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Christopher Luxon pays respect to the slain Dairy Worker

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, 27 November 2022

National Leader Christopher Luxon pays respect to the victim (Facebook photo)

National Party leader Christopher Luxon visited the Sandringham Dairy on Saturday, 26 November 2022, the site of one of the most horrific crimes in New Zealand in recent times. He paid his respects to the victim, Janak Patel and his family.

Mr Luxon said on his social Media “He came to this country with hopes and dreams of a brighter future. He had much to look forward to in New Zealand. It is heart-breaking how his life ended. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right.”

Mr Luxon also said that New Zealand is a much richer place, socially, culturally, and economically, for all the contributions from migrant families.

While the community appreciated Mr Luxon’s response and efforts to connect with the community, many have expressed their frustration over the lack of strong reaction from the Prime Minister, Minister of Ethnic Affairs Priyanca Radhakrishnan and all Labour MPs. Christopher Luxon at “the Pink Dairy”, an integral part of Sandringham community for years(Facebook Photo)

Nitin Patel, a Dairy owner in Waikato said “ The government cannot afford to look helpless. Strong action and timely response is what the community needs. Everyone is feeling a sense of insecurity and fear. We want the government to issue a stronger statement condemning the act, take responsibility for their lapses and set a strong precedent to deter such events in the future.”

According to reports, the man accused of murdering a Sandringham dairy worker was deported from Australia earlier this year.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited members of the Sandringham community after she came under fire from Act Party leader David Seymour following the stabbing. He said she had displayed a “complete lack of judgment” by opting to visit the Chatham Islands and not her grief-stricken electorate.

Dairy and Business Owners Group chairman Sunny Kaushal earlier said Patel’s wife was “in trauma. she is not speaking. There has to be a wake-up call because something is rotten that a hard-working young man who started work in a dairy, never went home to his spouse. We have a crime emergency but we also have a social emergency.”

In her media interaction Ms Ardern said “ We are experiencing a spike in particular criminal activity at the moment, and it is horrific for those who are facing it.” She agreed more measures were needed to address the issue.

Waikato Retailers Group also gathered today morning (27 November 2022) to show their support for the family of the victim and to show solidarity moving forward.

A funeral for Mr Patel is scheduled for tonight in Wiri and the sorrow of the community is only getting deeper for a life lost without a reason.

Praneeta mahajan is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Hamilton.

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