Priyanca Radhakrishnan becomes first Minister of Indian origin

Venkat Raman

Venkat Raman

Auckland, November 2, 2020

Many surprises in the new Cabinet line-up of Jacinda Ardern

Venkat Raman
Auckland, November 2, 2020

                      
                            Priyanca Radhakrishnan, a new Minister of the Crown (INL Photo)


Priyanca Radhakrishnan has become the first person of Indian origin to become a Minister of the Crown under the new Cabinet line-up announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this afternoon at a media conference in Wellington.

Although outside the Cabinet, Ms Radhakrishnan has been appointed Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Minister for Youth, Minister of Community and Voluntary Sector and Associated Minister for Social Development and Employment.

She was born in Kerala India, she moved with her parents at a young age to Singapore where she was raised and educated. She moved to New Zealand to further her education. She has a Master of Development Studies from Victoria University and chose to make New Zealand her home.

She has spent her work life advocating on behalf of people whose voices are often unheard – women survivors of domestic violence and exploited migrant workers. She has also worked as a Policy Advisor to former Labour MP (who is the current Mayor of Auckland) Phil Goff.

Working with diverse communities

Ms Radhakrishnan has worked with diverse communities across New Zealand. She is committed to ensuring that their voices are heard in Parliament and that they are supported to thrive.

In 2019, she was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities.

For her, politics is about choices. She believes that decision-making should be community-led and should lead to better outcomes for everyone, not just the privileged few.

Ms Radhakrishnan strongly believes that everyone – regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality or socio-economic status – should have the opportunity to live with dignity. That means equitable access to affordable housing, quality education and decent, secure work. It also means that everyone should feel safe both in their homes and on the streets.

Memberships and engagements

Until her appointment as Minister, Ms Radhakrishnan was a Member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network, National Council of Women (Auckland) and UN Women.

She was a Member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select Committee and Deputy Chair of the Social Services & Community Select Committee.

Ms Radhakrishnan lives in Auckland with her husband and two lovely rescue dogs.

Issues concerning animal welfare are also close to her heart and she is a strong supporter of dog-friendly spaces.

As well as English, Ms Radhakrishnan speaks fluent Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil.

Born in Kerala, her parents are now settled down in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, which has been useful in communicating with the people of her Constituency and others.

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