Auckland, June 25, 2019
New Zealand is increasingly becoming multicultural and with the rise in the population of migrants from various countries of the world, there is a need to be inclusive, leaders of the country have said.
Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, National Party Members of Parliament Mark Mitchell and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Indian High Commission Charge d’ Affaires C Doss Jeyakumar stressed the importance of recognising and rewarding achievers in Indian and other communities for their outstanding contributions or services to New Zealand in various sectors.
They were speaking at the Sixth Annual Indian Newslink Sports, Community, Arts & Culture Awards Presentation Ceremony held yesterday (Monday, June 24, 2019) at Ellerslie Event Centre in Remuera, Auckland.
True Partners in progress
“We are proud of our Indian community in New Zealand and they have been true partners in the progress of our country. We are happy to participate in these Awards instituted by Indian Newslink and we hope that more and more achievers will be recognised at these Awards in the ensuing years,” they said.
We are lucky to live in a country that celebrates ethnic diversity and where it is against the law to discriminate against anybody because of their ethnicity, religion, or background.
A quarter of all people who call New Zealand home were born overseas and our region is home to more than 200 different ethnicities – more than the number of countries in the world that are members of the United Nations, they said.
Extensive range of Awards
About 120 people were recognised for their achievements in various sports, community, arts and cultural activities at the ceremony which was attended by more than 700 men and women from Australia and several cities in New Zealand including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua.
It was the largest Community Awards event organised by this publication.
Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Indian High Commission (Wellington) Charge d’ Affaires C Doss Jeyakumar, Members of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Mark Mitchell, Michael Wood, Agnes Loheni, Jacqui Dean, Andrew Bayly, Dr Parmjeet Parmar, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Deborah Russell, Jami-Lee Ross, former MPs Dr Ashraf Chaudhary, Chris Carter National Party President Peter Goodfellow, Auckland Councillor Desley Simpson, Deputy Commissioners of Police Wallace Haumaha and Andy Coster, Inspector Rakesh Naidoo, Leaders of the Football community, Sponsors, community leaders are among the many others who will be present at the event.
As well as people of Indian origin worldwide, the winners in more than 50 categories of Awards include people from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Fiji, South Africa, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Muslim Community, Police honoured
The Muslim Community was honoured with a Special Award for promoting tolerance, patience and goodwill in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, received by the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand President Dr Mustafa Farouk, Secretary Ibrar Sheikh and Government Relations Executive Dr Anwar Ghani.
Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police (Strategy & Partnerships) Andy Coster received an Award on behalf of Police Commissioner Mike Bush for Excellence in Crisis Management and Safer Communities.
Similar, individual awards were presented to Deputy Commissioner of Police Wallace Haumaha and Inspector Rakesh Naidoo.
The Raman (Ray) Ranchhod Commemoration Award was presented to Sahaayta Counselling & Social Support Services Director Sucharita Varma (received by Counsellor Anita Sharma) for Excellence in Counselling, Reducing Family Harm (presented by Tejal Ranchhod).
Sneha Anthony presented the Wenceslaus Anthony Commemoration Award for Excellence in Performing Arts to Ratna Venkat; while Hemant Parikh presented the Dr Robert Khan (Senior) Commemoration Award (on behalf of Radio Tarana) to Arzan Todywalla.
Twelver other Special Commemoration Awards were presented to achievers in various fields in Australia, Auckland and Wellington. Among them were former MP Dr Ashraf Choudhary, Baljit Kaur (Exceptional Services to Communities) and Dr Malvindar Singh Bains (Excellence in Brain Research and Community Services).
A brochure carrying the names and photographs of all winners will be uploaded on our website (www.indiannewslink.co.nz) shortly.
Indian Newslink will complete 20 years of publication on November 15, 2019 and the Sports, Community, Arts & Culture Awards was the platform on which its 20th Anniversary celebrations commenced.
Celebrations will continue with the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Lecture on July 29, 2019 at Pullman Hote;, the first-ever Festivals of South India on September 21, 2019 at Sacred Heart College Auditorium and the Twelfth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards on November 25, 2019 at SkyCity Convention Centre.
“Tonight is an occasion to celebrate the services of our people; services that have made a difference to us- as a country, as a society, as a community and most important of all, as ordinary people in their ordinary course of our lives,” Mr Bakshi said.
Hemant Parikh and Mehak Vasisht were Master of Ceremonies at the Programme which included Indian Classical and Fusion dances by Ambika Krishnamoorthy and Ratna Venkat and a special presentation of scenes from ‘Meera,’ by Aarti Bajaj, Charu Chutani, Harsha Prakash, Chloe Abbott, Khalia Abplanalp.
Please follow this link to view and download pictures of the Sixth Annual Indian Newslink Sports, Community, Arts & Culture Awards 2019 Presentation Night. Pictures by Narendra Bedekar Photography.