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Issue 444 | August 15, 2020 | Free

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Challenges trigger opportunities and potential to achieve

“New Zealand is where good

ideas grow”-Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern

Venkat Raman

New Zealand faces a series

of challenges but each of

these present opportunities

to grow and Kiwis have the

inherent potential to match them,

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Delivering the Indian Newslink

Lecture at Mahatma Gandhi Centre

in Central Auckland on Thursday,

August 6, 2020, she spoke of the ‘larger

challenges that will take longer to

meet.’

“Child poverty, even with $5 billion

investment and the introduction of

new income support and legislation

requiring us to account on poverty

targets, they will still need our attention

and our commitment for years to

come,” she said.

Ms Ardern said that this may lead

people to ask if any of these challenges,

or even our overarching vision for

New Zealand, can really be achieved

when we are in a time and place that

is so fraught with challenge, or as said,

during these unprecedented times.

“My answer to that is, yes. I would

argue that maintaining our sights on

the New Zealand we believe in and

want to build is as important now as

it ever was. And while there are of

course different magnitudes to the

challenges we face as a nation, there

are always challenges,” she said.

Egalitarian and fair-minded

Ms Ardern said that New Zealanders

see themselves as egalitarian.

“We are fierce defenders of the

simple concept of fairness. And

perhaps because of that, nothing gets

our back up more than injustice. We

love our landscapes, our waterways,

our environment. We believe in hard

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking at

the INL Lecture on August 6, 2020

work, problem solving. We are both

pragmatists and dreamers. We do

not believe in things being too hard

or impossible. And we instinctively,

as isolated island dwellers, we know

that what we do impacts on others

and that we have a duty of care to

one another.

“So, if you ask me then what my

vision is for New Zealand, I will tell

you it is to live up to the vision we

already have about what we can be.

To be egalitarian, to be clean and

green, a place where good ideas

grow and where we are good for the

world. And I actually believe that

we have that within our power,” she

said.

She quoted Mahatma Gandhi as

saying, “The difference between

what we do and what we are capable

of doing would suffice to solve

most of the problems of the world.”

Our strength and potential

Ms Ardern said that New Zealand

is a wealthy nation, wealthy enough

to make sure that every child born

in this country has the chance to

live up to their potential and to rid

ourselves of child poverty.

“We have the resources and

the right decision making and

investment to see that everyone

has a decent education and access

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern receiving blessings at Radha Krishna Temple at the Mahatma

Gandhi Centre in Auckland on August 6, 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with special guests at INL Lecture 2020

to world class healthcare. We have ment had set to tackle these problem.

the innovators and small business Oil and Gas exploration

owners that with a mixture of

Admitting that it is not always

incentives and support can create easy to achieve objectives, she spoke

high wage jobs that our people about a phone call that she received

deserve. We have growers, farmers from Dr Megan Woods, a Minister in

and manufacturers to maintain our her Cabinet during the early years of

credentials as a trading nation that her government.

is good for everyone. We have an “She had to make a pressing decision

about what to do about the block

environment that, with the right

protections, can keep producing offers for oil and gas exploration. It

the products we pride ourselves on, started chain discussions about our

while still restoring waterways and future. We knew the consequences of

landscapes that we equally trade on that decision for future generations,

too,” she said.

for the people of Taranaki, for the

“We even have the Wind, Sun and workers. It was an example of the

Water to support our transition to calls that had to be made now lest we

an economy fuelled by renewable make it even harder for ourselves

electricity - all of the opportunities down the track.

that brings in a climate aware world. Now, that decision to end offshore

We have the potential to solve the oil and gas exploration, coupled

problems that we have faced for with things like Emissions Trading

some time and that the world is Scheme (ETS) Reform, Zero Carbon

collectively facing too. And to be all Act and our landmark agreement on

the stronger for it.

the primary sector to price emissions

Ms Ardern said that her govern-

in the future, that has made climate

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with India’s

High Commissioner Muktesh Pardeshi at

INL Lecture 2020

change our nuclear free moment,”

she said.

Other Speakers

Tenth in an Annual Series, the

Indian Newslink Lecture 2020 featured

Ethnic Communities, Customs

and Building and Construction

Minister Jenny Salesa as the Master

of Ceremonies, Auckland Mayor

Phil Goff delivering the Welcome

Address, India’s High Commissioner

to New Zealand Muktesh Pardeshi

as our Special Guest, National Party

List MP and other special guests Finance

Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith

(who gave his ‘Reflections’ on the

Lecture), Barrister & Solicitor Gurbrinder

Aulakh (who gave ‘A Point

of View’) and former Labour List MP

Dr Rajen Prasad (who provided the

Concluding Remarks).

Members of Parliament Michael

Wood, Priyanca Radhakrishnan

(Labour), Kanwaljeet Singh Bakshi

and Dr Parmjeet Parmar (National),

Police Commissioner Andy Coster,

Deputy Police Commissioner Wallace

Haumaha, several new candidates

contesting in the forthcoming

general election (on September

19, 2020), corporate heads, senior

officials of the public and private

sectors and business leaders were

also present at the Lecture.

Additional Reading: Under

Electionlink on Page 6.

Pictures for Indian Newslink by

Narendra and Sai Bedekar.

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*past performance is no guarantee of future performance


02

AUGUST 15, 2020

Homelink

Stricter conditions needed to fight revisiting Covid-19

Michael Plank, Alex James and Shaun Hendy

Auckland, and possibly other

parts of New Zealand, almost

certainly have more cases of

Covid-19 in the community

than the four new cases confirmed

yesterday.

Resurgence Plan

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

activated a Resurgence Plan late yesterday

(August 11, 2020) placing all

of Auckland back under Alert Level

3 restrictions from midday today

(August 12, 2020) until midnight on

Friday to allow time for contacts to

be traced and tested.

But until we can identify the chain

of transmission, New Zealanders

should prepare for restrictions to

remain in place for longer.

All four new cases are within one

family in South Auckland, with no

links yet discovered to quarantine or

border facilities. But family members

work in different places across

different suburbs, which means

the restrictions need to apply to the

whole city.

When Melbourne found itself

in a similar position a month ago,

the city’s strategy was to lock down

specific suburbs. Unfortunately, this

failed to contain the virus.

Careful management critical

Swift and decisive action is important,

and we support the decision to

place stricter conditions on Auckland

and to return the rest of the country

to Alert Level 2. We should all be

very cautious.

Everyone working at the border or

in managed isolation will be tested

and pop-up stations have opened

across Auckland to carry out mass

testing.

A health worker carries out Covid-19 test in Northcote in Auckland, which has

four new cases of the virus (AFP Photo)

But it is quite possible someone

that within the wider contact

network of the cases has travelled

outside Auckland. (Since this article

was written, it has been revealed two

of the cases spent the weekend in

Rotorua).

People who have travelled to

Auckland in the last two weeks

should act as if they are under Level

3 restrictions and stay home from

work.

Whether we are in Auckland or

not, we should all resume social

distancing, working from home if we

can, and wearing a mask if possible

when we go out.

If we do the right things now, there

is a good chance we will be able to

contain this community outbreak

before it spreads too much further.

We are going to need to do a lot of

testing to work out how far the virus

has spread.

It is more effective at this stage to

target high-risk groups rather than

testing people at random. People

with symptoms or people who have

been identified as close contacts of

known cases should be prioritised

Melbourne took too long to move to a strict lockdown, experts say.

(AFP Photo by William West)

for testing. If you are offered a test or

you do not feel well, you should get

tested, but if you feel fine, just stay at

home.

Contact Tracing

Rapid contact tracing is going to be

key to getting the virus under control.

Our recent modelling shows that if

we can trace and quarantine 80% of

contacts within two days on average,

it will go a long way to containing the

outbreak.

Contact tracers are also doing

backward tracing - finding the source

of infection so we know how many

other cases are out there - as well

as forward tracing, which means

quarantining contacts so they do not

pass the virus on.

For Auckland, moving to Alert Level

3 reduces the number of contacts

most of us have.

This will make the job easier for

contact tracers over the coming days

as they may only have to trace one or

two contacts per person rather than

ten or more.

Everyone should now draw up

a list of where they have been and

who they have seen for the last two

weeks. This is also a wake-up call to

redouble our efforts to keep diaries

of activities and to use the NZ Covid

Tracer App to keep a record.

The Tracer App has the added

advantage that the Ministry of Health

can automatically notify anybody

who has visited the same location

as a confirmed or potential case. We

encourage Aucklanders in particular

to check their apps, diaries and bank

accounts to compile as much detail

as possible of places they have visited

or people they have met over the last

14 days.

What happens next?

What happens next really depends

on the results of the contact tracing

investigations already under way.

There is a lot of luck involved in the

early stages of an outbreak like this

one.

If we are lucky, many of those

infected may not have yet passed on

the virus to others.

But it is also possible that there

may have been a superspreading

event, for example, at a workplace or

social gathering. In that case, there

could be a large number of cases

Use of the NZ Covid Tracer app is critical now, three experts say (RNZ Photo)

already out there.

Although the alert level is currently

in place until Friday, we should be

prepared for this to be extended,

depending on how many cases we

find in the next three days.

Back in February, when we had

our first cases of Covid-19, the

situation was very different.

We had an open border and most

cases were international travellers or

their close contacts.

We were also getting around 80

new cases a day by the time we went

into lockdown in March.

This time, we have locked down

with a smaller number of cases and

we still have strict border restrictions

in place.

This should give us confidence that

if we all do the right things, we will

be able to get the outbreak under

control much faster than last time.

Michael Plank and Alex James are respectively

Professor and Associate Professor of

Mathematics at the University of Canterbury,

while Shaun Hendy is Professor of

Physics at the University of Auckland. The

above article has been published under

Creative Commons Licence.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

National List MPbased

in

Manukau East

Contact

A

P

F

E

1/131 Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland

09 278 9302

09 278 2143

bakshi.mp@parliament.govt.nz

facebook.com/bakshiks

@bakshiks

bakshi.co.nz

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


AUGUST 15, 2020

General Election should be held as scheduled-Covid or not

Postponing Polling

would be no good

Grant Duncan

If we can do our grocery

shopping under lockdown,

we can vote under

lockdown too.

As much as supermarkets

and pharmacies, the general

election is an essential service

and it must continue. There

are ways and means to safely

exercise our democratic

rights during lockdown.

Democracy delayed is

denied

The Prime Minister left it

open at her press conference

on Monday, August 13, 2020

as to whether the election

(currently scheduled for

September 19) might be

delayed and, if so, to what

future date.

While such a move is

legally possible, it only defers

the uncertainty about public

safety at the polls. No one can

predict whether one month

later, for example, will be

more or less safe than the

scheduled date, or indeed any

other reasonable date.

The dissolution of the 52nd

Parliament was deferred

at the last moment on

Wednesday (August 12, 2020)

until the following Monday.

No later than seven days after

dissolution, the governor-general

issues the writ for the

Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins (Picture Courtesy: New Zealand Herald)

next election, including

its date. This is all done

on the advice of the Prime

Minister, by long-established

convention.

Under emergency circumstances,

it may be wise for

the Prime Minister to consult

leaders of other parties about

the election date but this is

not mandatory.

Judith accuses Jacinda

National Party Leader

Judith Collins has already

accused the Prime Minister

of a “lack of transparency“

over the date. Collins called

for a late November election,

or even pushing it out to next

year.

It would be a shame if any

of the parties used such a

basic democratic procedural

right for political football

or electoral advantage. An

opposition, for example, may

prefer a later date largely

to give them more time to

campaign, not from concern

for voters’ health.

Similarly, a government

might prefer to rush an

election for the same kind of

reason. The loser may be the

democratic system.

Date commitment essential

It is not to say that there

should be no delay, only that

we need not regard lockdown

as a barrier to voting. Set a

date within the legal limit

and get on with it. But do not

let political advantage be a

deciding factor.

As for politicians being able

to campaign or hold meetings,

perhaps they could learn to

work online like the rest of us

have had to during successive

lockdowns.

The election itself belongs to

the voters, not the candidates.

It is run by an independent,

non-political public agency,

the Electoral Commission. We

should not listen to political

jockeys arguing over when to

open the gates.

Furthermore, in 2020,

political leaders should be

cautious about being seen to

take their cue from Donald

Trump desperately calling

for a delayed election, even

though, in his case, the US

Constitution puts the matter

in the hands of Congress.

Safe Voting planned

The Electoral Commission

has already planned for safe

voting. It has booked in

more and larger voting

venues than before to allow

for social distancing. Hand

sanitisers will be available.

The Chief Electoral

Officer can temporarily

suspend voting at polling

stations due to “an

unforeseen or unavoidable

disruption“, including an

epidemic.

We should be confident

in the system.

Early voting is due to

begin on September 5,

2020. On past experience,

about half of us will vote

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this way and avoid polling

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At, any election there

are systems in place for

people who cannot vote in

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such services this time may

well increase for those who

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So, those services may

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03

others? If we can operate

drive-through Covid-19

testing facilities, we can

surely adapt the concept for

democracy.

The Electoral Commission

is politically neutral and has

had rates of positive feedback

about the conduct of

past elections that would be

the envy of most corporates

or indeed governments.

We should have confidence

in the commission and

the process. The show must

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Grant Duncan is Associate

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of People, Environment and

Planning, Massey University. The

above article and pictures has

been published under Creative

Commons Licence.

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04

AUGUST 15, 2020

Homelink

Changes benefit employer-assisted temporary work visas

Jayendran Govindan

Covid-19 was unexpected.

It has brought about vast

economic damage to many

a country. To date, there

have been more than 17 million

infected cases and numerous

deaths in the whole world.

New Zealand was not spared

either.

Its hospitality and tourism

industry has been badly affected.

Strategies to help businesses

This of course has an effect on

business and employment, and

Immigration New Zealand (INZ)

has formulated strategies towards

helping businesses and at the same

time ensuring that employees are

not let down.

Short term changes have been

carried out by INZ to temporary

work visas due to expire before

the end of 2020. These changes

will allow employers to maintain

their existing workforce and give

existing work force an extended

period of time while opportunities

for New Zealand Citizen and

permanent residents their right

to work in New Zealand are not

negatively impacted.

Immigration have carried out 3

key changes.

Work visas extension

All existing employer-assisted

temporary work visas due to

expire before the end of 2020 will

be extended by six months. Some

work visa holders had been given

extension up to September 25, 2020

and some were due to expire after

July 9. 2020. These also will be

extended by six months.

The categories of visas that will

be included as employer assisted

work visas are (1) Essential Skills

(2) Work to Residence (3) Special

and skilled work visas for citizens

of China, Indonesia, South Korea,

Philippines and Vietnam (4) Special

category work visas for Japanese

Interpreters and Thai Chefs (5)

Work visa granted under Section

61 of the Immigration Act 2009 that

specify an employer.

This extension will be a great

relief for many employers and

employees alike.

There would be certainty in

their business to retain existing

employees.

The extension will be automatic

for most visa holders. This will

benefit 16,500 essential skills and

work- to-residence visa holders

who are in New Zealand. All visa

conditions of the original visa will

remain the same including the

specific occupation, employer and

location.

Any person who believes that the

visa should have been extended,

should contact INZ. In the event

an employer wants to employ a

migrant in a new role, they must

apply for a labour market test.

Similarly, if they want to employ a

new migrant, they must go through

the labour market test.

Lower paid essential skills

Currently, essential skills visa

holders at lower skill levels are

required to leave New Zealand for

12 months before they are able to

apply for another lower paid work.

This is the stand down period of

one year.

However, since the six-month

extension for temporary work

visas is being given to temporary

work visa holder, employees on

lower paid essential skills work

visas are unable to be granted a

new essential skills work visa until

they have spent 12 months outside

New Zealand.

This time-limited change will

enable lower paid migrants, who

are subject to the stand-down

period between August 2020 and

end of December 2020 to stay in

New Zealand and work for the

same employer, same location

and same occupation for a further

six-month period.

Applications from July 10

This third change will affect all

new lower paid essential skill work

visa holders applications lodged

from July 10, 2020. Applications for

essential skill work visas received

prior to July 10, 2020, if approved,

will be granted 12 months work

visa. However, applications for

essential work visa after July 10,

2020, if approved, will be for a

period of six months.

Therefore, effectively the duration

of all new lower paid essential

skills work visas will be reduced

from 12 months to six months.

Other Ancillary Changes

Pursuant to the changes to

employer assisted work visas

announced, from July 27, 2020,

Australian and New Zealand Standard

Classification of Occupations

(ANZSCO) will no longer be used to

determine whether a job is considered

higher or lower paid job.

Instead, a simple remuneration

threshold will be used. This would

mean that work visa applications

for jobs that are paid below the

median wage, will need a skills

match report from the Ministry of

Social Development.

The duration of the visa will

depend on whether the applicant’s

wage would be above or below

the national medium wage which

currently is $25.50 per hour (The

Two-Layer System).

Accordingly, changes have been

made to dependants of essential

skills work visa holders.

Under this category, those

earning above the median wage,

can support work or visitor visas

for partners and visitor visas

or student visas for dependent

children.

However, partners of essential

skills work visa holders earning

below the median wage when in

New Zealand can apply for a work

visa on their own right.

Essential workforce

It cannot be denied that migrant

employees form an essential and

formidable work force in New

Zealand. This work force must

be appreciated by the business

community and INZ.

It is hoped that with the changes

being implemented, there is

certainty in the processing of

applications for employer-assisted

temporary work visas, particularly

at a time of uncertainty on jobs,

with Covid-19 lurking around the

whole world.

It could be further said that

the Two-Layer system (where the

wage is above or below the $25.50

per hour), may make it easier for

processing applications.

Jayendran Govindan is a Barrister &

Solicitor at S J Lawyers Barristers &

Solicitors based in Auckland. He was

a practising Advocate and Solicitor in

Malaysia. Phone (09) 4880056. Email:

sjlawyers.jay@gmail.com

The views expressed in the above article

are his own and should be treated as

general information. For specific advise,

please contact Immigration New Zealand,

a Licenced Immigration Advisor or

an Immigration Lawyer. Mr Govindan,

SJ Lawyers Barristers & Solicitors and

Indian Newslink absolve themselves of

all liabilities in this connection.

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AUGUST 15, 2020

CCOs merger will save $67 million

for Auckland Council

Phil Goff

I

welcome an independent

review which includes a

recommendation to merge

two of Auckland’s Council-

Controlled Organisations (CCOs)

into one.

The review, which I had

promised during the 2019

Mayoral elections, has

recommended that Regional

Facilities Auckland (RFA) and

Auckland Tourism, Events and

Economic development (ATEED)

be merged to form one entity

to oversee Auckland’s events,

stadiums and cultural assets,

and economic development.

The Report contains 64

recommendations and has

suggested that a merger could

save up to $67 million over the

next decade.

Councillors will now

consider the Report before

making decisions on which

recommendations will be

adopted as part of the 10-year

Budget.

Performance improvement

demanded

Ten years on from the

formation of the Super City,

there are many things that are

right and many things that need

improving.

Aucklanders have expressed

the need to improve the

performance of the CCOs,

which is why an independent

review of their structure and

performance was one of my

election promises.

I welcome the Report from

the independent panel for its

unvarnished look at what we

need to improve and change so

that we have a more efficient

city that works better for

Aucklanders.

Particularly important is the

Report’s recommendations on

the need for strengthening the

Council’s ability to give strategic

direction to the CCOs and to

improve monitoring of their

activities.

The CCOs manage two-thirds

of Auckland Council’s assets and

spend half of its operational

budget, so a strong focus on

these areas is critical.”

Deputy Mayor and Chair of

the CCO Oversight Committee

Bill Cashmore has said that the

review is something the City

needs to ensure we are doing

the best job we can.

The Report has drawn from

submissions and interviews with

hundreds of stakeholders as well

as council and CCOs themselves

to make recommendations for

improvements.

These recommendations will

now be discussed by councillors

before a final decision is made

on which recommendations

to adopt. Part of that work will

feed into the 10-year Budget

as we look to make long-term

decisions that will improve

the way the council works for

Aucklanders.

Other recommendations

Other recommendations

include (a) Developing

Statements of Expectation for

CCOs, with reference to Chief

Executive remuneration (b)

Establishing a common set of

Council-CCO KPIs, including

customer complaint resolution

(c) Developing a group policy to

identify areas where services

can be shared by the council and

CCOs, reducing duplication and

costs and (d) Strengthening the

CCO-local boards relationship.

Public consultation

Our Staff Reporter adds:

The CCO review focused on

three key areas - the CCO model,

roles and responsibilities, the

mechanisms of accountability

between CCO boards, the

Council and the public, and the

culture of CCOs responsiveness

to the Council and Aucklanders.

During the first three

months of this year, the

independent panel consulted

with Aucklanders to seek their

input into the review. Auckland

Council staff supported the

Panel to complete its work

and its engagement with

Aucklanders.

According to an earlier press

note, the Panel was to provide

a draft report outlining key

issues and the feedback from

Aucklanders in May 2020,

with their final report and

recommendations expected by

the end of July 2020.

Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland. He

writes a regular column in

Indian Newslink.

Homelink

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06

AUGUST 15, 2020

Electionlink

‘My Vision for New Zealand’ fosters an egalitarian, clean and green society

‘A place where good ideas

grow and where we are

good for the world’

Jacinda Ardern

Standfirst: The following is

the full text (with the exclusion

of initial greetings)

of the Address by Prime

Minister Jacinda Ardern at the

Tenth Annual Indian Newslink

Lecture held at Mahatma Gandhi

Centre in Auckland Central on

Thursday, Auckland 6, 2020. Our

report of the event appears on

Page 1 of this issue.

It feels fitting that I join you this

evening at the conclusion of the

Parliamentary term for this session

of Parliament. Yesterday (August 5,

2020), I had the honour of signing

papers for the Governor General

confirming the dissolution of

Parliament.

Last night we completed a couple

of critical pieces of legislation,

including the Budget, and today

we formally held our adjournment

debate.

The last few weeks have been

full of the usual ceremonies. They

include things like final Caucus

meetings, valedictory speeches,

farewells.

It was a reminder that the time

that we spend in Parliament can

often seem quite long. And at other

times it can feel incredibly short.

And at times, I feel I am experiencing

both simultaneously.

The early days

And perhaps that is because, my

time in politics started well before I

became a member of Parliament.

I graduated from Waikato

University at the end of 2001 and I

spent my last semester at Arizona

State University. But before I

departed New Zealand for my stint

in Phoenix, I remember having a

few weeks spare and offered to do

some work for then-MP for New

Plymouth, Harry Duynhoven.

It just so happened that Harry’s

fellow MP and friend was in need

of an Electoral Secretary to cover a

staff member who was on leave.

That friend was Phil Goff.

Phil will probably barely

remember that time but I remember

it incredibly well. It was only two

short weeks but long enough, that

when I graduated I was offered a

full time place in Phil’s office as a

Researcher.

Phil was the Minister of Foreign

Affairs and Minister of Justice, and it

was the latter on which I primarily

worked. And around the time I

started at the Office, the Ministry

of Justice had completely a fairly

hefty, and highly anticipated, piece

of research.

I was roped in that week to help

with the distribution of the report.

“Send the report out to the Government

MPs,” I was told. “And when

you are done, you can start getting it

to Opposition MPs as well.”

I got to work. And studiously

got the first tranche dispatched so

quickly that I managed to get the

report to all members of the House

before the close of play.

Open Democracy

I remember feeling quietly

chuffed when my Line Manager

walked in.

“Where are the reports,” he asked.

“Gone,” I replied.

I can still remember his face. It

was less the face of someone pleased

with their new employee and more

the face of someone stifling an

anguished scream. What he had not

quite explained to me was that this

much anticipated and somewhat

controversial report was embargoed.

And I had not only broken the

embargo, I had done so by sending it

to every Opposition MP in the New

Zealand Parliament.

There was a momentary pause

Jacinda Ardern outlined her ideals and programmes under ‘My Vision for New Zealand’ at the INL Lecture 2020.

before the horror set in. Then he “The difference between what we overarching vision for New Zealand,

left the room to go and share the do and what we are capable of can really be achieved when we are

news with my boss, Phil Goff. He doing would suffice to solve most of in a time and place that is so fraught

was gone for what felt like an eternity.

the problems of the world.”

with challenge. Or as I have heard it

And when he returned, he told Our strength and potential

called much more frequently, these

me that Phil has requested a cup That is certainly the case here in unprecedented times.

of tea. That was my cue to face the New Zealand. We are a wealthy nation,

My answer to that is, yes. I would

music. I made that cup of tea like it

wealthy enough to make sure argue that maintaining our sights on

was my final act of employment. I that every child born in this country the New Zealand we believe in and

walked into Phil’s office, sat the tea has the chance to live up to their potential

want to build is as important now as

down and waited for my marching

and to rid ourselves of child it ever was. And while there are of

orders. Phil looked up from his desk poverty. We have the resources course different magnitudes to the

and he said just eight words: “Hello, and the right decision making and challenges we face as a nation, there

Jacinda, I heard about your open investment to see that everyone has are always challenges.

democracy.”

a decent education and access to Mycoplasma Bovis eradicated

He then let out that hearty laugh world class healthcare.

I recall when we first came into

that only Phil Goff can deliver and I We have the innovators and small office being faced with a very early

have found that laugh a great relief business owners that with a mixture but hugely significant problem.

ever since. I did not lose my job that

day. In fact I stayed on for three

more years, eventually finishing in

Helen Clark’s office.

Background to foreground

I could have easily stayed in

roles like that, working behind

the scenes. I had a quiet plan to

eventually finish up though and

join the New Zealand Police, a

profession my father had been part

of for the better part of, at that time,

30 years. And I thought it would be

a good career for me if only I could

master the fitness test and press ups

required.

But I did not leave. And I did not

join the Police. And nor did I stay

behind the scenes.

And the reason why is my

response to the topic “’My Vision for

New Zealand.’ that you put to me

tonight.

I ended up in politics and

ultimately here before you because

I always believed that New Zealand

has within it the power and the

values to live up to the expectations

we already have of ourselves.

The making of a true Kiwi

If you ask anyone, no matter

what their background, their age or

even the length of the time that they

have called themselves a Kiwi, if

you ask them what it is that defines

this place and us, you will hear

some common themes.

We see ourselves as egalitarian.

We are fierce defenders of the

simple concept of fairness. And perhaps

because of that, nothing gets

our back up more than injustice.

We love our landscapes, our waterways,

our environment. We believe

in hard work, problem solving. We

are both pragmatists and dreamers.

We do not believe in things being

too hard or impossible. And we

instinctively, as isolated island

dwellers, we know that what we do

impacts on others and that we have

a duty of care to one another.

So if you ask me then what my

vision is for New Zealand, I will tell

you it is to live up to the vision we

already have about what we can be.

To be egalitarian, to be clean and

green, a place where good ideas

grow and where we are good for

the world. And I actually believe

that we have that within our power.

Mahatma Gandhi wisely said,

of incentives and support can create

high wage jobs that our people

deserve. We have growers, farmers

and manufacturers to maintain our

credentials as a trading nation that

is good for everyone. We have an

environment that, with the right

protections, can keep producing

the products we pride ourselves on,

while still restoring waterways and

landscapes that we equally trade

on too. We even have the wind, sun

and water to support our transition

to an economy fuelled by renewable

electricity - all of the opportunities

that brings in a climate aware

world. We have the potential to

solve the problems that we have

faced for some time and that the

world is collectively facing too. And

to be all the stronger for it.

And that is what we have set out

to do.

Oil and Gas exploration

But not that is always especially

easy. I can still remember very

early in our term in Government,

a phone call I had with Minister

Megan Woods. She had to make a

pressing decision about what to do

about the block offers for oil and

gas exploration. It started chain

discussions about our future. We

knew the consequences of that decision

for future generations, for the

people of Taranaki, for the workers.

It was an example of the calls that

had to be made now lest we make

it even harder for ourselves down

the track.

Now, that decision to end offshore

oil and gas exploration, coupled

with things like Emissions Trading

Scheme (ETS) Reform, Zero Carbon

Act and our landmark agreement

on the primary sector to price

emissions in the future, that has

made climate change our nuclear

free moment.

Challenges amidst uncertainties

But many of New Zealand’s larger

challenges will not be changed

instantly. Child poverty, even

with $5 billion investment and

the introduction of new income

support and legislation requiring us

to account on poverty targets, they

will still need our attention and our

commitment for years to come.

Which might cause some of you

to very clearly ask whether any

of these challenges, or even our

Mycoplasma Bovis. The disease has

slowly been spreading through New

Zealand’s herd but its presence had

only been fairly recently discovered.

I still remember receiving advice

as a brand new government around

the state of this biosecurity disaster.

I was told that it had the potential to

devastate our dairy industry and the

only real way to stop that was to try

and eradicate it.

The only catch was, no country

that had M bovis show up in their

herd had ever managed to eradicate

it before. We set about answering

the question of what to do. We

pulled together a team of experts

to give us the best advice possible.

But it was still going to have to come

down to a judgement call. After

working with the industry and

those most affected by the decision,

we came to a call together. No-one

had done it before but that was

not a reason not to try. We chose to

eradicate and so we rolled out our

plan to get rid of Mycoplasma Bovis.

And I can tell you that, three years

later, we are on track to succeed.

I suspect that perhaps political

careers and indeed governments,

are often defined not by what they

intended to do but what happened

along the way to their planned

destination.

Regardless, the values we apply

should be the same. We did not

anticipate bovis, but we knew what

was important to us: our brand, our

reputation, the long term welfare

of our animals. And I believed

we could only call something

impossible once we had tried it for

ourselves.

We did not anticipate March 15

(2019- the Christchurch massacre)

but it is the values of kindness and

belief in our collective humanity

that prevailed.

Health and Economic Crisis

And we could not anticipate Covid

but it is once again a moment in

time for us to apply the vision for

who we are in the face of a 1-in-100

year health and economic crisis.

And I hope that you can see that.

I hope you see in our immediate

response to Covid, which was to

protect our people’s health and wellbeing.

It was in our recovery plan

and investments in wage support

and free training apprenticeships.

I hope you see, as we move to rebuild,

the focus, not just on jobs, but

in the kind of jobs that support our

environment that we are planning

for our future. I hope you see, as we

support our small business owners

with loan schemes, our rebates and

research and development support.

At every turn, that in a crisis of lies

a chance to emphasise what truly

matters to us.

Nonlinear path

I may not have necessarily

planned to be here in this most

privileged of roles, but perhaps,

just perhaps, that nonlinear path

prepared me for the very nonlinear

time in this job.

That even if we have a vision for

what we can be the true test is our

ability to maintain that path no

matter what challenges come our

way.

I want to thank you for the

chance to come here tonight to very

briefly reflect on some of the ideas

that led me into politics and some

of the aspirations that have kept me

here.

And while I can, and while I am

here, I do want to extend my thanks

to each and every one of you who

has been part of recent times and

a true team effort in the face of so

many challenges.

It has been, and will always be,

my privilege to govern in these

times. My very best wishes to all of

you for the remainder of the year

ahead.

Jacinda Ardern is Prime Minister

of New Zealand and the most

admired leader across the world.

At the start of her Lecture, she acknowledged

the presence of Ethnic

Communities, Customs and Building

and Construction Minister Jenny

Salesa (who was our Master of

Ceremonies), Auckland Mayor Phil

Goff (who delivered the Welcome

Address), India’s High Commissioner

to New Zealand Muktesh

Pardeshi (our Special Guest),

National Party List MP and Finance

Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith (who

gave his ‘Reflections’ on the Lecture,

Barrister & Solicitor Gurbrinder

Aulakh (who gave ‘A Point of View’)

and former Labour List MP Dr

Rajen Prasad (who provided the

Concluding Remarks).

She also recognised the presence

of Members of Parliament Michael

Wood, Priyanca Radhakrishnan

(Labour), Kanwaljeet Singh Bakshi

and Dr Parmjeet Parmar (National),

Police Commissioner Andy Coster,

Deputy Police Commissioner Wallace

Haumaha, several new candidates

contesting in the forthcoming

general election (on September

19, 2020), corporate heads, senior

officials of the public and private

sectors and business leaders.

Pictures for Indian Newslink by

Narendra and Sai Bedekar.


AUGUST 15, 2020

Criticism of the Government’s

Covid-19 response is far

from new, and has often had

merit.

But the new National leadership’s

dark mutterings of a cover-up are

taking New Zealand politics in a

dangerous direction.

“We are all sufferers from

history, but the paranoid is a

double sufferer, since he is afflicted

not only by the real world, with

the rest of us, but by his fantasies

as well.” Richard Hofstadter said

in his book, ‘The Paranoid Style

in American Politics’ published in

1964.

Nothing wrong with asking

questions, is there? Where is the

harm in that? ‘They have not

turned that into a crime as well,

have they?

Paranoid, a double sufferer

Such was the tone of the National

Party’s press conference on new

community cases of Covid-19, in

an ill omen for the tenor of the

campaign for our next election -

whenever that proves to be.

National leader Judith Collins

offered a small hint of her likely

approach when news of the four

South Auckland cases broke on

Tuesday (August 11, 2020) night,

saying that the return of the virus

would “come as a shock to all New

Zealanders who believed what we

had been told - that we had got on

top of this virus.”

If there were any reservations

about going negative, they

were not on display as Collins

and her Deputy Leader Gerry

Brownlee instead doubled down

on Wednesday (August 12, 2020)

afternoon.

She complained about National

Health Spokesman Shane Reti’s

Electionlink

Dark mutterings, negativity drive politics in the wrong direction

Sam Sachdeva

Independent MP Jami-Lee Ross

sets up Advance NZ Party

Supplied Content

Billy Te Kahika, Co-Leader of

the newly merged Advance

NZ Party will take his fight

for democracy to the heart of

government by going head to head

with Labour Party Deputy Leader

Kelvin Davis.

“Our rights and freedoms are being

eroded by this Government’s policies,

and their failure to delivery for our

people up north. Te Tai Tokerau is

my home and that of my wife and

children whakapapa,” he said.

About Te Kahika

Mr Te Kahika said that he grew up

in a state house and that he built an

economic base from very humble

beginnings from lots of hard work.

“Now I live on a small farm with my

whanau, we home school our children

and we live a very quiet and humble

home life. But we are in a war for our

democracy and freedoms, and I decided

that as a genuine, everyday Kiwi I

would fight to defend our children’s

futures. Our people deserve better,

and Labour have taken support in the

Tai Tokerau for granted every time it

is in Government and they have failed

to deliver anything for our people,”

he said.

According to Mr Te Kahika, Mr

Davis has not delivered for Maori or

the Maori Tourism Sector as Minister

of Tourism.

Kelvin Davis challenged

“Our people are just as poor, just as

jobless, just as homeless as they were

before and all I see when I examine

National Party Leader Judith Collins with her Deputy Gerry Brownlee

(Newsroom Picture by Marc Daalder)

The ‘Jacinda effect’: Prime Minister Ardern with

Christchurch schoolchildren in June (AAP)

difficulties in receiving a briefing

from Health Minister Chris Hipkins,

as well as the timing of Prime

Minister Jacinda Ardern’s call to

advise Collins of the Auckland

lockdown about 30 minutes before

the Prime Minister informed the

country.

No consultation alleged

“It is always the pre-election

convention that a government does

not make major decisions without

consultation with the opposition:

clearly, advising the Leader of the

Opposition ... just before a public

announcement is not consultation.”

That is not quite right - the

Cabinet Manual states that

governments are not generally

bound by caretaker conventions

Labour’s and his performance is they

have done literally nothing. And Kelvin

is the Number Two in the Labour

Party. If Kelvin cannot deliver, it is

time for him to step aside and let real

leadership with backbone serve our

people,” he said.

“Te Tai Tokerau does not tolerate

under performing MPs. That is why

in the last 30 years, Labour has lost

this seat more often than it has won

it. I like Kelvin as a person, but now

people in this rohe tell me he is just

‘another Kūpapa Maori’ which is

tough to hear but is the feedback I

am hearing,” he added.

Mr Te Kahika pledged that Advance

NZ will deliver greater rights

and freedom for New Zealand and

real outcomes in the areas that need

addressing in Te Tai Tokerau.

Pledge to people

“At the same time, I will stand for

in the period before an election,

although many “have chosen to

restrict their actions to some extent”

- but it was at least closer to the

mark and a more reasonable point

than some of what followed.

Asked about the Government’s

timeline, Collins said she was

“hearing a lot of rumours.”

Several minutes later, Mr

Brownlee outlined - unprompted

- an allegedly suspicious series of

events in recent weeks, as if joining

the pieces of the puzzle with string

on an overloaded pinboard.

“The messaging around a possible

further outbreak of Covid-19

began ... about 10 days ago; on

top of that there was the issue of

masks, we were encouraged to start

purchasing masks to have them

available in the emergency kit. Dr

Bloomfield went a bit further, in

one interview I saw suggested that

people might wear a mask for one

day a week, just to get used to the

idea of wearing masks.

“Then you saw the Prime

Minister’s visit to the mask factory

... along with Dr Bloomfield,

after 103 days of no community

transmission having a test himself -

all very interesting things to happen

Billy Te Kahika confronts Labour on fundamental issues

Billy Te Kahika and Jami-Lee Ross speaking to Media at the launch of Advance NZ Party

(Photo for Spin Off by Alex Braae)

the NZ Public Party as the candidate

in Te Tai Tokerau. As your MP for Te

Tai Tokerau, I will ensure we deliver

more jobs for our people, more

economic hope and opportunity, and

more housing, but housing projects

that will enable more Maori ownership.

Not just simple social housing

that equates to continual offering

of a road to nowhere and in a slum,

low socio economic environment,”

he said.

Mr Te Kahika said that there are

the fundamental necessities of life

that are being lost.

Maori are living in cars and tree

huts, underlining that a government

under Labour continues to fail.

“I am a small businessman

and entrepreneur. I will bring

together agencies in the north to

create real business based economic

development opportunities. We will

a matter of hours before there was a

notification of the largest residential

part of New Zealand going into

Level 3 lockdown,” he said.

Pressed on what exactly he was

implying, Mr Brownlee replied with

a smirk: “I’m just outlining facts ... it

is an interesting series of facts.”

A Trumpian take on postal voting

Exactly what those facts were

meant to prove was left unsaid

- although leaving it to the vivid

imaginations of tired and scared

New Zealanders was perhaps the

point.

Then, outlining her desire to

delay the election to November or

even next year, Collins appeared

to borrow from Donald Trump’s

playbook in casting aspersions on

the trustworthiness of postal voting

- despite the fact New Zealanders

can already apply to cast a ballot by

mail.

“This is a serious issue, it is not a

laughing issue, it is not something

to joke around, and it is certainly

not something to have just put in

an envelope and sent off with no

verification as to who anyone is,”

Collins said.

Mercifully, the pair at least

confirmed their support of face

masks, reducing the chances of a

large-scale culture war as seen in

parts of the United States - but the

overall picture was not positive.

At least when (former National

Party Leader) Simon Bridges

attacked the government during

the initial lockdown period, it

seemed less malignant and more a

demonstration of his “buffoon-like

qualities,” to borrow Bridges’

characterisation of British Prime

Minister Boris Johnson.

Bridges also ably chaired the

Epidemic Response Committee

set up to give the Opposition a

platform during the adjournment

of Parliament, and mostly favoured

cock-up over conspiracy in his

critiques of Ardern and her

ministers.

fast track work to bring the Auckland

Port to the North to create jobs. We

will invest in high quality fast build

housing to speed up new homes for

our people, and housing near the

new sources of employment.

Harnessing natural resources

“We will work with our whanau,

hapu, and iwi to make greater use

of our natural resources to generate

jobs and grow our local economy.

Local projects such as Maara Kai

projects will also have some priority

so that we utilise our whenua to feed

our whanau and create income,” he

said.

Mr Te Kahika added, “That is how

our nation started: Maori living from

the land, surviving with the land, and

in control of our own destiny. If the

Tai Tokerau sends Billy Te Kahika

to the Beehive, Billy Te Kahika will

bring back our own putea for our

own people and our own future,” he

said,

Mr Te Kahika said that he will

fight hard to get the best, not just as

political speak but from a sense of it

being time for justice and outcomes

for our people.

About Advance NZ Party

The Advance New Zealand Party

was established recently by Jami-Lee

Ross, current Member of Parliament

for Botany, and an MP since 2011.

He said that the Party aims to give

a voice to the voiceless who are being

ignored by the two big party blocs

sitting on the left and right of politics.

“Many New Zealanders are

dissatisfied with the offering of

current political parties in New

Zealand. Our politics has become a

07

Ominous references

Making ominous references to

“interesting facts” does nothing

to address concerns about the

Government’s response, and runs

the risk of undermining public buyin

for a longer lockdown, should

one be required.

The line of attack from Collins

and Brownlee comes from a darker

place, and it is hard to know which

is worse - that they genuinely

believe in some sort of grand

cover-up, or are prepared to stoke

such sentiment out of political

expediency.

To be clear, there is plenty of

ground for legitimate criticism of

the Government’s response.

Information about the locations

visited by the new positive cases

has dribbled out slowly and

inconsistently, leaving those who

may have been a casual contact on

edge.

No hypotheticals

Ardern’s refusal to engage in

“hypotheticals” about the likely

extension of Auckland’s lockdown,

given the 14-day incubation

period that we have all learned

about, seems overly cautious and

potentially counterproductive in

preparing people for a long haul.

But making ominous references

to “interesting facts” does nothing

to address those concerns, and runs

the risk of undermining public buyin

for a longer lockdown, should

one be required.

As the US has torn itself apart

over a politicised Covid response

as deaths shoot upwards, we have

patted ourselves on the back.

Such complacency on the health

front has proved to be a mirage - we

can only hope the quality of our

political discourse does not similarly

evaporate.

Sam Sachdeva is Political Editor at

Newsroom. He covers Foreign Affairs,

Trade, Defence and Security Issues. The

above article and picture have been

reproduced under a Special Arrangement.

division between the two party blocs

sitting at opposite ends of the table,

never working together. There are no

calm, common sense voices, existing

in the middle-ground, advocating

ideas and policies for everyday New

Zealanders,” he said.

Mr Lee Ross said that politics does

not need to be about partisanship

and parties constantly attacking each

other.

Long-term solutions and wins

“We can come up with political

solutions and achievements that

deliver real long term wins for Kiwis.

The most serious issue to emerge

off the back of the Coronavirus

pandemic is how our country deals

with China. No one seems willing to

address this. Like it or not, the World

ended up in that mess because the

Chinese Communist Party dealt with

Coronavirus like a political problem.

They threw western journalists out

of the country, ramped up their

propaganda machine, and hid their

real problems away so the World

never could see,” he said.

Mr Lee Ross said that unfortunately

for New Zealand, we have become

so dependent on Chinese Communist

Party-linked money that no political

leader will ever stand up to China.

The main parties are heavily funded

by foreign influences, or they have

signed agreements from which they

will not depart.

“The once courageous political

leaders of the past have disappeared.

The current ones are quiet, hiding

behind fear of a backlash from

China. In the last year, I have been

the only MP to properly


08

AUGUST 15, 2020

Electionlink

Why an absolute majority is absolutely possible for Labour

Liam Hehir

Common wisdom has it that

winning an absolute majority

in Parliament is all but impossible

under MMP - could

that change in 2020? There is some

reason to think that any strategic

voting could fall Labour’s way.

No political party will ever get

an absolute majority of the seats in

Parliament.

So goes the dogma - and there has

been reason to believe the doctrine

sound, given that the last time one

party won a majority of all votes

was 1951 and that was under the

old FPP voting system.

MMP was supposed to put paid to

the two-party duopoly forever.

Liberated from the need to win a

relative majority in single member

geographic constituencies, small

parties were supposed to flourish

and ensure power would be forever

bridled.

It worked - for a while. Not even

John Key was able to govern with

National Party votes alone.

Different landscape

This year, however, the landscape

looks a bit different.

Successive polls have the Labour

Party winning a clear majority of

the party vote and National is in

the doldrums. Unlike elections gone

by, however, the faltering of the

main opposition party has not paid

windfall dividends to the smaller

parties.

New Zealand First’s recorded

levels of support are well below the

threshold required to return.

The Greens are teetering on the

edge of the same precipice.

ACT seems to be experiencing

something of a boomlet, but the

Jacinda Ardern at the Indian Newslink Lecture on August 6, 2020

chances are that it will still rely on

David Seymour winning the seat of

Epsom to be assured of representation

in the new Parliament.

The travails of New Zealand First

and the Greens can be least partially

attributed to the curse of being

junior partners in a Labour-led

government.

The Pushmi-Pullyu syndrome

This is always tricky because

voters will punish you for causing

instability and forget about you

if you are not causing instability.

This Pushmi-Pullyu syndrome

has proven reliably fatal for small

parties in the past.

ACT has not been subject to this,

of course, as an opposition party.

It has prospered as a result - but

only to a point. When Labour was

struggling, the Greens reliably

pulled in double figures in the polls.

ACT’s standout result this year has

been 5%. That is a lot for a party

that won less than 14,000 votes last

election, but it is still very much

bush league.

So if the National vote is down

and the other parties have not

been able to make hay from that,

you would expect Labour to reap

the rewards, which explains the

incredibly strong and durable

performance of the parties in the

polls of late.

But will that translate to an

absolute majority on election night?

Gain for Labour

Looking at the options available

to voters, there is no reason to think

the current pattern will not hold.

There are, in fact, strong reasons to

suspect it will. Those once-were-National

votes have to go somewhere,

after all.

Let us say that you are a centrist

voter who could vote for National

or Labour but, like most of the

country, are not all that interested

in the upscale gentry liberalism of

the Greens.

You see that National and ACT

are far, far behind Labour and the

Greens. New Zealand First does

not appear viable and in any event

National’s vote has dropped some way from its 2017 performance, and

those supporters seem more likely to end up with Labour than any other

minor parties (Newsroom Photo by Lynn Grieveson).

would not be needed in a centre-left

coalition.

Then you consider the fact that,

despite the devotion of her many

more progressive fans, Jacinda

Ardern is really pretty moderate in

government.

You would go so far as to say,

even, that she is a kind of conservative.

She certainly Is not promising

the significant tax hikes that the

Greens want.

So, in a situation where the two

likeliest outcomes are either Labour

governing alone or Labour in

partnership with the Greens, what

is the best way to make your vote

count?

Labour, probably, if you are not a

hardcore National partisan.

An essential MMP feature

In this way, one of MMP’s most

essential features may lead us to a

very un-MMP result. The system is

to make sure that every vote counts

regardless of geographic location.

It does not necessarily follow that

small parties will always be the

beneficiary of this, however.

Let us try another example.

Imagine you are a left-wing voter in

the safe Labour seat of Palmerston

North in 1987. You do not want the

hated Tories to get back in but you

are also unhappy with Labour.

However, because you are

completely confident that the Labour

candidate is going to win regardless

of what you do, there may be some

value in sending the party a message.

So you vote for New Labour

instead.

Negative partisanship

In 2020, however, your Party vote

helps choose the government no

matter where it is cast.

Another way of looking at it is

that it helps choose who will not

be the government. And if the

American phenomenon of “negative

partisanship“ continues to take root

here, people will increasingly see

themselves as voting against their

opponents and not in favour of their

champions.

And that would tend to reduce the

votes available to small parties.

After all, why risk a protest vote

when it could be used to keep an

opponent out of office? For many National

voters in 2020, that opponent

will be the Greens – which means

voting for Labour.

Will Labour be able to govern

alone after the election? It would be

an unlikely first in modern times.

But there is a first time for

everything.

Liam Hehir is a writer and newspaper

columnist from the rural Manawatu and a

former National Party activist. The above

story and picture, which appeared in the

Newsroom website have been published

here under a Special Agreement.

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AUGUST 15, 2020

Out of disarray, a candidate emerges in Auckland Central

Tim Murphy

A

bizarre allegation on the

TV news and a scolding of

party members by a top

official set the scene for

a highly charged National Party

candidate selection.

The National Party has chosen

Emma Mellow as its candidate for

the Auckland Central seat with less

than four weeks until early voting

begins, but the controversial fight

for the seat could leave scars within

its Party organisation nationwide.

Mellow won on the second ballot

from the Party’s already-selected

Manurewa candidate Nuwanthie

Samarakone, who had been encouraged

by the hierarchy to go for the

high-profile Auckland Central candidacy

and who was then subjected

to social media rumours and attacks

from within the party.

Key leaders absent

National Party President Peter

Goodfellow, widely thought to have

backed Samarakone’s bid, was not

at the electorate selection meeting

on August 10, 2020 at Westhaven,

Auckland. Nor was the Party Leader

Judith Collins, who had campaigned

in Auckland through Monday but

attended a Party fundraiser in South

Auckland.

Regional Chair Andrew Hunt

opened the night with a strong

speech critical of Party members

who had conducted campaigns of

rumour and falsehood through

the selection battle. It was easy for

people to launch rumours but it

National Party Finance Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith with Emma Mellow

diverted the party from its Mission.

He apologised for an error that

had resulted in too few nominees

for final selection and then a delay

until last night in choosing the

contender but rubbished claims officials

had favoured one candidate

over any other.

Hunt said that rumours he had

personally been phoning delegates

on behalf of one candidate were

completely false.

“Stop it,” he scolded those

present. “Join me in stamping it out.

As the leader said, dirty politics has

no place in the National Party.”

Strange phone call

His comments came 90 minutes

after Newshub had broadcast a

claim that a sitting board member

of the National Party, Roger Bridge,

was alleged to have made a late

night call to NewstalkZB talkback

radio using the name “Merv, from

Manurewa” to question Samarakone’s

abandoning of Manurewa

for the Auckland Central contest.

The identifying of the talkback

call to media can only have come

from someone with internal party

motivations.

Travel bubble with Cook Islands

in three careful phases

Supplied Content

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Cook

Islands counterpart Henry Puna have said

that the completion of Phase One in the

establishment of a travel bubble between

New Zealand and the Cook Island as a step in the

right direction.

Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to

Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel between the Cook

Islands and New Zealand’ are at their concluding

stage.

This was reported to the Cook Islands Council of

Ministers on August 7, 2020 and the New Zealand

Cabinet on August 10, 2020.

Strict requirements

The Arrangement outlines the health and border

requirements for each country to meet in order to

recommence quarantine-free travel, and annexes

provide further detail on the implementation,

including border and travel protocols.

Phase Two will see health and border officials

from both countries undertake quality assurance

and system stress test checks to ensure the requirements

in the Arrangement can be implemented on

the ground.

Once assurance of the arrangements is guaranteed,

Phase Three is a decision from the respective

Cabinets that the Arrangement and on the ground

measures can be started safely and quarantine free

travel can begin.

Both Governments are hoping to have a travel

bubble in place before the end of the year, and as

soon as it can be safely achieved.

Constitutional Relationship

Ms Ardern said that the Arrangement sets up

the legal basis for the travel bubble and quarantine

travel between New Zealand and the Cooks and all

the rules and requirements that we need in place to

make it work safely.

“This Arrangement recognises the constitutional

relationship and special ties between New Zealand

and the Cook Islands, and provides the framework

to recommence travel without the need to

quarantine on arrival in both countries. Once in

force, the Arrangement will facilitate the return to

normal travel between our two countries, while

acknowledging that the priority remains to protect

our populations from Covid-19,” she said.

Ms Ardern said that both countries should

ensure that the commitments made in the

Arrangement can be met and that both have robust

health and border system that stop the spread of

Covid-19..

Robust systems essential

“We need to stress test the arrangement, ensure

testing and surveillance systems are strong, that we

have contact tracing systems in place in the event

of a case and that both countries can ensure those

eligible for travel within the New Zealand/Cook

Islands travel bubble meet the requisite health and

border criteria as detailed in the Arrangement,” Ms

Ardern said.

Mr Puna said that the free movement of people

between the Cook Islands and New Zealand is vital

to sustain economic and social connections.

“We are moving forward together with New

Zealand in a way that balances economic and social

needs with the importance of maintaining strong

public health efforts in both our countries, and

cooperation with travel sectors to implement safe

travel protocols. As part of its Covid-19 response,

the Cook Islands closed all air and sea borders

in March. We have been Covid-free to this day.

The elimination by New Zealand of community

transmission of Coronavirus 100 days ago enabled

some resumption by the Cook Islands of arrivals

from New Zealand only,” he said.

Issue on priority

Mr Puna said that on June 19, 2020, his country

resumed quarantine free travel arrivals from

Auckland only for Cook Islands residents who meet

its health and border entry requirements including

30 days prior residence in New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

with Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna

(Facebook Picture)

If it were indeed Bridge, it would

be an unprecedented and puzzling

attempted intervention by a member

of the Party’s National Board.

The New Zealand Herald, which is

under the same NZME banner as

NewstalkZB, later reported the call

allegedly came from Bridge’s phone

number.

Keeping it blue

As for Mellow, after her victory

was announced she saluted Samarakone

and the other finalist Rob

Thomas as “amazing people, and

I cannot wait for you to join our

Caucus and being MPs one day.”

Samarakone spoke briefly about

the importance of the Party vote

for the blue team but had to be

prompted by Thomas to congratulate

Mellow.

“We will be right there behind

you in supporting you,” she said to

the victor. ”I don’t want - and you

don’t want - to wake up on the 20th

of September and find this is a red

seat.”

About Emma Mellow

Mellow, 30, is a communications

executive at ANZ Bank. She previously

worked as a Press Secretary

Nuwanthie Samarakone with Judith Collins

for a Minister while in Australia

and for Sydney Airport.

In 12 years in the National Party,

Mellow has been the Northern

Chair of the Young Nats and serves

on the young business committee.

She describes herself as “a young

liberal woman” and believes her

National team, rather than her

individual brand versus other

individuals, will determine the seat.

She will campaign to hold the seat

being vacated by retiring National

MP Nikki Kaye.

Kaye was present at the selection

meeting but did not speak and left

immediately after Mellow’s victory

remarks. She posted on Instagram

that Mellow was “articulate, smart,

hard working and caring” and

would make an excellent MP.

“It was a competitive race with

some outstanding candidates.”

Opposing Candidates

Kaye’s departure has encouraged

Labour’s Helen White to believe she

can take the seat she contested in

2017, coming second by 1581 votes

- and has the prominent Green

candidate, MP Chloe Swarbrick,

targeting victory to secure her party

Electionlink

Priyanca

Radhakrishnan

Labour List MP based in Maungakiekie

Maungakiekie Office

09 622 2660

priyanca@parliament.govt.nz

Level 1 Crighton House,

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Authorised by Priyanca Radhakrishnan

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09

an electorate seat and guaranteed

presence in Parliament.

Interestingly, the question posed

to all candidates on behalf of the

National Party President was how

candidates would attack Green

Party policies on asset taxes and

income tax increases to “gain more

National Party votes in Auckland

Central.”

Mellow’s media conference after

the event was a tentative, cautious

start.

She did not engage over the

obvious division within the electorate

and party over the selection,

saying only the process had been

fair and that she hoped her proud

support for Kaye and her ambition

for National helped get her the

role.

“It is going to be difficult but I

will be working every day, tirelessly

on the ground to win. I think it is

going to be a tight race.”

On the broader battle, National

MPs are becoming bolder in

dispatching New Zealand First to

electoral oblivion.

List MP Paul Goldsmith spoke

at the meeting, running through

the tax intentions of National, the

Greens, Labour and then said:

“Who knows about New Zealand

First? But who cares?”

Former Speaker David Carter

said that the polls might show National

up against it, but “I’ll tell you

one thing. New Zealand First are

not going to make it” and in a drag

race between Labour and National

“We have got an even chance.”

After the upheavals in the

Caucus and now the Party organisation

and rank and file, an even

keel might be needed first.

Tim Murphy is Co-Founder and Co-Editor

of Newsroom. The above articles

and pictures have been published

under a Special Agreement.


10

AUGUST 15, 2020

Electionlink

Frustrating it is but fight against Covid-19 should be united

Peter Dunne

The return to lockdowns

is devastating news, on a

variety of fronts.

From the health perspective,

there must now be the deep

worry that despite all the steps

taken during the earlier lockdowns

and the border restrictions and

quarantines, there is community

transmission of the Covid-19 virus

in New Zealand after all.

Just a few days ago, we were

celebrating the achievement of

100 days without any community

transmission here and basking a

little in the envy of the world for

our achievements.

Fresh questions and challenges

How quickly our national

mood has shifted from that to

anxiety about how widespread

and established the virus may have

become here, and whether it can be

effectively contained.

The strategy which has served us

so well to date of suppressing the

virus until such time as a vaccine

becomes readily available now faces

fresh challenges and questions.

Yet, our resilience remains such

that we know we are up to whatever

lies ahead, and that we will face

up to it, with determination and

commitment, albeit with perhaps

not the same naïve enthusiasm

we saw at the start of the earlier

lockdowns.

The hardest thing to take may

be that, despite the steady, but soft,

warnings from the government

and the health authorities that a

fresh outbreak in the community at

some stage could not be ruled out

and was indeed inevitable, we had

succumbed to a level of community

complacency that Covid-19 was a

problem for other countries but no

longer New Zealand.

Starting all over

Now, after 64 days of comparative

normality and no real restrictions,

other than at the border, we face

the brutal shock of maybe having to

start all over again.

Families, having just seen things

return to a familiar model, now

face the prospect of having to keep

children home from school or preschool

once more.

Students anticipating either senior

school or university exams later

in the year face new uncertainty

about their course prospects for the

balance of the year.

Businesses that just hung on

through the earlier lockdowns now

contemplate losing customers and

clients and working out how to

make do all over again.

There will be a number for whom

the struggle will too great this time,

especially if the new lockdowns are

prolonged, meaning the numbers

of closed shops and offices already

looking obvious on the high streets

of towns and cities up and down

the country will continue to grow.

Complicating matters

Complicating matters is that

the wage subsidy scheme which

has helped many businesses to

survive so far expires at the start of

September.

The recovery funding announced

in the Budget is already mostly

committed, with only some of the

special Covid-19 contingency fund

still available for allocation.

While the state of the balance

sheet allows the government some

scope for further borrowing to

fund the recovery, that capacity is

not unlimited, and the government

may find it a little more difficult

to respond as generously as it has

previously.

The final quarter of 2020 was

already shaping up as a challenge

for the economy as the full impact

of the slowdown brought on by the

earlier lockdowns hit home, and

businesses find they can no longer

afford to keep staff once the wage

subsidies end.

A return of Covid-19 in the

community just makes that future

picture all that much bleaker.

Our present predicament is

perhaps best summed up by words

uttered by President Kennedy

around the time of the Cuban

missile crisis: “We sometimes chafe

at the burden of our obligations,

the complexity of our decisions,

the agony of our choices. But there

is no comfort or security for us in

evasion, no solution in abdication,

no relief in irresponsibility … for it

is the fate of this generation to live

with the struggle we did not start,

in a world we did not make. But

the pressures of life are not always

distributed by choice.”

No credible option

Frustrated or angry as we might

feel that we have not yet tamed

Covid-19 after all, we have no

credible option but to continue the

struggle.

That is the burden of our current

obligation which we cannot ignore.

But it is no excuse for unquestioning

compliance.

While we should have the confidence

to assume our leaders know

what they are doing, and are acting

in our best interests, we should

not flinch from asking questions

to which we should expect proper

answers. Of course, we should be

seeking reassurance while holding

those responsible to proper account

for their commitments and actions.

That, after all, is the essence of the

implicit compact between leaders

in a democratic society and the

general populace.

The Election issue

Above all, this looms the scheduled

2020 election.

The political parties will, on an

equal footing, need to determine

collectively whether that should

proceed as scheduled, or be

deferred for a few months.

Postponing elections in a free

society is a massive step that should

only be contemplated in the most

extreme of cases, and only then

with political support across the

spectrum, not just the whim of the

government of the day.

Such a momentous decision

should be founded on what is best

for the country, not what suits

any particular party’s political

convenience. In the meantime, it

behoves all political parties not to

seek to make any form of political

capital out of the country’s new

plight, but to work together fully

and constructively to address the

challenge.

Shattered dreams

2020 has so far been a year of

shattered dreams and previously

unimagined harsh new realities

for many New Zealanders. We do

not yet know whether the current

outbreak of Covid-19 is but an

inconvenient short-term blip, that

will soon pass, or something far

more serious and substantial.

All we know is we must

address it – thoroughly, calmly and

rationally, without letting either

petty points-scoring or excessive

emotionalism get in the way.

Peter Dunne is a former Minister of the

Crown under the Labour and National-led

governments from November

1999 to September 2019. He lives in

Wellington.

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AUGUST 15, 2020

Our foreign policy should be energetic and proactive

Simon Bridges

We are in a very significant

moment globally.

There are a raft of major

challenges making the

world more unpredictable and dangerous

than it has been for a long time.

From Covid-19 to climate change to

a new China-US Cold War of sorts, we

are experiencing the most worrying

On Sunday, August 9, 2020,

New Zealand marked 100

days without community

transmission of Covid-19.

From the first known case imported

into New Zealand on February

26, 2020 to the last case of community

transmission detected on May

1, 2020 elimination took 65 days.

New Zealand relied on three

types of measures to get rid of the

virus: (a) ongoing border controls

to stop Covid-19 from entering

the country (b) a lockdown and

physical distancing to stop community

transmission (c) case-based

controls using testing, contact

tracing and quarantine.

No suppression strategy

Collectively, these measures

have achieved low case numbers

and deaths compared with

high-income countries in Europe

and North America that pursued a

suppression strategy.

New Zealand is one of a small

number of jurisdictions, including

mainland China, Hong Kong,

Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam,

Mongolia, Australia and Fiji,

pursuing Covid-19 containment or

elimination.

Most have had new outbreaks.

The exceptions are Taiwan, Mongolia,

Fiji and New Zealand.

Australia adopted very similar

responses to the pandemic and

it is important to note that most

states and territories are in the

same position as New Zealand.

But Victoria and, to a lesser extent,

New South Wales are seeing a

significant resurgence.

Articulated Elimination Strategy

The key difference is that New

Zealand committed relatively

early to a clearly articulated

geopolitical fracturing since the darkest

days of the first Cold War.

For New Zealand, I believe this

means we need to be proactive in looking

out for our interests and standing

up for our values in a way we have not

for some time.

These values include democracy,

freedom, human rights, safety and

security.

The Hong Kong situation

The most significant global issue, outside

of Covid-19, right at this moment is

the national security law in Hong Kong.

It undermines human rights and the

‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework

guaranteed in the Sino-British

Guaranteed Declaration and adds to a

list of relatively recent concerns around

China’s actions including militarisation

of the South China Sea and repression

of the Uighur minority.

National joins our 5 Eyes Partners

in condemning the law and what is

happening more broadly in Hong Kong

and we call on the government to also

do so more forthrightly.

While Foreign Minister Winston

Peters has expressed his concern, more

clear condemnation is in line with

our values. I am surprised that the

government has not been clearer, given

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s clear

values-based foreign policy stance and

the posturing of Mr Peters previously

on China.

While I cannot nail down all details

of our policies from Opposition, I

believe that the government has rightly

suspended the extradition law in place

with Hong Kong and I would also

encourage it to consider safe haven

visas as Britain and Australia have for

Hong Kong nationals.

Energising international relations

Given the uncertainties and

dangers internationally, now is a time

for greater energy on international

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Businesslink

National Health Agency needed to manage threats

The Covid-19-free country

can be a global example

Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig and Nick Wilson

Tight measures have helped New Zealand to

stop community transmission of Covid-19

elimination strategy and pursued

it aggressively.

An intense lockdown proved

highly effective at rapidly extinguishing

the virus.

This difference can be seen

graphically in this stringency index

published by Oxford University’s

Our World in Data.

There are key lessons from New

Zealand’s Covid-19 experience.

A vigorous, decisive response to

the pandemic was highly effective

at minimising cases and deaths.

New Zealand has the lowest

COVID-19 death rate in the OECD.

Total all-cause deaths also

dropped during the lockdown.

This observation suggests it did

not have severe negative effects

on health, although it will almost

certainly have some negative longterm

effects.

Elimination of the virus appears

to have allowed New Zealand to

return to near-normal operation

fairly rapidly, minimised economic

damage compared with Australia.

But the economic impact is

likely to keep playing out over the

coming months.

Getting through the pandemic

We have gained a much better

understanding of Covid-19 over

the past eight months.

Without effective control

measures, it is likely to continue to

spread globally for many months

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

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 industry.

Chief Executive Angela

Mentis said that BNZ believes

that everybody should be

paid a fair wage that can support

them and their families

Angela Mentis, Chief Executive, BNZ

to meet the cost of living.

“Paying the Living Wage

is the right thing to do, it

to years, ultimately infecting

billions and killing millions. The

proportion of infected people who

die appears to be slightly below

1%.

This infection also causes serious

long-term consequences for some

survivors.

The largest uncertainties involve

immunity to this virus, whether

it can develop from exposure to

infection or vaccines, and if it

is long-lasting. The potential for

treatment with antivirals and

other therapeutics is also still

uncertain.

This knowledge reinforces

the huge benefits of sustaining

elimination.

We know that if New Zealand

were to experience widespread

Covid-19 transmission, the impact

on Māori and Pasifika populations

could be catastrophic.

We have previously described

critical measures to get us through

this period, including the use

of fabric face masks, improving

contact tracing with suitable digital

tools, applying a science-based

approach to border management,

and the need for a dedicated

national public health agency.

Risk Management

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.

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

childcare.

Maintaining elimination

depends on adopting a highly

strategic approach to risk management.

This approach involves choosing

an optimal mix of interventions

and using resources in the most

efficient way to keep the risk of

Covid-19 outbreaks at a consistently

low level.

Several measures can contribute

to this goal over the next few

months, while also allowing incremental

increases in international

travel (a) resurgence planning

for a border-control failure and

outbreaks of various sizes, with

state-of-the-art contact tracing and

an upgraded alert level system

(b) ensuring all New Zealanders

own a re-useable fabric face

mask with their use built into the

alert level system (c) conducting

exercises and simulations to test

outbreak management procedures,

possibly including “mass masking

days” to engage the public in the

response (d) carefully exploring

processes to allow quarantine-free

travel between jurisdictions

free of Covid-19, notably various

Pacific Islands, Tasmania and

Taiwan (which may require digital

tracking of arriving travellers for

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11

relations where we seek deeper

partnerships with large democracies in

the Indo-Pacific such as Japan and India

and also the likes of Indonesia, South

Korea, Singapore and Association of

South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and

Pacific Island nations.

While Foreign Affairs do not turn

elections in New Zealand, I wanted

this portfolio given its heightened

importance today when compared with

our past.

Now is a time to be energetic and

proactive internationally.

Simon Bridges is the elected member of Parliament

from Tauranga and National Party’s

Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Justice.

The above article (edited appropriately now)

was sent to us more than four weeks has

been unfortunately delayed. Our apologies.

the first few weeks) (e) planning

for carefully managed inbound

travel by key long-term visitor

groups such as tertiary students

who would generally still need

managed quarantine.

Building back better

New Zealand cannot change

the reality of the global Covid-19

pandemic.

But it can leverage possible

benefits.

We should conduct an official

inquiry into the COVID-19 response

so we learn everything we possibly

can to improve our response

capacity for future events.

We also need to establish a

specialised national public health

agency to manage serious threats

to public health and provide

critical mass to advance public

health generally.

Such an agency appears to have

been a key factor in the success

of Taiwan, which avoided a costly

lockdown entirely.

Business as usual should not be

an option for the recovery phase.

A recent Massey University

survey suggests seven out of ten

New Zealanders support a green

recovery approach.

New Zealand’s elimination of

Covid-19 has drawn attention

worldwide, with a description just

published in the New England

Journal of Medicine. We support a

rejuvenated World Health Organisation

that can provide improved

global leadership for pandemic

prevention and control, including

greater use of an elimination

approach to combat Covid-19.

Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig and

Nick Wilson are respectively Professor

of Public Health, Senior Research

Fellow and Professor of Public Health at

University of Otago. The above article

and pictures, which appeared in The

Conversation have been published

under Creative Commons Licence.


12

AUGUST 15, 2020

Viewlink

The English Fortnightly (Since November 1999)

ISSUE 444 | AUGUST 15, 2020

Pandemic of fear feeds

on negative politics

It is the inherent duty of

the Opposition to hold the

government to account.

Elected representatives

ensure that those in the

Treasury benches – even those

in absolute majority – do

not stray and operate within

the legitimate confines of

transparency.

But there are times when

politicians should get together

and fight the onslaught of

disasters such as wars, natural

calamities and pandemics.

The current situation is one

such.

Until a few days ago, New

Zealand was the envy of the

world, having ousted Covid-19

and sustained ‘No community

transmission’ status for 102

days. The second wave has

hit us and the government is

fighting hard to eliminate the

Virus.

Time for solidarity

This is time for unity and

solidarity, not scaremongering

and politicking.

National Party Leader

Judith Collins and her Deputy

Gerry Brownlee doubtless

know how it is to be on the

hot seat of the government

during times of crisis. They

Salutations to the world’s

largest democracy

August 15 marks the

74th Independence

Day for India but

unfortunately, public

celebrations will not be held

in India or in other parts of

the world in view of Covid-19

lockdown restrictions.

New Zealand will perhaps

be among very few countries

where limited festivities may

be held, except Auckland,

which moved to Alert Level

3 three days ago fearing a

second wave of the virus.

The spirit of Indian

Independence will

undoubtedly be in the hearts

of men and women as they

remember those who fought

for the country’s freedom in

the past century.

Indians born in India will

recall the festivities that

they would have attended as

students and adults, and try

to instil pride among their

children and grandchildren.

Indians perhaps understand

independence and appreciate

its value better than anyone

else in the world; for, it was

obtained after protracted

did so during the Christchurch

earthquakes and aftershocks.

Labour was in Opposition

then and even if they were

strong (they were too weak

to even squeak) would

have perhaps helped the

government in its efforts to

clean us the mess and help

victims.

Implacable enemy

Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern is fighting a battle

with Covid-19 – an implacable

enemy in which politicians

around the world seem to be

losing, and struggling to catch

up with the pace of events.

The Coronavirus will not

submit to their armoury of

promises, threats or flattery;

funding pledges or sanctions.

Unlike the economy, in which

actions and consequences are

separated by months or years,

Covid-19 exposes the errors of

leaders with merciless speed.

And all too often it threatens

them personally.

Ms Arden dominates press

coverage, leading the national

resistance. This short-term

gain is small compensation for

the risks the pandemic poses

in the long term.

struggle and the right

to express is constantly

practiced, even on empty

stomach.

Such is the passion for

individual liberty that for

73 years the country and

its people have constantly

battled forces of division and

derision, intransigence and

indifference and violence and

vituperation.

Paradox and irony

To a country of billion plus

people, the day on which

their leaders brought political

freedom from alien rule, we

say, “Congratulations! You

richly deserved it.”

We have always believed

that to be an Indian is unique

and to be a New Zealander

Indian is a privilege that is

accorded to a chosen few.

Global Player

Prime Minister Narendra

Modi stands for a New India

which reaches out to countries

and people in a spirit of

cooperation for universal

benefit. Since taking oath of

office on May

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Built-in projectors will become a feature in future smartphones

People from the 'Joy of Android'

Innovative features are

changing our smartphones

future phones

would be far

different from what

they are now.”

“The

Those were the

words of Ivan Guzenko, Chief

Executive and Co-Founder of

SmartyAds when asked to share

his ideas of how the future smartphones

would be.

Modern technology continues to

advance with time.

So, smartphone users ask

themselves what futuristic features

await their mobile devices.

Smartphones Now

If we look at smartphones today,

we could say that smartphone

innovation has come a long way.

Everything is possible. From

using many applications at once to

robust memory.

We have faster speed, high-definition

cameras, online streaming,

and days worth of battery lives.

Thus, try to imagine ten years

from now. Twenty years. Or even

in fifty years!

Can you picture how our

smartphones would look like and

the things they could do? No doubt,

these probably are things that we

have never thought of before.

What to Expect from future

mobile phones?

While it is hard to tell, various

users have shared their insightful

predictions. And some of them are

outlined below.

Holographic Displays

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe

and even beyond, holograms

land on almost every fantasy

film. Characters are swiping their

fingers in the air as virtual images

appear in front of them.

Hence, smartphone users are

intrigued whether this is possible

with future devices as well.

However, if one may recall, this

may not be far from happening;

or, more interestingly, holographic

phones may be around now.

Rumours circulated that iPhone

6 came with a holographic feature.

But many frowned upon finding

out there was none.

Although iPhone 6 disappointed

many, Red boosted everyone’s

hope yet again.

This happened when the

company released a phone dubbed

as Hydrogen One in 2018. At that

time, Red Hydrogen One appeared

to be the world’s “first holographic

smartphone.”

The release of the said phone

was immensely hyped. Thousands

were so eager to get hold of a

smartphone that offered high-quality

camera and holographic

functions. Everything turned out

good until users have reviewed the

product themselves.

In this Mashable report,

the product received negative

feedback. Many complained about

its “poor design, mediocre camera

quality, and underwhelming

holograms.” In response, Red

pointed out that the failure was

on the device manufacturer. But

such a claim was yet to be further

substantiated.

Therefore, the ideal holographic

smartphone may not be around

for now. But with the series of

attempts done in the past years, it

certainly will not take too long.

Flexible and Stretchable Build

Software customizability is

essential. But a smartphone with

hardware flexibility would also

make a great deal. The idea behind

this is that users could fit their

smartphones wherever they want.

They could even transform their

shape into whatever they please.

This feature could be handy

when users engage in activities

like walking or jogging. It would

be useful if they could wrap their

phones around their wrist, for

example. If users also want to keep

their phones as small as possible,

they could fold it like a piece of

origami. Also, this feature could

save a user’s phone from damage

if it falls a couple of meters above

ground.

Nokia introduced this kind

of idea through its The Morph

phone in 2008. Aiming to redefine

user-experience, Nokia described

the phone to be transformable.

Nevertheless, this kind of smartphone

is not out in the market just

yet.

Other companies like Samsung,

Huawei, or LG, have also drafted

similar ideas.

For instance, Samsung is working

on a more polished clamshell

design. At the same time, Huawei

and LG have been perfecting their

stretchable displays.

Eco-friendly Features

Advocating for environmental

preservation is a noble cause. Including

saving our planet into our

smartphones is highly considered

by many.

Recently, phone manufacturers

turned to renewable sources to

power smartphones.

For instance, Kyocera introduced

a solar-powered prototype during

a 2016 trade show.

Another prototype by Mikhail

Stawsky showcased a kinetic

energy-harnessing phone. One can

do this by spinning a phone on

one’s finger.

Hands-free Experience

Voice assistants and other forms

of touch-free mobile phone interactions

are available nowadays.

Many experts predict that future

smartphones may be wholly

manoeuvred hands-free.

Guzenko believed that advancements

in augmented reality would

make this innovation possible.

Jose Morey of Liberty Biosecurity

has also pointed out that Neuro-linguistic

programming and Artificial

intelligence would aid in making

smartphone use, both professionally

and personally, hands-free.

In line with this, he predicted that

there would be more Siri, Alexa, or

Cortana in the future.

Built-in Portable Projector

Joyofandroid has reported some

of the best projectors that are

compatible with android phones.

But imagine if the projector itself is

already built-in?

Remember that phones are

essential in businesses and office

settings.

Smartphones with presentation

tools would come very helpful for

a compelling business presentation.

This feature would allow

users to set-up reports during

meetings. All while skipping the

hassle of bringing bulky projectors.

This trend has already been

started by Samsung Galaxy Beam

when it was introduced in the

market last 2010. It featured a DLP

WVGA projector that could project

up to 50 inches. Thus, seeing more

smartphones with a portable

projector in the next years would

come in no surprise.

More Powerful Upgrades

Lastly, the next wave of smartphones

would most likely improve

present functions.

These improvements could

encompass internet connectivity,

camera quality, and graphic

displays, among others.

5G connectivity would play a

considerable role in smartphone

evolution. As more countries

set-up 5G networks, phone manufacturers

are also in the race to

produce phones with seamless 5G

capabilities. Oppo, Samsung, Huawei,

Xiaomi, and Motorola have

already started building their own.

However, these new 5G phones

still come at a high price, and their

supply remains less accessible to a

broader international market. At

the same time, more companies

are upgrading their cameras. Most

by adding more megapixels and

depth.

This trend also applies to graphic

displays. They are updated continuously

for a more powerful display

and more reliable processing

capacity.

For instance, companies are

integrating the Snapdragon 855

Plus, Qualcomm’s gaming chipset.

This makes smartphones better

geared for gaming and other highend

processes.

Who knows what lies ahead?

We are in the golden age of

modern technology. Developers

are continuously taking the fiction

out of science fiction.

Thus, it is exciting to look

forward to how our smartphones

might become years from now.

However, in the meantime, the

best we could do is to expect what

we least expect. We should wait as

we see the future of smartphones

unfold before our very eyes.

The above article and pictures

were supplied by Darwin at ‘Joy

of Android.’

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AUGUST 15, 2020

India Independence Special

13

Namaste!

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

j.salesa@ministers.govt.nz

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

priyanca@parliament.govt.nz

09 622 2660

Level 1, Crighton House, 100 Neilson Street

(entrance on Galway Street), Onehunga, Auckland

Authorised by Priyanca Radhakrishnan MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington


14

AUGUST 15, 2020

India Independence Special

Spread of Covid subdues Independence festivities in India

Elsewhere in the world it is

much the same; we also look

at the Economy

Venkat Raman

More than a billion people in

India and at least 30 million

people of Indian origin constituting

the Indian Diaspora

across the Continents will mark the 74th

Independence Day of their Motherland

today (August 15, 2020) and celebrate the

73rd Anniversary of their freedom from

Britain on this day in 1947.

While the country has earned an

exclusive place of pride, honour and

dignity as the world’s largest democracy,

political stability has been underscored

by a strong federal government over

the years, especially since May 2014

when Narendra Modi led his Bharatiya

Janata Patty (BJP) to victory, thrashing

the Congress Party at its allies at the

pools. He and his Party received a

more massive mandate at the elections

held in April/May 2019 and with the

BJP gaining ground in several States,

India is repeating its political history

of Post-Independence era of political

stability inspiring business and societal

confidence.

In today’s world of interconnectivity, that

confidence is manifest in increasing flow

of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and

international financial institutions.

The gripping pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked

havoc in India, with the first case reported

on January 30, 2020. Since then, the

incidence of the Virus has escalated and

the country today has the third largest

number of cases in the world, after USA

and Brazil.

As at August 14, 2020, almost 2.5

million cases were on record with about

65,000 deaths.

India’s case fatality rate is among

the lowest in the world at 2.41% and is

steadily declining.

On March 22, 2020, India observed a

14-hour voluntary public curfew at the

instance of Mr Modi.

It was followed by mandatory

lockdowns in Covid-19 hotspots and all

major cities.

India’s popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi

(Wikiwand)

Adverse impact

While the Modi government is doing

its best to soften the blow that Coronavirus

has had on the economy, adverse

effects are inevitable.

Goldman Sachs has projected that the

economy will contract by 5% during the

2020-2020 fiscal year. The government

has implemented a US$ 265 billion

stimulus equivalent to 10% GDP.

However, economists have put the

package’s true value at about 1.5% of

GDP. The accelerating spread of the

virus across India has the potential to

generate staggering economic costs.

As ‘The Diplomat’ said, there is

however reason for optimism.

“Necessity is the mother of reform.

India only opened its economy and

launched its reform agenda in 1991

because its economic situation was so

dire. Facing sovereign default, it had

no choice but to systemically reform its

economy. With the economy cratering

while tens of millions of young Indians

enter the workforce for years to come,

the necessity, and therefore likelihood,

of reform will increase. Already, to

combat 26% unemployment at the

height of India’s lockdown, Indian states

gutted longstanding labor regulations,

and momentum is increasing for land

reform.”

Economic reforms need boost

The United States should strongly

encourage India’s domestic economic

reforms. India can only be a bulwark

against China if it has the economic heft

Indian community strengthens

bond with Motherland

Priyanca Radhakrishnan

Happy Indian Independence

day!

Congratulations to the land

of my birth

and to my fellow

Indian New Zealanders

as we celebrate

73 years of Indian

indpependence.

Today is a day of

rememberance as we

pay tribute to the men

and women across

India who fought for

what they believed

in and gave up their

lives to achieve

independence.

On this day, we celebrate

ancient India,

one of the oldest and

richest civilisations, and her significant

contributions on the global stage.

We also celebrate modern India, the

largest functioning democracy that

has made significant economic and

industrial progress over the last several

years.

This year, my thoughts and prayers

also go to everyone in India as they too

grapple with the impact of the Covid-19

pandemic.

Sustained relationship

India and New Zealand have a

longstanding, warm relationship. Our

ties go back to the 1800s, with Indians

settling in New Zealand as early as the 1850s.

Our relationship has strengthened over time

and today, our vibrant and diverse Kiwi

Indian community contributes enormously

to NZ’s society, culture and economy - and in

virtually every sector.

This year, I also want to specially

acknowledge the contributions made by

various organisations to support families and

international students who needed additional

assistance as we all deal with Covid-19. It

has been, and continues to be, a tough time

for many but it was special to see many of

our Kiwi Indian organisations, Mandirs and

Gurdwaras work collectively as part of our

team of five million with the government to

eliminate Covid-19 from our shores.

Thank you all for the part you continue

to play as we deal with the impact of this

pandemic and we keep moving to rebuild

our economy together.

Priyanca Radhakrishnan is a Member of

Parliament on Labour List for Maungakiekie and

Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ethnic

Communities Minister.

India’s strong defence force includes women

to sustain it. Achieving this can involve

traditional carrots and sticks from the

United States, but policymakers should

seek creativity and ambition in policy

design.

The publication said that the current

situation offers unmatched potential

for US-India synergy across strategic

alignment, economic prosperity, and

democratic cause, US policymakers must

take full advantage of this.

“They must also make clear that

American interest in the economic

relationship is not solely for the benefit

of US companies, but rather for all

countries wary of Chinese expansionism

and aggression, including India itself,”

it said.

Fifth largest economy

India is the fastest-growing

trillion-dollar economy in the world

and the fifth-largest overall, with a

nominal GDP of US$ 2.94 trillion. India

has become the fifth-largest economy

in 2019, overtaking the United Kingdom

and France.

According to Investopedia, India

ranks third when GDP is compared in

terms of purchasing power parity at US$

11.33 trillion.

“India’s post-independence journey

began as an agrarian nation; however,

over the years the manufacturing and

services sector has emerged strongly.

Today, its service sector is the fastest-growing

sector in the world, contributing

to more than 60% to its economy

and accounting for 28% of employment.

The Indian Tri-Colour Flag

Manufacturing remains as one of its

crucial sectors and is being given due

push via the governments’ initiatives,

such as ‘Make in India.’ Although the

contribution of its agricultural sector has

declined to around 17%, it still is way

higher in comparison to the western

nations. The economy’s strength lies in

a limited dependence on exports, high

saving rates, favourable demographics,

and a rising middle class,” it said.

Bright prospects

The long-term growth perspective of

the Indian economy remains positive

due to its young population and corresponding

low dependency ratio, healthy

savings and investment rates, and is

increasing integration into the global

economy.

Investopedia said that the economy

slowed in 2017, due to shocks of

demonetisation in 2016 and introduction

of Goods and Services Tax. Nearly 60%

of India’s GDP is driven by domestic

private consumption and continues

to remain the world’s sixth-largest

consumer market.

“Apart from private consumption,

India’s GDP is also triggered by government

spending, investment, and exports.

In 2018, India was the world’s tenth-largest

importer and the nineteenth-largest

exporter,” it said.

India has been a member of World

Trade Organisation since January 1,

1995. It ranks 63rd on Ease of doing

business index and 68th on Global

Competitiveness Report. With 520-million-workers,

the Indian labour force is

the world’s second-largest as of 2019.

“India has one of the world’s highest

number of billionaires and extreme

income inequality. Since India has a vast

informal economy, barely 2% of Indians

pay income taxes. During the 2008

global financial crisis the economy faced

mild slowdown, India undertook fiscal

and monetary measures to boost growth

and generate demand; in subsequent

years economic growth revived.”

PPP to overtake USA

According to 2017 Pricewaterhouse-

Coopers (PwC) report, India’s GDP at

purchasing power parity could overtake

that of the United States by 2050.

According to World Bank, to achieve

sustainable economic development

India must focus on public sector

reform, infrastructure, agricultural and

rural development, removal of land and

labour regulations, financial inclusion,

spur private investment and exports,

education and public health.

In 2019, India’s ten largest trading

partners were USA, China, UAE, Saudi

Arabia, Hong Kong, Iraq, Singapore,

Germany, South Korea and Switzerland.

In 2018-2019, Foreign Direct Investment

(FDI) was US$ 64.4 billion with service

sector, computer, and telecom industry

leading.

India has Free Trade Agreement with

The Association of South East Asian

Nations, the South Asian Free Trade

Area, Mercosur, South Korea and Japan.

Indo-Kiwi relations fall short of expectations

Venkat Raman

This article may be seen as an

anachronism and as a thorn in

the flesh of bilateral relations

and as antithetical by some

self-styled community and business

leaders but an honest analysis of

the Indo-Kiwi relationship, or the

dormancy of it, is always intended to

raise issues, in the solution of which,

there could be a more beneficial

engagement.

Relations with New Zealand

For all the rhetoric uttered by

political leaders, economists and

businesspersons, India’s relations

with New Zealand has remained at a

mundane level – almost static over the

past thirteen years or so; there have

been high-level ministerial visits from

either side to either country but none

of these has produced any tangible

results.

The much talked about Free Trade

Agreement (FTA) remains on the

backburner, with its flame kept alive

with just hope.

The annual two-way trade between

the two countries remains low at NZ$

2.5 billion (of which $1.7 billion are

exports to India), compared to China,

trade with which, now at NZ$ 30

billion.

India has continuously expressed

its aversion to discuss exemption of

tariffs on agricultural, farming and

dairy products from New Zealand, as

these would adversely affect its own

agricultural sectors. Instead, Delhi has

offered an FTA in its Services Sector,

which has not found much favour

with the New Zealand government.

Political fallout

Politics has not been helpful in

strengthening relationship between

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Manila on November 12, 2017.

The two leaders were in the Philippines Capital to attend the 31st Summit of ASEAN. (Twitter Picture)

the two countries.

While the Indian Government has

neither forgotten nor forgiven New

Zealand’s non-endorsement of India’

bid to the Permanent Membership of

the UN Security Council and on the

issue of Nuclear Supply Group (NSG),

the New Zealand leadership is still

bitter about New Delhi’s reluctance in

supporting the candidature of Helen

Clark to the post of Secretary General.

Some of us who travelled with (the

then Prime Minister) John Key to

India in 2011 and 2016 were aware of

the rumblings in Delhi’s South Block

(where much power is brokered

and broken), to the effect that New

Zealand was not willing to travel an

extra mile to support India – as a true

friend should.

Mr Key did not explicitly support

India’s application to join the NSG,

but only committed to “contribute

constructively” to the “process” to

reach a decision by an early date. Mr

Key’s visit took place as India revved

up its campaign for its second attempt

to join the NSG.

Globalisation dressing

“New Zealand can benefit by

participating in India’s Services Sector,

which has been fully liberalised.

We would welcome New Zealand

to be our partner in modernising

and expanding our infrastructure,

education, health and other areas.

There are no restrictions on Foreign

Direct Investment (FDI). We have the

presence and participation of almost

all major multinationals in India. The

New Zealand government and Kiwi

companies should realise that India

is the place to be in the next three

years,” he said.

Positive approach

None of the above should however

distract us from pursuing constructive

engagement with India. This article

is at best a pointer on the enormity

of problems that confront Indo-Kiwi

relationship and the poverty of our

contributions in solving them. The

one should instil in us a feeling of

humility and the other the spirit

of solidarity to achieve the desired

results. The two countries have much

in common which can be harnessed

for a brighter future for the peoples of

both countries.


AUGUST 15, 2020

Businesslink

15

A vital link between people, solutions and expertise.

The skills you require and people who can do it.

www.link2services.com


16

AUGUST 15, 2020

Educationlink

Borders should open for international students

Vital for economic growth,

employment and progress

However, it is more critical than under control, including Pacific Island

ever that New Zealand borders are countries where there are no or very

carefully controlled to keep Covid-19 few cases of Covid-19.

out of the country.

Travel Bubble

People entering New Zealand must This argument is similar to New

stay in managed isolation or quarantine

for at least 14 days and complete Pacific countries and countries with

Zealand’s travel bubble with the

a health assessment and return a managed cases of Covid-19, where

negative Covid-19 test before they can there are zero community transmission.

Rowena Singh

go into the community.

New Zealand borders need to be opened to

Allowing foreign students

The other issue raised in connection

International students.

This could also apply to international

students who could stay in managed question of, particularly of poorer

with international students is the

The loss incurred to the economy and to

universities is extremely high, especially

isolation (in hotels) and or quarantine students, who are not able to work 20

International students boost our economy (Image from University of Auckland website)

considering that New Zealand is able to manage the

for 14 days and after a health assessment

which states they test negative Currently, under student visas,

hours a week.

return of the international students safely.

Universities lose $200 million Under the leadership of Prime

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) figures as at the

Universities New Zealand Chief Minister Jacinda Ardern, New for Covid- 19, they could then join the students are able to work up to 20

end of May 2020 showed that international student

Executive Chris Whelan said Zealand has managed a zero rest of the New Zealand community. hours a week.

numbers had declined significantly.

in an article, which appeared Covid-19 community transmission. International students could pay However, due to Covid-19, there is

Decline in numbers

in Insidehighered.com, that it This was done diligently enabling for the 14-day accommodation while already massive unemployment.

Our universities had 17,570 students, polytechnics

9308 and schools 10,506 - about half the num-

would cause New Zealand’s eight the country to be one of the first they are in managed isolation if they Some students are exploited by

universities a loss of around $200 in the world to come out of the are able to do so. Otherwise. this could local businesses paying below the

ber of students in those segments of the education

million in international enrolment pandemic crisis.

be considered under the hardship minimum wage. Such employers must

sector enrolled in 2018 when the total number of

this year and that the loss would The only Covid-19 cases that grounds and paid by the New Zealand be punished under the existing laws.

foreign students was placed at 110,790.

double next year if graduating come through were from returning

New Zealanders.

International students bring colossal could work together to create more

government.

The government and communities

In late April, there were 13,101 students from

international students went home

China in the country, 12,226 from India and 2788

and no newly recruited students Borders closed

amounts of revenue to the economy employment for international

from South Korea. The US was the only country

were allowed in to replace them. Due to this, New Zealand’s through enrolment, food, accommodation

and hence supporting their community.

students as they are for the rest of the

with fewer students with valid study visas in New

The loss is also to the

borders are strictly controlled.

Zealand, 870, than out of New Zealand, 1064.

international students who miss The Ministry of Health website quarantine costs would be deemed an

Rowena Singh is a freelance journalist,

The figures highlighted the downturn of about $5

out on their education and to the states that under Alert Level 1, investment.

photographer and videographer. She lives in

billion which comes from the international student

multi-cultural community that people within New Zealand are International students could come Auckland. Email:

industry.

they contribute to New Zealand. able to travel and mix more freely. from countries where the pandemic is Rowena.Singh2017@gmail.com

KiwiSaver for start-ups can destroy people’s savings

Peter Dunne

On the face of it, National

Party’s new policy of

allowing people to withdraw

up to $20,000 from their

KiwiSaver accounts to put towards a

new busines venture looks attractive,

especially as the daunting task of

recovery from the economic ravages

caused by Covid-19 gets underway.

If it works, it could certainly

encourage more business investment,

increase activity and jobs, and aid the

process of recovery.

But as many analysts have

pointed out, it is also extremely risky,

given the high rate of new business

start-ups that fail, even at the best of

times, and could see people losing

substantial amounts of their KiwiSaver

investments, to their personal

longer-term detriment.

Fundamentals missed

National Party Leader Judith

Collins’ counter that people should

have a choice whether to invest

their KiwiSaver funds with a funds

manager, or in a new business

venture has some merit, but misses

the fundamental point of KiwiSaver.

What she describes as money “put

aside for a rainy day” is far more than

that.

KiwiSaver is a savings scheme for

a person’s retirement, both to reduce

their long-term reliance on New Zealand

Superannuation and to enable

them to enjoy a decent standard of

living as they grow older. The idea

was that everyone joining KiwiSaver

had the equivalent of a dedicated fund

where their investments were locked

away until they reached 65.

An early concession was made to

allow first home buyers to withdraw

a small proportion of their KiwiSaver

investment to go towards the cost of a

deposit on a house.

However, successive Labour and

National-led governments have

properly resisted many other calls

for people to be able to access their

KiwiSaver funds early, for matters

such as student loans repayments or

unexpected health costs.

In so doing, they have recognised

the long-term nature of KiwiSaver

investments, so that individuals get

to enjoy the benefit of a substantial

retirement lump-sum pay-out at the

age of 65.

A vexed issue

Retirement income policy has been

a vexed issue since the fourth Labour

government introduced a 25% tax surcharge

on superannuitants’ additional

income above $5200 a year in 1984.

From that time, and through most

of the 1990s, superannuation policy

was a political football kicked back

and forward between the Labour and

National parties. Both wanted a viable

long-term solution to the rising costs of

New Zealand Superannuation as the

population lived longer, while, at the

same time, not incurring the wrath of

older voters in the process.

The Cullen Fund

Eventually, in 2000 Sir Michael

Cullen instituted the Superannuation

Fund (popularly known as the Cullen

Fund) to pre-fund a portion of likely

future superannuation costs by setting

aside a fixed sum each year for the

Fund to invest and build up.

That established a measure of

stability in superannuation policy and

brought the government time in terms

of rising future costs of New Zealand

Superannuation due to an ageing

population.

The launch of KiwiSaver by Sir

Michael in 2007 as a voluntary retirement

savings scheme was the next

step in making the long-term costs of

looking after older New Zealanders

more sustainable.

However, the new equilibrium was

short-lived.

National suspends contributions

In response to the Global

Financial Crisis in 2009 Sir John Key’s

National-led government suspended

the annual contributions to the Superannuation

Fund and did not resume

them during its entire term of office.

Meanwhile, projected long-term

superannuation costs were continuing

to riAse, leading Labour in Opposition

in 2014 to propose gradually lifting the

New Zealand Superannuation entitlement

age from 65 to 67. Yet, when the

National-led government introduced

legislation in 2017 to increase the age

to 67 over a 20-year period, the Labour

Party opposed it.

It was reminiscent of the superannuation

game-playing of the 1980s and

1990s all over again.

Today, the current Labour-led

government’s position is that the age of

entitlement will not be shifted above

65 years, and that the issue is only

being discussed because National cut

contributions to the Superannuation

Fund back in 2009.

National, on the other hand,

remains committed to its 2017 position

of raising the age to 67 over 20 years.

The upshot is that no-one under about

45 years of age can plan their futures

with certainty.

It is generally accepted that the

It is time to bring back migrant workers stranded offshore

Rowena Singh

Tens of thousands of people

holding temporary visas are

stranded abroad.

According to Migrant

Workers Association of Aotearoa, there

are about 42,000 such people waiting

for the New Zealand government to

relax its border controls and allow

them to return.

Many of them have New

Zealand-born children and all of

their personal belongings here. Their

future is uncertain as they continue to

pay rent and bills here as well in the

countries in which they are stranded.

Meanwhile, many of these workers

risk losing their jobs because their

employers cannot wait forever.

While accepting the fact that quarantine

and managed isolation facilities

are full, resulting in delays to New Zealand

citizens and permanent residents

re-entering the country, it is equally

important to consider temporary visa

holders on humanitarian grounds.

Humanitarian grounds

During an interview with Radio

Tarana, Immigration Minister Kris

Faafoi said that the government has

not forgotten the plight of temporary

visa holders keen to return to their

lives in New Zealand.

He said that while safety is the

main priority, “humanitarian needs of

those who would normally call New

Zealand home” is also an important

consideration.

Mr Faafoi said that offshore migrant

workers were on “top of the mind”

while officials continued to work

through the logistics of letting them

return to New Zealand safely.

Former Immigration Minister Iain

Lees-Galloway told Radio Tarana that

there was a lack of opportunity to

safely permit temporary visa holders,

mostly because of a large influx of

Migrant workers have their homes, assets and

jobs in New Zealand

returning New Zealand citizens and

residents.

He said that Covid-19 continues to

spread in most parts of the country

citizens and permanent residents of

New Zealand in these places eager to

return home. And that really limits

New Zealand’s ability to take people

who are on temporary visas.

Temporary visa holders should be

brought back with the same priority

and haste as citizens and permanent

residents.

Extending visa validity

If the New Zealand government is

not able to prioritise the swift return

of temporary visa holders, it should at

the very least extend their visas.

The Migrant Workers Association of

Aotearoa has demanded that all temporary

visa holders stranded offshore

are given visa extensions equal to the

duration of border closure.

They also say that visa workers

in New Zealand are not faring any

better. Most of them have their work

visas attached to their jobs. Cuts due

to the economic downturn have left

many without jobs. No job means no

visa for these workers. They have no

source of income and they are not

eligible for benefits.

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic,

many migrants took to the streets

to oppose unacceptably long visa

processing times of Immigration New

Zealand (INZ).

advent of Covid-19 has led to dramatic

changes in the way governments the

world over will need to respond to the

new economic and social challenges

now facing their countries.

A new sense of innovation and

flexibility will be required.

Doing things the way they always

have been done is not likely to work

anymore.

However, no matter what new

dynamics Covid-19 imposes, some

things will not change.

Make it compulsory

Meeting the rising costs of superannuation

will be one of them because

populations will continue to age. This

is hardly the time to be further weakening

the mechanisms, like KiwiSaver,

already in place to help people save

for their retirement.

If anything, the incentives need to

be increased, and KiwiSaver made

a compulsory savings scheme for

everyone entering the workforce, so

that they can plan their futures with

certainty throughout their working

careers, regardless of the external

uncertainties.

KiwiSaver is a critical part of that

process and is most certainly not just

a piggy bank to be raided on “a rainy

day” as National is now proposing.

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.

Benefits to migrant workers

This issue still remains largely

unresolved.

The Association has also demanded

that all visas attached to employers

are opened so that migrants have the

flexibility to work wherever they can

find jobs.

Their third demand is that emergency

benefits be provided to all jobless migrants

onshore and offshore by enacting

section 64 of the Social Security Act.

The quarantine set up for the

temporary visa holders upon their

return to New Zealand could be similar

to New Zealand citizens and permanent

residents; they could stay in managed

isolation or quarantine for fourteen

days till they are tested negative of

Covid-19 virus.

They could meet the cost of

quarantine if they are able to; if not, the

government should meet the cost.

Rowena Singh is a freelance journalist, photographer

and videographer. She lives in Auckland.

Email: Rowena.Singh2017@gmail.com


AUGUST 15, 2020

Sexual exploitation of children rising in the Pacific

Rowena Singh

Pacific attracts paedophiles

from countries such as

Australia and New Zealand,

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre

Coordinator Shamima Ali has said.

Exploitation of children in the

Pacific rears its ugly head in many

forms. This includes child sexual

exploitation and pornography, child

domestic work, child soldiers, the

recruitment and involvement of

children in armed conflict; the use

of children for criminal activities

including the sale and distribution

of narcotics and the involvement of

children in harmful or hazardous

work.

I decided to explore child sexual

exploitation in the Pacific a little

deeper and interviewed Ms Ali.

National Survey data

Commercial sexual exploitation

of children is the Pacific is very real

but is very hidden in Fiji.

Data from the national survey

2011 shows that 16% of women

surveyed were sexually abused as

children before age of 15.

“We believe there are higher rates

applicable to Fiji and the rest of the

Pacific,” Ms Ali said.

‘Pacific Women Against Violence

Against Women,’ a Non-Governmental

Organisation (NGO), of

which she is a member, shares data

regarding sexual abuse across 13

Pacific countries.

Study shows that commercial

sexual exploitation of children is

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator

Shamima Ali

very high in the Solomon Islands as

well as in Papua New Guinea.

Child sex tourism is prevalent in

the Pacific and the perpetrators are

mainly from countries such as Australia

and New Zealand and some

parts of Europe such as Germany.

Poverty, a major factor

Ms Ali said that a lot of it has to

do with poverty.

The main victims are children

from poverty stricken families and

homes where there is violence.

Street children, both girls and boys,

are also targets of commercial sex

exploitation.

Street children are very vulnerable

and have often run away from

home because of abuse.

Families also act as pimps and

agents.

Ms Ali said that this problem is

prevalent in Fiji.

Reports over the years show that

men prostitute their wives and

daughters including girls between

the ages of 9 and 11 years.

She cited a Police case in which

a group of men and women in Fiji

were luring young girls from homes

with problems into a life of prostitution.

This case has been dragging on

for the past six years due to issues

such as parents dropping charges.

Ms Ali said that paedophiles

have lot of money and they often

settle in Fiji and become part of the

community. They support schools

and people shut up whilst the

paedophiles throw money around.

‘White is Right’ mentality

She said that Fiji still harbours a

“white is right mentality”, and that

people in Fiji are naïve and do not

suspect paedophilia and even when

they do become suspicious they

don’t do anything.

Many in the tourism industry

throughout the Pacific are among

the commercial sex exploiters

of children. The other industries

include mining, logging and fishing.

This is common in the Solomon

Islands where the victims are sold

to miners and loggers as partners to

older men. The victims are as young

as 10 years old.

In Fiji, children are sold to the

crews on Asian fishing boats.

Ms Ali said that the laws around

child rape has grown stronger in

Fiji over the last few years and

reporting of sexual abuse has also

increased.

“However, implementation of

child protection laws are still poor

and there are a lot of things lacking

in the Pacific region,” she said.

Citing an example, she said

that social welfare officials and

volunteers are unable to do their

job properly as they are under

resourced, under funded and over

worked.

And in many Pacific countries

there are no homes to look after

victimised children.

Ms Ali said that there are several

homes in Fiji, one of which is run by

the NGO Homes of Hope, that works

with victims of forced sex. However

they are also under resourced.

Child rape problem

Child rape is also difficult to

report as 80 % of the offenders are

known to the child victim and 50%

of those are family members.

“We love having children. Their

protection is low priority. People

don’t talk about child sex abuse,”

Ms Ali said.

She said that by way of solution

and protection of children, there

needs to be better resources from

the government, a need to streamline

laws and training for Police

and organisations involved in child

welfare.

Fijilink

17

According to Ms Ali, there is

also a growing need for increased

awareness and policies that

alleviate poverty. “Educational

institutions and those in the tourism

industry should address this

issue and people should stop being

bystanders. There is a dire need of

regional organisations to monitor

human rights and child rights in the

Pacific,” she said.

She said that organisations such

as ‘Save the Children Fund’ focus on

education rights.

“We lack an organisation that

looks at sexual exploitation of children.

FWCC works on awareness

and counselling of children who are

sexually abused and raped. They

also refer victims of commercial

sexual exploitation to Homes of

Hope,” Ms Ali said.

Rowena Singh is a freelance journalist,

photographer and videographer. She

lives in Auckland. Email: Rowena.

Singh2017@gmail.com


18

AUGUST 15, 2020

Communitylink

Five winners picked for Summer Photograph Awards

Supplied Content

The Hamdan bin Mohammed

bin Rashid Al Maktoum

International Photography

Award (HIPA) has announced

winners of its latest contest held under

the theme, ‘Summer.’

The winners, under the hashtag

#HIPAContest_Summer are from

United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and

Iran.

Scene of Joy

HIPA Secretary General Ali bin

Thalith said, “Summer is one of the

most visually distinct seasons in

terms of the nature of fun activities

and hobbies that most peoples share.

Summer photos are dominated by

joy, and this is a positive and required

thing after the long closures that

most of the world’s population have

suffered from, and we note that the

joy of Summer is not complete without

the presence of water in one way or

another, and these elements together

attract the lens to capture creative

works capable of competing and

attracting attention. Congratulations

as always to our talented winners, and

we look forward to even more of our

community getting involved in next

month’s competition.”

Farm Photography

The Emirati Winner Salem Sarhan

Al Sawafi @3s_photographer from

United Arab Emirates, said, “I took

the photo on my father’s farm, where

my brothers and I were in an empty

area far from the hustle and bustle of

the city, so I came up with the idea of

shooting with drones while we played

the ball in the soap court, which is

characterized by summer colors that

fit the theme of the competition.

“I previously won many competitions

such as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Hadis Faghiri from Iran

Sander Sonambela from Indonesia

Salem Sarhan Al Sawafi from UAE

competition and the Khalifa

International Award for Dates

and Palms. I aspire to be one of

the best photographers in the

Emirates and the world and to

raise the flag of my country high

in international forums. I thank

HIPA for its continuous support

of photographers, which is one

of the most popular competitions

that a photographer wants to

win because it makes the photographer

known more among

photographers,” he said.

Beauty of Indonesia

The Indonesian winner,

Muhammad Abdul Mujib @

ferdychoky said, “Photo taken in

Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida

Island, Bali, October 2019, while

on a trip with some friends to

discover the beauty of Indonesia.

This photo proved that my

country is more than beautiful,

the aesthetic proof through

photography is amazing and

I am proud that I was born

here. I previously won a local

competition on social media,

but winning on HIPA was my

biggest achievement and it was

a very amazing surprise because

I knew I am winner on the night

of Eid Al-Adha and this cannot be

explained in words. I love photography

of landscapes because

I can see God’s great creativity in

them, so I will continue to learn

more about photography and will

capture everything that can show

how wonderful God’s creation on

earth is. I think this achievement

will help increase followers on

Instagram and get more presence

and business opportunities for

the photographer,” he said

lockdown underscores Hindu Dharma

Supplied Content

The Covid-19 pandemic has

fundamentally changed the

world around us.

In light of the recent

events and discovery of community

transmission cases of Covid-19

in Auckland, the New Zealand government

has taken the decision to

place the Auckland region in Alert

Level 3 and rest of the country in

Alert Level 2.

We attribute the following to

Vinod Kumar, President, Hindu

Council of New Zealand.

The Hindu community of New

Zealand stands in solidarity with

all those working tirelessly to protect

lives in such trying times. It

gives us the opportunity to revisit

our values, responsibilities and

our Dharma towards the people

around us, to the country and our

community.

Dharma stands for (a) Universal

principle, law, duties, righteousness

that brings peace, progress

and harmony (b) Encompasses all,

including self, family, society and

the world, entire nature (c) That

which sustains the natural order

of being.

Statutory requirements

The government advice is clear

and requires Aucklanders to do

the following:

“Under Alert Level 3 you should

continue to stay in your household

bubbles whenever you are not

at work or school. You must stay

within your household bubble but

can expand this to connect with

close family and whānau, or bring

in caregivers, or support isolated

people.

“It is important to protect

your bubble. Keep your bubble

exclusive and only include people

where it will keep you and them

safe and well. If anyone within

your bubble feels unwell, they

must immediately self-isolate

(From Hindu Dharma Website through

Pinterest)

Vinod Kumar, President, Hindu Council of

New Zealand

from everyone else within your

bubble.

:Do not invite or allow social

visitors, such as friends, family and

whānau, to enter your home.”

Confusing and Challenging

Times like this can be confusing

and challenging, so here are some

suggestions on how to continue

practicing Hindu Dharma: (1) Pray

at home, with your family, in your

bubble (2) Spend time with your

family to discuss what it means

to be Hindu (3) Appreciate the

divinity that exists in everything

around us (4) Meditate to support

mental wellbeing and connect with

the oneness that exists in all living

organisms (5) Connect with your

communities online (6) Practice

social distancing (7) Practice good

hand hygiene and (8) Use a mask

when out and about

Requests to Hindu Priests

It is the time that many people

may be requesting Purohits and

Pundits to do poojas at their home.

We request our purohits and

pundits to make pooja available

via online means. Visiting people’s

homes to perform pooja, if outside

of your extended bubble, will be

in violation of Alert Level 3. Stay

at home, other than for essential

movement. Stay in extended bubble,

which can now include close

family members and caregivers.

Weddings and funerals

In the case of weddings and

funerals, there are further

guidance available on how this

can be conducted in line with

the alert level requirements. We

understand that the times we are

requires a lot of compassion and

sacrifice, however, it is a time

for everyone to come together to

protect precious lives.

We appeal to all Hindus,

all Aucklanders and all New

Zealanders to continue to support

and follow the advice of the New

Zealand government and related

agencies.

Vasudhaiva Kuttumbakam – the

world is one family and it is our

time to look after our family.

Hindu Organisations, Temples

and Associations (HOTA) Forum is

here to support and provide more

information if required.

Further information and official

regulations can be obtained here.

Material Supplied by The Hindu Council

of New Zealand

Unemployment figures do not

lie but certainly confuse

Kieran Madden

damn lies, and statistics,” so the

saying goes.

Statistics New Zealand’s release

“Lies,

of this June’s unemployment figures

was not a lie, but it certainly was confusing.

Amidst the job-destroying pandemic,

somehow, unemployment had dropped from

last quarter’s 4.2% to 4%. The government has

been taking the credit, but the reality is more

complex. With an election on the horizon and

jobs always a key battleground, it’s important

we get this straight.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and

Employment Minister Willie Jackson were

enthusiastically patting themselves and their

government on the back, comparing last week’s

figures to Treasury’s budget-time forecast of

8.3%.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was getting

in on it too “Our low unemployment rate shows

that the wage subsidy scheme has worked to

stop a spike in unemployment. And now we

have a laser-like focus on jobs and business

support to support growth.”

Lower than predictions

Now, a part of the story is the wage subsidies,

but they are not the whole story, and spinning

it that way is misleading at best. Let us put the

laser-like focus onto the unemployment figures.

Economists were predicting around the 5% to

6% mark, so why the drop?

There are several criteria that people need to

meet to show up in the unemployment stats.

Firstly, and most obviously, they need to be

out of a job.

This is where the wage subsidies came in,

Dunedin Tamil Society

elects new team

Venkat Raman

Dr Nivethanan Kamalendran was

elected to the post of President

of the Dunedin Tamil Society by

members at their Annual General

Meeting held on July 26, 2020.

Among the others elected to various

posts are Dr Rajesh Katare (Vice-President),

Hemachandran Rajamanicam (Secretary)

and Jawahar Murugesan (Treasurer).

Balamurugan Thangaphazam, Collin

Charles, Prince Paulraj, Luxmanan Selvanesan,

Ramakrishnan Mani and Tarun

Prakash Perumal were elected as Members

of the Executive Committee.

“We would like to thank Past President

Lux Selvanesan for his hard work, dedication,

sincerity and leadership shown to run

the Dunedin Tamil Society. We are grateful

for his commitment and sacrifice over the

past four years,” Dr Nivethanan said.

Commitment and Service

In an earlier statement, he said that a

majority of the Dunedin Tamil Society

community are full-time employed or are

studying, and yet contributed their time and

energy to make this event happen.

“It is amazing to see how the Association,

which started as ‘Dunedin Tamil Friends,’

has grown big today, and I am sure that our

community will continue to grow, transform

and gather more and more strength in the

coming years. Our only goal, objective and

passion is to make our people feel at home

away from home,” he said.

The Tamil Diaspora

New Zealand is a proud home not only for

Tamil-speaking people but also for Sangams

or Associations uniting the members of the

Diaspora.

The Late V Sivasupramaniam, a great

Tamil Scholar and Contributor to Indian

Newslink wrote a series of articles on the

Diaspora in 2010 and 2011.

Tamilians share a common bond that is

fragile, he said.

saving viable jobs and propping up non-viable

ones. Many on subsidies were not working but

still counted as employed too.

Secondly, to be considered unemployed, they

must be “actively seeking work” during the past

four weeks. This criteria is extremely difficult

to fulfil during lockdown, and it skewed the

figures considerably.

Right response

The wage subsidy did help; they were the

right response at the right time. 11,000 people

still lost their jobs, however, and the underutilisation

rate, broadly those who want to work

more, jumped higher than ever before.

The (eight-week extended) subsidy will also

end in September.

Statistics New Zealand has since released

a “Covid-19 extended unemployment rate” of

4.6%. Jobs figures will get worse over the next

quarter, some predicting close to double-figures,

but the election will be all over by then.

Disaster for National

Commentator Michael Hooten reckons this is

a disaster for National, who were relying on the

economy to be a shambles to promise the alternative

blue brand of economic management.

Only the last part of their slogan of “Strong

Team, More Jobs, Better Economy” remains

relevant, he says. The Labour Party is indeed

sitting pretty heading into the election, but it

should not rely on over-egging stories to stay

there.

They did the right things, but claimed more

than their fair share of the spoils.

Whatever happens, we as voters must scrutinise

the stories our politicians tell us heading

into this election. This example highlights the

importance of not talking headline figures at

face value.

It is up to us to stay vigilant spend that little

extra effort on fact-checking to make sure we

have our story straight going into the ballot box.

Kieran Madden is Research Manager at Maxim

Institute based in Auckland.

Dr Nivethanan Kamalendran

“There is an urgent need to restore the

primacy in Tamil thought and culture. There

is a proposal to launch an International

Tamil Centre in the US to create a global

vision for the Tamil population and meet

all the challenges. A Tamil University and

Cultural Complex is being created to serve

the global community of Tamils.

“The idea is to foster unity, promote

culture, enhance education and enrich the

Tamil language. The complex will comprise

offices, university and community housing.

This Centre, in course of time, should evolve

as an ideal centre to coordinate and bring

together the valued aspirations of the global

Tamil community for greater achievements

and success,” he said.

The fact that Tamil-speaking people

spread their wings far and wide has

been well documented and according to

available information, their presence was

acknowledged even in the early period of

European history.

In more recent years, refugees from Sri

Lanka have dominated the Tamil-speaking

population throughout Europe.


AUGUST 15, 2020

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AUGUST 15, 2020

Sportslink

Teenage footballer begins new career in the US

Arzan Todywalla overcomes

odds to pursue a dream

Venkat Raman

When 19-year-old Arzan

Todywalla left for the

United States of America

on Tuesday (August 11,

2020) night, the scene at the Auckland

International Airport was one of

pride and a host of other emotions.

For his parents Pearl and Viraf

Todywalla, it was the result of years

of sacrifice, anxiety, hard work,

financial hardship and determination

that their son should succeed.

For his elder sister Afrin, it was a

source of endearment and satisfaction

that her brother was on his way

to the land of opportunities, progress

and success.

For his friends, it perhaps opened

up their own avenues for pursuit.

For Arzan himself, America was

beckoning with the promise of an

illustrious career- within the portals

of an educational institution and

vast fields to practice and perfect his

proficiency in Soccer.

He will be engaged in academic

advancement at St Mary’s College of

California and seek higher skills in the

game under the guidance of Thomas

Spragg, Director, Striv3 Elite Sports

Management and former Coach.

We have known the Todywalla

family almost from the day of their

arrival in New Zealand and hence

Arzan’s move to USA marked the

inauguration of a resplendent chapter

in the young man’s life, educational

pursuit and career in Soccer.

We look forward to carrying reports

of Arzan’s progress as a Soccer

player and his accomplishments at

University, Inter-University, Regional,

Arzan Todywalla: The Rising Star of Soccer

Teenage Footballer-15 staggering goals for

St Kentigern College

National and International Tournaments

in the years to come.

Not only this young man but his

parents also deserve his success.

The beginnings

Arzan was less than 18 months old

when he migrated with his parents and

sister to New Zealand.

None of them was aware that there

was soccer star in the making, until

his third birthday, when Viraf noticed

Arzan kick a ball that went “at the

speed of a rocket.”

Parental interest grew and recognising

the immense potential of the lad,

Pearl secured Arzan’s admission to the

Fencibles United AFC Soccer Club in

The Todywalla family: Afrin, Arzan, Viraf and Pearl Todywalla

Pakuranga, East Auckland, when he “I would have never achieved

was six years old.

anything without the coaching of Mr

“Over the next few years, our son Green. I attribute all my success to my

would be ready for competitions,” parents, especially my mother who

they thought.

has not only encouraged me since my

They were wrong.

childhood but also given her time and

In less than a year, Arzan won his effort day after day, sacrificing her

first Trophy and several other awards weekends, holidays and spare time.”

and citations including the ‘Player of Overseas invitations

the Year,’ ‘The Most Improved Player,’ Arzan was invited twice to the

‘The Most Valuable Player of the Year United Kingdom for trials and training

(2007) Award’ and ‘Golden Boot’ for programmes at Birmingham City FC,

scoring the highest number of goals. while playing for Fencibles AFC on

Certificates, Medals, Trophies and the recommendation of Wilkinson.

Prizes became a routine. He appeared During his second visit in 2018, he attended

in matches, winning most of them,

the Elite Training Programme

bringing name and fame to the sides at Football Fusion organised by

for which he played.

Founder-Director Paul Seaman.

Passionate Player

He was invited by Paul Temple,

“Soccer is his passion and he loves Academy Director of Wellington Phoenix,

playing the game and participating

for their trials, which Arzan was

in matches. He trained all days of unable to accept since he Fencibles

the week and faced the challenges AFC would not release him.

of balancing sports and academic In January 2019, Arzan attended

studies,” Viraf said.

the UK Trials, Australia held in

Coach Justin Green and Director Melbourne, which were managed and

Roger Wilkinson at Fencibles recognised

operated by UEFA A Licensed coaches

his raw skills and invested their and scouts.

time and expertise to hone them and Arzan was a top scorer at the UK

create an invincible player.

Football Trials amongst hundreds of

aspiring soccer players and Director

Harry Price considered Arzan as

one of the most promising players of

Soccer.

He suggested that Arzan should join

top UK schools and play soccer at high

levels.

“It was a significant and tempting

offer but we could not afford to spend

$70,000 per year for four years. There

was no scholarship offer. Arzan comes

from a struggling middle class family.

We had to therefore regretfully forgo

that opportunity,” Viraf said.

Challenges and disappointments

Paucity of finance was not the only

disappointment that Arzan and his

parents had to endure.

It is not uncommon for young

players like him to face bias, jealously,

discrimination and unjust treatment.

Despite being the winner in the U17

Youth Tournament, Arzan’s lost the

opportunity of playing for First XI

Soccer Team for his School, and from

being enlisted in the New Zealand

Under 17 Team held in Mumbai.

However, the fighting spirit,

combined with his exceptional Soccer

skills enabled Arzan to wear the Futsal

Whites Men’s Jersey and win the Silver

Cup for New Zealand at the Oceania

Futsal under the guidance of Marvin

Eakins and Bakr Al-Saudi.

Last year, he won the Golden Boot

from Auckland Secondary School

Football Association for scoring staggering

15 goals. His superb play was

primarily responsible for his St Kentigern

College First XI Team winning the

2019 Auckland Premiership Title.

Among the other Coaches and

experts who promoted his interests

were Danny Hay, All Whites Head

Coach and Hoani Edwards.

Arzan is a star in the making.

He belongs not just to New Zealand,

India or for that matter, his family.

He belong to the world.

The world of Soccer.

What would the criteria

be for assisted dying?

Know before you vote

Authorised by the Secretary for Justice

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