Immigration opens the door for economic prosperity and cultural diversity
Venkat Raman –
As a part of our efforts to recognise and applaud achievers this Diwali, we were impressed by the activities of the support wing of the National Party of New Zealand.
Harness the power of the people and encouraging them to be involved in the country’s political process has been objective behind the formation of the ‘National Party Global Indianz’ eight years ago and the Fundraising Dinner held on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at the D Grand Haveli Restaurant in Auckland was an event to remember.
National Party Leader and Prime Minister John Key, Police Minister Judith Collins, National Party President Peter Goodfellow, Director Alastair Bell, North Island Regional Chair Andrew Hunt were among an estimated 200 persons present at the thee-hour event that brought together members of the Sikh community from across the country to meet the Party leadership, amuse themselves and raise money for the National Party.
Among the highlights of the Fundraising Dinner was an Indian Classical Dance number by Ratna Venkat. Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the Hindu, Elephant-headed God, who is worshipped as the ‘Remover of All Obstacles,’ the performance preceded bya short description of the number by Ratna and her energetic execution of the song. The highly vibrant and popular Bhangra by the Bollywood Bhangra Group received wide applause as it was performed at the conclusion of the programme.
The event included a highly successful auction with a number of items such as a ‘Portrait with the Prime Minister,’ ‘Wine Bottles signed by the Prime Minister,’ a Cricket Bat, liquor bottles and artefacts were all picked up following spirited bidding.
In tune with the purpose of the occasion, Mr Key sought the support of the Indian community in next year’s general election, saying that ‘Voting National, would be voting continued progress of the country.’
He chose to speak of two issues that are currently contentious in New Zealand- Immigration and International Students from India.
“We cannot and should not shut down our doors for new migrants, as being propagated by Labour Party and New Zealand First Party. Indians have done well in New Zealand and we should have more of them here. As for the international students, we are working through the current problems. International students are important for New Zealand, its economy and the future of the country’s economy,” he said.
Another report, with our comments appears elsewhere in this issue.
Ms Collins spoke about her interaction with the Indian community and how it has been growing in her (Papakura) electorate over the years.
She also spoke about the issue of law and order, more of which elsewhere in our another related report.
Other speakers at the event were Mr Goodfellow, National Party MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Dr Parmjeet Parmar and National Party Global Indianz President Jasbir Singh Dhillon.
At the end of the event, Mr Dhillon and Mohanpal Singh presented a cheque for $70,000 to Mr Goodfellow as the contribution of their organisation.
Year 2016 would be marked as significant in the history of National Party Global Indianz. In the past three months, three major milestones were achieved, with the opening of the Lower North Island Chapter in Wellington in July and the Canterbury Chapter in Wellington in August and the Fundraising Dinner held on October 5.
About Global Indianz
‘National Party Global Indianz’ began as an initiative of Mr Bakshi in 2008, even as he was campaigning for his first election held in November that year.
Mr Bakshi became the first India-born MP on National’s List that and continues to be an active supporter of ‘Global Indianz,’ which has now established its branches in many parts of the country. These include Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga, Rotorua, Hastings and Hamilton.
It continues to be an ‘interest group’ within the National Party aiming to accord New Zealanders of Indian descent or birth a ‘louder voice’ in the Party and in the political process of the country.
Its membership across New Zealand is stated to be more than 1000.
Mr Goodfellow launched the Wellington branch in July 2016 along with Mr Bakshi and Dr Parmar. Among those present were Parliamentary Speaker David Carter, Deputy Speaker Chester Burrows, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, Small Business Minister Craig Foss, other MPs Tim Macindoe, Brett Hudson, Christopher Bishop, Paul Foster-Bell, Alastair Scoot, Jano Naylor and Joanne Hayes.