And a tribute to the New Indian President and the late Wenceslaus Anthony
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi
New Zealand is a vibrant and multicultural country.
All our major cities and towns are home to a number of ethnicities from across the world.
Migrants have and continue to make significant social, cultural and economic contributions to our country and we welcome migrants with open arms.
Our friendly and welcoming nature is recognised globally and is one of the major reason why we have large inflow of tourists and permanent migrants to our country.
The National-led Government has listened closely to the needs of our economy and small businesses. All of whom have shared with us that it is impossible for them to sustain their business and its growth without immigrants, many of whom have skills that are critical to business growth and economic success.
We do not want to put the handbrake on immigration and risk stalling growth.
New Indian President
Recently, India chose its 14th president. Mr Ram Nath Kovind, who was voted in as India’s Fourteenth President and assumed office on July 25, 2017.
Mr Kovind is a Dalit leader who is a first from his cast to be elected to the highest office of India. Before being elected as President, he served two consecutive terms (12 years, till March 2006) in Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament.
He represented India in the United Nations in New York and addressed United Nations General Assembly in October 2002.
Once again Mr Kovind’s election to India’s highest office shows that through perseverance and hard work, one can achieve many positives not just for oneself but for all sections of the community.
On July 23, 2017, a close friend, who was a role model for many migrants through his actions, passed away. Wenceslaus Anthony was a brother, friend, guide and a strong supporter of the New Zealand National Party.
During his life time, Mr Anthony wore several hats. He was Chair of the India New Zealand Business Council, the first person of Indian origin to do so, and was part of New Zealand government delegations to India in 2001 and 2011.
In 2013, he received the New Zealand Order of Merit Award for his services to New Zealand-India relations.
His most recent honour was receiving the Papal Medal, ‘The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice,’ the highest civilian honour given out by the Roman Catholic Church.
Mr Anthony was a righteous example of significant contributions that he as a migrant made to New Zealand. New Zealand for its part acknowledged his contributions.
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is Member of Parliament on National Party’s List. He is seen here with the late Wenceslaus Anthony and Raman Ranchhod at the launch of our Electionlink pages by Prime Minister Bill English in Auckland on February 27, 2017. Mr Anthony passed away in Chennai on July 23 and Mr Ranchhod in Auckland on June 6. (Picture by Creative Eye Fotographics)