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2 DEC2016


Vol. 8 • Issue 37

NZ’s only Kiwi-Indian weekly

The Pulse of Kiwi-Indians since 2009

Auckland | Christchurch | Wellington | Hamilton | Palmerston North | Hastings | Invercargill

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2 December 2016 |

Y New Zealand prepares for Salman Khan’s

Da-Bang The Tour

es, you read it right. The Bollywood events scene in New Zealand will scale several notches higher as superstar Salman Khan is returning to the country after almost two decades. The dabangg Khan, who has numerous hit films to his credit and has a huge fan following in India and around the world, will be the highlight of the upcoming mega-event ‘Da-Bang The Tour 2017’. Organised by RS Promotions and powered by Auckland Indian Sweets and Snacks, this huge entertainment extravaganza will have a high standard production value. The tour will include

• Swati Sharma

Bollywood A-lister stars such as Sonakshi Sinha, Bipasha Basu, Prabhu Deva, Badshah, Manish Paul, and Daisy Shah—a line-up that will increase the value of the event. Indian Weekender is the exclusive print media partner for this event, and will be bringing all the latest updates leading up to the show. A crew of more than 100 people will be flying to Auckland, which includes the production team, choreographers, directors, and dancers. The live performance will take place on April 21, 2017, at Vector Arena, Auckland before the crew flies to Australia for the second leg of the tour. The promoters and organisers promise an event better than before. “We have planned something tremendous this time, something that has never been done before in any Indian event in Auckland. People should really look out for this show, especially Salman’s entry would be a grand one. You just can’t miss it,” Sheron Sen of RS Promotions said.

The event is co-ordinated, scripted and directed by JA Events LLP and Sohail Khan Entertainment. The tickets for the show will go on sale at noon on December 9 and would be available on and Keeping in mind that it is more convenient for everyone to buy tickets online, Sen said that the tickets can only be booked online and there would be no sale of tickets in retails stores. Tickets are priced from a reasonable $99 and go up further to $199, $299, $399, and $499 depending on the different sections of the venue. “We want this show to be accessible to everyone, from students to families, and hence, we are starting the tickets from such a low price, so that every fan gets an opportunity to see their favourite celebrities. I would suggest you buy the tickets as soon as you can to avail the chance to get your favourite spot within your budget, as the show is expected to be sold out quickly, considering the number of calls and messages we have received in the last few days,” Sheron added. The Anyone interested can tickets for the contact Sheron Sen at show will go on sale at 021 636676 or Sam Sen at 021 664455 or drop an noon on December 9 and e-mail at info@rspromotions. would be available on You can get in touch through their Facebook page and www.dabangnz2017 rspromotionsnz Watch this space for more details and like, and follow us on our Facebook page IndianWeekender. You might just get a chance to meet your favourite stars.

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NEW ZEALAND | 2 December 2016

Housing, public transport in Mt Roskill: candidates speak Sandeep Singh

now converted into nine houses. These are great modern houses, great facilities and very appealing and very comfortable. That’s what people want to see in their neighbourhood.


e continue our series where Mt Roskill by-election candidates respond to Indian Weekender’s survey conducted earlier in the month. In this concluding edition, we bring excerpts of candidate’s comments on two important issues—housing and public transport. Housing was the second-most important issue for the electorate in Mt Roskill with 35% of total respondents identifying as their main concern. This is an Auckland-wide issue with home ownership in the city being at the lowest in New Zealand. According to statistics from 2013, 43% of people aged between 30 and 39 years owned their home, down from 54.6% in 2001. For those in 40s, 60.8% owned their home in 2013, down from 71.5% in 2001. The situation has gone worse in the last three years with a large number of people being locked out of the housing market that has led to a further decline in the numbers on home ownership.

HOUSING Dr Parmjeet Parmar IWK: What will you do for the problem of rising housing prices in your electorate? Dr Parmar: Housing is an Auckland wide issue. You will see from what we have done in Christchurch where we improved the supply of


Dr Parmjeet Parmar, National Party candidate

Michael Wood, Labour Party candidate

houses and the inflation in house prices have come down from 13% to 3%. This is what I want to see in Mt Roskill. I am happy to see the kind of development that is happening in Mt Roskill. Now the lot more people are coming to New Zealand and less number of people are leaving New Zealand, and that is why there is pressure on housing. There is a big housing development happening in three kings under Special Housing Accord.

Special Housing Accord is a way of fasttracking housing development. Around 100 houses are going to build and close to 40 houses will be available in the market in early next year, which is great news. There are several other clusters in Mt Roskill where special housing project are in progress. Then Housing New Zealand is making great strides in Mt Roskill. I have been to some sites where two houses are converted to eight houses. There was one section where three houses are

IWK: Have you got any other special housing development program that you want to promise to people of Mt Roskill? Dr Parmar: In Mt Roskill area special housing project is going well. We have already passed legislation to extend that. Of course, we have to improve the consent process by making it faster and streamlined. When we came to government, there were only 4000 houses consented every year. We have already doubled that. But yes we need to do more. I am also very keen to see Three Kings quarry development. I want to move that ASAP which has been stuck for several years because of several local board members against that. So on one side, they say yes houses should be affordable, then, on the other hand, they block this development. That project has a potential to provide around 1000 homes and I am very keen to see progress on that. IWK: Do you agree with the argument that the increase in the Housing prices is linked to immigration? Dr Parmar: Immigration is an important part of every country. The world is so globalised that people want to move from one country to another country. This is not happening just in New Zealand it is going on worldwide. Continued on page 4



2 December 2016 |

Continued from page 3

The only way to ensure affordability is to concentrate on the supply side of the problem. There is a need to build a large number of highquality, affordable houses. These should be built in available pockets of land near key infrastructure such as highways and rail. There are several options to make this happen in South Auckland, and this needs to be fasttracked by Auckland Council and supported by the Central Government. Only then we can meet the pressure on the demand side of the housing problem and gradually see easing up of the housing market for the first homebuyers in Mt Roskill and other areas.

In New Zealand, yes we are multicultural, and day by day we are becoming more multicultural as more and more people coming from all parts of the world to make New Zealand their home just like I have come here. So immigration is an important element and what we have seen here that earlier in the previous Labour government people were not happy here in New Zealand they were looking for better opportunities overseas. But now the economy is doing so well we have created 250,000 jobs in last three years, and unemployment has gone down to 4.9%. Wages have gone by 25% since we came into office. So all these things are keeping people here in New Zealand. There is no need for them to go around and look for better opportunities. That is why there is pressure on housing. Blaming migrants for that is unfair.


Michael Wood IWK: What will you do for the problem of rising housing prices in your electorate? Mr Wood: New Zealand is a first world country and it is unfortunate that there are people in this community who don’t have adequate housing. There are large number young couples who work very hard in good jobs but they can’t afford housing in this community anymore. Mt Roskill has always been a place where people from all over the world and diverse background have been able to buy a house and start their life in New Zealand. I did that with my wife 13 years ago when we bought our house in less than $300,000 (which felt a huge mortgage at that time) in Roskill South. But now on our street, the average cost of a house is $8-900,000, and young people can’t afford that kind of money. So they are locked out of the housing market. At another end of the scale, we have got families with low income who happen to live in garages and floors of their family’s houses because there is no house for them at all. And in the middle, are of course are people who are renting, and the rents have pushed up astronomically. I think housing is a real crisis and we need quite an urgent action to bring affordable houses in the market so that people get an opportunity to own a house. IWK: How do you plan to do that? Mr Wood: Very simply, we need to build more houses. Going back to what I said earlier that National government had lost energy on most of the important issues including housing and the government needs to roll up their sleeves on such big issues. Labour’s policy is to build 10,000 affordable houses per year. We did this before! The first Labour government did it when we had a housing crisis in the 1930s - 40s. This will give a fair chance to young people particularly, to get into the housing market.

Roshan Nauhria, NZPP candidate

Then we have to take actions into the demand side to stop the huge amount of speculation in the housing market that is pushing up the prices and ultimately driving rents up. On the social housing side, we need to build more houses. We need 1000 new houses every year whereas the current National government is selling Housing New Zealand properties in the middle of the housing crisis. IWK: Do you agree with the argument that the increase in the Housing prices is linked to immigration? Mr Wood: I don’t think it is linked to immigration. I do see it linked to offshore investment and that’s where Labour’s policy is very clear. We are saying that if you want to immigrate to New Zealand and contribute to New Zealand economy, no problem at all. It is a good thing. New Zealand is built on immigration, and my ancestors have also immigrated here. When people living overseas are investing in New Zealand housing market just to make profits and as a consequence driving the prices up in New Zealand then it affects one and all equally, regardless of the fact that you are a sixth generation migrant or a recent migrant. We need to stop this.

Roshan Nauhria IWK: What will you do for the problem of rising housing prices in your electorate? Mr Nauhria: The first and the most important aspect of housing in Mt Roskill is to ensure that the people who live in them are safe. Moving on to housing affordability, I believe that this issue needs immediate action.

IWK: What solutions are you proposing to the Mt Roskill people for public transport? Dr Parmar: I want to see T3 lanes to be abolished, as when I drive, I see that T3 lanes are underutilised. The other thing that we need to do is to make our bus system more efficient. Timetables need to be streamlined so people can rely on the bus system. There are a lot of things that we can do by utilising the current infrastructure. I want to do things now that have an immediate effect on people’s life and not 10 years down the time. I am keen for the Western ring road to open that will reduce traffic by 15% on Mt Eden and Hillsborough road. We have east-west link route, which is again a big investment from this government that will ease traffic around Onehunga. So a lot of things are happening. I want to see the bus system serving the people not the bureaucrats and the council. IWK: Why don’t you see light rail as an effective solution for the Auckland of tomorrow, particularly Mt Roskill of tomorrow? Dr Parmar: What we are keen to see is that we should be able to utilise the current infrastructure to improve transport congestion while we are looking to explore new ways of meeting the growth of population. Yes, we have to look into the future we have to keep the community with us. We need to do homework on such a big project where the money is coming from us. I need to be satisfied where the money is coming from before we go ahead and make such big promises. I am here to serve the Mt Roskill people and am focussed on the local transport. It is not about making Mt Roskill a better “thoroughfare” for other people. It is about helping people to live in Mt Roskill.

Michael Wood IWK: What solutions are you proposing to the Mt Roskill people for public transport? Mr Wood: We are anticipating major growth in

this community, and if we do not act decisively now, then there is going to be major congestion and gridlock in the future. We need some bold solutions, and I am advocating for a light rail on the Dominion road as a start of a proper mass transit light rail system. Mt Roskill is the only part of Central Auckland that does not have access to the modern mass transit transport system. Other communities have proper busways and train system, but Mt Roskill does not have anything like that. So I think light rail is what we need to unlock those roads. IWK: Where will the funds for such a project come from? Mr Wood: The money comes from the government’s National Land Transport Fund. Over the next 10 years, the current National’s government has allocated $10bn to invest in the new transport capital project. The problem is that they are anti-rail. They will only put money on the big road projects. What Labour says is that we should be neutral on that question. We should use that money where the evidence shows will fix the problem. We know from the detailed project that the Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, and the Government have done that we actually need light rail on the Dominion Road. So money will come from that fund, which is already allocated for Auckland transport. What Labour have put forward is that the central government will contribute 50% to the project, similar to the Central Rail Link project that this government has agreed to fund and the other 50% will need to come from the Auckland Council. What we have also said is that we need to look into some smarter ways of bringing money for these major projects. Everyone knows that Auckland needs to invest in major transport projects to fix our traffic problem. We absolutely need to invest. Now, we also need to make sure that this cost is not offloaded on Auckland rates. Phil Goff has said that and the Labour Party is also saying that. We are prepared to look at some smart options such as “regional fuel tax” and others. We will work constructively with Auckland Council to find solutions for our transport problems.

Roshan Nauhria What solutions are you proposing to the Mt Roskill people for public transport? Mr Nauhria: There needs to be comprehensive work between Auckland Council and the Central Government on this issue. Any proactive work to find solutions is something I will support. More buses to link to the Onehunga train station and to the central city to move the people of Mt Roskill to where they need to be is a short-term solution, but long-term I would like the public to be aware of all options.

NEW ZEALAND | 2 December 2016

Local T20 tournament brings community together Rizwan Mohammad


he 16 instalment of Spirit of Cricket Tournament sponsored by Relianz Forx Ltd. kicked off on Sunday, November 27 at the Domain in Auckland. Organised with the aim of bringing together the community, the tournament, saw 14 teams apply, of which 12 were selected. As per the rules, the winner of the previous year is given the opportunity to organise the matches the following year, and this year, Tamil Super Strikers—winners of 2015—took charge to manage the event. The tournament will see 28 matches over 12 Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the finals to be held on the first weekend in March 2017. Over the course of three months, teams will contest with each other in knockout rounds. th

Pool A comprises NZ Kannada Kota, Probasee, Desi Warriors, NZ Telangana, Bartercard Phoenix, and Hygrade Telugu Tigers. Indian Warriors, Auckland Institute of Studies, Desi Chargers, Tamil Super Strikers, Deccan Acers, and TUF XI will play in Pool B. Teams in both pools consist of either students or full-time professionals. “The enthusiasm among youngsters in phenomenal when it comes to cricket. They go into a different zone altogether,” said Vai Ravindran, an organiser from Auckland Tamil Association. In the past, the event has received immense support from local businesses and community organisations. This year, the organisers plan to host a mega-event to conclude the season by bringing together supporters, community members, teams and their families to the closing ceremony.


The teams at the inaugural event of T20 Tournament

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2 December 2016 |

Interfaith Committee pays tribute to Mother Teresa Rizwan Mohammad

from London to honour the inspiring life of Saint Teresa at the epresentatives of six different annual event. committees gathered on Mr Lewis, a polio survivor, shared Sunday, November 27, at St Paul’s College Chapel for the annual his incredible journey from being an orphan to becoming a renowned meeting organised by Mother Teresa and a successful businessman that he Interfaith Committee in Auckland. is today. The event was also a celebration of The pilot, who also runs an the life and work of Saint Teresa of aviation school for the disabled in the Kolkata, who was earlier this year UK, expressed his gratitude towards canonized at the Vatican City by Pope Mother Teresa, who raised him Francis. like hundreds of other abandoned Each of the representatives from children at an orphanage the six different communities— It in Kolkata. Hindu, Christians, Islams, was a great The event, aimed Buddhists, Zoroastrians, blessing for me to to bring different and Sikhs—alongside have known Mother communities Members of from childhood and having together under the Parliament worked with her as a student one roof to Kanwaljit Bakshi in Kolkata and then keeping forge better and Melissa Lee, close touch with her when bonds among Mayor of Auckland I started my professional one another, Phil Goff, and the career till she passed commenced with High Commissioner away a traditional Maori of India to New Zealand welcome, followed by Sanjiv Kohli lit the lamp at the lighting of the lamps the altar—a traditional Indian and an address by the dignitaries, practice seen at the start of and a short dance performance by an event. members of the Fu Guang Shan Gautam Lewis, a pilot who was Buddhist temple in Botany. taken into refuge as an orphan by The dignitaries acknowledged Mother Teresa almost four decades the contributions of Mother Teresa ago in Kolkata, India, was invited to and the change she brought into be the chief guest at the event. the world through her simplicity The Kiwi-Brit-Indian travelled and righteousness.


The Mother Teresa Interfaith Committee was formed in 2010 with representatives from major religious faiths in New Zealand, primarily to commemorate the centenary of Mother Teresa. Wenceslaus Anthony, the Head of the Committee recalled his close association with the Saint Teresa of Kolkata. “It was a great blessing for me to have known Mother from childhood and having worked with her as a student in Kolkata and then keeping close touch with her when I started my professional career till she passed away,” Mr Anthony said. The success of the first interfaith meeting and the increasing interest from the ethnic groups turned the meeting into an annual event.

Above: Muslim community representative Gul Zaman lighting the lamp at the event Top:Community representatives at the annual meeting at St Paul’s College Chapel

Mt Roskill by-elections: trends unveiled ¡ Sandeep Singh


he by-elections in New Zealand parliament are unusual for a variety of reasons. Since there is no party vote and only candidate vote, candidate personalities assume far greater significance compared to the general elections. Moreover, as the average voter turnout is comparatively low than in the general election, any marginal swing in the voter turnout can result in dramatic results. For this reason, it is often not helpful to compare past trends and results of by-elections with any general elections. Like every other election, there are supposed to be some trends and possibly some myths that need to be unveiled and debunked. The Mt Roskill by-election has been necessitated by Phil Goff’s elevation as the Mayor of Auckland and is widely considered a safe seat for the Labour Party. As the date for voting in the Mt Roskill by-election approaches, there is a need to revisit some of the key trends associated with by-elections in New Zealand. Prime Minister John Key inaugurated National Party’s campaign earlier this month at Mt Roskill with an understatement that “no previous government has been successful in winning a seat in a by-election, which it had not held previously.” Initially, it appeared a novel strategy on the part of the

Photo above and cover: NZ Electoral Commission

Prime Minister to mitigate any pressure on his Party in the build up to the by-election. Now it seems that it is a repeated strategy by the Prime Minister to play a mind game on a seat where National had been traditionally weak. Previously, in the 2013 Christchurch East by-elections, which has been a strong Labour seat for the past 100 years, the Prime Minister had sought to campaign through similar understatement. Evidently, he is taking another shot on this understatement strategy in the Mt Roskill by-elections. On a different note, some commentators and enthusiastic supporters of the National Party

rate highly about the lead in votes by around 2000 over the Labour Party in the 2014 general elections. For them, the news of Winston Peters’ defeating the nearest National candidate from Northland, a seat considered to be safe for the party in the last by-election in 2015, would be unsettling. The Northland electorate had completely reversed their mandate for National within six months of the previous general elections. So the lead in the most recent general election may not be an appropriate measure of chance in this by-election. In fact, another apparent reason for the Prime Minister’s understatement

strategy in this by-election may be rooted in his less-than-impressive track record in leading the National Party in the by-elections. Although the Prime Minister has led the National to three successive terms in the parliament, his success rate in winning by-elections for the party has been less than satisfactory. Among the seven by-elections held so far under his leadership— Northland (2015), Christchurch East (2013), Ikaroa-Rāwhiti (2013) Te Tai Tokerau (2011), Botany (2011), Mana (2010), and Mt Albert (2009)—the Prime Minister has not been able to win a single seat traditionally held by any other party. On the contrary, he has lost Northland, traditionally considered a safe seat for his party. National only managed to retain Botany, which has been traditionally considered to be safe for the party. To add to this, the trends of advance voting in the by-elections may be little worrisome for them. The advance voting in the last two by-elections—Northland (2015) and Christchurch East (2013)—reflects an innocuous but a notable trend, where advance voting in both instances was more than the previous general elections, and coincidentally, the outcome of both by-elections was against the National Party. In 2013, the Electoral Commission said that 3,241 people made advance votes—the most ever issued for a by-election. Similarly, in 2015 in Northland, 13,000 eligible voters voted in

advance—that is nearly 29% of the roll and a rise of 40% on advance voting in the electorate in last year’s general election. Does a strong advance voting imply a firm negative for the National Party in any sense? Maybe it is too early to consider it as a quantifiable electoral trend. For now, since the advance voting for Mt Roskill by-election began on November 21, early indications of the first four days suggest a spike in the advance voting in comparison to the last general election. Before Labour Party immediately jumps to any conclusion about the Mt Roskill by-elections, it will be appropriate to have a different perspective, which could be the critical factor determining the outcome. Of all the by-elections discussed above, the candidates crossing the line by far had a strong personality in comparison to their nearest rival and had run an energetic campaign at the ground level. Mr Peters’ victory from nowhere in a traditional National seat is the greatest epitome of this fact. Similarly, Labour candidates such as David Shearer, Meka Whaitiri, Poto Williams, and Kris Faafoi were far stronger personalities among their rivals. How far the Labour Party qualifies in this metric in the Mt Roskill byelection remains to be seen. Does Labour candidate Michael Wood have a personality strong enough to play the dynamics associated with any by-election?

NEW ZEALAND | 2 December 2016


Shneil Singh—a Shri Ram-a-Thon: potential All Black in the walk for a cause

the making ¡ Sandeep Singh


ugby player Shneil Singh could potentially be the first Indian to become a part of the All Blacks team. Singh was among eight young players from Waikato juniors to be selected for Craig Philpott’s first New Zealand under-20s squad, and according to experts, being a part of the under-20s could lead to a professional rugby career. For Indians, who are globally For known for their passion for cricket, Indians, who expecting a Kiwi-Indian in New are globally known Zealand’s national rugby team for their passion for would be exciting for many in cricket, expecting a Kiwithe Indian community. Indian in New Zealand’s Rugby player Shneil Singh While we have seen national rugby team towards becoming a possible exceptional players in Black would be exciting for first-ever Indian-All Blacks—a Caps, Singh’s entry into the many in the Indian tag sufficient to drive many in the All Blacks team could be pathcommunity community crazy. breaking for many who wish to Singh, a third generation Kiwi-Indian, pursue the sport. comes from a traditional farming community in Although interest in rugby is rising back the Indian state of Punjab. in India, especially in states such as West His parents also own a farm in Orini Bengal, yet it is a recent development to have in North Waikato, and the family a significant impact on the Indian diaspora lives in Gordonton. around the world, including in New Zealand. Many early coaches of Singh have attributed Indians around the world still carry a DNA his discipline, grit, and determination of cricket in their genes. And defying these demonstrated on the rugby field to his odds is Singh—a young Indian-descent player farming background. who is determined to make significant progress

Parmjeet Parmar

Working for mt roskill

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Rizwan Mohammad


hri Ram Mandir in Henderson is organising a walk on Sunday, December 11, to raise funds for the Starship Foundation. ‘Shri Ram-a-Thon’ is a 19km walk would stretch from the Wintergardens in Auckland Domain to Shri Ram Mandir on Brick Street in Henderson. Starship Foundation a social-profit organisation that raises funds for Starship Child Health—a dedicated healthcare service provided to young people in New Zealand. The first walk organised in 2014 saw more than 150 people participate walking along a. 28km route from Ram Krishna Temple in Papatoetoe to the then under construction site of Shri Ram Mandir. This year, more than 200 people from different age groups are expected to participate. The walk will commence at 9 a.m. and will break at four different stops en

route. Western Springs on Stadium Road will be the first pit stop, followed by McCormick Green in Te Atatu South, Tui Glen Reserve, and then finally concluding the journey at Ram Mandir at 5 p.m. Members of the Parliament, local board members, and community leaders are also expected to participate in the walk and join amid the journey. The walk is supported by NZ Police who will be accompanying the walkers for their safety. If participants feel tired during the walk, they can stop for a while in one of the two support vehicles that will be driven alongside. Dr Ajay Kumar along with two nurses will also accompany with their first aid kits. Food and drink arrangements at the four pit stops are being sponsored by community members to support the noble cause. People who wish to participate or donate to the charity walk can contact Shri Ram Mandir for more information. 09 630 9491 Café In A Great Location Easy to run, well equipped with plenty parking. Located near offices, factories, Kindergarten school and local gym. Great opportunity for a working couple. Asking price: $190,000 plus stock


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2 December 2016 |


News-in-brief from South Island

Immigration Minister addresses concerns of the Indian community Minister Michael Woodhouse was in Christchurch on November 21 for a public meeting initiated by National MP from Christchurch Central, Nicky Wagner Gaurav Sharma


hile concerns of difficulty in getting jobs and settlingin are not unique to the Indian community in New Zealand, two topical issues have particularly affected the community. Deportation of Indian students studying in private tertiary educational institutes and the recent decision by Immigration NZ to reduce the number of places for the capped family categories to 2,000 per year (down from 5,500), including temporarily closing the Parent Category to new applications. When the latter was raised at the public meeting by some members of the local Indian community, the Minister Michael Woodhouse noted, “I assure you that it’s a temporary stoppage. “We want migrants coming to New Zealand to add value to our economy. Latest data suggested that we need to recalibrate our Parent Category as regards to this consideration. But I do get the cultural nuances of why people would want to bring their parents here in New Zealand. It may be as simple as they wanting to take care of their parents in their old

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse addressing members of the public in Christchurch

There is some element of victimisation particularly with students who may have borrowed heavily in order to fund their studies, and then are expected to work below the minimum employment standards we have in this country age.” Elaborating more on the cultural aspect, the Minister added, “Even in [the] case of culturally arranged marriages, which doesn’t happen in New Zealand but may be common in some cultures, Immigration New Zealand needs to understand

more about. This is important when we grant partnership visas for coming here.” Later, when Indian Weekender questioned the deportation of Indian students, the Minister said, “There

is some element of victimisation particularly with students who may have borrowed heavily in order to fund their studies, and then are expected to work below the minimum employment standards we have in this country. But the students also have to take responsibility for the information that’s provided on their applications. So when they claim to have the level of English they don’t have, when they claim to have the financial means to support themselves that they don’t have, they know that.

Yes, they are being sold a story about a pathway to residence that doesn’t exist. That’s not a story the New Zealand government has perpetuated.” On the question of what to do next, the Minister added, “Now I’m very happy for immigration and education authorities to reset the clock. “If the students have failed to meet, say the minimum standards of English, then they can re-sit and go through training. In some cases, that is what is happening.”

Shakti Christchurch focuses on family Indian team to participate in 2016 World Bowls violence within ethnic communities Labour MP Ruth Dyson shares her story of being in an abusive relationship on White Ribbon Day commemorations Gaurav Sharma


rganised by the Shakti Ethnic Women’s Support Group, the White Ribbon Day Commemoration in Christchurch saw participants raising concerns about the often-neglected issue of domestic violence within ethnic communities in New Zealand. Archna Tandon, Chairperson of Shakti Christchurch, set the tone of discussion by raising the isolation ethnic women feel when they migrate to New Zealand and are stuck in a violent relationship. “Though we can’t compare two unfortunates, these migrant women— unlike our Kiwi sisters—don’t have any family or friend support structure to fall back on. That’s one of their main reasons of staying put and suffers in [silence].” Tandon also argued for Immigration New Zealand to grant such women work visas on a case-by-case basis so that they can remain in the country and support their children. Normally, ethnic women come to New Zealand on partnership visas, which make their situation precarious if their partner abuses them. The highlight of the day was Labour MP Ruth Dyson’s keynote

that long. Thus, I can feel what all domestic violence victims feel. I also understand why some women choose to stay in a violent relationship. First is the feeling of guilt. That somehow women start believing it’s their fault. Second is the shame in explaining to everyone why they put up with such abuse. Thirdly, after a while, women lose confidence and their sense of individuality. Fourth, and a very important reason, is hope. Hope that things will change. Hope that the man will realise his mistake. That’s why organisations such as Shakti do such an amazing job. Labour MP Ruth Dyson delivering the key note address at the White Ribbon This is a cross-party issue, and I Commemoration organised by the believe Justice Minister Amy Adams is Shakti Ethnic Women's Support Group doing a good job handling it,” she said. in Christchurch Later, Fareeha Ali from the Shakti address at the commemoration where Management Committee shared her research on culture, abuse she shared her story of being and domestic violence Though in an abusive relationship and called on all for six years. we can’t compare Kiwi and ethnic two unfortunates, these “I am a competent, women to ask migrant women—unlike confident New Zealand-born Kiwi our Kiwi sisters—don’t have for help. “Violence is not woman. Yet, I any family or friend support ok. It’s never ok,” stayed in a violent structure to fall back on. she concluded. relationship for


The 2016 World Bowls Championship's competitive phase began on November 29 in Christchurch

Gaurav Sharma


he 2016 World Bowls Championships got to a wonderful start on November 28 with the sun shining brightly as the best lawn bowlers from 34 countries, including India, paraded through central Christchurch to mark the official opening of the championship. Waving their national flags and wearing their national colours, the 234 competitors marched on, led by the New Zealand Army Band, from Canterbury Museum to the Civic Offices.

Later, they were given a traditional Kiwi welcome with a powhiri. Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and President of World Bowls John Bell addressed the gathering. “It’s an honour and privilege for Christchurch to be hosting the World Bowls Championships, which is the pinnacle event of the bowling world,” Mayor Dalziel said. The competition phase of the championship began later on November 29, and the finals will be held on December 11. The matches are being played at four bowling clubs around Christchurch.

NEW ZEALAND | 2 December 2016

State of emergency

continues in Kaikoura Kaikoura remains cut-off | Business subsidy extended to the capital | Three new bills introduced

A landslide in south of Kaikoura Photo: RNZ


he local state of emergency that has been in place in Canterbury since November 14 is likely to be extended for up to another week, especially in the worst-hit Kaikoura, according to the local Civil Defence officials, as the town is still completely cut off from the rest of the country by road. While SH1 and SH70—the inland road— remains closed to general traffic, army convoys have used SH70 to ferry supplies to the town. About 80 vehicles were also escorted out under the Army’s supervision last week. About 130 cows have being transported out of Kaikoura to be milked. Indications are that a section of SH1 between Kaikōura and Cheviot may be cleared for essential traffic within weeks. Meanwhile, a community event was organised by volunteers at the town’s Takahanga Domain giving a chance to 300 locals to regroup and catch up with everyone who is affected. In Wellington, some good news came

this week with the announcement that the government is extending its employee support subsidy for earthquake-affected businesses in the capital, which is expected to cover more than 50 businesses that cannot operate due to cordons and are unable to relocate. A similar package was announced last week for earthquake-affected Kaikoura businesses. Legislation-wise, the government has drafted three new bills to help the earthquake-affected communities. These include the Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Act 2016 Amendment Bill, Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery (Emergency Relief) Bill 2016, and the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Bill 2016. Among other things, these bills will enable works to be carried out without the need for a resource consent, including dredging the Kaikoura harbour, which is essential to revive the whale-watching attraction of the town.

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2 December 2016 |

Polio survivor conquers the sky Rizwan Mohammad


autam Lewis is a pilot, a photographer, and a polio survivor from Kolkata, India. From being an orphan who was affected by polio when he was a mere 18 months old to achieving his dream of becoming a pilot, Lewis has one person to thank—Mother Teresa, who rescued him from a poverty-stricken house in Howrah (a small district near Kolkata). Lewis was in Auckland earlier this week for an event organised to celebrate the life and works of Mother Teresa (read our report on page 6). Indian Weekender caught up with him to know more about his inspiring journey. IWK: What are some of your most vivid memories from your early life? Lewis: As told by my elders, I acquired polio when I was 18 months old. I have no knowledge of my biological parents, and it was Mother Teresa who rescued me and took me to one of the orphanages she ran in Kolkata. I stayed at Shishu Bhavan for five years. Due to the shock of being in an unknown place, I did not speak for almost six months. It was Mother, who with her affection, cured me, and I started to talk again. At the age of seven, I was adopted by British Nuclear Physicist Dr Patricia Louis and moved to Auckland, New Zealand. IWK: How was it to start a new life in New Zealand? Lewis: I was young then and have mixed memories from those days. The court approved my adoption, and the judge gave me my new birth certificate. I started my schooling at the age of nine from Grey Lynn School, and later I moved to London with my parents, where I studied at Hill House—the same school attended by Prince Charles. All my life, I have never attended a special school. Yes, I was physically disabled, but that never stopped me from growing. IWK: What did you pursue after your education? Lewis: I studied International Business and French in the UK and then started my career in the music industry. At the age of 20, I raised 250,000 pounds at the university and started a dance club in London. With much knowledge and exposure, I ran a music recording company, a record label called ‘Poptones’, and managed big rock bands from the British music industry.

IWK: What other ventures did you take on? Lewis: My medical history acted as a catalyst for driving me to work for the betterment of the society. I took photography lessons and did small documentaries talking about the plight of the victims. A few of them were picked up by Aljazeera, and then I made a full-length documentary on it. Later, I worked with MTV, World Bank, a few government bodies, European Union, and United Nations Development Programme. I do digital marketing, work closely with NGOs, World Health Organisation Rotary Clubs, and UNICEF. I did a film on polio eradication in India and worked as a volunteer for the poliofree country campaign as well.

IWK: When did you develop the passion for flying airplanes? Lewis: One of my fond memories from the orphanage is flying kites in the clear skies of

Kolkata. As a child, I would wonder if I could be as free and rule the skies. I challenged myself and started taking flying lessons in the UK. I am now a licensed pilot and also have a flying school for the disabled. IWK: Tell us about ‘Freedom in the Air’? Lewis: Flying, for me, was a liberation from disability, something that I believed in—that every individual fighting his/her disability should learn to fly. It is all about the desire to be free. I started Freedom in the Air school of aviation in the UK as my mission to teach and train people with disability to learn to fly. The

vision behind the school is not only to teach flying to physically challenged people but also about igniting the fire in them that they can achieve anything they want. IWK: When was the last time you met Mother Teresa? Lewis: I met Mother in December 1996 in Kolkata, eight months before she left for her heavenly abode. I was invited

to the Vatican earlier in September to attend her canonization ceremony, but I chose to stay in Kolkata because that place is where I met her. IWK: How would you describe your journey so far? Lewis: It has been remarkable, joyous, incredibly humbling, and simply amazing. Had it not been the love of Mother Teresa, I probably wouldn’t be where I am now. Not everyone gets a second chance in life. I did, and I am forever grateful to Mother Teresa and God.

Pilot Gautam Lewis (File Photo)

IWK: What message do you have for the community? Lewis: I strongly believe people are only limited by their imagination and not their disability. Mother Teresa conquered the world by her compassion, love, and affection for the humanity, and that is the path I follow and would want others to join too. Break the stereotypes, believe in yourself, and explore, fly, liberate your soul. Life is a rollercoaster ride and not a race. Live it up for yourself.

Humm FM debuts at Farmers Santa Parade Rizwan Mohammad


umm FM 106.2, Auckland’s only Bollywood Indian FM station, participated in the Farmers Santa Parade on Sunday, November 27. After the success of Christmas 54 Hrs Radiothon 2015 for the less fortunate kids, Radiothon for Fiji Cyclone, and Bollywood movie in the park, Humm FM became the first Indian radio station to participate in the carnival. Farmers Santa Parade has more than 80 years of history—it started in 1934—and is an iconic event for Auckland city. The carnival created a sense of excitement, joy, and nostalgia for the thousands of spectators lined up from Upper Queen Street to Britomart station. The parade, which began at noon, ended after a two-hour colourful display from performers that included Santa on a huge

sledge, gigantic flying angry bird balloons, Indonesian Carnival dance troupe, Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Cinderella themed carts. Humm FM’s float received an enthusiastic response from the crowd as people took selfies with the station’s jockeys. The dancers tapped their feet to Bollywood numbers. DJs from the station and Nasha Band performed from the float, while blue and white streamers rained on the spectators. “We are always striving to raise the bar, innovate and create a Radio brand that touches the hearts and minds of people”, Roshila Prasad, Director of Humm FM said. Another attraction was local Auckland based Nasha Band that comprised artists who sang Bollywood and Hollywood numbers. Humm FM also had a stall at Aotea Square with a photo booth at the Santa Party to interact with

the spectators. People queued at the stall after the parade to pose with different props. “We are really grateful for the support from Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust, Pam Glaser and Michael Barnett, who encouraged and supported our participation to foster a better representation of Auckland’s diversity”, Ajay Vasisht, Director Marketing & Strategy, Humm FM added.

NEW ZEALAND | 2 December 2016

Immigration ‘chaos’ in New Zealand: what do experts say? I Sandeep Singh

f political experts are to be believed, then immigration forms the basis of New Zealand. Successive political leaders, academic experts, social scientists, and industry experts regularly assert that immigration represents New Zealand society. Despite this fact, it will not be unfair to say that currently there is some chaos in the country’s immigration process. Last month, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse launched a blitzkrieg on the immigration system, sending shock waves to prospective migrants all over the world. Indian Weekender has been persistently raising voice for the wider community’s concerns in our print and online platforms through media commentary and analysis. In this immigration special edition, we attempt to focus on the service side of the issue and bring quality advice from renowned industry experts in immigration for the benefit of our readers, some of who might be struggling to understand the impact of the recent change in New Zealand immigration process. As they say that ‘knowledge is power’, we endeavour to clear confusion on some of the murkier issues related to immigration process in New Zealand. Surprisingly, our first discovery on the matter was a revelation as most of the industry experts chose not to be overly pessimistic about the changes

introduced last month. This was great news, given that what is being currently written and assumed about the entire immigration process is that everything was negative and beyond our control. This confidence reflected in the comments of our experts reminds me of my own Licensed Immigration Advisor (not included in this edition) who used to subtly advice me that the immigration process is not a big wall designed to block our entry into the country. Instead, it is a combination of several activities within itself that needs to be ‘tackled through’ rather than ‘confronted’. Honestly speaking, that subtle advice has changed my perspective towards the immigration process anywhere in the world. Now I see that perspective being reflected in the advice from almost all industry experts. Below are some of the comments from our experts.

John Vikrant, Welsh Immigration & Studies (NZ) Ltd IWK: How difficult is it going to be for the future international students to get 160 points instead of 140 now? John: Our assessment is that it would be slightly difficult initially but not unachievable. Planning will be a key factor. If international students plan well in advance from the time they arrive in New Zealand, then it can surely be managed. Our main advice

to international students in New Zealand is to work hard, be diligent, and plan in advance. IWK: Do you think the new English language requirement is going to affect students coming to New Zealand? John: No, we certainly do not think like that. The Indian segment of the international student market is a fast growing market and Indian students all over the world are known for their proficiency in the English language. In fact, Indian students are better placed than any other comparable Asian segment of the international student market. So, in our opinion, there will not be any significant fall in the number of international students from India seeking to come to New Zealand for higher studies.

Jagjeet Singh Sidhu, Immigration Matters NZ Limited IWK: What do you think about the recent changes introduced in the skilled migrant category visa, especially the pathway for international students to skilled migrant category visa? Sidhu: It will be incorrect to say that the recent changes in immigration rules have not affected some applicants who were meeting the threshold requirement before the changes were introduced and were just ready to launch their Expression of Interest (EOI). It is certainly a setback for them, as it takes a lot to

Parent visa

‘purging’ continues

prepare to reach a stage of starting an EOI. Still, I would say that the changes are introduced for the overall streamlining of the immigration process. We appreciate the variations in the English language requirement, as New Zealand is an English-speaking country, and it is a must to have an ability to read, write, and converse comfortably in English. Our assessment is that most Indian students will not have much problem with the English language requirement. IWK: What strategies do you advise to your international student clients to make up for the extra 20 points raised in the threshold for launching EOI? Sidhu: We believe that many applicants would like to take advantage of the extra 30 points already available under the current point system by getting a full-time permanent employment outside Auckland. These points were largely unused in the current point regime. Now there is a strong likelihood that some applicants will avail that opportunity, which is good for the New Zealand economy.

Harshita Kaushik, Dreams Immigration


espite many assurances given by Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse and Prime Minister John Key to the Indian community, the current government is continuing its purge on the immigration numbers. Now, it is about raising the bar for sponsoring parent visa from the current five-year requirement to a new 10-year requirement. According to the new rules being introduced by the government, adult immigrants will have to continue to support their parents financially for a decade after the approval of their stay in New Zealand. This is after a complete freeze was introduced last month in the parent visa category. Till now, 5,500 parent visa applications have been approved every year. Of these, 20% were Indian parents, a distant second behind 50% Chinese parents. Apparently, there has been some pressure on the government from immigrant parents seeking income support as they were struggling to support themselves despite sponsorship commitments from their children. Last month, the government announced a significant change by reducing the number of skilled migrant category visa from 90,000 to 85,000 over a period of two years. “The planning range for the New Zealand Residence Programme has been lowered from 90,000 to 100,000 for the last two years to 85,000 to 95,000 for the period between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018,” a media release by the government had then said. It is important to note that Indian Weekender has previously raised voice against the knee-

IWK: What do you think about the recent changes introduced in the skilled migrant category visa, especially the pathway for international students to skilled migrant category visa? Harshita: We are still getting clients seeking professional help for the permanent residency (Skilled Migration category) visa in New Zealand, so we cannot comment accurately on the larger impact of these changes. The only difference is that these students have completed Level 7 studies in New Zealand where they are supposed to have attained 6.5 bands in the IELTS exam. So as such, our students are not facing any major problems after the announcement of changes in the immigration policy. IWK: What strategies do you advise to your international student clients to make up for the extra 20 points raised in the threshold for launching EOI? Harshita: There is a range of strategies available depending upon individual cases. However, we have noticed an increase in the international qualifications assessment (through NZQA), given that people want to claim points for their partner’s qualification.

McCLYMONT AND ASSOCIATES Immigration Law Specialists

Sandeep Singh

Alastair McClymont

We provide legal advice and representation to clients needing help with all New Zealand Immigration and Citizenship Issues including: • Resident Visas • Work Visas • Student Visas • Appeals • Hearings and Complaints

Experience. Advice. Results. jerk reaction of the current government, including sharp purging of the parent visa category.  We had then proposed that the Immigration Minister could have decoupled the parent visa category from the state health and welfare funding and imposed the condition on new migrants to compulsorily buy health insurance for their emigrating parents. The intention was to impose a financial cost on those immigrants who were willing to bear a cost to fulfil their cultural need of taking care of their parents instead of leaving them helpless behind in their country of origin.  It is not yet clear that this new proposed change by the government intends to facilitate that objective. 

Aakanksha McClymont


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021 994033

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2 December 2016 |

McClymont & Associates: The experienced immigration specialists


e are a specialist immigration law firm based in Auckland, New Zealand. We are a team of lawyers specialising in New Zealand immigration. As lawyers, we have training and expertise in the laws, policies, and rules and regulations relating to New Zealand immigration. Our team of immigration lawyers have a high level of expertise that only comes from working exclusively with the New Zealand immigration law. With 20 years’ experience in all aspects of immigration law, founder of the firm, Alastair

McClymont, has the skill and expertise to oversee all the work undertaken by the firm. We provide legal advice and representation to clients needing help with all New Zealand immigration and citizenship issues, including resident visas, work visas, student visas, appeals, hearings, and complaints. All of our lawyers have had their legal training in New Zealand or overseas universities that teach in English. Our staff speaks Hindi, Punjabi, Mandarin, Gujarati, and Tamil. We also have regular access to interpreters in Thai, Khmer, and Vietnamese.

StudyWel: Providing best studentimmigration services


tudywel has been providing expert and excellent services to hundreds of migrants willing to migrate to New Zealand. Studywel offers personalised solutions to all aspirants willing to study, work, visit, or settle in New Zealand. It also assists in bringing their families or establishing business in New Zealand by providing proficient immigration guidance. Studywel is an authorised representative of most of the major education providers in New Zealand to recruit students onshore and offshore. Studywel runs its operations under two entities—Studywel Immigration Solutions Limited (New Zealand) and Studywel

Destination NZI: Settling in NZ made easy


estination New Zealand Immigration Ltd (DNZI Ltd) is a professional 100% New Zealand-owned and based immigration consulting firm with expertise in assisting potential migrants to successfully settle in New Zealand. DNZI Ltd has helped individuals from all over the world to discover an improvement in their standard of living and quality of life by expediting the immigration process and offering resettlement services. New Zealand Government constantly monitors the rules and procedures of immigration, and therefore these are constantly changed. Our licensed agent provides the most up-to-date and accurate guidance regarding immigration, from filing an

application to the settlement and placement in New Zealand. In addition, DNZI Ltd’s affiliation with specialist agencies allows us to offer the best services. Few to mention are Immigration New Zealand, translators, job placement referrals, real estate, New Zealand banks, New Zealand customs, registration authorities, travel agencies, and community settlement services.

Legal Associates: The solicitors for the migrant community

Education Private Limited (India). The company was set up by Satvinder Pal Singh and Jyoti Arora. It has supported hundreds of students to realize their dream of studying and working in New Zealand. It is recognised for providing valuable services and the desired outcomes to its clients. Its outstanding performance in its domain was recognised by Education New Zealand (ENZ) and the company was acknowledged as an NZIER member (New Zealand India Education Representative) and later as an NZSA (New Zealand Specialist Agent) member and stayed in this elite group till group’s existence.


egal Associates was formed by Raj and Ashima Singh in September 2014. Both Raj and Ashima, who are migrants, identified a need for specialised legal services and legal education among migrant communities. There was a lack of awareness around legal responsibilities, obligations, and rights, which created a gap between migrant communities and their ability to smoothly transition into settling in New Zealand. Since then, Legal Associates has been identified as a firm, which truly understands the concerns of  many migrants and local community members. Its staff and its solicitors hold a zeal for solutions and are able to transcend cultural and language barriers to provide quality legal advice to its clients. One of the firm’s noteworthy successes was when it reached its milestone of 1,000 clients in less than 1.5 years of establishment. The firm is well and truly on its way to achieving its vision, which is to become the leading law firm in South Auckland.

​The firm prides itself in its diverse team that reflects the ever-changing and multicultural landscape of New Zealand. The journey so far has been rewarding, and Raj and Ashima only have their clients, business partners, and the wider community to thank for their success. Giving back to the community has always been an important part of the work done at Legal Associates, which is why the firm has sponsored many community events and trusts such as Maa Shakti New Zealand and Bhagwat Mann Live.  Legal Associates continues to reach new heights and are available to assist you with your every need.

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2 December 2016 |

NZ Police reaching out to the community

New Zealand Police works with the community to make New Zealand safe and secure for its citizens. We seek to prevent crime, improve public security, and detect offenders. The unwavering commitment of NZ Police officers to provide service to the public helps in maintaining the law and order in the country. As a part of the NZ Police force, we are actively involved with the community to ensure that we address the grievances of the citizens. investigation and the police are pursuing lines of enquiry. • At about 9:30 a.m. on November 5, a male entered a liquor store in Manurewa. At the time, there was a female attendant present in the store. The male aimed a weapon at the victim and demanded money to which the victim complied. The male took the money and left the store. A police investigation is ongoing in the case.


Sergeant Gurpreet Arora District Ethnic Services Coordinator, Counties Manukau

Police in action • At about 3:45 a.m. on November 8, six unknown males drove onto the forecourt of a service station in East Tamaki and attempted to break down the front doors with a metal pole. At the time, there was a male attendant present in the store. The attendant ran to the rear of the service station, locked himself in the back room, and activated the fog system. The males were unsuccessful in breaking the front glass and decamped in a vehicle. The matter is currently under

• As part of Operation LOG, NZ Police visited Churches in Mangere, Otahuhu, and Wiri • NZ Police engaged with the community at Diwali celebrations throughout the Counties Manukau District


Please visit www.new2newzealand. and register online to attend one of the weekly workshops.

CALLING POLICE IN CASE OF EMERGENCY • In case of an emergency, dial 111 or go to the nearest police station in case of reporting something that is not urgent • While giving information to the police on phone, try to speak slowly and clearly • The operator will ask you several questions, answer patiently • The police have access to interpreters who can help explain things • A publication on your rights as a victim is on the New Zealand Ministry of Justice website at You can contact Sergeant Gurpreet Arora on 021-191-0461.

The international students’ initiative, New to New Zealand, is a proactive approach to prevent crime among international students. Counties Manukau Police is working with the South-Asian community to inform international students to ensure that they do not become victims.

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NEW ZEALAND | 2 December 2016


Supporting and rebuilding our communities Kanwaljit Bakshi National List MP


n the days since the initial severe earthquake struck, a number of communities have experienced ongoing aftershocks. For those directly affected, this has brought concern for the well-being of loved ones, and distress for those experiencing damaged homes or businesses. In situations like these, it is important people do know that the rest of the country is behind them. There have been heart-warming voluntary efforts to help from around the country, while the government is doing everything it takes to help communities to get back on their feet.

Affected communities, and indeed all New Zealanders, can be assured New Zealand is well placed to respond to challenges posed by the natural environment. We have a strong,

growing economy, and our public finances are very healthy thanks to the choices and decisions made by the National-led government over the years. This was highlighted again last week when the British government announced UK net public debt would stand at 90.2 per cent of UK GDP in 2017/18. That compares with our Treasury’s forecast for NZ net Crown debt to stand at 25 per cent at that time. The UK government has abandoned its hope of returning to budget surplus in 2019/20, whereas our government has been running operating surpluses since 2014/15 and the New Zealand Treasury in May forecast is growing surpluses over its official forecast period to June 2020. New Zealanders can have confidence National will support them when they are in need. One of the first things the government announced, after the first major quake,

was a wage subsidy package to help small businesses to sustain themselves and their staff, and this was followed by a primary sector support package. Last week, we extended the wage subsidy to larger businesses in Kaikōura, Cheviot, Waiau, Rotherham, Mt Lyford and Ward that have experienced sudden, large and potentially sustained drops in their revenues, and the cabinet also approved tax measures to assist. The Inland Revenue Department, for example, will waive use-of-money interest when a person is prevented from paying on time as a result of the recent earthquakes. IRD has also cancelled late filing and late payment penalties for all affected taxpayers and announced discretions on income equalisation for farmers and fishers who are significantly affected by the earthquakes. The government’s decisions are being guided by the practical feedback we receive on the ground from individuals, families and communities.

Working with a strong local plan for Roskill Parmjeet Parmar


National Party candidate for Mt Roskill

his is the last column you’ll read from me before the Mt Roskill byelection this Saturday, December 3. As I sat down to write this, I found myself presented with a lot of different things I wanted to talk about. I considered summarising my strong local plan—a plan I am very proud of. It focuses on reducing crime, better local transport, more affordable housing, backing local businesses, investing in education and improving healthcare. I could have written about my background as a scientist, a businesswoman, a mother, a community advocate, and a hardworking List MP. I would have liked to go into more detail about how proud I am to call myself an Indian New Zealander, a Kiwi, and supporter of all ethnic communities. And I could have talked about how this is an historic opportunity to elect the first Indian New Zealander in an electorate seat, as opposed to on the list. Instead, I want to talk to you about something far more important. I want to share some stories from the people I’ve met out on the campaign trail and those I know from my 20+ years of being involved in this area. I’m talking about business owners like Johannes. He gets up at 5:30am each day, works until about 6:00pm at night, and then goes home to split his time between paperwork and spending time with his family. He loves his business and doesn’t mind

working hard. He tells me he doesn’t expect the Government to fix all his problems, but appreciates everything the National Government has done to reduce red tape for small businesses. Johannes says he’ll support me because I share his experience running a small business and because I share his family values and work ethic. There’s people like Maureen, one of the lovely seniors we have living in the electorate who has lived here almost all her life. She told me she didn’t vote for National at the last election, and loved Phil Goff, but that she would support me. Maureen lives in social housing, something she says she knows is a privilege and not a right. She is proud of her home, treats it well, and is pleased to see that National is investing a huge amount improving the quality and supply of social housing for people like her who need a bit of extra help to have somewhere safe and secure to call home. Muareen said she’s voting for me because I’ve worked hard to help others who need social housing, and because I’m a strong advocate for better social housing in Mt Roskill. I’ve met people like Pradeep. We’ve seen each other at lots of local community events – temple and public meetings talking about the quality of bus stops in the electorate. Pradeep is a proud local and a proud family man. Last week he invited me to join his family for a very special occasion, his grandson Shubhankar’s first birthday. One of my fondest memories is celebrating one of my own son’s first birthday here in Mt Roskill, so of course I was honoured to attend. My opponents criticise me for focusing on things they say are too local, but I’m the type of person who thinks there is no issue too big or too small for a dedicated local MP. These are just a few of the many, many people I’ve come across who aren’t of much interest to the media, so you don’t see people like them on

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the front pages or broadcast at 6pm. They’re not actively talking about how much money they’ve made or how many square metres their house is. They’re just ordinary people who love living in the Mt Roskill electorate, love Auckland, love New Zealand, love their families, and celebrating their diverse cultures in their own way. They know candidates who are so desperate to get into Parliament will say and do anything, and they’re more interested in having a local electorate MP who has a local track record of experience and success in getting things done. 

There’s a quote in the Bhagavad Gita that I love: In battle, in the forest, at the precipice in the mountains, the good deeds a person has done before defend them. For over two decades, I’ve poured my heart and soul into Mt Roskill and all its communities. I’ve worked hard for you and your family, and I’ve gotten results. In this by-election, I am the clear choice and I hope to have your vote. Voting closes 7pm Saturday 3 December - for information on where and when you can vote visit

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About NZ’s new ruling of requirement of English language test for residency


Let the best candidate win in Mt Roskill


oday, on Friday, December 2, when we reach to your nearest stands, all political advertising for the Mt Roskill by-election will cease and election signs will be taken down by midnight. The voting is due on Saturday, December 3. The by-election was necessitated by elevation of Phil Goff as Auckland’s Mayor in October earlier this year. With this comes to an end an election campaign that could be safely described as one of the most active, high-decibel, and fiercely contested campaign in recent history. By-elections in New Zealand parliament is a tricky business, as analysed somewhere else in this edition. While we hope for the best candidate win, the choice may differ from person to person. If the recently released report by Trans-Tasman Editors—a widely respected team of Capital insiders— is any indication, then the current National List MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar with five points may have some claim to the best candidate description. Undeniably, she has been able to ‘rattle’ Labour candidate Michel Wood on some occasions, most notably after the public debate organised by Central Leader in Three Kings, which was mired in allegations and counter-allegations of man-handling. This is not to suggest by any means that Mr Wood is trailing behind significantly in the claim for the description of the best candidate in the fray. It is just to acknowledge the Trans Tasman Editor’s report card about Dr Parmar, which states that “[she is an] ambitious MP shooting for the Mt Roskill seat and in line for a promotion if she’s successful.” However, it is an entirely different matter if Mt Roskill electorate will endorse this report card and oblige in votes. Mr Wood brings another facet of the ‘mystery of the unknown’ to stake his claim on the best candidate epithet in this by-election. It is not a coincidence that the Labour Party is seeking to replace one of their veteran and seasoned campaigner Phil Goff with a relatively unknown face in the constituency. Probably, it may be a calculated strategy to avoid any natural comparison in public eyes that arises automatically when a seasoned and popular leader is sought to be replaced by someone else from the same political party. So far, Mr Wood has been able to avoid building up any expectation within the public of being similar to Mr Goff. It is no mean achievement, although, it remains to be seen if this will translate into real votes on the D-day. Another hopeful to the best candidate description through the pathway of the pull of ‘mysterious unknown’ will be the newly formed New Zealand People Party’s candidate Roshan Nauhria. Mr Nauhria is also the founding president of the party. Since Mt Roskill consists of the most diverse constituency (39% ethnic Asians) and proportion of immigrants (45% of residents were born overseas), there is an expectation in some quarters that Mr Nauhria may gain a substantial chunk of votes. To what extent will this happen is again something remained to be seen in the future. What is important to note is that Mr Nauhria has demonstrated some glimpse of taking on the main political parties by threatening to take legal action against Central Leader for failing to invite him to the public debate. He was able to gain some traction in public minds on that issue. Again, to what extent that traction will translate into votes is not known yet. Although it is for sure that the pitch for this by-election has been unusually high, bringing the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition, and other leaders from Wellington repeatedly in the constituency. It seems that despite public posturing by leaders of main political parties, there is an undercurrent within both, the National and the Labour, to do their best in this last parliamentary election before the 2017 general elections. This is terrific news for the general public as political leaders on their toes to woo average voters is a sign of a functioning democracy. It is much-needed in New Zealand’s first election in the post-Trump era. The nature of the campaign so far has not suggested any effect of Trump-style politics, which may be a sign of relief. Again, like said many times before, the future is still unknown. For now, may the best candidate win in this election.

Indian Weekender : Volume 8 Issue 37 Publisher: Kiwi Media Publishing Limited Managing Editor: Bhav Dhillon | Content Editor: Sandeep Singh | Chief Reporter: Swati Sharma | Reporter: Rizwan Mohammad | Chief Reporter—South Island: Gaurav Sharma Chief Technical Officer: Rohan Desouza | Sr Graphics and Layout Designer: Mahesh Kumar | Graphic Designer: Yashmin Chand | Accounts and Admin.: 09-2137335 | Sales and Distribution: 022 3251630 | Views expressed in the publication are not necessarily of the publisher and the publisher is not responsible for advertisers’ claims as appearing in the publication Views expressed in the articles are solely of the authors and do not in any way represent the views of the team at the Indian Weekender Kiwi Media Publishing Limited - 711 Mt Albert Road, Royal Oak, Auckland. Printed at Horton Media, Auckland Copyright 2016. Kiwi Media Publishing Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Neeraj Kumar, Sandringham I can certainly pass the test again, and in fact, with a better score. But that is an added expense, and it is time-consuming with preparations as per British Council modules. I scored 6.5 in IELTS when I enrolled to study here three years ago. I don’t see much sense to give the test again when applying for residency.

Saumya Simis, Hamilton It has been four years now since I gave my last test, so probably I will need to prepare a little for IELTS. This new rule implemented by Immigration New Zealand was inevitable. Sooner or later they had to come up with a stringent rule to bring down the residency application numbers.

Simis James, Hamilton I cannot honestly comment whether giving IELTS again is justified or not. It is the decision of the Immigration New Zealand, and I respect that. Yes, I am ready to face the test anytime needed. All I would need is a two-day notice before so that I can prepare.

Balakrishna Basnet, Morrinsville I have been living here for seven years now, and for some reason, I haven’t applied for my residency earlier. Now, I have things sorted but will have to give the IELTS test again. I am in a field of work where English speaking and writing is not that important. So now there is one more obstacle. I will need a month or two to prepare myself for the test.

Dipesh Singh, Newmarket I feel that having a basic knowledge of English, which is one of the two primary languages spoken in New Zealand, is important if you want to settle here. It is also important that this requirement should not be used as a way to stop the skilled and qualified workers from getting into the country, as we do need them for the overall economic progress of this country.

Sumalya Bose, New Lynn To be a permanent resident, we must accept the culture and values of the country. If Immigration New Zealand has added a requirement of providing English language test, I believe it is for the betterment of residents. Being one of the official and widely spoken languages, English would help migrants to be more socially accepted.

“ Imagin at ion is more import an t t h an k no w le dge .” — Albert Einstein | 2 December 2016

Saeed Naqvi


fter a convivial evening at King’s College on the Strand, when he boarded the Victoria Line to Earl’s Court, Professor Ron Geaves experienced the first public reaction to a Donald Trump victory. At one of the stations, two Polish jazz singers entered the compartment. They were busking, an established tradition on the London Underground. “Let me travel in peace,” a woman at the far end shouted. It was clear from her accent that she was American. The authority in her tone invited a riposte from an English woman. “We are used to buskers in this country.” “You tolerate too much from outsiders,” the American persisted. “We now have a President who will straighten things up in our country.” “Not here, though,” said the English woman. Two attitudes in conflict. When Geaves told me the story, I found it refreshingly down to earth. How far removed from real life had I been in the groves of academe on the East Coast of the US. Conversations with US diplomats, bankers and media led to the same conclusion: the US electorate was being asked to choose between candidates they did not like. But all were inclined towards Clinton. Trump was inelegant, even boorish; Hillary Clinton was untrustworthy, indeed a liar. And yet all these fine minds gave the balance of advantage to Clinton. This relatively higher comfort level with a candidate surrounded by all manner of scandal was for a simple reason: she was the known devil, to whom direct or indirect links could be found by all the interests listed above. The Trump victory was explained most succinctly by placards carried by protesters in Philadelphia: “If you make Bernie Sanders impossible, you make Trump inevitable.” Both Bernie Sanders and Trump challenged the Establishment from two diametrically opposite ideological ends. Socialism is anathema to the Establishment; it stokes McCarthyism. So, Bernie, even though on a roll during the primaries, had to be set aside. Once Bernie was stopped in his tracks, Hillary would look like a natural commander-in-chief with her vast experience in diplomacy and the Congress. This assessment overlooked the essential detail: the electorate was fiercely averse




A turning point or stopgap? to the Washington-centred Establishment. And this, alas, was all that Clinton represented —the Establishment. For prescience on these elections, the trophy must go to filmmaker Michael Moore. Three months before polling day he wrote: “This election is only about who gets who out to vote, who gets the most rabid supporters, the kind of candidate who inspires people to get out of bed at 5 a.m. on Election Day because a Wall needs to be built. Muslims are killing us! Women are taking over! USA! USA! Hillary is the devil! America first! First in line with the polls.” Moore emphasised that those who felt obliged to vote for Hillary to keep Trump out, had no “positive” urge to vote for her. Therefore personal persuasion on a wide scale was required. Those depressed at Bernie having been grounded would need extraordinary persuasion to walk to polling booths to vote for Hillary. “So many people have given up on our system and that’s because the system has given up on them. They know it’s all bullshit: politics, politicians, elections. The middle class in tatters, the American Dream a nightmare for

the 47 million living in poverty.” People wanted to tear down establishments. A Clinton victory would have endorsed the continuity of exactly the state of affairs, Moore laments. Some maintain that Bernie Sanders would have carried the day in a hypothetical BernieTrump fight. They speculate that a Trump victory is therefore only the semi-final in the country’s political evolution. Place him against a global backdrop, and Trump begins to look more like a “stopgap” than a “turning point”. In the UK, the “New Labour” Blairites and the conservatives would join hands to thwart the Leftward surge represented by Jeremy Corbyn. The rise of the Leftist Podemos in Spain has been temporarily checkmated after last June’s election created space for a possible Podemos participation in a coalition. But in the end corporate interests have prevailed -- socialists have enabled the conservative People’s Party to remain in power by abstaining in a vote of confidence. The People’s Party, with links to a Franco past, was considered a better prospect for the socialists than a real Left. In Madrid, observers saw this thwarting of a new Leftist

party as its long-term gain. If people are pitted against the establishment surely people will carry the tide eventually. 17 On December 4, Italy holds a referendum on a new constitution. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which has already captured the key mayorships of Rome and Turin, is expected to win. There are shifts galore everywhere. President Barack Obama, during a recent visit to Europe, attributed some of the turmoil to a mismanagement of globalisation. The consequent hardships have produced a young, progressive elite, trying to break out of conservative shackles. Trump, Spain’s Mariano Rajoy and Blairite Labour do not respond to the aspirations of this lot; Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and Pablo Iglesias of Podemos do. Corresponding shifts to Left and the Right are afoot in other democracies as well. Establishments are universally in bad odour. It will be interesting to watch how the Trump administration copes with political shifts down the road. Saeed Naqvi is a senior commentator on political and diplomatic affairs. The views expressed are personal.

The pragmatic revolutionary: Fidel Castro and his legacy Vikas Datta


s a teenager, he once wrote to a US President congratulating him on his re-election and requesting a $10 bill because he “had never seen one and would like to have one of them”, but within a few decades, turned to be the nearest but most long-lasting bugbear for a whole series of American Presidents, who tried their best to dislodge or eliminate him. But the Commandante saw all of them fall flat. When Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, Eisenhower was US President, Khrushchev ran the Soviet Union, Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s Prime Minister and the Berlin Wall was yet to be built. He would go on to outlast all of them, and many others too, while building a Left-leaning system that has stood the test of time while others of the ilk collapsed, but also went on to inspire the whole Latin American region - though the ‘Pink Tide’ is currently on the wane. In his almost half-century rule, Castro dealt with ten US presidents (down to George W. Bush—whom he termed the worst of all, while living through Barack Obama’s tenure and Donald Trump’s shock victory). He had personal and friendly relations with Nehru, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Josef Tito, Willy Brandt, Yasser Arafat, Indira Gandhi (his “dear sister”, whom he once surprised with a bear hug), Salvador Allende, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Nelson Mandela, Pierre Trudeau and more, as well as the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, Pablo Neruda, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone and Diego Maradonna.

Stepping down from power “temporarily” in 2006 and fully in 2008, he was well among the most influential revolutionary-statesmen of the 20th century as well the last of a generation of mythical insurgents that included the likes of Ho Chi Minh, Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba, and others, among the most recognisable—due to his burly, bearded, uniformed appearance—and certainly one of the most polarising. His critics blame him for nearly leading the world into a nuclear war (the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962), repression, and destabilising not only the Caribbean and the Latin American region but a faraway continent by exporting revolution (and soldiers) to Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia. On the other hand, there are those who praise him for his social and health reforms on his impoverished and exploited homeland, for steadfastly opposing imperialism and inequitable globalisation (which he called to oppose by all means save

violence, strengthening the Non-Alignment movement, and credit him (Mandela among them) with expediting demise of the South African apartheid regime, through its defeat of its elite army in the Angolan Civil War, where Cuban troops were actively playing their part. But even some of his fiercest critics do acknowledge that he never used his position to enrich himself or his family, ever encouraged a cult of personality– like the one that grew around his friend and associate ‘Che’ Guevara, save his habit of long, impromptu speeches (made without notes and displaying an astonishing grasp of current happenings and drawing from various disciplines). Marquez, who knew him well, described his addresses, “as inspiration, an irresistible, blinding state of grace, which is only denied by those who have not had the glorious experience of living through it”. Despite all the assassination and coup attempts inspired by the Americans - and

not getting the $10 dollar note though he did receive a reply, which he was proud of, Castro never displayed any rancour against his powerful neighbours (one biographer notes he had a bust of Abraham Lincoln in his office), meeting various members of the Kennedy family, and inviting former President Jimmy Carter to visit Cuba and speak his mind. (Carter did take up the invitation, and both also opened a baseball game together). The Commandante was an undoubtedly contradictory character —hailing from a relatively well-to-do family but while driving a tractor on his father’s plantation, attempting to rally the other field hands in order to demand better working conditions, and studying in religious schools for the wealthy elite, but going to become an atheist and uncompromising revolutionary. In a lengthy series of interviews to French academician and author Ignacio Ramonet in the early 2000s that became nearest to an autobiography he would write, he admitted with his background, he could have well become conservative in outlook but made himself into a revolutionary, starting as a rebel when six or seven, not against his father but “authority”. He, however, had all respect for his parents, praising his father’s achievements and generosity, while also crediting his mother who ensured he and his siblings had all they wanted, but never spoiling them. What could be his legacy? Ramonet cites maintaining Cuba’s sovereignty while ensuring housing and education, abolishing racism, emancipating women, eradicating illiteracy, drastically reducing infant mortality, and a higher level of general knowledge.



2 December 2016 |

FIJI Fijian diplomat Fiji shows ‘real leadership’: Cefkin returns home F T he US Ambassador to Fiji Judith Cefkin says that Fiji has shown ‘real leadership’ in being selected to preside over COP23. “We are happy to see them stepping forward. We are always happy that US leaders are welcome in Fiji,” Ms Cefkin said. On the sidelines of a meeting last week, Ms Cefkin discussed with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

on issues pertaining to what would happen in the lead-up to Presidentelect Donald Trump’s policies. She said, “What I did tell the Prime Minister was that Presidentelect Trump is in the process of forming his policy team, choosing his Cabinet, and once that is done, they will start to look at detail of many issues. “I would caution against prejudging at this point what the policies

would be when President Trump takes office. Of course there will be many, many voices giving him advice and he’ll have to take all that advice onboard and decide ultimately what policies are the right policies for the United States. “We will of course be informing him and the government about the views here in the Pacific and we will be part of that discussion going forward.”

US Ambassador to Fiji Judith Cefkin

Australia, New Zealand support Fiji


ustralia believes Fiji's presidency of the UN Conference of Parties (COP 23) gives the Pacific a leadership opportunity on developing the rule book for Paris implementation, a key task for 2017 that will help keep the world focused on reducing emissions. In an interview, a spokesperson for the Australian Government said Fiji's presidency would raise the profile of issues of importance to small island developing states in Paris implementation and the particular challenges Pacific Island countries face in dealing with climate change. "Australia welcomes Fiji as the incoming COP president and congratulates it on securing this important leadership role in international negotiations on the world's response to climate change," the spokesperson said.

Fiji PM Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, and Mr Salaheddine Mezouar, COP 22 President/Morocco Minister Foreign Affairs (M) with Mr Paweł Sałek, Poland’s Secretary of State for the Environment

The spokesperson said Australia looked forward to discussing with Fiji its priorities for COP 23 and how both countries can work together to achieve a strong global response to climate change in 2017. "Australia

stands ready to assist Fiji to make COP 23 an outstanding success and one that brings the world's attention to the Pacific region. "Australia will continue with ongoing positive engagement on climate

action at COP 23 next year. We played a constructive role at COP 21 brokering the Paris Agreement, including our support for the 1.5 degree global goal. The spokesperson said Australia looked forward to working with Fiji to ensure its presidency was a success and the interests of Pacific Island countries were addressed in COP 23. The New Zealand Government has congratulated Fiji on its successful bid to host COP 23 in Bonn, Germany in November 2017. "This is an opportunity to demonstrate to the world the importance of climate change to the Pacific region, and strengthen the Pacific voice on this issue. "New Zealand and the Pacific are aligned in pushing for a strong global response to climate change," the New Zealand Government said.

iji’s High Commissioner to India, Namita Khatri, is returning to Fiji. Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Robin Nair, confirmed reports from India that Ms Khatri, who was appointed recently, was coming home. But he declined to comment further, saying any statement on the issue, would come from the Department of Information. It is understood that the statement would explain the reasons for her return. It is speculated that she could be taking up a new role. Prior to her appointment, Ms Khatri served as Deputy Permanent Representative in Fiji’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. She began her diplomatic career as second secretary to Fiji’s Mission to the European Communities and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Belgium in 2006 where she was responsible for providing advice on trade matters in line with Fiji’s development interests. She was then seconded to serve as Deputy Head of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group Mission in Geneva in 2010. She also served as First Secretary in Fiji’s Permanent Mission to the UN in 2012 before being appointed as Deputy Permanent Representative in 2014.

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2 December 2016|

trade deficit with China 75% penalty, surcharge India’s rises to $53bn on undisclosed income, I

new black money scheme launched


inance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday, November 28, introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Income Tax rules, levying a tax of 60 per cent on undisclosed income or investment or cash credit deposited in the banks. According to the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, the declarant will have to pay a tax of 60 per cent and an additional surcharge of 25 per cent of the tax (i.e. 15 per cent of such income), resulting in a total tax amounting to approximately 75 per cent. The amending legislation also gives discretionary power to the assessing officer to increase the penalty by 10 per cent of the total tax, thus raising the outgo to 82.5 per cent (75 per cent plus 10 per cent of that amount) of the unexplained or concealed income. No deductions or set-off is allowed on this amount. The government has also come up with an income disclosure scheme called the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) 2016 which allows people to deposit money in their accounts till April 1, 2017, by paying 50 per cent of the total amount—30 per cent as tax, 10 per cent as penalty and 33 per cent of the taxed amount, that is 10 per cent, as Garib Kalyan Cess. The duration of the scheme will be announced later. The declarant will get immunity from prosecution under any law. However, those who are prosecuted under the Naroctics Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, or for holding benami (by proxy) properties and smuggling offences are not eligible to declare their hidden income under

A 30% penalty will be imposed by the Income Tax Dept apart from the regular tax in case of undeclared income

the scheme. Additionally, under this scheme, 25 per cent of the amount has to be locked up for four years in interest-free scheme. “This amount is proposed to be utilised for the schemes of irrigation, housing, toilets, infrastructure, primary education, primary health and livelihood,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement. The total amount so declared under this new scheme (PMGKY) will not be included in the total income of the declarant for any assessment year. No set-off is allowed under any head on this amount. In case of undeclared income found during Income Tax searches, a penalty of 30 per cent shall be imposed by the Income Tax Department apart from the regular tax on the money, taking the total to 63 per cent. This would be done if the assessee admits to the undisclosed income and “substantiates” the manner in which the undisclosed income was derived. However, if the assessee does not do that, the penalty would be raised to 60 per cent, in addition to the tax required to be paid or a total of 93 per cent. In the objects

and reasons statement, the Finance Minister said the amendment has been brought forward as “there have been representations and suggestions from experts that instead of allowing people to find illegal ways of converting their black money into black again, the government should give them an opportunity to pay taxes with heavy penalty and allow them to come clean.” Jaitley said this would allow the government to get additional revenue for undertaking activities for the welfare of the poor, but also the remaining part of the declared income would legitimately come into the formal economy. In the wake of demonetisation, there have been reports of people increasingly finding illegal ways of converting their black money into black again, so the amendments are on the expected lines, global consultancy firm Protiviti India MD Nidhi Goyal said. “We were expecting such changes. The government was trying to insert a law to tackle the black money in the system post-demonetisation,” Goyal added.

India seeks better harmonisation from UN on trade laws


n the 50th anniversary of the UN Commission on International Trade Law (Uncitral), India on Tuesday, November 29, called for better identification of international trade laws for harmonisation efforts. “As Uncitral commemorates its 50th anniversary this year, it is India’s hope that with wide consultation, this body will identify areas of international trade law that continue to need harmonisation efforts,” Sujata Mehta, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said at an event in New Delhi to mark the milestone. This effort will be of particular importance to developing countries who may have the opportunity to reflect in this process their own experiences so that topics amenable to consensus-based legislative development are taken up in a sort of virtuous circle, taking further the ongoing process of development and harmonisation of international trade law,” she said. Mehta said that the importance and relevance of international trade law in today’s globalised environment, continued to grow.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivering the opening address at an International Conference organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in New Delhi

“The challenges we face in this field require considered deliberation, and preferred outcomes are those that emerge from collective thinking and the best platform for the purpose is clearly the Uncitral,” she added. The core legal body of the UN system in the field of international trade law, Uncitral has universal membership specialising in commercial law reform worldwide, as it seeks for modernisation and harmonisation of rules on international business. “This body plays a key role in the promotion of the rule of law by formulating internationally agreed rules in the field of trade and commercial law, as also in supporting

the enactment and adoption of those rules nationally and internationally. “Uncitral’s work on the harmonisation and modernisation of commercial law is of value to states and to entities engaged in business transactions. This process promotes good governance – a good in and of itself a” and creates the conditions necessary and suitable for cross-border investment and trade relationships and therefore for economic growth,” said Mehta, adding that from India’s perspective, “this work is essential to our efforts for the promotion of sustainable and balanced development and global economic growth, and to the elimination of poverty”.

ndia’s trade deficit with China rose to $52.69 billion in 2015-16, from $48.48 billion in the year before, Parliament was informed on Monday, November 28. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha in a written reply that during the April-September period of the current fiscal, the deficit stood at $25.22 billion. “Increasing trade deficit with China can be attributed primarily to the fact that Chinese exports to India rely strongly on manufactured items to meet the demand of fast expanding sectors like telecom and power,” she said. She also said that as India and China are both members of the World Trade Organisation, any trade restrictions imposed requires to be WTO compliant. No blanket ban can be imposed on China, or any other member country, under the WTO framework, she said. In a separate reply, the minister said that the government has not yet decided on granting relaxation of sourcing condition in the single brand retail sector to three companies. Under Indian foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, proposals involving foreign investment beyond 51 per cent are required to source 30 per cent of the value of goods purchased from within India.

Pradhan inaugurates workshop on Startup India


nion Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday, November 28, inaugurated a workshop for creating an innovation ecosystem for start-ups in the oil and gas sector. “The oil and gas public sector undertakings (PSUs) have allocated Rs 300 crore for Start Ups and their detailed action plans are in the advanced stages of Union Petroleum Minister preparation,” an official statement said. Dharmendra Pradhan Many of the PSUs are looking to tie up with IITs and IIITs for incubation facilities and initial hand holding, it said. ‘Start-Up India’ initiative, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims at fostering entrepreneurship and promoting innovation. The ministry is building pathways through policy and investment opportunities, Pradhan said. He urged all the participating companies across the hydrocarbons value chain to work towards creation of a robust start-up ecosystem in oil and gas sector in India.

Demonetisation biggest scam in Independent India: Congress


he Congress on Monday, November 28 continued to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his demonetisation decision, terming it the “biggest scam in Independent India” and demanding that he apologise for the “mess” he has created. Congress also said that Modi has not demonetised the currency but ended up demonetising the economy, the jobs, trade and businesses, the agricultural and rural sectors and the people of India. Demanding that Modi should “apologise for creating a mess in the whole country”, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Prime Minister now “needs to come up with a solution for the entire chaos he has created”. By a “single disastrous decision, Modi has brought the entire country to a standstill and has demonetised the whole country,” he added. “With one stroke, Narendra Modi has broken the back of the entire agricultural sector,” said Surjewala.  “Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and the entire opposition have demanded an investigation through Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC),” he added. Congress also charged the Modi government with changing the rules and directives on demonetisation 105 times in last 19 days.

‘German automotive SMEs interested to partner with Indian companies’


erman automotive small and medium enterprises are interested in partnering with Indian companies, said a German diplomat on Tuesday, November 29. “German small and medium enterprises are interested to partner with Indian companies in the automotive space. They are keeping a close eye on the Indian market,” Consul General Achim Fabig told reporters in Chennai on the sidelines of the roadshow organised by the German National Tourist Office, India. He said Germany is interested in working in roof top solar power solution with India. According to Fabig, there were no complaints from visiting German tourists about paucity of Indian currency following the demonetisation of 500/1,000 rupee notes by the Indian government. Speaking about tourism, Romit Theophilus, Director, Marketing and Sales, German National Tourist Office said the Germany has recorded over 500,000 overnights from India for the period January-August 2016, logging a growth of 4.4 per cent.

INDIA ABROAD | 2 December 2016

Demonetisation hits NRI weddings, travel plans


ndians living in the UAE are mourning the demonetisation of high value currency by the Indian government, which has hit their families back home, ruining many NRI weddings, travel and house construction plans, a media report said. Several Indian families living abroad, who had plans to visit India around the year-end, are keeping a close watch on the prevailing situation. According to travel agents, if the present cash shortage situation in India doesn’t improve in a few days, many families are going to cancel their visit to the country, Khaleej Times reported. NRIs living in UAE told Khaleej Times they are getting distress calls from families back home, telling them how difficult it is to withdraw cash from banks and ATMs to meet their basic needs. NRI weddings and house construction plans are among the worst affected as workers and contractors refuse to accept the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that used to constitute more than 80 per cent of money in circulation in India.  Afsal, a restaurant manager in Dubai, was quoted by the paper as saying, “The situation back home is more serious than what we see in the media. It is not a good time to spend more money and every NRI family is enforcing strict credit controls on family budgets.” In the absence of correct change and shortage of small denomination notes in India, people have no other option but to spend more money for

NRI weddings and house construction plans are among the worst affected

unwanted things. Just for buying an item worth Rs 200, the customer spends Rs 1,800 extra to adjust the change. Many shops don’t have change and traders are even planning a strike in protest,” added Afsal. Tourists visiting India are stuck with cash shortage. A travel agent said, “Many NRI families have cancelled their travel plans in view of the severe cash shortage in India. Even though they have money in banks, they cannot spend that because of cash withdrawal limits from the government. While some can use credit cards, those from the rural and semi urban areas cannot use plastic cards.” An Indian expatriate living in Dubai said, “My daughter has to pay her pending hostel bill but she has no time to go and wait in the long cue by skipping her classes. The ATMs have run out of cash and she is struggling a lot.”

“NRIs who are planning a vacation to India have many big plans but since they can withdraw only Rs 4,000, their plans may change,” said Gopi K.L., an Indian social worker in the UAE. “My many friends in India are not sending children to school because they have no money. In hospitals, even in emergency cases, bill payments are affected. “Another problem is in vegetable, fruits and fish markets. Vendors can give credit for one or two days, but they further cannot buy stuff without sufficient cash flow,” an NRI in Dubai was quoted as saying. The government of India demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from November 8 midnight. The government maintains that there is no shortage of cash and there is enough stock of currency notes with the Reserve Bank of India.


Indian social entrepreneurs win global competition


wo young Indian social entrepreneurs have won a global competition aimed at empowering women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. ‘Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World’ is a global social initiative aimed at improving the lives of disadvantaged women and girls in Asia-Pacific, and was jointly organised by Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard. Applicants to the global competition included 270 entrepreneurs, aged between 18 to 35 year, from across the world. Among these, ten were given a five-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea live at the grand finale on Thursday, November 24. Aditya Kulkarni, Co-founder and Executive Director at CareNx Innovations, based in Mumbai won the first prize of $25,000 for their CareMother Mobile Pregnancy Care in the country. “With this grand prize, we wish to scale our mobile pregnancy care solution to reach out to at least 2,000 pregnant women and 20 women health workers in next one year. We aim to reach out to 2 million pregnant women in the next three years and this prize would get us started,” commented Kulkarni, in a statement. The second prize was won by Indianorigin Riyanka Ganguly, Executive at Village Volunteers, a US based organisation working in India.

Second Indian picked for Trump administration Arul Louis


resident-elect Donald Trump selected a second Indian American, Seema Verma, on Monday, November 28 for a highlevel position in his administration, assigning her “to the dream team that will transform our healthcare system,” a major campaign promise. Verma, who has worked closely on healthcare with Vice President-elect Mark Pence in Indiana state, is to be the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services overseeing government health insurance programmes. With a track-record of developing Republican-friendly healthcare programmes, she will play a crucial role in carrying out the high-priority Trump campaign promise of scrapping President Barack Obama’s healthcare programme, popularly known as Obamacare, and replacing it with “something better.” Last week Trump announced that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, a cabinet-level post. Although Verma’s job is not of cabinet rank now, it has great political importance and she will be in the national spotlight because she will be working on the controversial Republican vow to end Obama’s signature healthcare programme, which attempts to make affordable health insurance available to all, and come up with a new model. “I look forward to helping him tackle our nation’s daunting healthcare problems in a responsible and sustainable way,” Verma said after Trump’s announcement. The Medicare programme that she will oversee provides insurance for over 46 million retirees and senior citizens, who are a politically powerful block, and Medicaid, which covers the poor, has about 60 million people enrolled in it. Together they are about a third of the US population. Additionally, now she will have to help shape a programme for those who are outside of these two programmes and do not get health insurance from their employers. There are nearly 60,000 doctors of Indian descent working in the US, making them an important constituency for healthcare reforms. Verma will be working with Congressman

Seema Verma

Tom Price, the House Budget Committee Chairman, who is to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services, a cabinet-level position.

Announcing his intent to nominate them, Trump said, “Together, Chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans.” About Verma, Trump said, “She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy and helping states navigate our complicated systems.” “She has ideas on how to make healthcare more affordable and available to all in line with the Republican Party goals,” A.D. Amar, president of Indian Americans for Trump, said. Trump has said that while he wants to abolish Obamacare, he gave the assurance that

Americans will not be left by the roadside, Amar said. Verma who has pioneered in healthcare reforms in Indiana, will make sure that there is a replacement model that meets Trump’s aspirations, he added. Verma, who heads a healthcare consulting company, SVC Inc., helped develop a public healthcare system in Indiana for implementing Obamacare. Among other things, it requires those using it to make contributions to it, even if it is a dollar for the poorest, which is opposed by many Democrats. She has also consulted with other Republican-run states on healthcare issues. Verma was awarded the Indiana state award, Sagamore of the Wabash, by Pence.



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2 December 2016 |

It wasn’t my day, says Sindhu


ndia’s top-ranked women’s shuttler P.V. Sindhu was pleased with her performance at the Hong Kong Open despite losing in the final and insisted it was just not her day. Sindhu lost to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei 15-21, 17-21 in the final in Hong Kong on Sunday, November 27. “It was a good game overall. It was her day. I played well but she played well at the net, she didn’t make any mistakes. “There were good rallies. I’m happy with my performance. “It’s okay; I’ll go back and train hard. A bit upset, but overall it went well. I congratulate her for the win,” Sindhu said after the match.

India’s top ranked female shuttler P.V. Sindhu

“I’ve played her many times. She’s a tricky player, has good strokes

and deception. I was prepared for everything. But then one has to win

and one has to lose. I was confident, in the third game after 11 points. because of that I played the Before the final, I was a bit nervous,” final here. It was anybody’s game. It he said. was her day, she played well.” “I felt a bit of pressure today, but Men’s World No. 43 Sameer now I’m confident of making Verma also finished runnersin the top 10. I felt tensed I am up but said his maiden because it was my happy to reach final appearance boosted first final.” final, didn’t expect to. While playing him, in his confidence. “I won the second game I was ready to He will now target a national title in move him around the court. April. I was very place in the top 10. I got a bit tired in the third confident then of Verma, in his maiden game after 11 points. Before playing at top level. Superseries final, lost to the final, I was a bit After nationals I got local Ng Ka Long Angus nervous a shoulder injury and 14-21, 21-10, 11-21 in a had to take a break of 50-minute battle. 2-3 months. The injury affected “I am happy to reach final, didn’t me. After my comeback I played expect to. While playing him, in Thailand and Chinese Taipei,” second game I was ready to move he added. him around the court. I got a bit tired

Indo-Pakistan ties to be discussed in meeting for Asian cricket


ricket authorities of India and Pakistan are set to meet on December 17 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for discussions on the future of holding bilateral series in the backdrop of the sterile relations between the two neighbours. According to a report in the Express Tribune on Sunday, November 27, the Indian authorities have already suggested different options including the option of a triangular series, but Pakistan has not shown any interest. A meeting of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is scheduled in Colombo next month, which will

be held under the stewardship of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan. PCB officials Najam Sethi and Subhan Ahmed are also expected to attend the meeting, as per the report. PCB has reportedly decided to take up the issue of bilateral matches with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur. In case they do not receive a positive response there, legal options will be considered, the report said. According to some reports, Najam Sethi previously held a detailed discussion with Thakur when he

visited South Africa to participate in an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting due to unavailability of Shaharyar Khan. Pakistan had earlier raised its doubts on how India

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could participate in such an event while it was not eager to participate in ICC events, with Indian authorities taking different stances in ICC meetings and before the media. It was concluded then that a further discussion on the matter will be held in Colombo. Thakur has reportedly told Sethi that although the Indian government was not in favour of bilateral cricket series with Pakistan, the possibility of a triangular series could be considered. The politicial tensions between the two countries have also affected cricket with the Indian women’s team

not playing against Pakistan in the Women’s Championship recently. India’s refusal to play Pakistan cost them six penalty points. ICC came to the decision following consideration of written submissions from both the PCB and BCCI. PCB has reportedly decided to take legal action to seek compensation from BCCI after ICC ruled in its favour on the issue. BCCI has lodged a protest with the ICC for making a judgement that isn’t in its interest. Relations between the two neighbouring countries have deteriorated markedly in recent months.

FUN ZONE | 2 December 2016


Answers to last week's puzzles


Sudoku Play sudoku online at:

Puzzle solution:

Play sudoku online at:

Play sudoku online at:

Sudoku puzzle No. 3688 2016-11-17

2 5 8 3 4 7 9 6 9 3 6 5 8 1 2 7 4
















1 6 5

Puzzle solution:

3 8

4 8 1 9 6

9 3 7

8 4 2

3 7 9

5 2 4

1 3

2 9 8

Puzzle solution:

4 2

6 7

1 5

8 3

7 4

5 1

4 8 7 3 5 6 2 9

Sudoku puzzle No. 3690 2016-11-19

Sudoku puzzle No. 3689 2016-11-18





































6 7 1 5 2 4 9

2 4 8 3 7 1 6

7 2 6 9 5 8 3

5 9 3 2 8 6 1

8 6 7 4 3 9 5

3 1 5 8 4 2 7

4 3 9 6 1 5 8

1 5 2 7 9 3 4

9 8 4 1 6 7 2

8 3 9 6 2 5 4

3 4 2 7 6 8 1

4 8 5 1 9 3 7

6 1 8 9 7 2 5

1 5 6 2 4 9 3

9 7 3 4 1 6 8

Answers to last week’s kids’ GK Quiz—1 1. At the White House 2. The tuba 3. Italy 4. Mount Kilimanjaro 5. Palm trees 6. Red, blue, black, yellow and green 7. Three (3) 8. R

Send us stories, drawings, poems and other contributions by your little ones along with their photographs for this page. E-mail us at



9. Fifty-two (52) 10. Julius Caesar 11. Friendly 12. Pennsylvania 13. Sicily 14. Football (soccer) 15. Lighter

Page 2/2

2 9 1 5 3 7 6

7 2 4 8 5 1 9

5 6 7 3 8 4 2



2 December 2016 | Manisha Koushik is a practicing astrologer, tarot card reader, numerologist, vastu and fengshui consultant based in India with a global presence through the online channels. She is available for consultations online as well. E-mail her at support@askmanisha. com or contact at +91-11-26449898 Mobile/Whatsapp: +919015607139 •

December 2 to 8 | By Manisha Koushik ¡¡ Aries (Mar 21-Apr 20) Your ability to impress others is likely to make you popular on the social front. Money or an expensive gift can be received from someone who simply adores you. Hiring help for a specialised work can prove difficult and may require lowering of standards. Those living on rent will soon be able to own a house. An ailment that is troubling you will show signs of disappearing through a new line of treatment. You are likely to explore some new eating and shopping places with the lover over the weekend.

¡¡ Cancer (Jun 22-Jul 20) Tough competition at work can dishearten you and make you lose self-confidence. Some event that you had organised can prove a drain on your finances. The money you have been trying to recover from someone may take some more time to materialise. It will be a good idea to confide in parents rather than in friends about a particular issue. Some minor ailment on the health front can trouble you for an extended period, if you are not cautious enough to prevent it.

Lucky number: 5 / Lucky colour: Aqua green

Lucky number: 2 / Lucky colour: White

¡¡Taurus (Apr 21-May 20) Those aiming for greener pastures will need to judge things correctly as plans can go wrong. Finishing a school project can be a trying experience, but you will be able to complete it. Financial soundness may encourage you to invest in risky ventures, but don’t succumb to temptations. A set routine is your key to good health, so stick to it. Taking time out for the lover may prove difficult, but you will manage it somehow. Driving after daylight hours is fraught with risk, so avoid it if possible.

¡¡ Leo (Jul 21-Aug 22)

Lucky number: 7 / Lucky colour: Maroon

¡¡ Libra (Sep 24-Oct 23)

¡¡ Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 21)

It seems to be a favourable week which allows you to accomplish much. Financial constraints that you had been experiencing up till now are set to ease. You can safely say goodbye to an old ailment that had been troubling you for long. The social front is likely to remain abuzz with excitement about something that concerns you. An overseas assignment may come your way and promises to prove most exciting. Don’t disclose all your cards on the professional front as someone is out to take advantage of you.

Your professional expertise is likely to be sought by someone from another department on the professional front. Financial gains are indicated for those playing the stocks. Keeping good health will not be difficult as you take all preventive measures on the health front. You can get envious of someone’s success on the social front. Lover may not agree to your plans for an evening out, so keep an open mind. An increase in rent is possible for those living in hired houses.

Lucky number: 8 / Lucky colour: Electric blue ¡¡ Scorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)

You can go ahead with financial deals or transactions as the week appears favourable. Channelising your energy in something you want to accomplish seems possible. A good break in a prestigious organisation is likely for those in media or allied services. On the social front, you can expect the support of your admirers and wellwishers. Spouse will be more than eager to please you and get you in an upbeat mood. Health may have its ups and downs, but you will be able to overcome it.

You may be kept busy on the work front by seniors in a time-consuming project. Plans for a leisure pursuit with family may have to be shelved due to the paucity of time. Financially, you may find yourself in a most favourable situation. Good monetary management will leave you enough to splurge on yourself. Ailments like cough and cold that had been troubling you for some time are set to disappear. Strict dietary control and an alternate line of medication will help counter a lifestyle disease.

Lucky number: 5 / Lucky colour: Parrot green

Lucky number: 4 / Lucky colour: Indigo

¡¡ Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 23)

¡¡ Sagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)

Lucky number:- 15 / Lucky colour: White ¡¡ Aquarius (Jan 22-Feb 19) Some of you are likely to achieve the unachievable on the professional front this week. Moneywise, you will not face any problems as you will have enough. Regular exercise and controlled diet will keep you fit as a fiddle. Something you fervently wish for the family may not materialise, but it should also not be ruled out. Keeping the fires of passion alive on the romantic front may seem an onerous task for some. A fun time is promised for those out on vacation. Lucky number: 11 / Lucky colour: Cream ¡¡ Pisces (Feb 20-Mar 20)

¡¡ Gemini (May 21-Jun 21) A difficult task at work can tie you up in knots, but perseverance will pay. A workplace rival may offer you an olive branch, but find out why before accepting it. Mental stress plaguing some is set to disappear. Family will be supportive of your ideas, but only to an extent. Financial front is all set to stabilise as money starts coming in. The person, you are showing interest in on the romantic front, may not reciprocate immediately so give it some time.

Thawing of strained relations with someone is likely to give hope for the future. You are likely to remain socially active by visiting or calling your near and dear ones. There is a good chance of being entrusted with a prestigious project on the professional front. You will be able to add to your wealth by managing your funds well. A spot of bad health that had been troubling you lately is likely to become a thing of the past. Love life needs resurrection.

This is a good time to request the boss for a raise or an increment at work. Don’t get tempted to invest in get-rich-quick schemes as you stand to lose your hardearned money. You may be hard put to find time to discharge a social commitment pending for long. Love life may need rekindling to bring back the magic in your life. Dropping someone off to his or her place may be entrusted to you. Feeling that someone is working against your interests may not be true.

You are likely to overreach on the academic front and spoil your chances for a better grade. Criticism and sarcasm are best not used while discussing someone’s achievements at work. You may make a big blunder by entrusting your money to someone who is promising you the moon. Weather may become your enemy number one on the health front if you are not careful. Someone with malicious intent can target you on the social front this week. Lover may appear off mood, so keep away and give space.

Lucky number: 6 / Lucky colour: White

Lucky number: 1 / Lucky colour: White

Lucky number: 9 / Lucky colour: Lemon

Lucky number: 6 / Lucky colour: Turquoise

Fathers boost daughters’ maths, sons’ language skills


father’s love can have a special influence on young adults. While it can boost the maths grades of the teenage daughter, it may improve the language skills in the son. A study has found that fathers from lowincome families support their teenagers in ways that result in greater optimism, self-efficacy, and, ultimately, higher achievement at school. This is even true for men with low levels of education or those who were not proficient enough in English to help their children with their homework. “Low-income fathers affect their adolescents’ beliefs about themselves and their future, and these beliefs influence their achievement by increasing their determination...,” says MarieAnne Suizzo from the University of Texas in the US. These positive effects extend to both sons and daughters, albeit in different ways, the study said. Experiencing their father’s warmth first influences daughters’ sense of optimism and then spills over into their feeling, making them more determined and certain about their academic abilities. This, in turn, leads to better math grades. There is a more direct link between the father’s involvement and teenage boy’s belief in their ability to succeed on the academic front. Fathers’ involvement with teenage boys’ belief in their ability to succeed on the academic front, results in heightened self-confidence and their success in English language, arts classes, the researchers explain. Counsellors and educators should encourage fathers to communicate warmth and acceptance to their children, because of the

positive influence these emotions have on their well-being, Suizzo suggests. In the study, published in the journal Sex Roles, the team analysed 183 sixth-graders from low-income, ethnic minority families. They were asked about how optimistic and motivated they were about their schoolwork, and how their experiences were with their fathers.

How your kids can remember lessons better during exam time


o your kids find it difficult to remember lessons despite reading them over and over again because of the stress that examinations put? If yes, this new study may provide you with a solution. Researchers have found that learning by taking practice tests, a strategy known as retrieval practice, can protect memory against the negative effects of stress. "Our results suggest that it is not necessarily a matter of how much or how long someone studies for, but how they study," said corresponding author on the study Amy Smith from Tufts University in Massachusetts, US. In experiments involving 120 student participants, individuals who learned a series of words and images by retrieval practice showed no impairment in memory after experiencing acute stress. Participants who used study practice, the conventional method of re-reading material to memorise it, remembered fewer items overall, particularly after stress, showed the study published in the journal Science. "Typically, people under stress are less effective at retrieving information from memory," said senior study author Ayanna Thomas, Associate Professor at Tufts University. "We now show for the first time that the right learning strategy—in this case, retrieval practice or taking practice tests—results in such strong memory representations that even under high levels of stress, subjects are still able to access their memories," Thomas added.

The research team asked participants to learn a set of 30 words and 30 images. These were introduced through a computer programme, which d i s p l a ye d one item at a time for a few seconds each. To simulate note taking, participants

were given 10 seconds to type a sentence using the item immediately after seeing it. One group of participants then studied using retrieval practice and took timed practice tests in which they freely recalled as many items as they could remember. The other group used study practice. For these participants, items were re-displayed on the computer screen, one at a time, for a few seconds each. Participants were given multiple timed periods to study. The researchers found that participants who learned through study practice remembered fewer words overall, and those who were stressed remembered even less. "Even though previous research has shown that retrieval practice is one of the best learning strategies available, we were still surprised at how effective it was for individuals under stress. It was as if stress had no effect on their memory," Smith said.

FEATURES | 2 December 2016


Blast from the past: how to wear a modernised choker T

Akanksha Mehra

his is that awkward moment when you realise that Rani Mukherjee’s Bichoo wardrobe is fashion trend now. What goes around comes around may not only be limited to the context of karma but also in the realm of fashion. While the 90s fashion is not worth eulogising, it has steadily made its way back, thanks to the fashion gurus who have worked hard to revamp the last decade. ºWhen was the last time you saw Gigi Hadid or Kylie Jenner not looking like straight out of a 90s movie? And like any other resurgence, this too involves going through the flotsam and jetsam of an era to recycle trends such as the choker that is winning hearts and outfits all over. With so much variation around, there is room to get things wrong. So here we are to save you from committing a fashion faux. Historically, diamond embellished chokers were seen as a symbol of wealth, which were later replaced by lace and plastic tattoo necklaces to symbolise the rebellious women of 90s. The trick to wearing a choker today is to infuse the “too cool to care’’ style with some high-street attitude. Instead of aping the look straight from a bygone era, try to recreate and modernise it by incorporating elements from 2016. Blend it with crop tops, boots, or your regular skinny jeans. Another tip is to opt for half up, half down hair to embrace a youthful feel and encapsulate the sleek look.

Here is how you can rock in a choker every day without breaking your bank account »» A sparkly choker elevates a simple ensemble. Kylie Jenner chose to keep it minimal by wearing a black backless gown with a diamond choker at the White House Correspondents dinner. This could be a perfect inspiration for a formal event. »» Simple bands teamed up with a feminine dress will keep things streamlined. Opt for a slip dress, floral playsuit, or a crop top to ace this look. »» Chokers were made and married to off shoulder tops/dresses. Let your collarbone do the talking while a stringy choker drops through. »» Gigi Hadid ties a suede string around her neck to create a textured effect, which works perfectly as a choker. It is casual and complements neutral colours.



2 December 2016 |

Bollywood’s studied silence over Ranveer Singh’s sexist ad ¡ Subhash K. Jha


anveer Singh is going places. Not all of them worth going to. His latest ugly runin with protestors and feminists is for an ad for a garment brand where he was shown with a woman slung on his shoulder with the caption: Don’t Hold Back. Take Your Work Home. After a furore over the sexist sales-pitch the ad has now been taken down and Ranveer Singh has issued the following apology: “It was important to give the brand the creative freedom while designing the campaign but I guess we got it wrong on one of those billboards. I am sorry this happened but it is a thing of past.” We rectified it immediately by having the h o a rd i n g taken

down as early as possible from over 30 cities overnight,” the apology said. However, a sense of muffled outrage runs through the film industry. Woefully, no one from Ranveer’s fraternity is willing to come out in the open to condemn the ad. Earlier, the same looking-away was evidenced when Salman Khan had compared his wrestling bouts in Sultan to rape. Speaking about Ranveer, a female costar said: “I am sure he didn’t mean to insult women. Ranveer is one of the most cultured and chivalrous actors in Bollywood. “He still believes in old-world courtesy, like getting up when a woman enters a room, opening doors for women. He would never insult a woman. Still, it is a shameful ad and I don’t want to sound as if I am

defending it, because I am not. So please d’t quote me.” One of Ranveer’s directors, a reputed top-notch name, comments: “He keeps getting into these embarrassing situations. There is an exhibitionist side to his personality which he needs to curb.” However, ad guru Prahlad Kakkar says there’s nothing to get so worked up about. “We as a country have lost our sense of humour, and the media is willing to make and [sensationalise] even a joke into an issue. Whether I found it funny or not is irrelevant, the fact that it was meant to be light-hearted is the point! It just shows people’s intolerance to an alternative point of humour! So we should ban all jokes which cause heartburn to communities that can’t take a joke at their

expense!” Interestingly on Times Now, another ad guru Alyque Padamsee tried to explain how the ad would have been found to be harmless and humorous in the 1940s. The panelists and the two female co-anchors pounced on Alyque. When they wouldn’t allow him to speak, he referred to t h e m sarcastically as ‘A r n a b ’ — t h e channel’s staranchor who quit recently. But quite c l e a r l y, A l y q u e ’s brash sarcasm didn’t work for this controversy.  An ad filmmakertur ned-featurefilmmaker said, “Alyque shouldn’t defend the indefensible. We’re living in dangerous times. Anything even remotely misogynistic invites wrath.”

We as a country have lost our sense of humour, and the media is willing to make and [sensationalise] even a joke into an issue. Whether I found it funny or not is irrelevant, the fact that it was meant to be lighthearted is the point!

Technical advancements pose challenges for actors: Shabana Azmi

Sharing her shooting experience she said, “I built up a bond with the child actor who is playing my grandson in the film.” While most of the time it has been observed that adaptation of literature on celluloid is barely successful, Shabana thinks differently. “Well, it has got another dimension. You see when you are reading a book; you are left with your own imagination whereas in film, you have a visual reference. But what’s interesting in Idgah is that it has taken from a short story and has expanded to a full length feature film,” she said.

Would act in any film that inspires me: Abhishek

Got what I wanted from Mohenjo Daro: Pooja Hegde


s technical advancements in cinema have opened more room for experiments in narration, veteran actress Shabana Azmi feels that it provides challenges to the performer. “I think it has become a bit challenging for the performer to match up and bring the equal energy level every time while re-doing the scene. And as an actor you do not know which angle will be taken in the final edit,” Azmi told media. However, she encouraged such hard work as it helps to reach the level of perfection. The actress’s upcoming film Idgah, directed by Piyush Panjuani, has been selected for the 10th NFDC Film Bazaar. It is based on Munshi Premchand’s short story of the same name.

Asked if he would like to try his hand at Hollywood like his father Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek said, “I think the world has become a much smaller place and these kind of boundaries are evaporating. There is a huge exchange of talent both ways... I would act in any film that inspires me or that I feel like being a part of, regardless of the language.” Abhishek, who is the brand ambassador of the luxury timepiece brand Omega, says we have a “lot of foreign talent that comes and works here (Hindi showbiz) and a lot of our talent that goes and works there (Hollywood)”.  “At the end of the day, we are all actors and we are part of a large community of actors. It just depends what language you want to do it in,” he added.  The 40-year-old actor, known for starring in Hindi films like Guru, Yuva, Dostana and Paa, has also acted in Bengali films like Antarmahal (2005). 


ctor Abhishek Bachchan says he would like to act in any film that inspires him, irrespective of its language.

he debacle of Ashutosh Gowarikerdirected Mohenjo Daro didn’t affect actress Pooja Hegde as she believes she got what she wanted from the film. Irrespective of its box-office result, she says it was her dream project. “The result of a film is never in our control. I truly believe I got what I wanted from Mohenjo Daro, and I’ll always consider it my dream project,” Pooja said. Paired with Hrithik Roshan in the mega budget romantic drama, Pooja played a character called Chaani, and was well received for her performance. What did she want from the film?

“Personally, I was worried how people are going to appreciate my performance. Thankfully, they liked my work and the way I was portrayed in the film. In fact, I remember reading some reviews complaining that I didn’t have a lengthier role, which only meant they liked my role,” she said. She also believes Mohenjo Daro changed her as an actor. “I think every film changes you. It takes and gives you something. Having spent nearly two years on the project, she said her attitude towards filmmaking totally changed,” she added. Pooja is currently shooting for Telugu film Duvvada Jagannadham with Allu Arjun.


The Mt Roskill By-Election is an opportunity to see real representation for all the people who call it home. Together let’s show New Zealand sh what true unity looks like.






2 December 2016 |

Dear Zindagi

Rajesh Krishnamurthy Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Yashaswini Dayama, Ira Dubey, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar, Angad Bedi Director: Gauri Shinde


auri who? One might ask. Gauri is the one who helmed Sridevi’s successful comeback vehicle English Vinglish (2013). Her effort was a breath of fresh air. She won awards for Best Debut Director from Filmfare, ZEE, Screen, and IIFA.

This time, Gauri returns with a tale of a modern Indian girl (Alia Bhatt as Kaira), a successful city slicker in her own right who flits in and out of relationships because she has commitment issues. From the time she hit the silver screen, Alia has more often than not set the screen on fire with her utterly believable performances, especially in her dialogue delivery. Corny dialogues rolling off her tongue somehow seem entirely plausible. The scene where

she points to a jacket she has had since she was in year 10 as a sign of her “commitment” is so contrived yet executed beautifully by her to the point that you almost believe it hook, line, and sinker. Alia’s character displays different shades—dark, moody, selfish, and prone to making bad decisions repeatedly in her life. Kudos to Gauri for etching out Kaira’s character well.


Shah Rukh Khan plays Dr Jehangir Khan—a shrink who embarks on an unconventional line of treatment for his patient. It is sad that SRK is swaying away from his traditional ‘Raj’ or ‘Rahul’ roles. As such, Shah Rukh’s role can be described more as a special appearance, as Alia is pretty much in every frame. On a reality scale, his portrayal of a psychiatrist might be farthest f r o m

Music is by Amit Trivedi and some of the numbers will stay with you. Ae Zindagi Gale Laga le, originally sung by Suresh Wadkar and composed by music maestro Ilayaraja, is remixed with the voices of Arijit Singh and Alia Bhatt. Arijit’s rendition cannot be compared with the original, but Alia’s version has a good

the truth. Having said that, SRK still tries to pump some life into his character and succeeds to a great extent. However, Dear Zindagi by no means is his best. Yashaswini Dayama and Ira Dubey play the roles of Kaira’s besties Fatima and Jackie. They play a small part in the story. Ali Zafar and Angad Bedi as Kaira’s love interests don’t really have much to do. Cinematography by Laxman Utekar is good.

feel to it. Love you Zindagi by Jasleen Royal and Amit Trivedi is topping the charts. Given the theme of being close to the real world and fast-paced life of the next generation, this film could have been a watershed in Bollywood if Gauri had explored the depths of relationships more than what she did. The final product is good for one watch.

It’s not about Hollywood, but good script, says Hrithik ¡ Subhash K. Jha


ctor Hrithik Roshan says he is yet to like any Hollywood project offered to him, and that a good script will always be his priority while selecting projects. Excerpts from an interview with Hrithik, who was recently elected the third most handsome face in the world by a global online survey on the portal Q: What does it feel like to be chosen the third most handsome man in the world next only to Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Robert Pattinson? A: Well, handsome is as handsome does. I am honoured, of course. I told my sons to remember to always thank people for compliments. This is a compliment, not an achievement. Q: Flattered? A: Good looks should never become a part of your internal character. To not care about how you look will make you look even more attractive. Q: It is an incredible honour for our entertainment industry. Do you agree? A: To be counted in the world’s top ten of anything I guess gets eyeballs, so in that regard, yes. It’s good.

Q: With your international looks, why are you not doing films in Hollywood? A: I haven’t liked anything yet. It’s not about Hollywood, it’s always about a good script for me. Q: How do you react to compliments about your looks? A: I react to them like one should react to a compliment. I smile and say, thank you. Neither do I reject it, nor revel in it. Q: Incredibly you have beaten the myth that good-looking people can’t act. Your comments? A: Every single good actor has broken that myth. Mr Dilip Kumar, Mr Amitabh Bachchan, Marlon Brando and Brad Pitt are lookers and shakers. Being attractive in life is not something as static as a single frame in a picture. Q: What, according to you, is the hallmark of handsomeness? A: What makes you good looking is how you are expressing yourself and that comes from how you are interpreting life.

Rating: 2.5/5

Now Rajyavardhan Rathore knows, why Katappa killed Baahubali


fter S.S. Rajamouli, director of blockbuster film Baahubali: The Beginning, Union minister of state for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore may well be the second person to know why Katappa killed Baahubali—an immensely popular internet meme and a popular mystery which has generated a series of jokes on social media. Speaking during the closing c e re m o ny of the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Panaji on M o n d a y, November 28, Rathore said that Rajamouli, who was a special guest for the ceremony, had shared with him the secret of why Katappa killed Baahubali, during a conversation earlier in the day. “Thank you so much for making this brilliant film for us. And thank you for telling me why did Katappa kill Baahubali,” Rathore said. “It shouldn’t be a surprise. He told me why Katappa killed Baahubali, because this government knows everything and he also knows this government keeps the best secrets. So, it’s safe,” Rathore said.

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2 December 2016 |

Glitz and glam mark IBA awards Venkat Raman

Kuchipudi Princess


uckland-based Logistics Company Link 2 Group took major honours at the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards held at Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland on Monday, November 28. More than 1100 people attended the black-tie dinner which included speeches and live entertainment by Ratna Venkat (dancing), Ashish Ramakrishnan (singing) and the ‘Gurus of Groove’ band. Among the Guests of Honour were Prime Minister John Key, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little, Ministers Judith Collins (Police & Corrections), Peseta Sam Lotu-liga (Ethnic Communities), Paul Goldsmith (Commerce and Consumer Affairs), Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Indian High Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli, and Gautam Lewis, Chief Executive, Freedom in the Air, London.

RAMS Foundation Trustees Ragavan Rengachariar and his wife Alamelu conferred the title of ‘Kuchipudi Princess’ on Ratna Venkat for her contributions, innovative interpretations and presentation of this great South Indian traditional dance form. Prime Minister John Key presented the title and citation to the artiste.

Awards galore

NZ Prime Minister John Key presenting the title and citation to ‘Kuchipudi Princess’ Ratna Venkat

Mr Key spoke of the growing relationship between New Zealand and India and the contributions of the Indian community, while Mr Lewis recalled the love and care that Saint Teresa bestowed on him as an abandoned child and how she

influenced his life and career. Mr Lewis was the Guest Speaker at the Sixth Annual Mother Teresa Interfaith Meeting held on Sunday, November 27 at the St Paul’s College Chapel in Ponsonby, Auckland.

The Link 2 Group won the Supreme Business, Business Excellence in Customer Service and Best Employer of Choice Awards, while its Chief Executive Rahul Sirigiri won the Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Mr Key and BNZ Chairman Doug McKay presented the Supreme Business of the Year Award to Link 2 Group Indra Sirigiri . The Judges had noted that the company, which began with two employees in the year

2000, today employs more than 200 people, serving a growing number of multinational and national companies in New Zealand. Police and Corrections Minister Judith Collins presented the Best Employer’s Choice Award, a new category introduced this year, to Mr Indra, along with Sneha Antony and Wenceslaus Anthony, representing sponsors SRF Limited of New Delhi and WAML Limited based in Auckland, respectively. Apart from receiving the Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Mr Key and Relianz Travel Managing Director (sponsor of the category) V Giridharan, Rahul Sirigiri also received the Business Excellence in Customer Service Award presented by Mercury Printz Managing Director Ilango Krishnamoorthy, Mr Little and Mr Goff. Venkat Raman is the Editor of Indian Newslink and the organiser of the Indian Business Awards

Important notice to People of Indian Origin (PIO) Surrender of Indian citizenship


eople are being requested to surrender their Indian citizenship after acquiring citizenship of New Zealand. The High Commission has noticed many cases where the applicants have not surrendered their Indian passports within three years of New Zealand citizenship. Some even have used the Indian passports for travel after acquiring foreign nationality. All the PIOs in New Zealand, Samoa and Niue, who violate the Indian Passport Act are liable to Government of India prescribed penalty and the High Commission has no authority or discretion to waive off such penalty. Hence all those who are in violation of the Indian Passport act are advised to surrender their passports without further delay and deposit the due penalty to escape any further penalty. Defaulters may contact the High Commission to know their exact due penalty. Visa application for minor/ dependent children

Parents of minor children of Indian origin are, henceforth required to submit a copy of their previously held/cancelled Indian passport with the visa application of the minor children as a proof of compliance of Indian Passport Act to enable processing of the visa application. OCI cards


ll PIOs can also apply for OCI card, which, among many other benefits, facilitates easy and visa-free travel to India for life. This also takes care of your emergency travel needs to India and last minute difficulties in making travel related arrangements, besides ensuring economy of expenditure in the long term. It is important to note that all PIO card holders need to get their documents converted to OCI card latest by December 31 this year and this service is available free of cost till then. Change of e-mail addresses of High Commission

Some of the email addresses of Indian High Commission have been

changed and the new addresses are already operative. The old emails on the web server are no longer working. The new emails are as follows: 1. All visa related matters v i s a . 2. Issuance of new passport, passport renewal, lost/damaged passport, change of appearance, emergency travel document 3. Marriage registration, birth registration, death registration, any other legal/consular issue 4. OCI / PIO inquiries life certificate oci.wellington@mea. 5. PCC, attestation and miscellaneous services 6. Commerce and trade inquiries 7. Suggestions / feedback The above information has been supplied by the Indian High Commission to New Zealand.

Santa comes to Hunters Plaza

Date: Sunday, December 4 Time: 2.30 p.m. onwards Venue: Hunters Plaza, 217 Great South Rd, Papatoetoe Santa’s coming to Hunters Plaza and we’re celebrating his arrival with Santa’s Magical Christmas Show! Come along on 4 December for a free onehour show starring Santa (of course) and meet some of our favourite festive characters. We’ll have fun interactive storytelling, games, and songs with The Grinch, Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. All the characters will be available for 1 hour after the show, so you have some photo opportunities with them. Experience some true Christmas magic with us! Heaps of giveaways, free face painting and loads more. Don’t miss it!

Rabi’i al Awwal Event: The life of Prophet Muhammad

Date: Sunday, December 11 Time: 3.30 p.m. onwards Venue: Zayed College, 44 Westney Road, Mangere, Auckland Join us for the annual gathering where we recite ‘The Shimmering Light’ compiled by Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz’, in the remembrance of our beloved Prophet Muhammad. All are welcome, food will be served.

Vipassana Meditation Centre Open Day

Date: Sunday, February 5, 2017 Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Venue: 153 Burnside Road, Makarau, Kaukapakapa, Near Auckland Vipassana Centre near Auckland has been operating for more than 25 years, offering 10 day residential courses in Vipassana Meditation as taught by Mr. S.N. Goenka. Vipassana Technique is a practical technique which enables one to lead a more positive,balanced and happy life and has nothing to do with any organised religion. Vipassana Trust is a charitable organization. All expenses are met by donations from students who have benefited from a 10 day meditation course., website: www.medini.

Sargam School of Music Annual Concert

Date: Saturday-Sunday, December 10-11 Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Venue: Blockhouse Bay Community Hall, 524 Blockhouse Bay Road Sargam School of Music is organising its annual concert on December 10 & 11. Pt Salil Bhatt (Renowned Indian Classical Musician, deciple and son of Grammy Award Winner Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.) will perform and also it will be featuring the performances by the students of Sargam School of Music. Tickets: $20, one ticket for two concerts.

Indian Weekender in association with Hoyts, Sylvia Park is hosting a contest every week where you can win two passes to a selected movie at Hoyts Cinemas. To win the passes you have to do the following: • Like Indian Weekender Facebook Page • Like and Share the post with #indianweekender, #hoytssylviapark & #moviename • Tag the friend you would like to watch the film with, in the comments section of the post • Your tagged friend should also like Indian Weekender Facebook Page All the participants will go into a draw, and the winners will be chosen randomly.

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Indian Weekeder 2 December 2016  

Vol 8 Issue 37

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