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Time for Indians to inspire leadership

People of Asian origin should strive towards excellence in all their pursuits in life and career, a prominent lawyer and teacher has said.

“Asians are no more a minority population in New Zealand. Their numbers are growing and they exercise great influence in many sectors. One in four persons living in Auckland is Asian,” Mai Chen, Managing Partner of Chen Palmer Employment & Public Law Specialists said, speaking at a conference of the New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA) in Auckland on April 5, 2014.

“Just as summer gives way to autumn, season has changed. Indians should demonstrate their worth and become Asian leaders. It is time now to be seen and heard,” she said,

The Conference, under the theme, ‘Striving for Success’ was 88th in an annual series, held at the Manukau Institute of Technology in South Auckland as a part of the Annual General Meeting of the Association.

Immense potential

The Conference was attended by more than 120 guests, including several members of Parliament. Among them were Labour Leader David Cunliffe, Phil Goff, Dr Rajen Prasad, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Melissa Lee, Jamie Lee-Ross and Indian High Commissioner Ravi Thapar.

Mr Cunliffe and Mr Goff paid tributes to the Indian community, saying that hard work, honesty and integrity have been the hallmarks of Indians and that they have been true partners in the country’s progress for more than 100 years.

The speech delivered by Mr Goff appeared in our April 15, 2014 issue.

Mr Thapar described New Zealand as ‘a country of great opportunities’ and said that there were several areas of cooperation that would benefit the people of India and New Zealand.

“We must explore the potential that exists in technology and other sectors,” he said.

New strategies

Our Staff Reporter adds:

Special projects and programmes to develop younger members of the society, advocacy to provide more representation of women at local and national levels, modernising intra-community information network and continuous dialogue with the Government on issues affecting the Indian community are among the priorities of the new team at the New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA).

Harshad Patel, who was re-elected to the post of President at the Annual General Meeting on April 5, 2014, described the Association as the ‘voice of the Indian community in New Zealand,’ saying that he and his team will work hard to resolve some of the issues that have caused concern in recent years.

“We will also discuss with the Indian High Commissioner to consider the general problems faced by Kiwi Indians. We also aim to provide image-building measures for New Zealand in India and vice-versa,” he said.

The team

Among the others elected to various positions at the AGM were Bhikhu Bhana (Vice-President), Prakash Biradar (General Secretary), Rupindir Virk (Assistant Secretary) and Manjit Singh (Treasurer).

“NZICA is determined to develop a new strategic plan to strengthen its branches and affiliate associations to empower the sizeable population of Kiwis of Indian origin. The Indian population is close to 160,000 as per the latest census,” Mr Patel said.

Editor’s Note: The pictures of Mai Chen and Ravi Thapar appearing here are from our archives and not taken at the NZICA Conference

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