The Rakon success, Michael Wood’s exit, honouring Mahanama and other stories

Welcome to Indian Newslink July 1, 2023 Digital Edition

Venkat Raman
Auckland, June 30, 2023

While the unfortunate ‘shares episodes’ of the ill-fated Michael Wood inevitably occupied substantial space, we have led the July 1, 2023 Digital Edition of Indian Newslink with a positive story- that of Rakon New Zealand opening a new Research and Development facility in Bangalore (Bengaluru), the capital of the South Indian State of Karnataka.

India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Neeta Bhushan and officials at the High Commission in Wellington deserve credit for ensuring that the Project had the support of the government of India.

Minister of State for Trade and Export Development Rino Tirikatene described Rakon’s new facility in India as “one of the largest investments by a New Zealand company in India,” setting a benchmark for New Zealand businesses exporting through partnerships.

He said that the New Zealand and India relationship had been strengthened through Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, where “the two [leaders] discussed strengthening trade links between our two countries.”

Former Rakon CEO (and current Chief Technology Officer) Brent Robinson told Indian Newslink that his father Warren Robinson founded the company in 1967.

“It was re-founded by my brother Darren and me in 1990. It was a very small company when I started running it. It had a small team of 12 people in Auckland, turning over less than $1 million per year. The family owns 20% of the business and is the company’s biggest shareholder. The crystal is the heartbeat of all electronics. Rakon is dedicated to making the most accurate crystals in the world for the highest applications [such as] 5G and space satellite applications. We are transferring that technology to India,” he said.

Rakon is another success story of the Make in India initiative of the Narendra Modi government launched in September 2014.

Honouring our Sports, Community, Arts and Culture Heroes: More than 650 were present at the Swaminarayan Complex in the South Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe on Monday, June 19, 2023 to applaud people who have distinguished themselves in sports, community, arts and culture and the champions of the South Asian community.

Six-six achievers in Sports, Community, Arts and Culture were honoured by Statistics Minister Dr Deborah Russell, National Party Leader Christopher Luxon, New Zealand Party Leader Winston Peters, ACT Party Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden, Labour MP Vanushi Walters, National MP Simon O’Connor, Title Sponsors Raj Pardeep Singh and Ashima Singh, New Zealand Indian Central Association Current and Past Presidents Narendra Bhana and Bhikhu Bhana. Several Sitting and former MPs of Labour, National, New Zealand First and ACT Party were present at the event which saw the culmination of the efforts of people in various fields.

Bhikhu Bhana organised with elegance the Elite Sports Awards segment which honoured five men who brought fame to themselves, their community, sporting enthusiasts and most important of all, to the country. Among those honoured were Balvant Bhana (Hockey), Jeet Raval (Cricket), Rajesh Ravji (Karate), Raman Lala (Hockey) and Umesh Parag (Hockey).

Roshan Mahanama the stylish Batsman who lead Sri Lanka to a World Cup Victory in 1996 and holder of the world record for the highest second-wicket partnership (576 Runs) was a star attraction.

National avers better engagement with India: National Party MP (Rotorua) and Agriculture and Trade Spokesperson Todd McClay has echoed his Leader Christopher Luxon’s commitment to reopen Free Trade Talks with India if his Party forms the next government.

“My first overseas visit as an incoming Minister will be to India. I will engage with the leaders in New Delhi and reopen fresh negotiations for an FTA. It could be a long wait, but we cannot afford to ignore India as a valuable trade partner,” he told us during his visit to Indian Newslink offices on Thursday, July 29, 2023.

He was accompanied by former National Party List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi.

Mr Luxon, who is also the Leader of the Opposition, has said that he cannot wait to restart Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Talks with India as the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Please read the full story which comes with video and audio clips.

Hipkins faces a crisis of credibility over Wood’s exit: Our Wellington Reporter Venu Menon has said that Michael Wood’s resignation from the Cabinet over a conflict of interest has left Prime Minister Chris Hipkins facing a crisis of credibility that could prove crippling for the Labour Party with the general election around the corner.

“Hipkins was at pains to articulate his frustration over Wood’s lack of transparency around his shareholdings. Instead, what has emerged before the public is the prime minister’s moral brinkmanship and failed attempts to save his beleaguered minister by affording him ample room to manoeuvre his way out of a crisis of his own making. In doing so, the PM has conveyed the impression that he was prepared to accommodate his minister until his continuance in office became untenable,” Mr Menon said in his report.

He said that human error appeared to be the operative phrase of Hipkins’ vocabulary while retaining Wood in Cabinet and allowing him time to get sorted.

“But there are mechanisms in place to ensure MPs and ministers disclose possible conflicts of interest. Yet, Wood was allowed to operate beneath the compliance radar of Cabinet and Parliamentary rules by not properly disclosing his ownership of shares in Auckland International Airport,” he said.

We have our usual departments and columns- Current Affairs, Politics, Education, Business, Opinion, Community, Entertainment and Sports in our July 1, 2023 Digital Edition. Please read it here and share it with your colleagues, associates and family. This is the Indian Newslink team at work.

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