Leaders pay tribute to the world’s finest democracy

 

Mayoral and Local Board Candidates Auckland Council 2022

Venkat Raman
Auckland, August 17, 2022

Leaders across the political spectrum of New Zealand have paid tribute to the government and people of India, saying that the country has shown the world how to preserve the ideals of democracy, promote freedom of speech and glorify the concept of unity in diversity.

Transport, Workplace Relations and Safety and Immigration Minister Michael Wood, New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters, National Party MP Simon Watts, and ACT Party Leader and Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden joined more than 800 people to celebrate India’s 75th Anniversary of Independence.

Challenges and Obstacles

The celebrations, held at Malaeola Community Centre in the South Auckland suburb of Mangere on Sunday, August 14, 2022, were the first Indian Independence Day Celebrations to be held in New Zealand. Organised by the Federation of South Indian Associations Inc (FSIANZ) with Indian Newslink against several challenges and obstacles, the event witnessed the sprouting of local talents drawn from the five Associations representing the five States of South India, namely Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The associations were Mana Andhra Telugu Association New Zealand (MATA), Telangana Association of New Zealand (TANZ), Auckland Tamil Association (ATA), New Zealand Kannada Koota (NZKK) and Auckland Malayali Samajam (AMS).

Masters of Ceremonies Sheethal Allam and Daruvuri Praveena

Indian community praised

Mr Wood praised the contributions of the Indian community in New Zealand and said that New Zealand was enriched by the democratic experience of India. “We look forward to closer engagement with the government and people of India,” he said.

Mr Peters was the Foreign Minister of New Zealand in the Helen Clark (2005 to 2008) and Jacinda Ardern (2017 to 2020) governments and has engaged extensively with India. “It is commendable that despite challenges and problems, India has maintained the finest traditions of democracy,” he said.

Members of the Executive Committee of the Federation of South Indian Associations New Zealand Inc

Mr Watts, Mr Seymour and Ms van Velden also paid tributes to the Indian community and said that their political parties are also keen to have deeper engagement with India.

Among the other speakers were former New Zealand First MP Mahesh Bindra and FSIANZ President Dr Reginald Samuel. Sheethal Allam and Daruvuri Praveena were the Masters of Ceremonies of the event which included patriotic songs and dances, traditional cultural items of the five South Indian States and a skit that described the freedom struggle.

Pictures by Ranjit Singh Ahluwalia

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