Venkat Raman (From Taiwan)
With Indian Newslink Staff
New Zealand’s political leaders have called for closer economic, political, commercial and bilateral relations with India, stating that this is a natural extension of historic ties between the two countries.
Speaking at the India Independence Day celebrations held today at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Eden Terrace, Auckland Central, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said that the Labour-led coalition government will strive to promote closer relations with India.
Labour and National Leaders at the Independence Day Celebrations in Auckland
True Partners in Progress
“We are united as New Zealanders in our stand that there should be greater depth of our bilateral relations with India, which is the fastest growing economy in the world. We are keen to build an even stronger relationship with India,” he said.
Acknowledging the contributions of the Indian community, Mr Robertson described Indians as ‘true partners in the country’s progress.’
“The Indian community brings cultural diversity to New Zealand. The Labour Party and the Labour government respects multiculturalism and respects people of all ethnicities. Our Parliament is a true example of our multicultural approach with MPs from various communities serving New Zealand and New Zealanders,” he said.
Demonstration of Unity in Diversity
National Party Leader Simon Bridges said that he is proud of the achievements and contributions of the Indian community in New Zealand and the Indian Diaspora worldwide.
“We celebrate India’s Independence as an important event and we are proud of our time-honoured relations with the world’s largest democracy. We will work together to strengthen our trade and commercial relations with India,” he said.
India’s High Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli highlighted the potential for closer cooperation between the two countries and said that India is keen to grow its ties with New Zealand.
Defending the Motherland is a sacred duty
For the first time in recent history, the Indian community got together as a single entity to mark the 71st Anniversary of India’s Independence in Auckland, three days ahead of the actual day of reckoning- August 15.
Mahatma Gandhi Centre was filled to capacity as thousands of men, women and children watched a demonstration of solidarity and cultural rhapsody. Several states and regions of India were represented at the event which included speeches and messages of greetings.
Mohini Attam of Kerala
Mr Robertson and Mr Bridges were joined by Ministers David Parker (Trade and Export Growth), Jenny Salesa (Ethnic Communities), Willy Jackson (Employment), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ethnic Communities) Michael Wood, MPs Priyanca Radhakrishnan and Deborah Russell (Labour), Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Dr Parmjeet Parmar (National) and Honorary Consul for Auckland Bhav Dhillon.
‘Vande Mataram,’ homage to Mother India
The Programme commenced with a flag-hoisting ceremony, followed by the Indian National Prayer, National Anthem and speeches. Members of several Indian community organisations presented items highlighting the culture and tradition of their State and Region.
Bharata Natyam of Tamil Nadu
Indian Newslink August 15, 2018 Issue carries a Special Report on India Independence Day. The print edition will be available throughout New Zealand on August 14 and worldwide through our Web Edition (www.indiannewslink.co.nz) and social media.
Children presenting an item
The Pictures appearing here were taken for Indian Newslink by Ronny Kumaran.