A mixed bag of good politics, bad behaviour and social good

Welcome to Indian Newslink April 1, 2023 Digital Edition
Auckland, April 1, 2023

The rising importance of the Indian community in active politics is indicative of the readiness of people to enter the realm of governance and their maturity.

People of Indian origin, especially those from India, understand the significance of politics and the impact that it has on the lives of people. It is therefore heartening to note that an increasing number of our people are evincing interest in the local and central governments. We have seen a record number of Indians contesting in the local government elections held in October 2022 and if the entry of five candidates on the National Party’s selection list is any indication, we can expect many more to be featured as other political parties, notably Labour and ACT complete their selection process.

This and the fate of an erring Cabinet Minister have extensive coverage in our latest Digital Edition dated April 1, 2023.

There are some finer points scored by the Labour government as well.

Social Welfare measures

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced yesterday (March 31, 2023) an increase in fortnightly payments to pensioners, a rise in allowances and loans for students, a rise in the minimum wage, and Working for Families tax credits as a part of the measures to alleviate the burden being experienced by people.

The cost of these relief measures will be funded out of the 2022-2023 budget and in essence, these are end-of-the-year announcements.

Mr Hipkins said that more than 1.4 million New Zealanders will receive what he called, “a little extra help with the cost of living as a result of changes made by the government.”

“Across the world inflation is causing costs to rise and New Zealand has not been immune. That is why the government is focused on helping Kiwi families with extra cost of living support,” Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said.

Opposition Parties such as National and ACT, which are usually critical of such payments have not said much because they know that the recipients of these packages constitute a significant vote bank, central in an election year.

Community Approach to Asylum Seekers

Immigration Minister Michael Wood has launched a new community-oriented initiative to promote the well-being of asylum seekers. This includes easier access to legal means, the ability to seek specialist support and better recognition of human rights.

Mr Wood said that the government is making procedural changes to the Immigration Act made by the National government in 2013 to ensure that the amendments made in that legislation are working as intended.

Those changes were made to the Immigration Act 2009, and now Mr Wood is introducing a short Amendment Bill to ensure that the legislation does not detrimentally affect an individual.

“The assessment of asylum claims can take significant time. A community management approach will extend the tools available to manage asylum seekers. We continue to focus on upholding human rights and assisting in integration into New Zealand should a claim be successful. These changes will amend provisions to provide people seeking asylum a longer time to apply, thereby ensuring that they get adequate legal representation,” Mr Wood said.

Indian Newslink Events

We have also announced details of three of at least nine Indian Newslink events to be held this year. The first of these is the first Bharata Natyam Festival on May 6, 2023, followed by the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Sports, Community, Arts and Culture Awards on June 19, 2023 (both at Sacred Heart College Auditorium) and the 14th Annual Indian Newslink Business Awards on November 27, 2023. We will publish details of our other events shortly.

Our April 1, 2023 issue contains news and features on Current Affairs, Education, Fiji, Business, Opinion, Community, Entertainment and Sports.

Please read and share with your family, friends, colleagues and associates. You can read it here.

-With Greetings from the Indian Newslink Team

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