which could cause “significant


“We should not be disconnecting

people from support during this global


Mr Harris said that his advocacy

group, which has about 3500 members,

is calling on the government to leave the

introduction of regulations until after the

election, when it has a mandate for the


Laura Walters is Senior Political Reporter at

Newsroom in Wellington, covering Justice,

Education and the upcoming campaign. The

above Report has been published under a

Special Arrangement with Newsroom.


AUGUST 1, 2020


Stringent defamation laws toughens editorial calls

The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

ISSUE 443 | AUGUST 1, 2020


Partnership gets stronger

Police Commissioner

Andy Coster has set a

laudable target for New

Zealand Police, namely,

strengthening Partnership

with communities.

His objective gains added

dignity since it encompasses

inclusiveness, intensifying

the importance of ethnic


Describing the Police as a

‘genuine blue line,’ he said that

New Zealand can become the

safest country in the world

only through community


“I am greatly heartened by

the level of collaboration that I

am seeing in communities and

across the public service. We

need to keep building on this,

seeking genuine partnership

to strengthen communities.

There are a range of practical

things that fall out of these

priorities and we have already

started,” he said, speaking at

the Powhiri held in his honour

in Wellington on July 31, 2020.

An exemplary example

The need for Police-Public

Partnership has never

been stronger and the

Police-Community relationship

has never been stronger as it

is now in New Zealand. The

Christchurch massacre on

March 15, 2020, which took 51

Electionlink launch

opens battle gates

The launch of ‘Electionlink’

of this newspaper

by Kelvin Davis on

behalf of Labour Party

on July 20, 2020 and by Simon

Bridges on behalf of National

Party on July 27, 2020 marked

the beginning of what promises

to be an honest carrier

of news and views in a major

battle for the ballot.

We have started carrying

views, opinions and features

written by journalists, analysts,

politicians, supporters of political

parties and most important

of all, our people every day.

As in the past, this would be a

no-holds-barred, free-for-all

coverage. Those with strong

political views would be able

to use this veritable platform

openly and frankly, keeping

of course to the confines of

decency and legitimate limits

of propriety.

Elections are fought in the

free world with ferocity, with

politicians and their supporters

accusing their opponents

of almost anything that they

believe, without the obligation

of having to provide any proof.

lives, injuring another 51 or

more persons reiterated the

existence of that relationship.

Looking at a few other countries,

America in particular, it

is evident that New Zealand

can become a prime example

of exemplary Police-Public

Partnership. USA is engulfed in

its most widespread, sustained

unrest in almost 70 years.

In the days since May 25,

2020, Americans have seen

their police forces look and act

less like public servants sworn

to protect their fellow citizens

than like an invading army. A

policeman in Brooklyn yanked

off a protester’s mask to

pepper-spray him in the face.

A key part of the approach is

for the Police and community

leaders to identify the young

people (generally males) most

likely to commit crimes, and

then to work together to stop

them doing so. The ‘Mentor,

Monitor, Minister’ strategy

involves counselling, training

and jobs.

Nowadays, Police in some

States actively seek out firms

to offer work for young people

they have been mentoring. All

this goes much farther than

New Zealand’s policy of Neighbourhood

Policing, ramped up

in recent years.

Until recently, general

elections in New Zealand were

marked by humour, goodwill

for each other, with hardly any

personal references. But over

the past few years, the gloves

have come off and politicians

have not only begun to punch

but also resort to a war of

words, which, according to

many, is ‘Dirty Politics.’

We are balanced

Ministers, Parliamentarians

of all groupings often tell us

the New Zealand Media is

biased but many of them are

tilted. MPs and selected candidates

of opposition parties

say that their statements and

speeches are always taken out

of context by some in the print

media and on the radio and

hence the people do not get the

benefit of balanced views.

Indian Newslink has

always been a newspaper

that has been neutral in its

approach towards politics. Our

platform is open with leaders

of political parties and others

to promote their policies and


Indian 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; Accountant: Uma Venkatram CA;

Phone: (09) 5336377 Email: info@indiannewslink.co.nz

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

Hayden Donnell

One of the things that destroyed

Todd Muller’s National Party

leadership was an apparent lie

to reporters during the leaked

Covid-19 patient data scandal.

Why were so many media outlets

reluctant to use the ‘L’ word to describe

his dishonesty?

On Thursday last week, Mr Muller

said something which was not true, and

on close examination, looked a lot like

a lie.

TVNZ reporter Thomas Mead was

asking the National Leader if Michelle

Boag was a source for his health

spokesman Michael Woodhouse.

Wrong denial

“Have you spoken to him?” Mead


Mr Muller was unequivocal. “No.”

The following day, he admitted that

he had spoken to Mr Woodhouse before

that denial.

His Health Spokesman had given

him a “heads-up” that he had received

information from Ms Boag, a former

National Party President, on Tuesday.

They had had another conversation

on Wednesday.

Mr Muller also deliberately omitted

details during the press conference,

repeating Ms Boag’s claim to have only

interacted with Clutha-Southland MP

Hamish Walker when he knew that was

not true.

Despite those inconsistencies, the

word “lie” did not appear in the TVNZ 1

News coverage on Friday.

Sharp contradictions

Political Reporter Maiki Sherman

put Muller’s statements throughout

the week in order and showed their

contradictions, but stopped short of

calling them deliberately dishonest.

Instead the National Leader was

labelled “evasive at best” and accused

him of saying something he “knew

wasn’t true.”

Other media also wrestled with the

question of whether to directly accuse

Mr Muller of lying to them. Newstalk

ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan got close

to using the word but stopped just short,

saying that Mr Muller suffered a “lack

of honesty“.

On TVNZ’s Q+A host Jack Tame put

the claim in the form of a question to

National’s deputy leader Nikki Kaye:

“Did your leader lie?”

The New Zealand Herald’s Amelia

Wade led on Muller’s own answer to

that same question.

Monday’s issue of The Bulletin by The

Spinoff also zeroed in on the question

of whether Mr Muller lied. It concluded

he had not, but acknowledged that he

had chosen not to reveal pertinent facts

when given the opportunity.

Outright accusation

Business Desk’s Pattrick Smellie was

the only columnist to accuse Mr Muller

of dishonesty outright, saying that the

National Leader had been “trapped

in a lie” due to Mead’s persistent


Former National Party Leader Todd Muller (RNZ Picture by Dom Thomas

Smellie told Mediawatch that he had

used the phrase because it was the best

description of what took place.

“It was very clear what he was being

asked and it was very clear he didn’t

want to answer it.”

Blatant mistruths

After Mr Muller’s resignation on

Tuesday, New Zealand Herald Political

Editor Audrey Young also accused him

of “blatant mistruths” in Monday’s press


The question of when and whether

to use the word ‘lie’ has been a matter

of heated debate in journalists’ circles

since the rise of Donald Trump.

Dean Bacquet, Editor of The New

York Times, has ordered his reporters

to use the word judiciously when

describing the US President’s hurricane

of misinformation and false claims.

Repeatedly accusing Trump of lying

opens the Times up to claims that it is

partisan, he cautioned.

The obvious counter-argument, made

by commentators including the NYU

Journalism Lecturer Jay Rosen, is that

reporters should describe things accurately

whether or not it is convenient

for them to do so.

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale, who

has reported extensively on Trump’s

falsehoods, defends using the term ‘lie.’

“It is not a departure from objective

journalism to use these words,” he told

The Washington Post. ”Why should

the rules of objective journalism mean

we have to dance around the obvious,

objective truth? If we are going to

get readers to trust us, we have to be

straight with them.”

Muller’s statements were not as clearcut

as some of Trump’s more outlandish


But there may be an element of that

Bacquet-style reticence, or even just

human sympathy, in some journalists’

decisions not to name his comments as

a lie.

Proven intent

Another potential issue is proving intent.

Lying implies setting out to deceive

and Business Desk’s Patrick Smellie

accepted that Mr Muller may have

overstepped while trying to obfuscate.

“I used [trapped in a lie] because it

seemed to me that expressed what had

occurred rather than that he set out to

be mendacious,” he said.

“He just did not want to give that

answer and he tried various ways of not

giving it, and in the end he got trapped

into answering in a way that made it

appear he was saying he had not been

briefed, and then the very next day we

The Iain Lees-Galloway saga ripples

Venkat Raman

Iain Lees-Galloway, a young Minister

with plenty of promise has gone from

the Cabinet.

The 41-year-old Minister for Immigration,

Workplace Relations & Safety

and ACC was dismissed by Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern on July 22, 2020 after he

admitted to an ‘inappropriate relationship’

with a member of staff employed in an

agency related to his portfolio in the

recent past.

Ms Ardern told a press conference

that she took the decision to sack Mr

Lees-Galloway during a meeting with him

the previous evening.

Untenable position

“I sat down with the Minister and asked

him questions and his answers made it

Iain Lees Galloway

clear that his position has become untenable.

He told me that the relationship that

he had with a staffer in one of the agencies

connected with his ministerial duties

ended several months ago. I have taken

into account all factors and decided that

he was not fit to continue as a Minister. He

was the Workplace Relations and Safety

Minister,” she said.

“It became clear that his position as a

find out he has.”

Defamation Laws

New Zealand’s strict defamation laws

are also a factor influencing editorial

calls on whether to use the word lie.

The Bulletin’s writer Alex Braae said

that the potential defamation threat

influenced his decision not to apply the

word to Mr Muller’s comments.

“In my view, Mr Muller’s statements

did not meet the threshold of calling

him a liar in print, which - because of

New Zealand’s defamation laws - is a

real high bar. People can make their

own minds up about whether he was

totally honest,” he said.

These concerns also restricted the

show Mediawatch, which has not

directly accused Mr Muller of lying in

this story.

Other news organisations were less

forthcoming with their reasons for not

using the word. 1 News said it would

rather keep its editorial conversations


However, the potential for defamation

action is an ever-present factor in

media decision-making.

It influences the stories newsrooms

choose to cover and the way their

reports are presented.

Threat to freedom

Wellington lawyer Graeme Edgeler

told Mediawatch in April that defamation

laws are among the greatest threats

to freedom of speech in New Zealand.

He said that they do not give enough

protection to “simple opinion” and put

too much emphasis on maintaining

powerful people’s reputations - at the

expense of free speech.

It is unlikely it would have made a

difference if more media outlets had

accused Muller of lying.

The National Leader tendered his

resignation on Tuesday.

But the reasoning behind their

reporting may still be significant.

If news organisations did not want to

make a call because they did not want

to appear partisan, or out of genuine

doubt, that is at least an arguable


But if the threat of defamation

loomed large in their decision-making,

it may be worth questioning whether

that law is serving as intended.

Instead of protecting the right to free

speech, could our laws be making liars

of our media?

Hayden Donnell is Mediawatch Producer at

Radio New Zealand. The above article and

pictures have been published under a Special

Agreement with www.rnz.co.nz

Minister was untenable as it opened up

allegations of improperly using his office.

I have lost confidence in him,” Ms Ardern


Ms Ardern said that she had to inform

the Governor General of the decision and

withdraw his ministerial warrant and

hence it took several hours to make her

decision effective.

Mr Lees-Galloway returned to his home

in Palmerston North and announced that

he would not contest in the general election

on September 19, 2020.

He said that he accepted the decision of

the Prime Minister.

“I have acted completely inappropriately

in my position and cannot continue as a

Minister. I have apologised to my family for

letting them down. Please appreciate their

privacy. I also apologise to anyone who has

been hurt by my actions,” he said in the


AUGUST 1, 2020




Happy Indian Independence Day!

Best wishes to our Kiwi Indian Communities on

the 73rd anniversary of Indian Independence

Hon Jenny Salesa

MP for Manukau East

Minister for Ethnic Communities


04 817 8714

Freepost PO Box 18 888

Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160

Priyanca Radhakrishnan

Labour List MP based in Maungakiekie

Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities


09 622 2660

Level 1, Crighton House, 100 Neilson Street

(entrance on Galway Street), Onehunga, Auckland

Authorised by Priyanca Radhakrishnan MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington


AUGUST 1, 2020


Matariki could replace Queen’s Birthday as National Holiday

Peter Dunne

The period of Matariki, the

celebration of the Māori

New Year, which began

earlier this week, is being

celebrated increasingly as an

important national event.

While many other countries

have their own form of New Year

celebrations, Matariki is uniquely

New Zealand. As such, it deserves

special recognition.

We already celebrate great annual

events from other cultures, such

as Diwali and Chinese New Year,

which is good, but now is the time

to give Matariki the prominence it


Largely local

Yet most of the celebrations

around Matariki are locally organised.

Usually local communities

and councils play their part in

putting together local festivities

such as fireworks displays or other

celebratory events. Unlike Waitangi

Day, or even ANZAC Day, the two

New Fund offers $500,000 to

Auckland charities

Supplied Content

Large numbers of community

groups are struggling to

meet basic operating costs

including; power bills, PPE

and water rates according to new


New funding application data

show that the average amount of

funding sought by Auckland charities

to cover their current overheads

is almost $8000.

The figures also reveal that operating

expenses were higher among

community and wellbeing groups

as well as environmental and arts


The new initiative

Over 100 charities who have seen

a significant increase in demand for

their services, and are struggling to

meet their operating costs as a result

of Covid-19, will now receive a share

of more than $500,000, thanks to a

new emergency fund.

The diverse range of community

organisations which operate in

The Trusts CEO Allan Pollard

(Picture Supplied

the Auckland region have applied

for a grant from The Trusts Your

West Support Fund to cover a wide

range of expenses.

Trusts CEO Allan Pollard said

other uniquely New Zealand special

days which we commemorate each

year, there is no national occasion

organised to celebrate Matariki.

The time has come to change

that. Matariki deserves its own

special day of celebration and is

worthy of a public holiday in its

honour. Even though there is a general

wariness in New Zealand about

creating more public holidays, as

the debate a few years ago about

‘Mondayising’ Waitangi and ANZAC

Days showed, we are still on the

light side of the number of public

holidays most countries celebrate.

Adding another holiday to celebrate

a significant national event is

unlikely to bring the economy to its

knees as some critics might argue.

Replace Queen’s Birthday

In any case, the establishment

of a national public holiday to

mark Matariki need not entail the

creation of an additional public

holiday. It could be done by simply

replacing an existing public holiday

that has become obsolete. An obvious

candidate in this regard is the

current Queen’s Birthday holiday at

the start of June.

As New Zealand culturally diversifies,

the celebration of the British

Monarch’s birthday, with full military

honours and all the trappings

besides becomes more and more

incongruous. At a time when New

Zealand is trying to shake off the

final vestiges of its colonial past

and assert its identity as a modern

Pacific nation nothing can continue

to appear more absurd than the

annual official celebration of the

birthday of a hereditary ruler on

the other side of the world.

Queen’s Birthday Holiday is an

occasion whose time has well and

truly past, and it should be replaced

with an event far more relevant

to the lives and world views of

contemporary New Zealanders.

Perfect substitute

Matariki Day would be the perfect

substitute for the anachronistic

Queen’s Birthday.

Occurring at about the same time

of year as Queen’s Birthday, Matariki

would also have the practical

advantage of ensuring that New

Zealanders still get a public holiday

during the long winter months.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours

List could easily become the Matariki

Honours List, which would be a

that the high volume of funding

requests received in the past two

weeks suggests many local charities

are struggling to stay afloat.

Covid impact on income

“We know that the pandemic has

had a significant impact on the normal

income streams of community groups.

These are organisations providing

blankets, food and support services to

the most vulnerable members of our

community,” he said.

Mr Pollard said that what was

particularly concerning to see was

that many of these organisations

have asked for help to cover their

fundamental operating needs such as

power, internet and rent.

“For many of these groups, this

funding will be an essential lifeline to

help them continue to support their

community in a post-Covid environment,”

he said.

Mr Pollard said that the requests

for support exceeded more than $1.1

million and cover a wide range of

organisations including food charities,

whanau-based support, elderly and

youth support services, hospice as well

as environmental and sporting groups.

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nice counterpoint to the New Year’s

Honours List released in January.

And the dwindling pageantry now

associated with Queen’s Birthday

could be incorporated into the

wider celebrations of Matariki, if it

be so wished. In short, Matariki has

a far more New Zealand ring about

it than Queen’s Birthday ever did.

Timid assertion

Bicultural New Zealand has

been engaged in an often too timid

assertion of its national identity for

some generations now.

Yet while our population has

become more diverse, and our

absorption of aspects of other

cultures more extensive, especially

since the 1990s, we have been too

slow to move to ensure that our

national structures reflect both that

emerging diversity and our own

bicultural environment.

Despite successive Prime

Ministers piously acknowledging

the inevitability that New Zealand

will become a republic, none has

done anything to advance that. And

notwithstanding Britain’s abrupt

casting aside of New Zealand when

it wanted to join the European Community

in the 1970s, New Zealand

has rushed to be near the top of the

queue in negotiating a free trade

agreement with Britain now that it

has decided it no longer wants to be

part of Europe after all.

Progressive identity

The time has come for this country

to start matching its lofty and

bold talk about our progressive and

independent identity with some

action that shows we take that talk


Continuing the way we are, with

no substantive action to follow,

will, over time, led to more and

more alienation and potential social


Moving now to replace Queen’s

Birthday with the far more relevant

Matariki Day would be a simple,

but important step forward and a

signal that as a country we were

genuine in our desire to establish

and promote our identity and pride

in all facets of what it means to be a

New Zealander today.

Peter Dunne was a Minister of the Crown

under Labour and National-led governments

from November 1999 to September

2017. He lives in Wellington.

Restricting freedom of

speech is harmful to society

Danielle van Dalen


do not particularly love

confronting people.

But I know that when it is

done well, disagreement can

be incredibly powerful.

An open letter On Justice and

Open Debate published last week,

suggests the 150 signatories think

similarly. The letter claims that an

increasingly hostile environment

and growing restriction to freedom

of speech and expression is

harmful to society.

Open Letter

It says: “The free exchange

of information and ideas, the

lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily

becoming more constricted. While

we have come to expect this on

the radical right, censoriousness is

also spreading more widely in our

culture: an intolerance of opposing

views, a vogue for public shaming

and ostracism, and the tendency

to dissolve complex policy issues

in a blinding moral certainty. We

uphold the value of robust and

even caustic counter-speech from

all quarters. But it is now all too

common to hear calls for swift and

severe retribution in response to

perceived transgressions of speech

and thought.”

After the letter was published,

however, some of its signatories

denounced it – one even saying “I

am so sorry” – due to some of the

views of other signatories. (Notably

JK Rowling, who has recently

received significant criticism for

her comments on transgenderism,

was a signatory).

Ironic response

This response seems somewhat


It is an example of the failure to

listen to opposing ideas that the

letter tried to address.

In fact, some of the signatories

have since said as much.

Author Malcolm Gladwell, for

example, tweeted: “I signed the

Harpers letter because there were

lots of people who also signed

the Harpers letter whose views I

disagreed with. I thought that was

the point of the Harpers letter.”

Or Thomas Chatterton Williams,

who spearheaded the letter, tweeted:

“this letter is not a statement

about everyone agreeing with

every position every signatory has.

The diversity of its signatories is its

strength – not a weakness.”

Agree to disagree

We need to be brave enough

to agree with the ideas of people

we regularly disagree with on

other issues. We could even learn

to have conversations about

the issues we disagree on. The

conversation will likely end with

both people holding their original

position and that is okay. What is

important is that everyone leaves

with a deeper understanding of the

person they disagree with and why

they disagreed in the first place.

While that is easier said than

done, it is incredibly important for

the functioning of society.

In fact, without healthy disagreements,

strong societal divisions are

much more likely to arise.

The Coddling of the American

Mind, by Jonathan Haidt (another

signatory) and Greg Lukianoff,

confronts this very issue.

They suggest that having

conversations with people you

disagree with are essential for

building resilience and learning to

adapt and grow.

Of course, this does not mean

that anything goes. Bullying is

never okay.

But there is a difference between

bullying and thorough intellectual


So, as someone who does not

particularly enjoy confrontation or

disagreement, it is important that

I learn to do it well – even when it

is difficult.

The stakes are too high to say no.

Danielle van Dalen is a Researcher at

the Auckland-based Maxim Institute.

AUGUST 1, 2020



A vital link between people, solutions and expertise.

The skills you require and people who can do it.



AUGUST 1, 2020


Papatoetoe Rotary plans more community projects

Venkat Raman

Rotary Club of Papatoetoe

Central is planning to

increase its community

welfare projects to bring

relief to the poorer and vulnerable

sections of the society, Public

Relations Director Raj Pardeep Singh

has said.

He said that as one of the

youngest Rotary Clubs (established

in November 2015) in the District,

Papatoetoe Central is keen to pursue

the objectives of Rotary International

with vigour.

Annual fundraiser

“We are working on our Annual

Fundraising Dinner which, apart

from mobilising financial resources

for worthy causes, will provide fun

and entertainment to the entire

family. Our Club is a real potpourri

of cultures and people, with current

members from different walks of

life like doctors, teachers, financiers,

businessmen, consultants, publishers

and health professionals. I am

looking forward to making it a place

where people who want to make

difference by providing volunteer

services can meet and share their

views and thoughts,” he said.

Mr Singh said that his aim is to

lead, motivate and inspire club

members while ensuring that

the Club’s focus and values are


Raj Pardeep Singh (File Photo)

Some members of the 2020-2021 team

“The Club is bridging the gap between

the communities by offering

volunteer services and getting involved

in community projects. We

welcome new members who have a

passion for serving the community

while making new friends along the

Rotary Papatoetoe President Kulbir Singh with

Immediate Past District Governor Gary Langford

way,” he said.

Members meet at 7 pm every

Monday at Haveli Indian Restaurant

located at 736 Great South

Road, Manukau.

About Rotary Papatoetoe

Established in October 2015, the

Rotary Papatoetoe comprises people from diverse communities

Rotary Club of Papatoetoe Central

works with local professionals to

raise funding for good causes.

Although a majority of its members

are professionals from the Indian

community in South Auckland,

the Club is open to all ethnic groups

and cultures. It is also represented

by women with excellent leadership


Mr Singh said that during the past

five years, the Club completed many

community projects and served the

wider South Auckland community.

Professionals and community


“On July 18, 2020, the Rotary Club

of Papatoetoe Central had their

changeover function at Mehman

India Restaurant in Howick,

Auckland. Kulbir Singh, the first turban-wearing

Sikh became President

of a Rotary Club in New Zealand. His

team includes philanthropist professionals

who are lawyers, teachers,

financial advisors and businessmen,”

Mr Singh said.

He is among the professionals in

the team. Among them are Manu

Singh, Yashveen Singh, Sunil

Aggarwal, PJ Dhatt, Deepak Sharma,

Gurjinder Singh, Raj Chand, Akhilesh

Chaudhary, Praveen Chand, Nek

Mohammed, Gurjinder Ghuman,

Karnail Singh, Daman Kaur, Nikita

Chand, Naleen Chand, Jaspinder

Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur, Aloka Peacock

and Mustaq Sheikh.

“Rotary values diversity and celebrates

the contributions of people of

all backgrounds, regardless of their

age, ethnicity, race, colour, abilities,

religion, socioeconomic status,

culture, sex, sexual orientation, and

gender identity. The Club belongs to

New Zealand, District 9920,” he said.

Death of young Akash Anthony throws community into grief

Venkat Raman

There are times when a

journalist is too emotionally

charged to report on an


There are times when the subject

of a report is someone close to the

journalist’s heart and that of his


Akash Anthony was a son as

much to my family as he was to

that of the late Wenceslaus Anthony

and his wife Susan and a darling

brother to Sneha and her husband

Mario Saverimuttu.

Unbelievable and painful

That Akash died on Saturday, July

18, 2020 in Sydney while on a visit

was too difficult to fathom.

That the ever-smiling, well-mannered

young man- he was only

27- is gone, is excruciating.

That this child of God went beyond

the clouds to which he soared

as a pilot is unbelievable.

And that he died within the

same week of his father’s third

anniversary (Wenceslaus Anthony

passed away in Chennai on July 23,

2020 following a sudden illness) is

even more tragic.

Relationships are sacred and

when people are united in a bond,

the pain is insufferable when

one of them leaves- the reason is


Good habits, manners

Akash, as I knew him, was a bubbling

young man- he had simple

habits and achievable objectives.

He was a great son, even a greater

brother and an ambitious pilot

who wanted to be on air all the

time- flying an aircraft and carrying

people in it.

We spent more than 20 hours

Akash Anthony: Unbelievable, harsh reality

A great Cricketer but the innings were

very short: Akash Anthony with his Coach

Nazeem Smith in 2010

together travelling to Chennai to

attend first anniversary prayer

at his tomb and attend other

meetings and services in Chennai

in July 2018. Those hours gave me

an insight to the mind and heart

Akash with his mother Susan, Sister Sneha and father (the late) Wenceslaus Anthony

of the fine young man that Akash

had become.

“I want to see my sister married

and settled and look after my

mother,” he had said, apart from

detailing his attitude towards life

and people.

Little did I (for that matter even

Akash) knew that the situation

would change so much for the


Message from Sister

His sister Sneha wrote the following

upon his death:

“I really don’t know how we are

going to even put one foot in front of

the other without you. Each minute

feels like the biggest challenging

nightmare. Still grieving the loss

of dad and then this happens. One

of the happiest most generous

kind-hearted non-judgemental

funniest people and the best little

brother ever. I have no words and

no idea what to do.

“Let us all be kind to each other

and know that hard times don’t

last forever and we need to push

through and look after our mental

health. He was always the happiest

and most cheerful person we were

so close as a family who talked

always, he called my mum multiple

times a day and told her everything

and no one ever thought his mind

would take him so quickly down a

dark spiral from which he could not

return. Please pray for him and the

family we just don’t know what to


About Akash Anthony

Akash was just a boy of six

when he migrated to New Zealand

with his parents and sister and I

remember him as an energetic boy

interested in Cricket, music and of

course flying.

Indian Newslink carried a story

in its September 15, 2010 issue, with

the title, ‘Exciting future awaits

young Cricketer.’

He was described as a Cricketer

with a promise and a growing list

of admirers.

Avondale College First XI Cricket

Coach and former Provincial and

International Representative Player

Nazeem Smith said that Akash had

unique qualities and attributes

that could see him as a star and

that he followed the style of Indian

batsman Rahul Dravid.

“I think that he has all the

potential and makings of an

international Cricketer if he keeps

working hard at it. He is a dream

player of any coach and always has

more to offer than offers.”

Like his father Wenceslaus,

Akash inspired, motivated and

brought out the best in others.

He built an extremely good

rapport and popularity amongst his

peers, members of the family and

everyone he knew.

I am grateful to friends- more

than 100 of them- who called,

texted and emailed mourning the

death of Akash. More than 600

people prayed at a Mass held on

Sunday July 26, 2020 at Catholic

Church of Christ the King in Mt

Roskill, Auckland.




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Write nowtovenkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

AUGUST 1, 2020



We should prepare for the next emergency

Danielle van Dalen

The Covid-19 pandemic

saw New Zealand enter its

second nationwide state of


This gave the government access

to levels of power not seen in New

Zealand since the 1950s, perhaps


As a nation, we got lucky this

time; the pandemic exposed constitutional

weaknesses that might

have been exploited if we had

leaders with a more totalitarian


When an extraordinary event

like this occurs, it is important that

we take the time to learn from our

experience. There will always be

another emergency and we need to

be prepared for next time.

Christchurch Earthquakes

New Zealand’s first nationwide

state of emergency was declared

in response to the Christchurch

earthquakes of February 2011.

After the emergency, a

Royal Commission of Inquiry was

established to ensure that the

City would be better prepared for

another earthquake. Following

this example, our recently released

paper Civic Defence: Defining roles

and preparing our democracy for

the next emergency joins lawyers,

academics, and politicians in their

call to establish a Royal Commission

of Inquiry and investigate the

response to the Covid-19 pandemic

and state of emergency.

In the face of the scary unknown

of an emergency, it is easy to accept

the actions of those in charge as

essential to protecting us, and as

a result New Zealanders put a

lot of trust in the government’s

response, readily accepting extreme

restrictions on our freedoms. And

so, in the wake of this historic

moment, it is worth investigating

what happened, and why.

Recognising government actions

I am certainly not suggesting that

our government is authoritarian.

In fact, we would do well to

recognise the success of the government’s

response and celebrate

that New Zealanders currently live

in relative freedom compared to

much of the world.

However, that may be down to

the luck of who was in charge and

that those people were respectful

of the power they held rather than

sufficient constitutional protections.

While this is not an argument in

favour of a written constitution,

no defence against the misuse of

power should depend upon the

goodness of our politicians’ intent.

Both history and international

experience have shown that

without strong democratic practices

and protections there is significant

risk that government control can

extend beyond what is appropriate.

Ensuring that any restrictions to

our freedom are justifiable and

short-term is necessary for sustaining

the democratic values we enjoy

on a daily basis.

Checks and balances

That is why we need the (perhaps

tedious) checks and balances to

protect against any misuse of

power or unnecessary restrictions

BNZ receives Living Wage accreditation

Supplied Content

Bank of New Zealand Ltd

(BNZ) has achieved Living

Wage accreditation.

The achievement

indicates that the bank pays all its

people a Living Wage of no less

than $22.15 per hour and that all

people who regularly undertake

work on its premises and on behalf

Angela Mentis (Photo Courtesy: Stuff)

of the company, including suppliers,

pay their people a Living Wage.

The announcement comes as

banking becomes New Zealand’s

first fully living wage accredited


Chief Executive Angela Mentis

said that BNZ believes that everybody

should be paid a fair wage

that can support them and their

families to meet the cost of living.

“Paying the Living Wage is the

right thing to do, it supports gender

pay equity and helps people lead

better lives. Suppliers and partners

are also part of our wider family.

They help us support our customers

and if you’re undertaking work on

our behalf of BNZ then we want to

ensure you’re getting looked after

and have what you need to live and

pay for necessities,” she said.

of freedom.

It is time to learn from what

has happened and prepare for the


Establishing a Royal Commission

of Inquiry will provide an

important avenue for beginning

this work. We need to identify the

gaps in our constitutional response

and strengthening the checks and

balances to sufficiently protect

against abuse of power, whoever

holds that power.

Another emergency will come,

the task now is to reflect, and

alongside our work to ensure the

long-term survival of our economy,

public health and safety, work to

ensure the long-term survival of

our democracy.

Danielle van Dalen is a Researcher at the

Auckland based Maxim Institute.

Ms Mentis said that BNZ is

pleased to join other good New

Zealand businesses supporting this

positive change.

At $22.15 per hour, the Living

Wage allows people to pay for

the necessities of life by ensuring

they can cover expenses such as

food, transportation, housing and


What are the

referendum questions?

Know before you vote

Authorised by the Secretary for Justice


AUGUST 1, 2020


Top In Town Restaurant opens in Christchurch

Shirish Paranjape

The wait is finally over.

When Housing Minister

Dr Megan Woods cut the

ribbon on Friday, July 10,

2020, she was doing much more

than declaring open the Top in

Town Restaurant in Christchurch.

Her action marked the end of a

long wait for entrepreneur Tanveer

Jahangir Mohammed, his family,

colleagues and friends.

Out of the Ordinary

The opening marked the

beginning of business of a new

type of restaurant in the heart of

Christchurch, serving Hyderabadi

Mughlai style cuisine including a

buffet with a large variety of dishes

all days of the week.

Top in Town in Christchurch is

open from 12 pm to 10 pm every

day and Tanveer plans to extend

those hours in due course.

Tanveer is a New Zealand citizen.

He established ‘Top in Town’

takeaway restaurant and ‘Food City’






Venkat Raman

Eros Now/Eros Entertainment

offers a number of films

other features in several


They lure customers offering a

trial subscription with the promise

that 'You can cancel the subscription


Are you a victim of Eros Now/Eros

Entertainment having taken a trial

subscription but continue to receive

monthly debits on your credit card

despite cancellation and continuous

emails to them?

Have you tried to stop your credit

card payment with your bank but

unable to do so because of the regulations

around this procedure?

Are you at the end of your nerves,

because of the irresponsible behaviour

of this company?

If yes, please respond to this

post and we will continue our fight

against this company as a team.

I look forward to hearing from



Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods speaking at the opening of Top in

Town in Christchurch

An extensive range of dishes every day of the week

Poor mental health is one

of New Zealand’s biggest

societal issues but not a

political management tool.

National Party’s approach is not that

of a government-in-waiting.

Another day, another National MP


In just two short weeks, the Opposition

has lost a leader and five MPs.

Add to that a senior MP stripped

of the crucial health portfolio, and

poll numbers that do little to inspire


This is not a government-in-waiting,

this is a Party in disarray.

Deplorable behaviour

The latest personal transgression

by a National Party MP was deplorable,

and the way it was dealt with

adds to valid criticism of the party’s

recent political management.

National’s attempt to use

mental health as a shield was not

only disingenuous (at best), it also

undermined the progress New

Zealand is making in talking about,

and understanding, mental health

and wellbeing.

On Monday afternoon (July 20),

Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon issued

a statement saying that he would not

contest the upcoming election.

The press release focused on Mr

Falloon’s mental health challenges.

He spoke about friends who had

died by suicide, the impact that had

on him, and his unresolved grief.

One short line hinted there was

more going on: “I have made a

number of mistakes and I apologise

to those who have been affected.”

Minutes later, a short press release

from new National Leader Judith

Collins also spoke about Mr Falloon’s

“significant mental health issues.”

She asked that his privacy be


The toll politics takes

Ms Collins’ statement also alluded

to another reason for Mr Falloon’s

resignation: “The National Party

was advised of an issue relating to

Andrew late on Friday afternoon

Restaurant Owner Tanveer Jahangir Mohammed explains the concept of

Top in Town

on Sandringham Road and later opened a Restaurant

in Papatoetoe in South Auckland. He left for Australia

about ten years ago.

After running successful restaurants on either side

of the Tasman, Tanveer decided to return to New

Zealand this year and settle down in Christchurch to

support his brother Ahmed Iqbal Mohammed, who is a

victim of the terrorist attach Mosques in Christchurch

on March 15, 2019.

However, various stages of lock-down meant that

the inauguration could not happen till now.

The Christchurch massacre

Following the terrorist attack, Tanveer arrived from

Australia and stood in the hospital for 12 days while

his brother was recovering.

“Everyone concerned, including

the government, the New Zealand

Police, the Muslim and other

communities did a great job. I

invited a large number of people

who helped during the post-attack

days to my restaurant for a free

lunch on the opening day,” Tanveer

later told Indian Newslink.

Concerned Police Officers were

also invited to the opening night.

Noble gesture

Dr Woods congratulated and

thanked Tanveer for his gesture of

providing free food to members of

essential services.

She said it was only fitting that

such a fusion restaurant had now

opened for business in the suburb

of Riccarton, which is home to

multicultural communities,

Gamal Fouda, Imam of Al-Noor

Mosque and Community Board

Member, blessed the Restaurant

with recitation of Islamic verses.

The opening ceremony was

covered live on Facebook by Radio

Sadeaala with compering by Yitesh

Sharma, and Habib Mirvat from

the Office of Ethnic Communities.

Shirish Paranjape is our Correspondent

in Christchurch. He is a

member of the Community Board.

Mental Health is not a political management tool

Laura Walters

National Party Leader Judith Collins with Party President Peter Goodfellow and her Caucus

colleagues soon after her election to the post (Picture by Sam Sachdeva for Newsroom)

and we have dealt with it this

morning,” she said.

Neither were upfront about what

the first-term MP had done, or the

severity of his actions.

Instead, the weight was placed

on his mental health issues.

In the following hours, Mr Falloon

received messages of support

- a sign the country is coming to

better understand the toll politics

can take on MPs’ mental health and


This is something New Zealand

witnessed last week when Todd

Muller resigned as leader after just

53 days in the job, citing the pressures

of the role, and the impact on

his mental and physical health.

To New Zealand’s credit, Mr Muller

was commended by many for

putting his health, and his family’s

health, before his job.

It appears that Ms Collins saw

the way the country supported

Muller, and was tempted to try that

approach for a second time. But Mr

Falloon’s situation was different.

The full story

By Monday evening, the full

story had emerged: Mr Falloon

(he reportedly claims someone

else, using his phone) had sent an

unsolicited sexual picture - not of

himself - to a teenager. The girl’s

parents told the Prime Minister’s

office, which referred it to the

National Party.

Police investigated, but said

it did not reach the prosecution


These revelations showed that

the Party had not been upfront

with the whole story. No-one had

signalled the nature of what Mr

Falloon - a 37-year-old MP - had

done, or the severity of his actions.

Unfortunately, lying by omission

is par for the course in politics.

But using mental health as a

shield - a way to keep scrutiny at

bay – is not.

This is not a question of whether

Mr Falloon is experiencing mental

health issues, or whether he should

get the privacy, treatment and

support he deserves - that goes

without saying.

Eroding public trust

But using one of the country’s

biggest social and health issues as

a tool for political management

further erodes public trust in the

Party - something that is already

taken a dive.

Mental health issues are a very

real problem in politics, but not

something to be used as an excuse

for bad behaviour.

It does a disservice to all New

Zealanders who live with mental

health issues, but continue to make

the right decisions, and stand

accountable for their mistakes like

everyone else.

This serious mis-judgment is the

latest in an increasingly chaotic

month for the National Party.

Just two weeks ago, first-term

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish

Walker announced his resignation

from politics after leaking private

health information of Covid-19

patients to the media.

Loss to National

Since then, National has been

bleeding MPs.

Two days after the Walker scandal,

list MP Jian Yang announced he

would retire at the election.

Then Mr Muller announced his

decision to step down as leader.

This sparked an emergency

Caucus meeting, where Ms Collins

was elected as leader, and it was

clear the party would change, with

beltway watchers expecting a surge

to the right and the adoption of a

Crusher Collins ’win at any cost’


Her leadership resulted in the loss

of two more MPs - Amy Adams and

Nikki Kaye.

The departure of the two senior,

and more socially liberal, MPs was

not a surprise to many, but it would

be a loss to National. Both have

experience as ministers, and are

trusted and effective MPs.

The mass exodus of those before

Mr Falloon likely speaks to an

unsettled and divided caucus.

If it is an attempt by Collins to

clean house, she has got the timing


Cleaning house usually comes

after an election loss - not before.

Right now, Ms Collins needs to

be doing all she can to mount a

strong contest come September 19.

Covering for an MP’s bad behaviour

does not achieve that.

Where to get help

1737, Need to talk? Free call or

text 1737 any time for support from

a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09)

5222 999 within Auckland

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828

865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

thelowdown.co.nz – or email

team@thelowdown.co.nz or free

text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand - 0800

ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Supporting Families in Mental

Illness - 0800 732 825

Laura Walters is Senior Political Reporter at

Newsroom in Wellington, covering Justice,

Education and the upcoming campaign. The

above Report has been published under a

Special Arrangement with Newsroom.

AUGUST 1, 2020





Bringing the politicians to you in


election coverage.




AUGUST 1, 2020


Badminton Club brings up sporting talent in Christchurch

Rajeswar Peddisetti

The Telugu Badminton Club

of Canterbury Inc held its

S V Ranga Rao Memorial

Badminton Tournament on

July 19, 2020 in Christchurch.

This annual event this year had

48 players from diverse ethnic

backgrounds, including India, Sri

Lanka, Thailand and Japan.

It was divided into rounds with

four groups made up of 24 pairs.

The top eight pairs with the

highest points were placed in Grade

A grade, the next eight in Grade B

and the remaining eight in Grade C.

The Winners: Grade A: Ajesh Jose

and Martin Thomas; Runners-Up:

Shane Andrew Dominic and

Renchu George. Grade B: Anand

Sathish Kumar and Ashil Joy; Runners-Up:

Dinesh Kumar and Raam

Kumar. Grade C: Abhilash Suja and

Anand Gopakumar. Runners-Up:

Sandesh Chandra and Vignesh


Tournament Highlight

The highlight of the prize

distribution ceremony was that all

the players who participated in the

Tournament had a chance to win a

Yonex Badminton racquet.

The lucky winner was player

Jewel Jolly.

Prizes were presented by Shirish

Paranjape (Community Board

Member and Indian Newslink

Christchurch Correspondent), Uma

Varma (Director of Revathi Performing

Arts) and Venkat Pulakanam

(MBA Programme Director at

University of Canterbury).

Encouraging talent

Distributing prizes to Grade A

Shirish Paranjape with Grade A Winners

Uma Varma with Grade B Winners

winners, Shirish shared his memories

of attending the Tournament

as the Chief Guest from 2017. He

said that it was inspiring to see an

increase in players participating

this year, with the number of teams


Uma thanked the Tournament

organisers, saying that it was

Venkat Pulakanam with Grade C Winners

providing the community an opportunity

to watch and encourage

sporting talent.

Venkat said that when he started

to play Badminton in Christchurch,

there no Club like the Telugu

Badminton Club to conduct regular

games and organise tournaments.

He offered several useful tips to

players on how they can improve

their game from being a mid-range

player to being a performance level


It was great to see the competition

grow not only as a sporting

event, but also as a community


I hope that the Club will conduct

more Tournaments in the future.

I thank volunteers, sponsors and

people of Christchurch for their


Rajeswar Peddisetti is Director of The

Telugu Badminton Club of Canterbury

Inc and organiser of the Tournament,

based in Christchurch.

Teenager wins ABA

Boxing Tournament

Haransh declared winner against Qurban

Sharif from Nabby’s Boxing Gym

Haransh with his brother Ridhwan Deep Singh,

mother Sachi Kaur and father Jasjit Singh

Staff Reporter


teenager from East

Auckland became the

first Sikh amateur to win

in the Auckland Boxing

Association (ABA) Tournament held

at the ABA Stadium, Eden Terrace

on July 11, 2020.

Haransh Singh (16), a Year 12

student at Pakuranga College, is also

the first Sikh Boxer to be signed by

Revills Gym and ABA. He participated

in the 65 Kgs category.

Haransh with his Coach Lance Revill after

the win

“I am grateful to my Coaches at

Revills Boxing Gym, particularly

Lance Revill. My win is due to their

excellent efforts, guidance and

support,” Haransh said.

ABA is the principal Boxing organisation

in Auckland for amateur


About Haransh

Haransh moved to New Zealand

two years ago with his family comprising

his parents and younger

brother Ridhwan Deep Singh. He

has shown interest in athletics since

his formative years in in India, and

has participated in 400 meters at

school events.

Haransh has been training for

past one year in Auckland under

the guidance of Lance Revill, a

Commonwealth Medal Winner and

former President, New Zealand

Professional Boxing Association.

His idol is Mohammad Ali and his

goal is to participate and win in the

Nationals next year and qualify for

Commonwealth Games.




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