The Indian Weekender, 01 July 2022

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Friday, 01 July 2022

Volume 14 / Issue 15

www.iwk.co.nz /indianweekendernz /indianweekender



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Read online www.iwk.co.nz Friday, July 01, 2022


Heartfelt farewell for outgoing High



Leaders representing

nearly every Kiwi-Indian

diaspora organisation in

Auckland came together to

farewell outgoing Indian High

Commissioner Shri Muktesh

Pardeshi at the Auckland Indian

Association’s Mahatma Gandhi

Centre last Sunday.

The impressive turnout

reflected Shri Pardeshi’s

popularity among Kiwi

Indian communities across

New Zealand.

Among the more accessible,

friendly and action-oriented

envoys from India in recent

decades, Shri Pardeshi’s stint in

New Zealand has been marked

by a range of substantial

achievements, in spite of

pandemic-related restrictions

during a considerable part of

his tenure.

Thanking the diaspora for

its support and affection

throughout his tenure, the

High Commissioner outlined

the important developments

that marked his tenure

in New Zealand.

Among the more significant

ones, was the opening of

the new Chancery building in


In the making for more than

a decade, the project picked up

pace only in the past few years

but has been plagued by delays.

The contractor assigned the

project ceased operations just

before Shri Pardeshi arrived

in New Zealand, leaving the

building half finished.

His first task on arrival was

to award the contract to a new

company. He saw it completed

and inaugurated just weeks

before his tenure ended.

He described the salient

features of the new facility that

ultimately cost $90 million.

SAs well as being a High

Commission that will deliver

consular services and

represent the Republic of India

in New Zealand, the facility

is a hub for the Kiwi-Indian

community, he said.

The multipurpose auditorium

and flexible spaces that can

cater to a range of activities

are designed to bring

communities together.

He said the new building

was the cynosure of eyes in

the diplomatic corps and that

there wasn’t another chancery

building as grand as this one in

the capital.

The building symbolises the

abiding interest of India in New

Zealand: “It’s an expression of

our close interest in India New

Zealand relations and in the

welfare of our people.” Inviting

the community to participate

and utilise the facilities

afforded by the new facility,

Shri Pardeshi said, “We will

also partner with community

organisations wherever they

are, if they have something

coming up in Wellington, please

contact us.

Despite Covid-19, trade

between NZ and India had

continued to grow.

“In spite of travel related

When some 20

flights came to

Auckland and

airlifted people... the

template was set...

direct flight in 16

hours plus [flying

time] was possible.”

challenges, both sides have

maintained contact – only

last week our two foreign

ministers met in Rwanda, where

they are there to attend to

the Commonwealth Summit.

Before that, they had met

three months back in Paris.

Six months back, they had a

virtual meeting, just before

the outbreak of Covid-19, the

then Deputy Prime Minister,

Winston Peters had gone

to India with a big business

delegation,” he said

• Continued on Page 6



Friday, July 01, 2022

Read online www.iwk.co.nz

Former refugee eyes seat in Parliament


Orphee Mickalad arrived in New

Zealand from the Democratic

Republic of Congo 15 years ago.

Currently, as a councillor for Palmerston

North, he is the first former refugee

to be elected to a local body in NZ. He

spoke to Indian Weekender of the trials

he faced along the way. Extracts:

Q. Have the racial slurs you faced deterred

you from running for a second

term as councillor?

A. Not at all. If anything, it has made

me stronger. Being the first former

refugee to be elected to the local body

has given inspiration to many migrants

and former refugees who look up to

me as a role model. I encourage them

to stand up and not be deterred by the

racism and challenges they face, because

it’s only a minority in our communities

that are racist.

To be honest, I was a bit disheartened

when I saw my billboards being defaced.

People were drawing monkey signs and

swastikas on my billboards, and telling

me to go back to my own country. My

strategy around that was to not focus

on those negativities because that

would only discourage me from getting

to my goal.

The only thing I needed to do was focus

on issues that impact the community

such as housing, infrastructure and

so on. Whenever my billboards were

defaced, I just replaced them with new

ones and moved on.

It’s only small pockets of people in

NZ who are not tolerant of people who

look different from them, and are not

comfortable with people who look like

me running for public office and actually

winning and being able to serve as a city


Q. It’s all very well to say racists are

a minority. But they are a vocal, toxic

minority. What is the best remedy to

neutralise their effect in public life?

A. I think you’re right in saying that. In

previous interviews I’ve always said that

it’s a minority. But you’re right, it’s a

very loud and toxic minority, to the point

that you probably think there are many

of them. But actually, they are only a

few. I’ve never believed in violence.

I endorse the Martin Luther King and

Mahatma Gandhi type of non-violent

approach and having people come to

the debating table and wanting to have

an open conversation about it and try to

understand why those persons think the

way they think.

Education is the most important thing

we can do to combat racism. The more

we censor those voices, the louder they

become and the more people join them,

as we have seen in the United States

under Donald Trump, for example. The

more you try to silence them, the more

you infuriate people and inflame the


Q. What are your strategies to combat


A. I’ve proposed that the council has

an action plan that involves including

more brown faces, not just Pakeha faces,

in marketing campaigns and billboards to

normalise the fact that we are becoming

more diverse.

And also by educating the public

through booklets, posters and dropping

leaflets as well as having public sessions

around cultural diversity and awareness.

Of course, there’s no silver bullet to

solve the problem.

We all face different forms of racism.

The racism I may face today is different

from what a Jew or an Indian or Māori or

Pasifika person may experience.

I think education is the most potent

of options that we have available. The

older generation (who are now in their

70s and 80s) went to school with

people that only looked like them, all

white. But now we have a generation

of young people who go to school –

Indians, Māoris, Pasifikas - these children

are colour blind. The new generation we

are raising at the moment are the hope

and the future because they don’t look

at colour any more

Q. Do you plan to run for Parliament?

A. God willing, yes. That is definitely

one of my goals. I’ve always believed

that public policy is the most effective

way of enacting change in society.

I’ve seen petitions submitted to

Parliament and those petitions have gone

nowhere because the MP is not willing

to push them. It is important to be able

to influence policy and decision making

to improve outcomes for migrants and

refugees, which is my focus area.

Diaspora leaders agree ‘Unity in Diversity’

mantra is best way forward


The Indian Diaspora Group,

an informal grouping

comprising leaders

of more than 40 different

Kiwi-Indian organisations

representing communities

from different Indian states,

languages and other interest

groups met for the first time

after a two-year hiatus.

The meeting was held

ahead of the felicitation and

farewell event for outgoing

High Commissioner Shri

Muktesh Pardeshi on Sunday

at the Mahatma Gandhi

Centre under the aegis of the

Auckland Indian Association.

New Zealand Indian Central

Association President Narendra

Bhana welcomed the leaders

and said that the objective

of meetings like these was to

come together to share ideas

and learn from each other’s

experiences in their diverse

diaspora groups.

Honorary Consul of India Bhav

Dhillon, whose brainchild the

group has been, gave a brief

background of how the group

was started in 2017.

“It was started as a

voluntary group with no

Orphee Mickalad interacting with public

chairman, president, secretary

or any officials. There was

no compulsion to join or

not to join.

"Now I am very pleased to say

that in five years we have some

40 organisations that have

become part of this. And in this

time, we have not come across

any issues major or minor.”

The Honorary Consul said

that having a grouping like

this one did not go against the

individual identities of each of

the constituent groups.

“India is made of 30 states,

each with their individual

identities, but when they come

together, they form the identity

of India.”

This grouping of diaspora

leaders presents that unified

face of India, he said.

He thanked the leaders for

working so seamlessly toward

projecting this identity. Before

this grouping was formed,

several of the individual groups

tended to celebrate common

national days separately

projecting a rather disjointed,

fragmented image of the Kiwi-

Indian diaspora.

“Many Kiwi leaders were

confused why so many different

groups wanted to celebrate the

same national day separately,”

Dhillon said.

“Now it is good to see

that national days are now

celebrated under one roof.”

Narendra Bhana reiterated

that the community as a whole

needed to come together to

I’ve never believed in

violence. I endorse the

Martin Luther King and

Mahatma Gandhi type

of non-violent approach

and having people come

to the debating table

and wanting to have an

open conversation about

it and try to understand

why those persons think

the way they think.

India is made

of 30 states,

each with their

individual identities,

but when they come

together, they form

the identity of India.”

This grouping of

diaspora leaders

presents that unified

face of India."

celebrate at least three national

days – Independence Day,

Republic Day and International

Yoga Day.

“One of the objectives of

this meeting is to encourage

diaspora leaders and their

communities to participate in

each other’s events as well.”

Individual groups tended to

operate and celebrate events in

silos. There needs to be more

interaction between groups,

the leaders said.

Over recent years, however,

there were increased instances

of groups participating in

one another’s events and

celebrations, some of the

leaders who spoke after the

main speeches said.

Everyone agreed that this

trend needs to be carried

forward so that there is a

conscious effort to forge a

unified identity of India, which

indeed is ‘Unity in Diversity’.

The Honorary Consul said

that groups needed to come

together and support one

another not just culturally but

also on other day-to-day issue

that affect all Kiwi-Indians

– be that law and order or

immigration issues.

It was imported to forge a

united front on these matters

and that is where a grouping

like the Diaspora Leaders could

play a pivotal role.

It is important to project unity

and a sense of purpose when it

comes to how the mainstream

political establishment views

the Indian community.

He said that efforts to

create splinter groups like

regional groups or clusters

of states works at crosspurposes

and further causes

needless confusion.

As long as the individuality

of each of the group is

preserved and when all these

groups unite to create a united

identity of India, creating

clusters was superfluous and


Read online www.iwk.co.nz Friday, July 01, 2022


'Punjabi express': Meet the rising

Kiwi-Indian amateur boxing champ


The young Kiwi-Indian

boxer Haransh Singh -

fondly known as “Punjabi

Express” within his boxing

gym - continues to make

waves within New Zealand’s

amateur boxing circuit with

the latest feat of winning

the prestigious North Island

Golden Glove Championship

2022 held during Queen’s

Birthday long weekend on

June 4-6 at Taupo.

Singh won both his bouts,

defeating the current New

Zealand Champ in his category

(63.5 kg, male) in the final to

claim his first Golden Gloves

title, considered to provide

a launch pad to not only

amateur boxers seeking glory

and rise to compete at higher

levels such as national and

commonwealth games.

Currently ranked number two

in his weight and category,

a buoyant Singh is already

eyeing to compete at the

Commonwealth games as his

next high goal.

Earlier, Indian Weekender

had reported in July 2020

when Singh became the first

Kiwi-Indian-Sikh amateur boxer

to win his first fight at the

Auckland Boxing Association’s

amateur fight tournament.

Back then, with his maiden

tournament participation and

win, Singh was seen as one

of the most promising young

boxing talents for the Auckland

Boxing Association and a rising

sports star within the Kiwi-Indian

community – an expectation

that Singh is currently living up

to its full potential.

Singh gave all credit for his

success to his coach Lance

Revill and Assistant coach

Johnathan Nevin of Revill’s Gym

Haransh’s sporting

success is an

inspiration not only

for individuals and

families of the Kiwi-

Indian community

but also for entire

ethnic migrant

communities who

often have to face

numerous challenges

– socio-economic

and psychological

- in their respective

migrant journeys.

in Pakuranga, along with the

blessings of his parents and

grandparents, and extended

family back in India.

Indian Weekender had then

also reported how Singh’s

boxing prowess and persistence

to continue with the sport at the

highest level had convinced the

Auckland Boxing Association to

relax the rules and allow him to

play along with his beard and

head turban – symbols of his

Sikh faith.

Since then, Singh has

remained absolutely focused,

disciplined, and committed to

his goals of playing boxing at

competitive levels, and the

Golden Glove championship “is

just a beginning.”

Singh’s sporting

success – an inspiration

for ethnic migrant


Haransh’s sporting success

is an inspiration not only for

individuals and families of

the Kiwi-Indian community

but also for entire ethnic

migrant communities who

often have to face numerous

challenges – socio-economic

and psychological - in their

respective migrant journeys.

Haransh’s father, Jasjit Singh,

told Indian Weekender how after

first arriving in the country as a

new migrant in 2017, the family

worked long hours to find a

footing in the new country while

their adolescent son struggled

to deal with the anxieties of

leaving his home, grandparents

and mingling well in the Kiwisociety

when they found boxing

sport and Revill’s gym to let

him channelise his energy in a

constructive manner.

• Continued on Page 6














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Police raises


about Child

abuse in ethnic



Tuesday afternoon saw New

Zealand Police organising an

ethnic community workshop on

Child Abuse Prevention at the Fickling

Convention Centre in Three Kings in


As part of NZ Police Ethnic Wing’s

regular liaising with different ethnic

communities, the event saw an engaging

and informative presentation by

Detective Sergeant Alfred Zhou, where

he spoke about the early signs to notice

child abuse and how to address such a

sensitive issue while safeguarding the

interests of the vulnerable child.

He also spoke about the different

ways that police deal

with those suspected

of indulging in child

abuse and the New Zealand laws related

to Child Abuse.

Those seen in attendance included

Ethnic Responsiveness Manager for

Metro Auckland for NZ Police Jessica

Phuang and community leader Nilima

Venkat among others.

Talking about the intent behind the

event, Phaung said, “Through this

workshop, we want to create awareness

about what child protection is in New

Zealand as many members of ethnic

communities are still uncertain about

where the law sits regarding child abuse

and child abuse protection.”

While talking to Indian Weekender,

Phaung further acknowledged that

Friday, July 01, 2022

We can only achieve a

real safe environment

while working with the

community. We need

support from community

members as Police can’t

do anything alone.”

Police need the community’s support to

have a safe environment for the wider

community. “We can only achieve a real

safe environment while working with

the community. We need support from

community members as Police can’t do

anything alone,” she said.

While making his presentation, Zhou

stressed that it is essential for the

community to be vigilant if they see or

Read online www.iwk.co.nz

hear of any case related to child abuse.

“If you see a child being ill-treated,

neglected, or abused, do not ignore it.

The key thing is to protect our next

generation so that they can live in

a violence-free, friendly, and loving

environment. It is our priority to protect

children and not parents who abuse their

children. We don’t want our generations

to suffer, and it is crucial to be vigilant,”

he signed off.

• Continued from Page 3

Bilateral trade talks have also resumed,

Shri Pardeshi indicated. “Last week, we

had Foreign Office consultations in Delhi,

and after more than a decade, for the

first time, trade offices from both sides

met in Delhi to resume discussions on

how to take trade relations to the next


The Vande Bharat flights from New

Zealand to India that flew non-stop

between the two destinations had

set up a template for future non-stop

direct flights, Shri Pardeshi said. There

was some uncertainty about whether

non-stop flights were possible in the


“When some 20 flights came to

Auckland and airlifted people... the

template was set... direct flight in 16

hours plus [flying time] was possible.”

He said that India’s Indigo Airlines will

likely fly the direct route in the not too

distant future.

The pandemic had unfortunately

affected India’s global plans to celebrate

the 75th anniversary of her independence.

“I had announced in August 2019 that

there will be a festival of India. But once

again because of the Covid-19 that

has been on hold. Hopefully sometime

later this year, we can start once again

putting it into shape.

The idea is will bring several cultural

groups from India. And then we’ll have

50 events around Auckland, Wellington,

Hamilton, Christchurch and other places.

That kind of cultural celebration we

have not done so far at that scale.

That festival of India will be supported

by India’s Ministry of Culture and Indian

Council for Cultural Relations,” Shri

Pardeshi revealed.

Expressing pride on Kiwi-Indian’s

contribution to the NZ economy, Shri

Pardeshi said,

“One outstanding aspect of India NZ

relations in our rich and well-integrated

community that we have 250,000

people almost 5% of the population;

10% in Auckland, that’s commendable.

During my time we worked on a report

to document economic contribution

The idea is will bring

several cultural

groups from India.

And then we’ll have 50

events around Auckland,

Wellington, Hamilton,

Christchurch and other

places. That kind of

cultural celebration we

have not done so far at

that scale.

of Indians and we found out that

community as a whole is contributing

more than $10 billion to NZ’s economy.”

Reminiscing of his travels throughout

the country he said, “We enjoyed the

company of associations from north to

south, from east to west... So happy that

even in Invercargill, there is a community

association and they celebrate Diwali,

Holi and other festivals. I found Indian

restaurants serving Indian dishes and I

think they are the first contact for the

Kiwi population to know a little about

India. So the footprint of India and Indian

culture is seen throughout NZ.”

While the Indian community was well

established and well-integrated in NZ, he

said it was important for the community

as a whole to stay cohesive.

“We appreciate different community

organisations celebrating their festivals

in their own manner, but for the few

national events I urge you to come

together and celebrate as one. These

are the events which concern every

Indian – those should be done not in

compartmentalised fashion. This should

be done on a bigger scale and in the

end bigger scale events become far

more impressive. If every community

starts celebrating separately, then it

will be a localised and the grandeur of

that festival will be lost. So I hope this

message will go across to all community


Community leaders presented Shri

Muktesh and Smt Rakhi Pardeshi with

mementoes and flowers at the end of

the function. Narendra Bhana, President

of the New Zealand Indian Central

Association welcomed the gathering.

Honorary Consul of India Bhav Dhillon,

Auckland Indian Association President

Dhansukh Lal and community leader

Jeet Suchdev shared the dais and spoke

at the event.

The speakers commended the High

Commissioner for his leadership on

various fronts including his hand-on

involvement in helping the needy in

the community during the pandemic

by making available resources for food

supplies and medication. They praised

the his many achievements despite

pandemic restrictions – especially seeing

through the completion of the new

chancery building and wholeheartedly

supporting the Kiwi-Indian community’s

many cultural projects around NZ.

The evening concluded with

a light repast hosted by the

Auckland Indian Association.

• Continued from Page 5

So what began as a physical outlet for

Haransh’s (and his younger brother’s)

unsettled emotions, boxing soon

became a passion and purpose for him,

Jasjit said.

However, it is not to be lost that

Haransh was a natural athlete and a

budding sportsperson back in India and

played well at local levels.

Eventually, he brought in that sports

background, including stamina and a

focused attitude to the game of boxing

at Revill’s boxing gym, and slowly began

to shine.

Coaches – Lance Revill and

Jono – played an important role

The two coaches of Revill’s boxing gym

– Lance Revill and Jonothan Nevin, had

been instrumental in Haransh’s success

in the boxing ring, right from identifying

the talent to putting in a hard training

regimen to eventually backing Singh’s

boxing prowess and zeal to excel


Speaking with Indian Weekender

coach Revill revealed that from a very

early Singh has expressed a desire and

ambitions to play the sport competitively

within New Zealand’s boxing circuit.

This year Revill’s Boxing Gym shone at

the Golden Glove boxing championship

2022 and returned with three gold

medals (including Haransh).

Wendell Stanley, currently the

71kg New Zealand Champion and

on the shortlist for the 2022

Commonwealth Games in July and

Kheva Potatau were the other two gold

medallists for the team.

Read online www.iwk.co.nz Friday, July 01, 2022




goes strength

to strength


If we talk about ethnic Indian

communities in New Zealand and

their impact, then undoubtedly,

the mention of the Gujarati community

comes out instantly.

Going by the historical references,

the Gujaratis began to settle in

Aotearoa shortly after the turn of the

twentieth century.

And from the 1930s onwards,

they started establishing businesses

and institutions.

It is hardly surprising that retaining their

culture is very important to Gujaratis.

And therefore, there are several Gujarati

associations across NZ, including

Hamilton, Auckland, Christchurch, and

Wellington, catering to the 26000

substantial Gujarati population in NZ.

And today, in the fourteenth edition of

our series on Indian cultural associations

in New Zealand, we feature Gujarati

Pariwar Waikato (GPW). This Hamiltonbased

non-profit organisation intends to

preserve the heritage and customs of

Gujarati culture.

Talking about the history of the

association and the need to have one,

Manish Thakkar, President of GPW, says,

“As the number of Gujarati community

members kept increasing in Hamilton,

they were missing our culture and events.

And that’s why to keep our Gujarati

cultures alive in Hamilton, we decided

to register our own Gujarati Group GPW

in 2016. More than 350 members are

presently part of the GPW.”

Interestingly, the motto of GPW,

“Sanskar, Sanskruti, Sahyog”, itself

explains its vision and inspiration.

Explaining it further, Thakkar says, “We

aim to preserve the values and culture

of our motherland and instil them in our

future generations.

"We want to help the Gujarati

community across NZ to prosper in life

while still maintaining a positive focus on

serving the community.”

Moving on to the activities of GPW,

the association celebrates most of

the Gujarati and Indian Hindu festivals

of India.

They also organise Gujarati Drama,

Yoga-Shivir, Bhajan-Sandhya, Sports

Day and blood donation camps etc.

Interestingly, GPW HAS also started

a teaching program for the Gujarati

language, which is very helpful for the

We aim to preserve

the values and culture

of our motherland

and instil them in our

future generations. We

want to help the Gujarati

community across NZ to

prosper in life while still

maintaining a positive

focus on serving the


younger generation to write, speak

and understand their mother tongue


During the Covid-19 pandemic, the

organisation rescued Gujarati families

stuck due to the lockdown in NZ.

“We had provided full support to

them during their stay till their safe

return to their respective home in

India,” says Thakkar.

GPW also provided food kits for more

than 500 families living in Gujarat.

Thakkar also revealed that they

would not like to adhere to activities

associated with the Gujarati community

only, but we will want to expand it in the

next five years.

ºElaborating on that, Thakkar says,

“At present, we feel that there is a dire

requirement of our premises to organise

more events regularly. We want to invite

Gujarati speakers, artists and performing

groups from India.

"As one of our goals, we want to

unite all Gujarati in a common group

with a vision of knowing each other

throughout NZ by way of contact details

on one platform, and also to create

a matrimonial platform for the South

Pacific Gujarati group.”

Meet your career doctor


Are you looking to get ahead in

your career and want support?

The Migrant Careers Support

Trust is here to help if your answer is


The Trust, which aims to help

migrants carve a successful career path

for themselves, has come up with its

endeavour - the Career Clinic Project - to

get closer to making a marked difference

in the lives of migrants.

The Career Clinic will be available to

select individuals who need further oneto-one

guidance in their career journey.

The candidates will be provided up to

3 one hour consultations with registered

career professionals, free of cost.

The migrants can come from any field,

and they will be matched to the right

expert, depending on their background

and the level of support required.

“This kind of personalised support is

very expensive if sought from the open

market and many migrants who are

struggling, cannot afford it.

"Also, this is helpful for the vulnerable

members of the community, who may

not be able to get support in group

workshops or who need the next level of

support, ” says Garry Gupta, Chairperson

and founder of The Migrant Careers

Support Trust

It is noteworthy that this service will

be provided by the migrants for the

migrants. Since Migrant Careers Support

Trust comes from the community,

they have a deeper understanding of



the problems and issues faced by the

migrant community.

“We do not discriminate on the basis

of visa status. We like to help whoever

needs help. So a person of any visa

status (except visitor Visa) and citizens

as well will be served. We will act as a

conduit to refer the migrants to the

right agencies,” says Gupta.

The Trust is supported by many

government and non-government

bodies/agencies and partners who can

help and guide those in need.

The primary outcome of the Career

Clinic will be for migrants to be able to

navigate their career journey better and

thus become economically independent.

This will help bridge the systemic

inequalities migrants have faced over

generations to settle into mainstream

careers in New Zealand.

Please visit their website for

more details and registrations: www.


Have you been struggling to find the

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the migrants to the right

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On a cultural high


The Auckland Chapter

of the Bihar Jharkhand

Sabha of Australia &

New Zealand (BJSM) recently

organised a memorable cultural

evening in the city.

The event saw the members

of the Indian diaspora having a

gala time.

Talking about the do, BJSM’s

(Auckland wing) General

Secretary Bhrigu Bhaskar

said, “The main idea behind

organising the event was to

bring the community together

and share the cultural and ethnic

ethos of Bihar, Jharkhand, and

India at large.”

The evening at the Ellerslie

War Memorial Community

Centre commenced with the

soulful rendition of the Gayatri

Mantra by Bhrigu Bhaskar and

BJSM’s treasurer Rajesh Shukla.

Cultural performances by kids,

including dance, singing, and

speech followed.

The event also saw

community singers performing

soulfully on songs of legendary

Indian singers such as KK,

Pankaj Udhas, Jagjeet Singh and

Rahat Fateh Ali, among others.

Another evening highlight was

an energetic and mesmerising

dance performance by Kiran


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The main idea

behind organising

the event was to

bring the community

together and share

the cultural and

ethnic ethos of Bihar,

Jharkhand, and India

at large.”

Singh and Aarti Pandey on

Chham Chham and O re Piya.

The high-on-music evening

ended with attendees enjoying

delicious food.

BJSM’s Auckland Chapter

president Chandan Kumar said,

“We should have such events

more often, especially after

reeling with Covid-19.”

Talking about her experience,

one of the guests, Pallavi Sinha,

said, “The event was great and

well organised. I enjoyed it a lot

throughout the evening, which

had excellent arrangements”.

Another attendee, Amit

Kumar, described the evening as

‘awesome’. “What an awesome

evening. I was delighted to

see my friends and community

coming together. We should

have such events more often,

especially after reeling with

Covid-19,” said Kumar.

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Friday, July 01, 2022

Celebrating the Bengali way


The members of the

Kiwi Bengali community

were seen enjoying

Samonnoy- the much-awaited

annual cultural event by Bengali

Association Bhabna.

It may be noted that the

event was scheduled to take

place in August 2021 but was

postponed due to the Covid-19

pandemic-related restrictions

and lockdowns.

The event staged at Playhouse

Theatre, Glen Eden, on Saturday

(June 25), saw community

members displaying their talents

(be it singing, dancing, or

recitation) and enjoying the best

of Bengali culture, including lipsmacking


“As an Indian cultural

association, Bhabna takes pride

in engaging all the Bengali

organisations and other non-

Bengali organisations in such

events for the last twenty

years. We endeavour to pass our

enriched creed and culture on to

the next generations who need

to get familiar with the deeprooted

value we preserve to

thrive,” says Bhabna’s President

Somdutta Saha. The event saw

around eighty people ranging

from the ages 6 to 95 attending.

The young members were visibly

overwhelmed to see a hall full

of audiences watching their


The event aims to celebrate

the rich Bengali culture and unify

people from different faiths,

social beliefs, and heritage. The

overwhelming response from the

wider communities encouraged

participants to bring many more

performances like this more

often. We hope to have more

such community cultural events

as they bring a ray of hope and

positive outlooks toward the

future,” says Saha.

Even the guests seemed

impressed by the event. Kabir

Singhania, one of the attendees,

said, “It was a great show, and the

kids were brilliant. The show was

Read online www.iwk.co.nz

Entrust dividend will be

welcomed after another

tough year


Entrust (formerly called

the Auckland Energy

Consumer Trust), the

private trust that owns the

majority of Vector on behalf

of its beneficiaries. The private

trust Entrust, formerly known

as the Auckland Energy

Consumer Trust, owns the

75.1% of shares in Vector on

behalf of its energy consumer

beneficiaries in central, east,

and south Auckland(Entrust

District). These beneficiaries

are paid a cash dividend each

year, usually in late September.

This year again, Aucklanders

within the Entrust District,

will be getting their share of

Entrust’s 2022 annual dividend

payment. All they have to do

is double check the payment

details on Entrust’s payment

preference forms being sent

out this week.

Entrust Chairman, William

Cairns says; “Not many of us

really enjoy filling out forms,

but you will be well rewarded

for the few minutes it takes

to check your payment details

are correct on this form! For

most people, it will be as

simple as making sure their

details haven’t changed from

last year.”

Those receiving the forms

get to choose whether they

want the September dividend

payment credited to their bank

account or used as a credit on

their power account. For those

who are not sure if they are

eligible for this payment, there

is a map and list of eligibility

criteria along with answers to

commonly asked questions at


Whether your form arrives

via email or in the post,

Entrust will need to receive

any updated payment details

by no later than Friday 05


The 2022 Entrust dividend

will be paid in late September.

The payment amount varies

each year and is based on the

annual profits generated by

Vector of which Entrust is the

majority shareholder.

The Entrust dividend is New

Zealand’s largest dividend

pay-out, with over $2 billion

paid out to Aucklanders since

1994. Last year, 346,000

households and businesses

received $283 plus an extra

$20 from Vector, injecting

over $97 million into the

Auckland economy.

“We know it’s been another

really tough year for so many

Kiwis. As an Entrust Trustee it

is heart-warming to read the

messages of thanks from those

who have previously received

the cash payment into their

bank account or as a credit

on their power account. They

tell us how the payments have

made their lives just a little

bit easier –helping cover the

costs of basics such as petrol,

school uniforms and groceries,

or even a treat like taking the

family out to dinner and the

movies,” says Mr Cairns.

beautifully crafted to showcase

the folk culture and dances

from all the joyful seasons. The

event beautifully reflected the

purity and authenticity of mixed

emotions. Kudos to the director,

and I hope to see many more of

such interesting cultural events

in future.”

Another guest Sriparna Mitra

Mojumdar said, “We, Bengalis,

love to celebrate festivities of

the Bengali calendar. The event

was a great way to remember

and feel connected to our

Bengali roots. I hope and wish

to have more such events, so

our kids are in tune with our rich

Bengali heritage.”

Read online www.iwk.co.nz Friday, July 01, 2022


Takanini Electorate Youth Council take

on Parliament


Recently, the Takanini

Electorate Youth Council

visited the Parliament.

The members had the

opportunity to closely observe

the proceedings and get

valuable insight into how

parliamentarians, ministers,

and other crucial elements of

democracy operate.

Takanini Electorate Youth

Council was formed following

Youth Parliament selections

to hear the collective voices

of the youth, increase youth

involvement in politics and

create a positive impact on the

Takanini Electorate community.

After going through security,

the council is escorted to the

Press Gallery for a surprise

video message from the Prime

Minister, Jacinda Ardern,

congratulating them on their

journey and wishing them well

with a personal story from her

time as Prime Minister.

Our tour manager described

the history and mana of our

House of Representatives in

halls graced with Aotearoa art

work and green or red carpet

that identified where royalty

must and must not walk.

The council felt extremely

privileged to be invited in to the

cabinet room, a place where

most backbenchers don’t see,

before a visit to see the newest

cabinet minister and Minister for

Youth, Priyanca Radhakrishnan.

The Council were welcomed

in a parliament office by a

charismatic youth minister, and

the Council were encouraged

to use their collective voices

to discuss what they had

been hearing and experiencing

as youth in the Takanini

Electorate through an informal

question time. T

he council discussed topics

such as climate change, mental

health, and the first increase

in budget that the Ministry for

Youth has seen in many years,

a budget set to increase the

reach of youth development

services across the motu.

The Council was inspired by

the way Minister Radhakrishnan

conducted herself when

discussing her descent into

politics, describing it as a happy

accident that came about from

a career in NGOs.

As a group of 15–17-yearolds

concerned about their

future career paths, the council

found this inspiring and learnt

that they could experiment and

make mistakes, cycling through

as many career paths as it took

rather than worrying about

discovering their career path

early on.

After leaving the Minister’s

office, the council headed to

question time with reserved

seating in the viewing gallery,

giving them a front row seat to

the action.

They describe this space

as feeling like it is a part of

a dream, and are surprised

by the interjecting.

After an hour in the gallery,

and a memorable Matariki

waiata from Minister Kiri Allan,

the council made tracks for the

Labour Pāsifika Caucus select

committee room.

In the room, they are greeted

by a number of the caucus

members, including Minister

Poto Williams, Minister Carmel

Sepuloni, Minister Aupito

William Sio, and MPs Anahila

Kanongataá-Suisuiki, Barbara

Edmonds, Tangi Utikere, and

Terisa Ngobi.

The caucus spent some time

getting to know the young

leaders and then the floor is

open for questions.

There is talk of employment

initiatives and the new Ministry

for Disabled people, before the

council breaks off into their

own meeting, chaired by Youth

MP, Ravneet.

And just like that, the Takanini

Youth Council’s whirlwind day in

Parliament comes to an end, and

again they find themselves on a

shuttle to Wellington Airport to

be greeted with another flight

delay, giving their tour manager

the chance to quiz the council

on their learnings for the day.

This trip clearly had an impact

on the group, and they left with

a sense of relief that they had

their entire lives ahead of them

to make mistakes, learn, and

possibly become accidental

Ministers one day.

They now know the

difference between Parliament

and government, what a

select committee does, and

how a Bill becomes an act

– Alongside random facts

like who can walk on which

coloured carpet.

After a full-on day of

running into MP’s in the halls

and extensive questioning,

the Council felt gratitude for

their first-hand experience

in Parliament and took their

knowledge and excitement to

increase youth engagement

in politics back to their home

electorate of Takanini and

their collective schools, ready

to plan their next youth

engagement event.


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Friday, July 01, 2022

Read online www.iwk.co.nz

Simon V Kurian: Giving a voice

to refugees and asylum seekers


Known for his feature

documentaries on

sensitive subjects like

international refugees, asylum,

and human rights, Simon V

Kurian is an acclaimed Indian-

Australian filmmaker with a

keen sense of empathy.

His recent documentaries

Stop the Boat and Behrouz have

specifically been instrumental

in creating awareness

about the plight of asylum

seekers globally.

His work has won several

awards and accolades for

bringing focus to often

demonised and persecuted

refugees. Behrouz Boochani, on

whose story Kurian based his

documentary, spent more than

five years in the Australian-run

Manus Island detention centre

before he was granted asylum

in New Zealand. Behrouz now

lives in Christchurch.

In a conversation with the

Indian Weekender, he talks

about his journey, his work,

and what compelled him

to focus on the plight of

international refugees.

Tell us something about yourself

and your background?

I grew up in the Southern Indian

state of Kerala and studied

photography in England. I

then moved to Pasadena,

Califronia to study filmmaking

at the Art Center College.

While studying there, I made

my first documentary ‘Shiva’s

Disciples’ for the BBC, which

was about the three traditional

dances of Kerala.

The film was narrated by

Sir Richard Attenborough. I

went on to make few more

documentaries for BBC and for

other international networks as

a director and cinematographer.

I am now based in Australia

and since 2011 I have

been making independent

feature documentaries for

theatrical release.

What directed your attention

to the asylum seekers and

how did the idea of ‘Stop the

Boat’ come about?

I was deeply concerned

about the Australian asylum

seeker policy ever since Prime

Minister John Howard refused

to allow the 400 stranded

Afghan asylum seekers to

enter Australia after being

rescued by the cargo vessel

Tampa in 2001.

New Zealand under Prime

Minister Helen Clark, and

Minister for Immigration

Lianne Dalziel had to step

in to do the right thing and

give those stranded asylum

seekers refuge.

People seeking asylum on

Australian shores by boat

were further demonised and

Simon V Kurian ( left) and Behrouz Boochani

used as a political tool in the

2013 election by both major

political parties.

The Liberal Party under Tony

Abbot used the slogan Stop the

Boats as a battle cry in their

election campaign.

I decided to make a film

to expose the lies and to

amplify the voices of those

who were locked up since

July 2013 in Manus and

Nauru Islands including

children. I started making this

film in 2015.

Stop the Boats is based on

the stories of asylum seekers

including children from within

detention centres, through

footage secretly filmed on

mobile phones and smuggled

out from Nauru and Manus Island

on USBs, few shots at a time.

Set against interviews with

whistle-blower detention centre

workers, the film tells harrowing

stories of the child abuse and

criminal neglect. Behrouz was

also featured in this film.

The film was released in 2018

and had several screenings

in cinemas across Australia.

The film was screened in 15

international film festivals and

was the Centrepiece of the

Human Rights Arts and Film

Festival in Melbourne that year

and the opening film for the

festival in Canberra.

The film won several

nominations and awards as

best feature documentary and

several special awards. The film

was also screened in universities

and is recommended viewing

for Year 12 students in

Western Australia.

How has the story of Behrouz

Boochani personally impacted


Working on Stop the Boats

and Behrouz was undoubtedly

emotionally draining. It’s

challenging to sit in the editing

room and repeatedly listen to

stories of self-harm, despair,

and hopelessness, especially

those of children.

Amongst all this, Behrouz

was a source of relief because

he was such a representation of

survival and resilience.

As much as I’d like to be a

detached neutral observer, it’s

hard to remain unaffected.

There were many occasions

when I had to stop and walk

away from editing because it

was too emotionally taxing.

Seeing Behrouz in Christchurch

as a free man and seeing him

arrive there for the first time

was a joyful and incredible

moment for me.

For me working with Behrouz

has been eye-opening. Here

was a man who, like the over

2000 men like him in Manus had

fled his home, left everything

and everyone he knew to seek a

safe harbour from persecution.

What set him apart and what

made me want to make this

film with him is how he set aside

his natural inclination of being

quiet and introspective, to take

the leadership to represent

others like him, using his ability

to write and report, despite the

dangers it posed for him. His

courage is immense.

He is a contemplative man

who spoke up and spoke loudly

and found a way to get his

voice heard, not on his own

behalf but for those who were

wrongly detained like him for

legitimately seeking asylum.

When you get to know him,

you will see how he constantly

tries to shift the conversation

away from himself to the cause

of others and the big picture.

He always saw himself as the

voice of many, rather than as

this being about him.

He is also deeply creative in

how he sees and experiences

the world.

Do you think the documentary

will be able to change the

perception that wider communities

have about refugees

and asylum-seekers?

I sincerely hope so. I made both

Stop the Boats and BEHROUZ

with the intention that these

two films should remain as a

testimony to this ugly period

of Australian politics and

history, which demonised

people seeking asylum and

violated every human right and

abrogated the international

refugee conventions that

Australia signed on to.

All nations

around the

globe, especially

the west, who are

signatories to the

refugee convention

and in many

instances have a

direct hand in the

conflicts that cause

the displacement,

have a responsibility

to provide safety to

these people.

As we speak, the number

of people displaced due to

persecution and conflict has

reached 100 million.

All nations around the globe,

especially the west, who are

signatories to the refugee

convention and in many

instances have a direct hand

in the conflicts that cause

the displacement, have a

responsibility to provide safety

to these people.

When I chose the threeword

slogan ‘Stop the Boats’

that represented the horrific

policy, as my film’s title, many

people cautioned me against

it. But, by choosing those

very three words as the title

of the film I wanted the film

to remind generations of the

brutal and illegal Australian

policy that destroyed the lived

of thousands, holding them in

limbo in offshore detention for

years without end; going against

all humanitarian precepts and

international conventions on

refugees to which they are


How can the audience in NZ

watch the documentary in

case they have missed it?

We are hoping to host another

screening in Wellington in the

coming months.

Once the film has all its

Australian premiere and general

release and festival screenings,

we will release the film through

one of the streaming platforms.

What message would you like

to give out to your audience

before they watch the film?

My message would be to hear

the truth and understand the

lies of the government. Do

further reading and research

to understand the true plight

of people seeking asylum. Also,

stop believing the government

when they say seeking asylum

by boat is illegal. An asylum

seeker is allowed to enter a

country by any means and seek


Also, the audience should

know that other countries

are now copying Australia;

like UK is doing by sending

asylum seekers to Rwanda,

a country UK has taken to

international Court for serious

human rights violation.

The Australian Policy and

the UK policy are ultimately

based on racism and a colonial

mentality and the ideas of

white supremacy.

Tell us about your future


While I have many ideas for

other documentaries, I have

not decided on any particular

project at the moment.

I am currently busy promoting

Behrouz. I am also working with

my daughter Sarah who finished

her film studies and is making a

film in Tamil Language in India

based on the classic novel Little

Women by Louisa May Alcott.

I will be doing the

cinematography and editing

for this, and we hope to start

shooting mid 2023.

Read online www.iwk.co.nz Friday, July 01, 2022


Sikh Community pledges

support to Afghanistan's Sikhs


Afghanistan is currently

experiencing serious

turmoil – political and

natural. The most recent was

a devastating 6.1 magnitude

earthquake that struck the

country’s eastern side last

week, killing more than 1000

people and wounding at least

1500, according to reports.

There is no denying that this

humanitarian disaster comes

at a difficult time for the

Taliban-ruled country, currently

in the throes of hunger and

economic crises.

Just days before that,

Afghanistan was in the news

due to a terrorist attack on

the last remaining gurudwara,

Karte Parwan gurudwara, in

Kabul early Saturday (June

18) morning. Two people were

killed and at least seven others

injured in the attack.

Afghanistan was once home

to tens of thousands of Sikhs

and Hindus, but decades of

conflict have seen the number

dwindle to a tiny handful.

In recent years, those who

have remained have been

repeatedly targeted by the local

branch of the Islamic State (IS)

militant group. In 2018, a suicide

bomber struck a gathering in

the eastern city of Jalalabad,

whilst another gurdwara was

attacked in 2020.

According to estimates,

around 160 Afghan Sikhs and

Hindus remain in Afghanistan

now who want to be evacuated.

The Sikh community back in

New Zealand is also showing all

its support for those impacted.

A statement issued by its

coordinators Daljit Singh and

Prithipal Singh Basra says, “NZ

Sikh Gurudwara Managements

strongly condemn the recent

attack on Gurdwara by ISIS

which killed two and badly

damaged the gurdwara

building.” It may be noted that

the NZ Sikh community has

been trying to help the Sikh

community in Afghanistan for

the past few years. According

to Daljit Singh, who is also the

spokesperson of the Supreme

Sikh Society NZ (SSSNZ), the

NZ Sikh community wrote to the

immigration minister in 2020,

2021, and 2022 requesting

INZ to allow them to

sponsor ten families

including Sikhs

and Hindus who

are in danger

in Afghanistan

in a refugee

quota and to

undertake their

establishment in NZ.

We are happy

to provide them


and arrange their

jobs, so they are

not a burden to

taxpayers. The

SSSNZ will take full

responsibility for the

costs of resettling

these refugees.

“We are happy to provide

them accommodation and

arrange their jobs, so they are

not a burden to taxpayers.

The SSSNZ will take full

responsibility for the costs of

resettling these refugees. We

would see urgent action on this

as a sign of the good faith of

the Labour government.

"Hopefully, we will soon have

Cabinet approval to allow entry

for the Afghan Sikh-Hindu

refugees on an emergency

basis.” said Singh.

Interestingly, Supreme Sikh

Society NZ’s legal counsel Matt

Robson and Deborah Manning

wrote to Associate Minister of

Immigration Phil Twyford on

Wednesday to intervene for

the sake of humanity as this

matter is quite severe. The

copy of the same is with the

Indian Weekender.

Lastly, Daljit Singh confirmed

his support for those impacted

by the earthquake. “The recent

earthquake in Afghanistan

has made it harder for those

families already struggling to

survive. We will do everything

to assist them as soon they

contact us,” he said.

If you live in the Entrust District, look out for dividend details in your letterbox or email inbox.

Check your details, and let us know of any changes as soon as possible. That way, we can make sure that when

the dividend is paid in late September you’ll get yours ASAP. For more information, visit entrustnz.co.nz




winning hearts

and minds in


Friday, July 01, 2022

Read online www.iwk.co.nz


The Wellington Gurudwara Sahib

marked its presence at the

interfaith prayer meeting held

at the new chancery building of the

Indian High Commission recently. The

Gurudwara team, led by Bhai Dalbir

Singh, joined other faith groups to bless

the new structure.

“Over a weekend more than

1,000 families visit the Wellington

Gurudwara Sahib regularly,” according

to a spokesman for Satinder Singh,

Gurudwara president.

The Wellington Gurudwara Sahib was

initially established in Waitangirua,

Porirua, in 1997. In view of the

rapid growth of the community in

the Greater Wellington region, it

relocated to Naenae, Lower Hutt, in

September 2016.

The new building, originally a New

World supermarket, was converted into

the present gurudwara .

The gurudwara’s location is expected

to meet the needs of the burgeoning

Sikh community in the Greater

Wellington region whose population

includes a substantial number of Sikh

students coming from India, Malaysia

and Fiji.

The Sikh population in New Zealand is

estimated at around 60,000.

The first Sikh arrived in New Zealand

in 1890

The Wellington Gurudwara has the

distinction of being located in the

southernmost part of the globe.

The Wellington Gurudwara is open

through the week. A resident “bhaiji”

presides over the congregation every

Sunday morning, which is followed by

the Guru da langar (community meal).

Visitors to any gurudwara are bound

by a strict protocol which includes

modest dressing, covering the head

and sitting without pointing feet

towards the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the

Sikh sacred text.

Satinder Singh notes that all religious

festivals related to Sikh gurus and Sikh

history are celebrated at the Gurudwara

Sahib, while the wider community marks

mainly Punjabi festivals and holds other

cultural events at the various community

halls of the local city councils .

The Wellington Gurudwara Sahib also

runs a Punjabi language and Gurmat

Sangeet centre on

Saturday afternoons.

The Langar, or

free kitchen, is the

trademark service

to society that every

gurudwara is known

for. During the Covid-19

lockdown, the Wellington

Gurudwara Sahib actively participated

in distributing food parcels across


It also ran a vaccination clinic on the

gurudwara premises.

Recently, the Sikh community

consolidated its presence by uniting

all the 24 gurudwaras across New

Zealand under one apex body, the Sikh

Association New Zealand (SANZ).

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Great news East Aucklanders. The Eastern

busway stage 1, is now open. That means up

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6-8 mins, and half-price fares, from Panmure

to Pakuranga and vice versa.

Happy travels.


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Masks are currently required on public transport.




Friday, May 27, 2022

Read online www.iwk.co.nz

Our solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal

commitment to strengthen international institutions, multilateral

forums, and disarmament."

– Jacinda Ardern – New Zealand Prime Minister


Immigration rebalance

set to begin on July

4: How well is NZ


From July 4, 2022, it will not just be a test for Immigration New Zealand’s

otherwise jaded bureaucracy that has had little to do during the last two years

of pandemic and border closure with limited visa processing but will also be

the test of New Zealand’s reputation of attracting the world’s best migrant workers.

Indeed, New Zealand’s reputation for attracting the global skilled migrant workforce

and their families has taken a considerable hit during the last few years, even beyond

the realm of Covid-related border closure for more than two years.

The massive visa processing delays that began in early 2019, including the

skilled migrant category (SMC) visa and the unpardonable delays in partnership visa

processing that have kept many migrants forcefully separated for a long period of

time, had already repulsed many potentially new migrant workers from choosing NZ

as their preferred destination.

The ensuing Covid-related border closure in March 2020 as a response to the

Covid pandemic and the government’s conscious decision to inordinately delay plans

of opening borders and reconnecting with the rest of the world had only made the

situation worse.

Many temporary migrants who were left to deal with Immigration New Zealand’s

shambolic bureaucracy and the government’s ever-changing goal post on immigration

rules have only sad stories to tell about their experience of living, studying, and

working in New Zealand deterring many potential new migrant workers from choosing

the country as their preferred destination.

And make no mistake, the recently noted bump in the interest in New Zealand

as noted on Immigration New Zealand’s website in the United States of America

following the emotional upheaval due to the momentous overturn of the latter’s

supreme court of women’s right to abortion will not make much difference, despite

the wishful thinking of many.

Last time a similar surge in the interest in NZ in that part of the world was noted

when Donald Trump became the president of the United States of America.

Though a much likeable fact then, just like now, there were not any noticeable

arrivals of the supposedly rich and wealthy Americans on our shores to either boost

our economy or enrich the quality of the migrant workforce in any significant numbers

to suggest a lift in New Zealand’s overall brand image as a preferred migration


In the real world, a country’s overall image in attracting migrant workers often

is a cumulative outcome of the ease and clarity of immigration rules and settings,

allowing potential migrants to make long-term planning required to move to any

foreign country.

Sadly, in the last couple of years, New Zealand has either failed or unconsciously

denied the incoming migrants that leverage – and this has not necessarily a making

of Covid – instead, a lot was due to the government’s own making and beliefs about

the value of the temporary migrant workforce.

One such belief of this particular government has been the contempt towards

the so-called “low skilled temporary migrant workforce” which it sees as displacing

Zealand’s own citizens from the job market for the lack of competitive wages and

fairer work conditions.

While a majority of experts and key stakeholders, including the government’s

own commissioned productivity commission, have eventually found this view as

skewed and without any scientific backing, the government has remained steadfastly

committed to this view and marched ahead with its immigration rebalance.

Now is the time when that view will be tested in the real world.

The underlying theme of the Accredited Employer Work Visa system is that the

employers will supposedly get more bureaucratic efficiency from Immigration New

Zealand during the hiring and visa processing and in lieu, will have to increase costs

on their respective businesses by hiring temporary migrant workers at and abovemedian

wages ($27.76ph).

Ideally, this is an unfair expectation upon businesses and employers to be promised

more efficient visa processing services when they agree to increase costs on their

businesses and pay more than market rates, thereby risking their long-term viability.

From temporary migrants’ perspectives, they need businesses to remain viable

and stable so as to be in a position to give them long-term and stable employment.

The full impact of the government’s immigration rebalance yet remains to be seen

in the short to mid-term, but July 4 is an important date when the rebalance actually

begins on the ground.

To what extent will it eventually succeed in changing the dynamics of New

Zealand’s job market and encourage New Zealanders to pick up the work that is

being currently filled by so-called “low-skilled temporary migrants,” for now the

immigration rebalance is all set to begin from July 4.

IN FOCUS : Picture of the week

This week in New Zealand’s history

1 July 1988

Bastion Point land returned

The government announced that it had agreed to the Waitangi Tribunal’s

recommendation that Takaparawhā (Bastion Point) on the southern shore of

Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour be returned to local iwi Ngāti Whātua.

2 July 1938

Electric trains come to Wellington

On 2 July 1938, Minister of Railways Dan Sullivan and Wellington Mayor Thomas

Hislop officially opened the electrified rail line between central Wellington and

the northern suburb of Johnsonville.

5 July 1881

Poll tax imposed on Chinese

Parliament passed the Chinese Immigrants Act. After this received the Royal

Assent, a ‘poll tax’ of £10 (equivalent to $1770 today) was imposed on Chinese

migrants and the number allowed to land from each ship arriving in New Zealand was


6 July 1923

Main Trunk Line express train disaster

The Auckland−Wellington express ploughed into a huge slip that had slumped

across the tracks at Ōngarue, north of Taumarunui in King Country. Seventeen

people were killed and 28 injured. This was the first accident to claim more than four

lives since the beginning of New Zealand’s railway history 60 years earlier.

7 July 1916

New Zealand Labour Party founded

What is now New Zealand’s oldest political party emerged from a joint conference

in Wellington of the United Federation of Labour, the Social Democratic Party

(SDP) and local Labour Representation Committees (LRCs).

Indian Weekender : Volume 14 Issue15

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Wellington Reporter: Venu Menon | 021 538 356 | venu@indianweekender.co.nz

Christchurch Reporter: Mahesh Kumar | 021 952 218 | mahesh@indianweekender.co.nz

Views expressed in the publication are not necessarily of the publisher and the publisher

is not responsible for advertisers’ claims as appearing in the publication

Views expressed in the articles are solely of the authors and do not in any way represent

the views of the team at the Indian Weekender

Kiwi Media Publishing Limited - 133A, Level 1, Onehunga Mall, Onehunga, Auckland.

Printed at Horton Media, Auckland

Copyright ® 2022. Kiwi Media Publishing Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Send your suggestions and feedback to editor@indianweekender.co.nz

Indian Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

Interacting with

American President

Joe Biden and

Canadian Prime

Minister Justin

Trudeau during the

G7 Summit at the

Bavarian resort of

Schloss Elmau

castle, near




Read online www.iwk.co.nz Friday, July 01, 2022


India, Australia hold 9th Army

to Army staff talks in Dehradun

The 9th Army to Army Staff Talks

(AAST) between the Australian

Army and Indian Army were

conducted in Dehradun.

"9th Army to Army Staff Talks AAST

between Australian Army and Indian

Army were conducted in Dehradun.

AAST focused on joint military

exercises, training cooperation and

preparing a roadmap for enhanced

Defence Cooperation between both the

Armies," the Indian Army said in a tweet.

Australian Army delegation is on a visit

to India from June 25 to August 01.

They visited Indian Military Academy,

Dehradun, Infantry Div based at

Dehradun, Bengal Engineer Group

Centre Roorkee, Wargame Research &

Development Centre (WARDEC) Delhi

and Centre for Land Warfare Studies


Talks were held at IMA and both

sides reviewed road map for activities

promoting defence cooperation like

training courses between both Armies,

Cadet Exchange Programme between

Pre-Commission Training Academies,

Bilateral ex Austrahind, subject matter

expert exchange in niche domains,

functional and high-level visits, the

interaction between think tanks, virtual

interactions in the field of medical and

doctrinal exchanges.

Earlier in March, Lt Gen Richard Maxwell

Burr, Chief of Army Australia visited India

along with a four-member delegation.

During his visit, the Australian Army

Chief called on the Chief of Army Staff,

Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff

and other senior military officers.

Interaction between both the Chiefs

of the Army Staff was warm and cordial.

Both Chiefs exchanged views on the

current global situation and the situation

in Indo-Pacific in addition to discussing

measures for enhancing defence

cooperation between both armies.

India successfully tests high-speed

expendable aerial target Abhyas

India on Wednesday successfully

tested the indigenously-designed

Abhyas - a High-speed Expendable

Aerial Target (HEAT) - in Odisha. The

trial was carried out by the Defence

Research and Development Organisation

(DRDO) from the Integrated Test Range

(ITR) in Odisha's Chandipur.

The aircraft is programmed for a

fully autonomous flight, meaning that

it flies under the control of automatic

systems and needs no intervention

from a human pilot.

During the test flight, the aircraft was

flown from a ground-based controller

to examine its manoeuvrability and

performance at low altitudes. The air

vehicle was launched using twin underslung

boosters during the demonstration,

which provided initial acceleration.

It is powered by a small gas turbine

engine for endurance flights at high

subsonic speed.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh

congratulated the DRDO and the Indian

armed forces for the successful trial

and said that the development of this

system woud meet the requirements of

aerial targets for the armed forces, a

press release stated.

A day earlier, the defence research

body and the Army also successfully

tested an indigenously-developed antitank

guided missile in Maharashtra.

"In the test, the ATGM hit the bull's eye

with textbook precision and successfully

defeated the target at minimum ranges.

Telemetry systems recorded the

satisfactory flight performance of the

missile," the defence ministry said in a


India also test-fired the Vertical Launch

Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-

SRSAM) in Chandipur last week. The VL-

SRSAM is a ship-borne weapon system

Election for Vice President to

be held on August 6

The Election Commission of India

(ECI) released the schedule for

the election of Vice President

stating the same will be held on August

6 this year. The term of Vice President

Venkaiah Naidu will end on August 10.

The counting of votes will be held

the same day, the Election Commission

said. The last date for filing nomination

papers is July 19.

"As per Article 68 of the Constitution

of India, an election to fill the vacancy

caused by the expiration of the term of

office of the outgoing Vice-President

is required to be completed before the

expiration of the term," the Commission

said. Members from both Houses of

tParliament will vote for the election of

Vice President.

The election for the presidential post is

set to be held on July 18. The Bharatiya

Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA has fielded

Droupadi Murmu for the election, while

Yashwant Sinha is the joint candidate

of the Opposition. Murmu filed her

nomination in the presence of Prime

Minister Narendra Modi and several

Union ministers.

Sinha filed his papers amid a big show

of unity of Opposition leaders days later.

meant for neutralising various aerial

threats at close ranges including seaskimming


India's first mRNA

vaccine by Gennova

gets DCGI approval, to

be rolled out soon

India's first indigenously developed

mRNA vaccine against the

COVID-19 gets the Emergency Use

Authorization (EUA), to be sold under

the brand name GEMCOVAC-19 and

will be rolled out soon, informed the

officials on Wednesday.

The vaccine will be available for

adults above 18 years of age. It is a

two-dose vaccine to be administered

intramuscularly at 28 days apart.

The Pune-based subsidiary of

Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Gennova

Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. announced that

its mRNA vaccine - GEMCOVAC-19

- against COVID-19 received the

Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

from the office of the Drugs Controller

General of India (DCGI). GEMCOVAC-19

is the very first mRNA vaccine

developed in India and the only third

mRNA vaccine to be approved for

COVID-19 in the world. These vaccines

are highly efficacious because of their

inherent capacity of being translated

into the protein structure inside the cell


"It's India's first mRNA vaccine, only

the third vaccine based on this platform

to get this authorization globally and

the fact that this vaccine is stable at

two to eight degrees Celsius. We did

have the manufacturing at risk, approval

already in place, there are 7 million doses

that we have already manufactured

and released not only by our in-house

quality control but also by the CDL

Kasauli," Samit Mehta, COO, Gennova

Biopharmaceuticals Ltd told ANI.

Bowel Screening is free for all

Aucklanders aged 60-74

TO FIND OUT MORE GO TO www.timetoscreen.nz

Free phone 0800 924 432

or talk to your doctor



Friday, May 27, 2022

Read online www.iwk.co.nz

At NATO summit, Biden announces US

reinforcements of NATO forces in Europe

US President Joe

Biden on Wednesday

announced significant

US reinforcements of NATO

forces in Europe to meet

threats across every domain --

land, air and sea, as the muchawaited

transatlantic summit

began in Madrid amid the raging

conflict in Ukraine.

Addressing alongside the

NATO secretary-general Jens

Stoltenberg, Biden declared

new troop movements,

equipment shipments and

military installations amid

the Russia-Ukraine war. "The

United States and our allies

are stepping up and proving

that NATO is needed now more

than ever, and is as important

as it ever has been," Biden was

quoted as saying by CNN.

Biden said the US plans

to establish a permanent

headquarters for the Fifth Army

Corps in Poland and maintain an

US President Joe Biden along with NATO secretary-general General Jens Stoltenberg

additional rotational brigade of

3,000 troops in Romania.

Besides this, Washington

will also enhance rotational

deployments to the Baltic

States, send additional F-35

fighter jet squadrons to the

UK and station additional air

defence and other capabilities

in Germany and Italy.

"Together with our allies, we

are going to make sure that

NATO is ready to meet threats

from all directions across every

domain, land, air, and sea,"

Biden said.

Biden has also announced

Washington's plan to build

up air defence capabilities in

Germany and Italy.

"We are going to send two

additional F-35 squadrons to

the UK and station additional air

defence and other capabilities

India-Canada ties: Modi, Trudeau

hold talks at G7 summit

India Prime Minister

Narendra Modi held his first

in-person bilateral meeting

with his Canadian counterpart

Justin Trudeau in over four

years in Germany. A tweet

from India’s prime minister’s

office noted the two leaders

“took stock of India-Canada

friendship and discussed ways

to further strengthen it across

various sectors”.

The meeting was preceded

with positive signals as the

two PMs exchanged greetings

and smiles at the gathering for

the family photo for the G7


This was the first time

they held such discussions

sitting across from each other

since Trudeau visited India in

February 2018.

The bilateral meeting took

place on Monday evening in

the German resort of Schloss

Elmau, on the margins of the

ongoing G7 summit.

A preparatory meeting for

this bilateral was held last

Thursday between India’s

External Affairs Minister S

Jaishankar and Canada’s

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) during a meeting with Prime Minister of

Canada Justin Trudeau, in Schloss Elmau, Germany

Mélanie Joly on the margins of

the Commonwealth Heads of

Government Meeting 2022 in

Kigali, Rwanda.

According to senior Indian

officials, the agenda was to

include significant global issues

including the Indo-Pacific,

the situation in Ukraine, the

commodities crisis caused by

the Russian attack, including

its impact on food security.

They were cautious in

keeping expectations from

the meeting tempered as

outstanding irritants remain

like the growth in pro-Khalistan

elements in Canada. India wants

to take that into account while

focusing on strengthening the

trade relationship between

the two countries, especially

with an Early Progress Trade

Agreement (EPTA) under

consideration and likely to be

sealed before the end of the

year while dialogue continues

on a Comprehensive Economic

Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

This was also the first inperson

meeting between

the two PMs since Trudeau’s

unprompted remarks in

December 2020 on the

farmers’ agitation which

caused a rupture in ties.

However, since then Trudeau

has refrained from similar

comments on India’s internal

affairs and reined in the ruling

Liberal caucus members from

doing so as well.

in Germany and in Italy," Biden

told reporters on the sidelines

of the NATO summit in Madrid.

The US is also going

to enhance its rotational

deployments in the Baltic

states, as well as increase the

number of destroyers based at

the Rota naval base in Spain to

six, Biden added.

NATO summit began in

Madrid, allowing the western

military alliance to show a joint

front against Moscow, and

start the process of Finland

and Sweden's inclusion in the

alliance. This summit comes

as Turkey lifted its veto over

Finland and Sweden's bid to join

NATO, ending a dispute that

tested the unity of the alliance

amid the Ukraine conflict.

This deal signals a significant

shift in security dynamics in

Europe as the Nordic countries

abandon their decades-long

neutrality to enter the military


long-delayed conference

on how to restore the

faltering health of global

oceans kicked off in Lisbon,

with the head of the UN saying

the world's seas are in crisis.

"Today we face what I would

call an ocean emergency,"

UN Secretary General Antonio

Guterres told thousands of

policymakers, experts and

advocates at the opening

plenary, describing how seas

have been hammered by

climate change and pollution.

Humanity depends on healthy


They generate 50 percent

of the oxygen we breathe and

provide essential protein and

nutrients to billions of people

every day. Covering 70 percent

of Earth's surface, oceans have

also softened the impact of

climate change for life on land.

But at a terrible cost.

Absorbing around a quarter

of CO2 pollution – even as

emissions increased by half

over the last 60 years – has

turned sea water acidic,

threatening aquatic food chains

and the ocean's capacity to

absorb carbon. And soaking

up more than 90 percent of

alliance. Finnish President Sauli

Niinisto said that Turkey has

agreed to support Finland and

Sweden's NATO membership

bids, removing the main hurdle

to the two countries joining the

alliance. Niintso said that a joint

memorandum on the matter

was signed by Turkey, Finland

and Sweden in Madrid. The joint

memorandum underscores the

commitment of Finland, Sweden

and Turkey "to extend their full

support against threats to each

other's security," Niinisto said.

"The concrete steps of our

accession to NATO will be

agreed by the NATO allies

during the next two days, but

that decision is now imminent,"

he added.

Stoltenberg said he is

"confident" that Finland

and Sweden will be able to

successfully join NATO after

the signing of the trilateral

memorandum of understanding.

In dire warning, UN chief says

oceans in state of ‘emergency’

the excess heat from global

warming has spawned massive

marine heatwaves that are

killing off precious coral reefs

and expanding dead zones

bereft of oxygen.

"We have only begun to

understand the extent to which

climate change is going to

wreak havoc on ocean health,"

said Charlotte de Fontaubert,

the World Bank's global lead

for the blue economy. Making

things worse is an unending

torrent of pollution, including a

garbage truck's worth of plastic

every minute, according to the

United Nations Environment

Programme (UNEP). On current

trends, yearly plastic waste

will nearly triple to one billion

tonnes by 2060, according

to a recent report by the

Organisation for Economic

Cooperation and Development


Home to 17 percent of people but accounts for five percent

of global carbon emissions: Modi at G7 Summit

Pushing back against

the misconception that

developing countries

cause greater damage to the

environment, Prime Minister

Narendra Modi on Monday said

India, which is home to 17% of

the world population, accounts

for only 5% of global carbon


Addressing a special session

on “Investing in a better future:

Climate, energy, health” at the

G7 Summit in Germany, Modi

said it is important to remember

that access to energy shouldn’t

be the privilege of the rich

only against the backdrop of

energy costs increasing due to

geopolitical tensions.

Besides India, countries such

as Indonesia, South Africa,

Argentina and Senegal have

been invited to the summit of

seven of the world’s largest

economies in an effort to

strengthen international

collaboration on key issues

such as climate action, health

and energy security.

“Unfortunately, it is believed

that there is a fundamental

collision between the

developmental goals of the

world and environmental


There is also another

misconception that poor

countries and poor people

cause more damage to the

environment,” Modi said,

speaking in Hindi.

“Seventeen per cent of the

world’s population resides in

India. But our contribution of

global carbon emissions is only


The main reason behind this

is our lifestyle, which is based

on the theory of co-existence

with nature,” he added.

"India has shown over

thousands of years, including

in times of immense prosperity

in the past and as the fastest

growing large economy,

that its commitment to the

environment has not been

“diluted even a single bit”, he


Read online www.iwk.co.nz Friday, July 01, 2022


Different types of Pulao



• 1cup - rice

• 2cups - water


• 1 - potato, small

• 1 - carrot

• 1/2cup - peas

• 100gm - paneer

• 1/4cup - oil


• 1tsp - ginger, garlic paste

• 2 - bay leaves

• 1inch - cinnamon stick

• 2-3 - black peppercorns

• 2 - green cardamoms


• 1tbsp - clarified butter ( ghee )

• 1tsp - cumin seeds

• 1/4cup - saffron milk ( a pinch of

saffron mixed with milk )

• 1 - lemon


• Rinse rice till the water runs clear.

• Place rice in a heavy base saucepan,

add water and half cook the rice.

• Drain and transfer rice to a bowl. Set

aside for later use.

• Peel, wash and dice potatoes; cut

carrots and keep aside.

• In a deep heavy base frypan heat oil

over medium flame.

• Add potatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes,

till light brown on all the sides.

• Add carrots and fry for another

1 minute, then add peas and fry

everything together for 2-3 minutes

and transfer them onto a plate.

• Cut paneer into cubes and fry them

in the same pan for 2-3 minutes then

Pulao is a delicious medley of rice, spices and vegetables.

It’s healthy and easy meal to make for children’s lunch box

or for an office lunch box. It’s the simplest dish to prepare at

home with some very easily available ingredients.



• 1cup - black chickpeas ( kala chana,


• 2cups - rice ( long grain, basmati )

• 1 - potato, medium

• 1 - onion, medium

• 1/2cup - spinach ( chopped )

• 2 - tomatoes, medium

• 2 - green chillies

• 1tbsp - clarified butter

• 1/2tsp - cumin seeds

• 1inch - cinnamon stick

• 1 - bay leaf

• 1/4tsp - asafoetida

• 1tsp - ginger paste

• 1/2tsp - red chilli powder

• 1/4tsp - garam masala powder

• 1/4tsp - cumin powder

• 1/2tsp - mango powder ( amchoor

powder )

• 1tsp - salt or according to taste

• 1 - lemon

• Fresh chopped coriander


• Soak chickpeas over night in enough


• Next day drain the chickpeas and

pressure cook them in 2 cups of

water. Set aside along with its water,

for later use.

• Rinse rice, till the water runs clear;

soak them in enough water and keep


• Peel, wash and dice potatoes; chop

onions, spinach, tomatoes and green

chillies, set aside.

• Heat clarified butter in a heavy base

transfer them to the plate along with

vegetables. Set aside.

• In the same frypan, fry ginger, garlic

paste over medium flame for 2-3


• Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, black

peppercorns, green cardamoms and

sauté for a minute.

• Add all the vegetables along with

paneer and mix well.

• Lower the flame; add rice and mix

gently, cover the pan and let simmer.

• Meanwhile heat clarified butter in a

small frypan over medium flame.

• Add cumin seeds, when they start

to splatter, lower the flame and add

saffron milk followed by water. Give

a good stir.

• Add saffron milk to the rice and

gently mix it.

• Cover and let simmer for a minute or

two or till the rice are done.

• Place rice in a serving plate, squeeze

lemon on top.

• Serve with raita or curry of your


• Serves - 4

saucepan over medium flame.

• Add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick,

bay leaf, asafoetida and cook for few

seconds till they crackle.

• Add ginger paste and sauté for a


• Add onions, cook, till they get

translucent and soft.

• Add diced potatoes and sauté for a

minute or two.



• 2cups - rice

• 1cup - peas ( matar )

• 2 - onions, large

• 1/2tsp - cumin seeds

• 2 - bay leaves

• 4-5 - black peppercorns

• 4 - green cardamoms

• 1inch - cinnamon stick

• 1tbsp - ginger, garlic paste

• 2 - tomatoes, large

• 2-3 - green chillies

• 2tsp - salt

• 2tbsp - clarified butter


• Rinse rice till the water runs clear and

set aside for later use.

• Thaw peas if your are using the frozen

ones. Set aside.

• In a deep heavy base saucepan heat

clarified butter over medium flame.

• Peel, wash and thinly slice the onions

then place them into the pan.

• Sauté onions till they are brown in


• Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, black

peppercorns, green cardamoms,

cinnamon stick, stir for a minute.

• Add ginger, garlic paste and sauté for

2-3 minutes.

• Wash and chop tomatoes and green

chillies, then add them to the pan

and sauté for 3-4 minutes or till

the moisture evaporates and butter

comes on top.

• Add peas followed by half a cup of

water, mix well, add salt, mix, cover

and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring in


• Add rice along with 4 cups of water,

• Add chopped spinach, stir for a

minute then add chopped tomatoes

and green chillies, mix well.

• Cook till the extra moisture has been

absorbed, while stirring continuously.

• Lower the flame, then add red chilli

powder, garam masala powder, cumin

powder, mango powder and salt, mix


• Add cooked chickpeas along with its

water, mix well.

• Cover and cook till the potatoes

and spinach are done and water has


• Drain and add rice along with 4 cups

of water, mix.

• Cover and cook over high flame. After

1 boil, cook rice over medium to low

flame for 5-6 minutes or till done ( at

this point check salt as more can be

added now ).

• Place pulao in a serving plate and

squeeze lemon on it.

• Garnish with chopped coriander


• Serve it hot with raita of your choice.

• Serves - 6

give a good mix. Taste the water, it

has to be slightly salty, if not add

more salt and give a gentle stir.

• Cover and let 1 boil come over high

flame then cook over medium to low

till done.

• Serve with raita.


• Soak rice for at least 30 minutes.

• This way every rice grain expands well

to the maximum length.

• Make sure you use high quality whole

spices & long grain basmati rice for

the best taste.

• For best results; Always let the pulao

rest at least for 5 minutes before

serving, then fluff it with the fork.

• Serves - 5-6



Friday, July 01, 2022

Movie Review: Jugjugg Jeeyo

Countless Conjugal Complications

Read online www.iwk.co.nz


4 Stars out of 5 (Excellent); Director:

Raj Mehta; Cast: Kiara Advani, Neetu

Singh, Varun Dhawan, Anil Kapoor;

Hindi (English Subtitles Available), NZ

Release 24/6/22

Are there irreconcilable differences

between portraying the full arc

of marital strife and big-budget

Hindi cinema ? Jug Jugg Jeeyo seems to

have found a way out – the judge goes

mad, but the partners, ex or otherwise,

get a better deal.

Do not expect a serious movie here –

Jug Jugg Jeeyo is foisted up and hung out

to dry on a comedic framework, fleshed

out with semi-serious biceps, flexed with

oodles of scandal and outrage.

Two couples from successive

generations grapple with marital

demons, while periodically breaking out

into glamourous wedding dance and

song. It starts out with comedy, snarls

into real-life lament, and after the fuse

blows out, the wires are

re-set into joker mode.

This is what Hollywood market

crunchers call a four-quadrant movie –

the math simply can’t go wrong.

Kiara Advani and Varun Dhawan jazz

up the screen as one of the finest

pairs seen in years and decades - not

just visually ravishing but also sharing

bewitching chemistry, despite all the

lunging at each other’s throats.

They’re bolstered by superb

supporting acts from Neetu Singh

and Anil Kapoor, a constantly whirring

script powered by four writers who

deepen the broth instead of spoiling it,

and rock-solid direction by Raj Mehta

who’s relatively new to full-length films

and yet continues his hit record like a

veteran helmer.

Nainaa (Kiara Advani) and Kukoo

(Varun Dhawan) are legendary lovers.

The issue in the fairytale is that they’re

still in their twenties, while Toronto’s

frost is steadily making their interpersonal

devils thaw.

Salary, career, the extra mile in caring

and sacrifice – all these minutiae and

boulders, bludgeon their paradise.

Nainaa and Kukoo decide to bury the

hatchet until they can safely attend

a big family marriage in India without

upsetting their folks with news of the

impending rupture.

Enter a sprawling mansion and Audi

SUVs in Punjab belonging to Kukoo’s

parents (this is Dharma Productions with

Rs. 90 crore plus at stake – what did you

expect – a regular house and the lives of

everyday people?).

Auckland to welcome

musical star Satinder Sartaaj


Satinder Sartaaj is a name to reckon

with in the field of music. The Indian

singer, songwriter, actor, and poet

of Punjabi language films and songs, who

has a PhD in music and a long list of fans,

gained fame with his song Udaarian in

2018 and has performed globally.

He has performed in New Zealand on

multiple occasions and will be back in

the country to entertain his numerous

fans. As part of his ongoing Rejuvenation

World Tour, he is all set to enthral his

fans in New Zealand. On July 16, he is

slated to perform in Auckland at the

Vodafone Events Centre.

Aucklanders are already waiting for

the show with great enthusiasm.

Tina Bansal of Flat Bush says, “I love

Satinder Sartaaj’s music style a lot. I am

thrilled that I will be watching him live

soon. I can’t contain my excitement.”

Another fan of Sartaaj, Tavleen Arora,

says, “I am looking forward to seeing

Sartaaj perform in front of my eyes. It

will be a dream come true. His songs are

so soulful, and I look forward to enjoying

his concert.”

It may be noted that Indian Weekender

is the exclusive media partner for the

Satinder Sartaaj’s show.

Sartaaj is best recognised for his welldecorated

career in Punjabi-Sufi music.

His stock took a rise after his Hollywood

acting debut depicting the Maharaja

Duleep Singh in the universally acclaimed

motion picture The Black Prince in 2017

Satinder Sartaaj was born in the village

of Bajrawar, Distt Hoshiarpur (Punjab

eastern) and completed his graduation

in Music with Honours from Govt College


He also completed his five-year diploma

in classical music, Sangeet Visharad,

from Jalandhar. After completing his

graduation and diploma, he went to

Punjab University, Chandigarh, for his

masters in Music. After his masters

and M.Phil, he completed his PhD with a

specialisation in Sufi poetry. To further

understand the deep thoughts of Sufi

poetry, he completed a certificate

course and a diploma in the Persian

(Farsi) language. Dr Satinder Sartaaj

taught in the Music Department at

Punjab University for six years.

For Show sponsorship and additional

information, contact Karan Bhasin at

+64 22 077 2156 or email at Karan@


Geeta (Neetu Singh) and Bheem (Anil

Kapoor) are loving parents, but little

Kukoo has no idea that some more

cuckoos are lined up for him.

Consolation comes in the form of a

bro-in-law buddy Gurpreet (a strapping

effervescent Manish Paul) who helps the

besieged hero negotiate serial storms.

The film’s biggest strength is its

script. It is not every day that you come

across a film from Mumbai where grownup

children and their parents have to

contend with this kind of revelation –

granted, it is half smothered in comedy

but the ending does not brush it under

the carpet.

Early in the story, Nainaa and Kukoo

stop by the road in Toronto and bicker

with each other – the scene watched by

a homeless man out in the cold who sees

the feuding couple snug in the car – a

superbly constructed moment of levity

and insight, uncommon in a big-budget


Anil Kapoor bears the brunt of hauling

the comedy throughout, and although

he comes close to caricature, I think

many of us have seen versions of him

in real-life.

Neetu Singh, on the other hand, has to

consistently portray a serious persona

and she does this with dignified aplomb

– witness the film’s most powerful scene

as her Geeta confides to her daughterin-law

at a water-side bench – a quietly

tremendous example of spontaneous

acting that outpowers everything –

including the background music, which

while not being overbearing, could have

remained silent in more scenes than one

(the message of ‘don’t drink and drive’

is lost in that scene, though).

The songs are a mixed bag, and the

best video song ‘Rangisari’ – a sizzling

number between the two sexy leads

shot through with intoxicating strains,

is placed after the film (the target

audience has mostly walked out, the

Pakehas usually remain till the end).

Four male writers pitch in for the

screenplay and to all of their credit,

women are never taken for granted –

see the character arc of Meera (great

to see Tisca Chopra spiffier than ever,

two decades removed from her first TV

roles). Jug Jugg Jeeyo is an excellent

example of solid commercial Indian


U. Prashanth Nayak is a film and food

reviewer and a regular contributor to

Indian Weekender. For more movie

reviews by U Prashanth Nayak please

click: http://www.upnworld.com//upn/


SS Rajamouli's 'absolute

masterpiece' RRR praised by

The Vampire Diaries actor

SS Rajamouli's RRR has found

two new fans and this time they

are The Vampire Diaries actor

Joseph Morgan and his wife-actor Persia

White. Taking to Twitter, Joseph wrote,

"Had a bit of time off shooting and @

RealPersiaWhite and I watched two

incredible movies.

RRR & Everything Everywhere All At

Once. Both were astounding. We laughed

and cried and gasped in amazement.

Just stunning cinema."

Replying to him, a fan wrote,

"Thanks for watching @RRRMovie."

Joseph responded, "It was an absolute

masterpiece, from start to finish. I’ve

been thinking about it ever since." RRR

features Ram Charan and Jr NTR in the

lead roles. The film also starred Alia

Bhatt and Ajay Devgn.

The official Twitter account

of RRR Movie wrote, "Klaus…Thank you

so much for loving RRR & Spreading the

word." He replied, "I really loved it. Just

a joy from start to finish." Re-sharing

Joseph's tweet, Netflix India said, "Dear

Diary, Today I found out that Klaus and I

are mind blown by the same films."

This is not the first time that a

Hollywood celebrity has praised RRR.

Earlier this month, comic books Batman

Beyond and Captain America writer

Jackson Lanzing wrote on Twitter, “Hey

Jackson, was RRR the best time you’ve

ever had at the movies?” followed by

actor Ram Charan's GIF giving a thumbs

up. RRR Movie’s Twitter account shared

the tweet saying, “Another day, another

round of applause for #RRR…From the

writer of DC's Batman Beyond and

MARVEL Comics' Captain America, Kang

and more.”

Doctor Strange screenwriter Robert

C Cargill wrote about RRR on Twitter,

“Friends came over last night to initiate

me into the cult of RRR (RISE ROAR

REVOLT) and I'm here to report I am

now fully, truly, deeply a member. This

is the craziest, most sincere, weirdest

blockbuster I've ever seen. I'm pretty

sure Jess and I are watching it again this


RRR is a fictionalised story of two

revolutionaries in the 1920s in India.

It has grossed over ₹1100 crore at

the box office, becoming one of the

highest-grossing Indian movies. RRR also

added another feather to its cap as The

Hollywood Critics Association nominated

the film for Best Picture for Midseason

Awards. This is the first time that an

Indian film has been given the honour.

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