Page 1 11 April 2014


11 April, 2014 Vol. 5 Issue 23 |

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Hall of Fame fever heats up K IW

06 EPIC NZ International Business Forum 08 India Gate: Wall of Fame 10 E-commerce clicks in NZ 12 Crime down by 20% 14 NZ ranks 1st 17 Migrant Tales (contd…) 23 Election Commission introduces ‘NOTA’ 25 26 28 30 32 35 38

option Xenophobia v/s Racism: Let’s make a distinction Coup culture killing Fiji, says NFP president Change your font, save USD400mn says Suvir. India punches below its weight Living Auckland, dreaming Wellington Eka Lagnachi Goshta delights audiences Koyal Rana wins Femina Miss India-World in World Social Progress Index



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t’s back and it’s bigger. Yes, it’s time to celebrate and honour the achievers of our community, and the prestigious Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame will rise to the occasion on May 1. More than 30 nominations had been received at the close of nominations last week for the second annual event. The Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame is the brainchild of co-publisher of the Indian Weekender, Giri Gupta, QSM, whose vision for appropriate recognition and celebration of members of the Kiwi Indian community is gaining momentum. “Over the past 150 years, New Zealanders of Indian origin have made significant contributions to the development and progress of this country,” Mr Gupta said. “Members of our community have always achieved and served this country well, but their good work is often forgotten over the years. “My vision is for their achievements to be remembered, not only for a few years but forever, for generations to come, and that has

only been made possible now with the setting up of the Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame.” The recipient of the honour last year at the inaugural function was Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, first Indian origin MP in New Zealand. The selection of this year’s recipient of the honour will be made by an independent jury comprising community leaders and professionals, Indians and non-Indians. Last year’s glittering event at Pullman Hotel in Auckland was attended by more than 200 distinguished guests and dignitaries. “And the May 1 event will be better,” Mr Gupta promised. “The interest from the community is intense – Indians and non-Indians – they are all buzzing with excitement. “It all bodes well for the event in the future. Everyone is looking forward to it.” Indian Weekender co-publisher Bhav Dhillon said.

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NEW ZEALAND 11 April 2014


New Zealand Indian Central Association Inc. held its 88th AGM


n 5th April 2014, the New Zealand Indian Central Association held its 88th AGM at the Manukau Institute of Technology, hosted by the branch Manukau Indian Association Inc. The 88th Annual Conference elected the Officers at the apex body for the coming year: Mr Harshad Patel QSM President Mr Bhikhu Bhana Vice President Mr Prakash Biradar General Secretary Mr Rupindir Virk JP Assistant Secretary Mr Manjit Singh QSM Treasurer The new vibrant team is determined to develop a new strategic plan to strengthen its branches and affiliate associations in order to empower the sizeable population of Kiwis of Indian origin. The Indian population is close to 160,000 as per the latest census. About 120 delegates from all over New Zealand attended the 88th Annual Conference. The President of Manukau Indian Association Mr Veer Khar welcomed all delegates to the meeting. After the traditional welcome dance and lighting of the lamps, The President of NZICA Mr Harshad Patel, welcomed all guests and thanked Manukau for hoisting the event. The conference had a theme of “Striving for success”. What better keynote speaker than Mai Chan a very successful and prominent lawyer who started her life in very humble surroundings in Dunedin in the 1970s. Mai’s message was to strive to be the best in New Zealand. The time

List MP – Member Govt, Administration and Commerce, Hon David Cunliffe MP Leader of Opposition, Hon Phil Goff Spokesperson, Ethnic Affairs, Dr Rajen Prasad List MP – Spokesperson Immigration who were invited mentioned the positive influence Indians are having to New Zealand. The opening session concluded with an enlightening update about India by the new Indian High Commissioner His Excellency Mr Ravi Thapar. Mr Thapar who had been on 7 overseas assignments stressed to the meeting the importance of remembering where we came from and the greatness of the Indian culture. He asked Indians in this country to be humble and give back to society. Mr Prakash Biradar General Secretary was the Master of Ceremony and Vice President Bhikhu Bhana performed Vote of Thanks extending appreciation to ANZ Bank, Lottery Grant Board, Lion Foundation and COGS for the financial support. Officers elected at the AGM (from LtoR):- Sangeeta Patel Office Administrator, Paul Singh Bains Past President, Manjit Singh Treasurer, Bhikhu Bhana Vice President, Harshad Patel President, Prakash Biradar General Secretary, Rupinder Virk Assistant Secretary has come to influence, Asians are not a minority now. One in four persons living in Auckland are Asian. Just as summer is turning to autumn, the seasons have changed. She encouraged the members to get out and show how good we are,

and become Asian leaders. Various Parliamentarians Jami-Lee Ross MP - Third Govt Whip National Party, Melissa Lee List MP - Parliamentary Private Secretary for Ethnic Affairs, Mr Kanwajit Singh Bakshi

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NEW ZEALAND 11 April 2014

Manukau East community’s tête-à-tête with MP Bakshi

New funding to support community conservation projects



ational List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, invited the locals for morning tea on the 4th April, at the Kiwi Indian Community Trust - 141 Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe. Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga - Associate Minister of Local Government and Minister of Pacific Island Affairs was the guest for the occasion. The informal tête-à-tête with Senior members of the Manukau East community was very well received. As the National MP based in Manukau East, Kanwaljit values the opinions of the residents

of Manukau. With this in mind he had invited a group of senior residents to come in and meet with him informally over a cup of tea. With Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Liga, Minister for Pacific Island Affairs gracing the occasion. “On Friday 04 April 2014 I had the pleasure of hosting Senior members of the Manukau East community for a morning tea. Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga - Associate Minister of Local Government and Minister of Pacific Island Affairs accepted my invitation to be our guest and to meet and greet Seniors of Manukau East.

ist MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi encourages applications to the new Community Conservation Partnerships Fund from community led conservation groups. “The point of this fund is to help communityled conservation projects for natural heritage and recreation throughout New Zealand,” Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said. The new fund enables communities to undertake work in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC). “National believes that conservation is about preserving and protecting our natural resources now, and for the future. “This fund supports DOC’s new partnerships model which places greater emphasis on working with others to achieve more for conservation. “It is widely recognised that involving the public in conservation is beneficial for all those involved, and also achieves a great deal more for conservation in the long-term. “I would strongly encourage all those who are eligible for funding to apply” Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi says. Applications are open from 31 March to 1 May 2014, with successful applicants announced in June.

Also in attendance was my good friend Alfred Ngaro MP,”said Mr. Bakshi. “At the meeting we had the opportunity to dialogue on areas that matter to all of us – the economy, manufacturing sector, social services, health and how New Zealand compares to the rest of the world. It was a healthy and fruitful discussion, “ he summed up the meeting thus. Such events help in keeping the dialogue going and allowing for a closer working relationship between the public and the political class.


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World Hindu talks to be held in Delhi T

he inaugural World Hindu Congress will be held in New Delhi, India, later in the year. The November 21-23 conference has been organized by the World Hindu Foundation. Leaders and representatives of various Hindu organizations, temples and associations are invited to attend the congress. The number of delegates is limited to 1500, of which foreign delegates are limited to 750. The theme envisioned is the Hindu principle of Sangachchhadhwam Samvadadhwam, which means ‘’Step together, Express together’’. The world’s Hindu society is a billion in population. Currently, Hindus are facing serious challenges and are being attacked from all directions in many countries. The main purpose for the World Hindu Congress is to provide a global platform for Hindu society to deliberate and formulate solutions to the myriad challenges being faced by Hindus throughout the world and to devise workable and tangible solutions that can be implemented. It is expected that the delegates will be people of accomplishment and achievement, committed to working for the Hindu resurgence, and would be mostly from the rank of activists, academicians, educationists, founder of universities, managing trustees, chancellors, vice chancellors, prominent industrialists, businessmen from diverse industries and

business bankers, economists, business association leaders, parliamentarians, legislators, and media personalities. The congress aims to take the movement for Hindu solidarity to the next level. “This task needs to be undertaken with a single minded focus of rebuilding the spiritual and material heritage of Hindus,” said Swami Vigyananand of the World Hindu Foundation. “While the first World Hindu Congress is primarily organized by the World Hindu Foundation, all Hindu organizations, associations and institutions from around the world are encouraged to participate and are most welcome to become partners in making this event great success,” Swami Vigyananand said. Under the World Hindu Congress, there will be several conferences held. These include: The Hindu Economic Conference, Hindu Youth Conference, Hindu Women Conference, Hindu Educational Conference, Hindu Organizational Conference, Hindu Political Conference, Hindu Media Conference. Following the completion of the first World Hindu Congress, future Congress will be organized every four years in different countries. For more information about the Congress, visit; or email

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NEW ZEALAND 11 April 2014

EPICNZ – GoGlobal International 6th Anniversary celebrations for Business Forum 2014 Swaminarayan Temple E PIC NZ and Go Global have joined forces to bring you the EPIC NZ Go Global International Business Forum 2014 on May 2 at the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland. This forum will be one of Auckland’s biggest international business networking events of the year. The theme of ‘Business Beyond Borders’ is to help fellow Kiwis who have sustained business success abroad, and those who have cultural knowledge of, and roots and connections in, overseas markets. This is a rare opportunity to interact with exporting experts while learning about countryspecific elements essential for success in other markets.

Date: 2 May 2014 Time: 8:50am – 6:00pm Venue: SkyCity Convention Centre, 88 Federal Street, Auckland Event Website: Facebook: Event hashtag: #epicgoglobal


he 6th Anniversary (Patotsav) Festival of the ISSO Swaminarayan Temple was celebrated on the 6th of April 2014. This festival is held annually in around the month of April. The festival is customarily attended by the Acharya of the Swaminarayan Sect H.H Acharya Koshalendra Prasadji Maharaj along with saints from Kalupur Temple in Ahmedabad. The sect boasts of over 600 temples worldwide in various counties which include India, United Kingdom, USA, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Seychelles, Mauritius, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Pakistan. The ISSO Temple which is in the heart of Papatoetoe was inaugurated in April 2008 and is regularly visited by over 50,000 devotees annually. Delegations from various ethnic backgrounds, schools, elders groups visit this temple to experience the rich heritage of Hinduism, Indian Art and Culture and also achieve their Spiritual goals on a daily basis. The festival began with the display of a marching band which was prepared by the Youth Wing (NNDYM) of the temple. The local residents were dazed by this display and took the opportunity to take a few snaps of the march past. In 3 day festival, disciples got a chance to listen to discourses by holy saint Nirgundasji Swami. On the last day over 800 people attended the festival and also had the privilege to get a glimpse of the rich history of the Sect. The history behind the generous land donation

by the Crown of England to the Nar Narayan Dev Diocese some 250years ago. The East India Company who were in change of the administration and running of India during that time had never given any sort of donation or pledge to anyone except the Swaminarayan

Sect. This land that was donated to the Sect is currently in the prime heartland of Ahmedabad. The temple is open daily from 7am to 12:20pm and from 3:30pm to 9:00pm daily. - Ranjana Patel

NEW ZEALAND 11 April 2014


Tapping India’s market footprint “T

to NZ). Welcoming the High Commissioner, Minister and the members, the Chair Sunil Kaushal, shared how the members have been continuing to expand their business ventures into India without a FTA being signed between both the countries. Hon Peter Dunne also congratulated the INZBC for working tirelessly to increase these relationships between India-NZ businesses. He said it was important for NZ to recognise the potential of the Indian economy and work to have closer ties. Mr. Thapar shared insights about various L-R: Bhav Dhillon, treasurer INZBC, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, National fields that India-NZ MP, Hon. Peter Dunne, Min of Internal Affairs; can collaborate, to tap H.E. Ravi Thapar, Indian high Commissioner to NZ; into the strengths of Sunil Kaushal, Chair INZBC both countries. “We should work with the positives of both sides, increased economic, cultural and sporting ties like taking NZ’s IP and using India’s market between the two countries. footprint”, said Thapar, while reiterating that The India New Zealand Business Council India’s market footprint is huge and creates held it’s second chapter of series of seminars great potential for NZ companies to work with. – ‘Business Beyond Barriers’, on 26th March, “INZBC is working towards more such events 2014. The key note speakers were Hon. Peter in the future, that will help the bi-lateral trade”, Dunne (Minister for Internal Affairs) and H.E. said Sunil. Mr. Ravi Thapar (Indian High Commissioner wo ends of a book’, is how Peter Dunne, Minister of Internal Affairs, described the ties between NZ & India. He was speaking at India New Zealand Business Council’s seminar, ‘Business Beyond Barriers’, at Grant Thornton, Wellington. Mr. Dunne reiterated the need for 09 630 9491 INDIAN IN THE HEART AND VEG IN CENTRAL AUCKLANDTO WEEKLY SUPERETTE ONON A A BUSY SUPERETTEWITH WITHLOTTO LOTTOAND ANDACCOMODATION ACCOMODATION MAIN GROCERY ROAD | STORE SPACIOUSSUPERETTE FOROFSALE INFRUIT HAMILTON HEAPS OF OPPORTUNITY ADD LOTTO, CENTRAL + STOCK SALES $16,000 ASKING ONLY $60,000 + BUSY MAIN ROAD$16,000 WEEKLY SALES ASKING $16,000199,999 APPROX. WEEKLY SALES APPROX + STOCK REF 44081AUCKLAND ASKING $70,000 SPICES AND FRUIT AND VEGES | WEEKLY SALES $12,000 APPROXSTOCK ASKING REF 43970 WHAT A BARGAIN ASKING $199,999 + STOCK REF 44081


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Wall of Fame at India Gate Restaurant The Wall of Fame is a symbol of all the hard work and hours gone in to making India Gate a brand ‘Where Stars Dine’”, said Shivani Arora, owner of India Gate. Abhinav Arora reports.


ndia Gate, a fine dining Indian restaurant, situated in the heart of Epsom, commemorated a Wall of Fame. This wall showcases a collection of celebrity comments and autographs, all of whom have dined at India Gate and reflects upon the goodness served at India Gate. We have our very own National Star, the prime minister of New Zealand’s autographed plate that takes center stage. On either side are autographed plates of Bollywood stars ranging from the likes of Sunidhi Chauhan, to Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy to that of India’s Disco King, Bappi Lahiri. In a chat with Shivani Arora, owner and operator of India Gate restaurant, I asked her what made her think of this fantastic idea. In response, she said that, it has always her dream to create a brand that is bold enough to be talked about amongst celebrities. When she started India Gate in 2010, she felt she was one step closer to realizing her dream. She was quoted saying “It was almost like a blessing from God,” the day we had the former Miss World, Aishwaraya Rai Bachan, dine-in at India Gate with husband Abhishek Bachan and fellow co-stars Sonam Kapoor and Omi Vaidya within the restaurant’s first month of operation. At that time Shivani said, “I must have been star struck as I did not think about taking either of their autographs…but I soon realized I should have as it could have become a showcase customers could

About India Gate: have come to see”. But since, Shivani devised a new idea; she decided to get dinner plates signed by celebrities who dined in at the restaurant.” Over time Shivani has managed to create a collection that she feels should be showcased to everyone that visits India Gate. Shivani has also said that her dream came true when one day, late last year she received a phone call from an organizer in Australia organizing a concert for Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The conversation went something like ‘Am I speaking with Shivani Arora from India Gate?’, to which Shivani responded ‘Yes, you are’. The next few



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words were what made her realize that her dream had been fulfilled. The organizer said, “Ustad Rahat ji has requested that he will only dine-in at India Gate for the tenure of his stay in New Zealand and that he has recommended his good friend Sunidhi Chauhan to do the same.” “Those words still echo in my head. As an owner I am humbled by our achievements and I believe it would not have been possible if I did not have my excellent team at India Gate and my husband Kuldeep Arora to support me. I urge you all to come visit us. We are located on the top floor at 380 Manukau Road, Epsom.

India Gate Restaurant was founded in Feb 2011 with an aim of providing its customers with authentic and delicious Indian cuisine. Our restaurant was founded out of our executive chef, Shivani Arora’s love and passion for cooking and serving Indian cuisine in it’s real form. Since opening we have developed an excellent reputation in the market place. Our customers often comment – we never tasted Indian food like this.

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Sai Sansthan celebrates memorable Mata Chowki and scintillating Sree Ramanavami


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t’s just two months since the Grand Opening of the Shirdi Saibaba temple and the atmosphere is still vibrant with several activities ever since opening. Sansthan has performed Mata Chowki and Sree Ramanavami with pomp and gaiety during the first fortnight of Chaitra maas of Jaya namasamvasthara. Mata Chowki was conducted on Saturday, the 5th April 2014 at the in the temple hall. People were enthralled by the melodious bhajans and danced with fervour to the beats of the drums. Sree Ramanavami was celebrated on Tuesday, the 8th April 2014. Ahbishekam for Rama was performed, followed by ‘aarti’. Evening was eventful with Sita Rama Kalyan performed by the temple priest Suresh Sattavalli. Rama was brought in a decorated rath to the ceremonial dais amidst chanting of Veda, Naada, Gaana and Nrithya, the essential features of a traditional Hindu wedding. Sita was brought in colourful palki with devotees dancing with ecstasy. People watched the wedding of Lord Rama and Sita with utmost devotion. The temple gives a special vote of thanks to Shivani Arora, who has been a pillar of support continuously over the last 6 years. -Bhaskara Reddy Duvvuru President

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NEW ZEALAND 11 April 2014

E-commerce clicks in New Zealand I t is a widely acknowledged but rarely stated fact that we, as shoppers like to see and feel things before we invest in them. Don’t we all love our trips to the quintessential Bazaar? We all have fond memories of our trips to Fashion Street, Colaba Causeway, Janpath, DilliHaat& Khan Market.How does one react then, to the fact that e-commerce has entered the playing field? What does one do when buying something online is actually cheaper than walking in to a store? One embraces it of course! Here’s a fact – As of 2013, more than half of New Zealand’s population is shopping online, says Statistics NZ. In 2012, close to $3bn was generated through online sales alone. Websites are definitely all around us. New however, are stores on the social media platform – Facebook. It’s wonderful how word-of-mouth and our network of friends are responsible for their credibility – and there’s so much to find if you decide to set out and explore! To start you off, here are a few Facebook initiatives that are worth a look, like and a try – - IWK Bureau

Tazy Cakes This one’s for the jantawith a sweet tooth. Tazy is the maker of yummiest cupcakes that she creates at home on a made-to-order basis. Your wish is her command. A look at her Facebook page tells all of the kind of requests she has entertained and executed beautifully. It’s pretty hard not to order once you visit.

The Chiffon Boutique This is probably one of the most popular Facebook stores in New Zealand. 177k likes and still no website! They function amazingly well just out of their one Facebook page. Worth a look if dresses are what you’re after.

The Quirky Elephant New kid on the block, this page has just kicked off as a Facebook pop-up store. Though it seems to be just testing waters at the moment, the stuff on offer is very rich and distinctly ethnic. Certainly the place to go to, to add that bit of cool Indianness to your outfits. The page looks promising and the quirky elephant logo is very eye-catching, definitely something to keep an eye on considering the festivals will arrive soon.

Sukhmani Trust hosts elderly on Te Haruhi day trip O

n Saturday 22 March, 2014 Sukhmani Charitable Trust, Auckland organized a day bus trip to Te Haruhi Beach at the Shakespear Regional Park, Whangaparaoa for elderly people to enjoy the bright sun and an afternoon with family and friends, followed by lunch, musical programme at Dairy Flat Community Hall. About 70 people including volunteers participated in the event. Due to the overwhelming response one full bus along with three vans cars were taken by volunteers to accommodate all participants. Everyone was looking forward to the announcement by Sukhmani Charitable Trust of their next outdoor trip before the weather got too cold to spend time in the open. The word had spread that the SCT events were full of fun, frolic and energy. Keeping in line with the Trust’s vision of “Mutual respect among the young and old”, this event was open to all age groups. The tremendous response to the event resulted in the total numbers going to 70. After all the singing, on reaching Te Haruhi Bay, a refreshing snack pack charged the batteries of all present. The younger lot

took off for a dip in the sea while the elderly people soaked in the beautiful view of the Bay while enjoying traditional Indian snacks, fruits and juice. After an hour, at the Te Haruhi Bay, the group departed for the Community Hall at Dairy Flat. Mrs Arjeet Baweja, Trust Manager of SCT, thanked all volunteers for their selfless contribution for making the event a grand success and an enjoyable one for all. The pictures and videos of all the participants having fun would be available on www.facebook. com/sukhmanitrust for everyone to see. Capt Ajit Ramanathan Event Organiser 11 April 2014


Government celebrates Britomart electrification


ransport Minister Gerry Brownlee welcomes switching-on of overhead lines into the Britomart Transport Centre as a milestone for Auckland’s transport network. “Electrification is a key element of the government’s focus on supporting a cohesive, efficient transport system for Auckland,” Mr Brownlee says. “Today is a milestone for three projects which represent a total $1.7 billion government investment – the upgrade of the network to enable 10-minute peak frequencies (Project

DART), the Auckland Electrification Project, and the purchase of 57 new electric trains.” “This will play a big part in tackling congestion, and will also substantially increase the size of the rail fleet, providing spare capacity for future growth,” Mr Brownlee says. “The government is investing around $1 billion a year on roads and public transport to meet the transport needs of Auckland’s growing population and to improve the transport system’s contribution to economic growth.”

New Zealand First says time to put the force back in the Air Force


ew Zealand First is calling on the Government to resurrect the combat wing of the Royal New Zealand Air Force before the General Election. Associate Defence Spokesperson Richard Prosser says Prime Minister John Key admitted at the World Nuclear Summit in the Netherlands this week that no country is in a benign strategic environment. “This makes a lie of the excuse former Prime Minister Helen Clark used to disband the strike wing in 2001. “The former Labour Government mothballed the Skyhawk fleet even as the events of 9/11 were unfolding. It is time to see sense and restore this essential core capability

to the New Zealand Defence Force so we can once again play a vital role in the collective security of the region. “The myth of New Zealand living in a benign strategic environment was the justification used back then. It wasn’t true at the time and it isn’t true today. “Around the world, and particularly in the Asia-Pacific, nations are equipping themselves with more advanced air combat capabilities, not less. “Tensions in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, the Taiwan Strait and other flashpoints have the potential to destabilise the entire region and New Zealand has limited ability to respond.


Internet Party Now Online for New Zealand


ew Zealand and the world now have a political movement dedicated to the Internet generation – the Internet Party. The Internet Party is the political force to play an important role in the General Election this year. We want to stimulate people to vote on technology-related issues and give New Zealanders the opportunity to challenge the political status quo. “This is a movement for the freedom of the Internet and technology, for privacy and political reform,” says Kim Dotcom. “It is a movement for people who haven’t voted before, who have been disappointed by voting, or who don’t like the political choices on offer. “It is a movement for people who care about a digital future, and who want a society that is open, free and fair.” The Internet Party demonstrated its innovative approach to New Zealand politics by launching an app that allows people to join the party as members. The Internet Party app is available for the iPhone and iPad at the App Store, as well as on Google Play for Android devices. Members can also sign up via the party’s website: Internet. “The Internet Party app is symbolic of everything the Internet Party represents,” says Dotcom. “We’re a breath of fresh air, and a dose of common sense, for a tired and adversarial

political system that has lost touch with modern New Zealand and the Internet generation. “We’re going to change the election outcome by changing what the election is about. We have strong and effective policies across all areas that will make New Zealand a better place for all. “What’s more, we’ll be constantly listening to our members in shaping and refining those policies. Our promise is to be truly open and transparent in all we do and to give our members a real and effective voice.” The Internet Party’s guiding principles include the delivery of faster, cheaper Internet to all New Zealanders, the creation of hightech jobs, the protection of privacy and the safeguarding of New Zealand’s independence. Dotcom calls on people frustrated by tired politics and outdated politicians to join the Internet Party. “The Internet Party is here for people to help shape the New Zealand they want to live in now and in the future, with a young and smart government that works for us, not against us.”

Flu not just a winter illness

WSG Technology inducted into ICEHOUSE



ealth experts are urging New Zealanders to get immunised against influenza as soon as possible to get protected, with recent cases of the disease showing that influenza isn’t only a winter illness. “As highlighted by recent cases in South Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay, with some people in intensive care, influenza circulates all year round and can be serious,” advises National Influenza Specialist Group[1] spokesman and virologist, Dr Lance Jennings. “Getting immunised now, before we start to see the increase in flu over the colder months, gives you the best chance of being protected.” Influenza immunisation is free from a GP or

Digital Care

PAPATOETOE SHOP Ph: 09 277 4817 Kiosk 60, Hunters Plaza, Papatoetoe, Auckland 2025

nurse until July 31, 2014 for New Zealanders at high risk of complications – pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and anyone under 65 years of age, including children six months and older, with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma), kidney disease and most cancers. Other people can receive influenza vaccinations at surgeries and some pharmacies for a small charge. Many employers provide free vaccination to their employees. For further information go to www.fightflu. or or call 0800 IMMUNE 0800 466 863.

Digital Care

MEADOWLAND SHOP Ph: 09 533 3435 Shopping Plaza Howick, Auckland 2014

n Auckland based IT Company WSG Technology which has made its mark in consulting and helping small and medium sized kiwi business in ecommerce and digital branding announced that it has been formally inducted into ICEHOUSE which according to Forbes magazine is World’s largest Top 10 Incubation Chamber. CEO of WSG Technology Saby Upadhyay explained, “Associating with ICEHOUSE will give a definite support to WSG Technology in developing its Predictive Analytics and Big Data Applications”. WSG Technology’s aims to shift the balance of harnessing the power of Big Data and Analytics from big corporations to small and medium

enterprises as identified by the ICEHOUSE as their next milestone in the field of business intelligence. According to experts in WSG Technology the “BIG DATA” and Predictive analytics is the next major revolution happening to our human race as the explosion of data accumulation is happening enterprise wide and mankind has generated data so much that out of all the data generated by mankind in its existence 90% of the data has been generated only in last 2 years. The head of product development at WSG Technology says “As the world grapples with the reality of BIG DATA and mobilizes to harness it, we at New Zealand should be quick to adopt “.


NEW ZEALAND 11 April 2014

Crime down 20.2 per cent over four years



olice Minister Anne Tolley has congratulated Police staff following the announcement that recorded crimes have fallen for the fourth year in a row, down a total of 20.2 per cent, to their lowest figure in 29 years. “Fewer crimes means fewer victims and safer communities, and I want to thank our officers for everything they are doing to serve and protect the public,” says Mrs Tolley. Offences dropped by 4.1 per cent in 2013, with 15,602 fewer recorded crimes compared to the year before, and 90,994 fewer offences in 2013 compared to 2009. The crime rate, per head of population, saw a 5 per cent fall in 2013. “Sexual assaults have risen, and I would encourage victims to continue to come forward to report this type of crime.” Police foot patrols increased by 155 per cent over the last two years, and officers are

‘Dodgy’ claims that streets are safer

now equipped with smartphones and tablets which allow them to input and access important information without returning to the station.

laims by the Government that “communities are safer” is absolute baloney, says New Zealand First. “The messy reality is that on the streets in Auckland the average person does not feel any safer than they did five years ago,” says Spokesperson for Corrections Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor. “This week Corrections Minister Anne Tolley claimed a reduction in reoffending and drop in recorded crimes but the statistics are just a poster to try and fool the public into thinking they are making a difference. “We challenge the Government to show us just where it is now safer in Auckland. “Low police numbers have also made it more difficult to address serious community issues like legal highs, which are contributing to serious problems for Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) in cases I’m currently

PM wants more foreign ownership of New Zealand, says NZ First leader P

rime Minister John Key is New Zealand’s number one real estate salesman, says New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters. “He knows we have ‘location, location, location’ and he won’t be happy till much of our land and many of our homes are gone. His suggestion that restricting foreign ownership is ‘silly’ proves he is absolutely out of touch with Kiwis. “New Zealanders are alarmed about foreign ownership, not just of our homes, but of our land and our companies – and people in other countries have the same concerns,” says Mr Peters. “This former currency trader doesn’t even have his finger on the pulse – he is blind to the fact that ‘hot cash’ is sloshing around the world and being pumped into land and property ownership, often simply for investment. “In Australia the concern is so great a government inquiry has been launched into the effect of foreign ownership on housing affordability

for the average Aussie. In 2013 foreigners spent $37 billion on real estate in Australia. “Canada is blocking foreign ownership and Hong Kong is now taxing foreigners to prevent a

property bubble as house prices kept rising. “A New Zealand government’s role is not to hold the door open to a river of money saying we



are up for sale. That is a sell-out not just of the country, but for many Kiwi’s hopes and aspirations of home ownership. “The Prime Minister fails to understand that a home is not just an asset, it is where we obtain a stake in our country. “Certainly New Zealand needs to build more homes for New Zealanders, but not more homes for foreigners who want an investment property. “The best the National Government can say is that there is no data on foreign ownership. Well, that’s their fault, they refuse to keep any. New Zealand First has been calling for a register of foreign ownership of farmland and homes for long enough. “John Key is so out of touch – has he not heard young Kiwis saying they will never own the Kiwi dream – a home of their own?” says Mr Peters.

dealing with. “In many cases the Government is taking credit for long-term projects that are just starting to bear fruit. “They are overstating their involvement in successful Corrections initiatives that frankly had nothing to do with a National-led Government, such as the Saili Matagi violence prevention programme, the Vaka Fa’aola Pacific Focus Unit for rehabilitation, and other alcohol and drug treatment units that have been operating for over 10 years. “No doubt the National Government will continue to create a false impression of their actual achievements this election year but New Zealand First will hold them to account,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor. -Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor Spokesperson for Corrections, NZ First

Taxpayers fork out $2500 a week for top PR company


he Ministry of Justice needs to explain why it is paying a top Wellington public relations company about $2500 a week to upload judgments to the Courts of New Zealand website, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “The Ministry has its own in-house communications team which costs it $750,000 a year and spends a further $163,000 maintaining its 11 websites. “Yet it uses taxpayer funding to pay another $128,000 a year to Senate Communications to post legal decisions. “Most other government departments manage their own websites. Why is the Justice Ministry unable to do the same? “The independence of New Zealand’s judiciary is the cornerstone of our democracy and must be maintained. The Justice Ministry’s decision to employ one of the country’s foremost spin merchants calls its integrity into question. “Senate has built a reputation as a corporate mouthpiece for the likes of Rio Tinto, BP, Woolworths and Bathurst. “To involve this company in a role which implies editorial license is reprehensible,” Maryan Street says.

Read online :

NEW ZEALAND 11 April 2014

Pitiful minimum wage rise no joke for many T he minimum wage rise which took affect on April 1st, is too little and too late and will do nothing for working New Zealanders who rely on it, said Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The cost of housing, whether renting or buying, is now so out of kilter with the ability of low income families to pay the bills that another few dollars a week will go nowhere near making up the shortfall. “The brutal reality for these workers is they are not getting their fair share and this is contributing to growth in income inequality and family poverty. “That’s confirmed by the fact almost twothirds of New Zealanders feel they are no better off or have gone backwards, in the six years National has been in government. “Not only that, but in real terms median wages have dropped in many regions over the same period. “National has also failed to address the lack of minimum wage protection for thousands of vulnerable contractors and cut the pay of young minimum wage workers. “It had a chance to stick up for our lowest paid workers and help make a real difference to their lives and those of their children, but

once again turned its back on them. “Labour would do better – raising the minimum wage to $15 within its first 100 days in Government, followed by another rise in 2015. We would also address the lack of minimum wage protection for vulnerable contractors,” David Cunliffe said. First Union: Low income families struggling with high costs have been let down by minimum wage increase, FIRST Union said. Speaking from Christchurch, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said that the 50 cent minimum wage increase coming into force today would do little to help low income families. “The benefits from any economic recovery need to be better shared. It is no good having improving indicators in some areas of our economy but wealth continuing to be concentrated among an elite while hundreds of thousands of families are still living in poverty,” he said. “The government has an opportunity each year with the minimum wage review to make a difference for our poorest working households, but this opportunity has been lost, with an increase of just $2.25 since 2008.”


Auckland Regional Migrant Services Manukau office are offering a range of free and user paid workshops for newcomers and migrants. Accounting Workshop

Free for migrants less than 2 years in NZ and with WTR Visa, PR, Silver Fern or Work Visa This specialist information workshop prepares you to gain employment in this profession. Receive handy tips from HR and recruitment professionals and have the chance to ask questions Join us for a free workshop on Thursday 17th April, 2014, Time: 9:30am-2:30pm

IT Specialists Workshop

Free for migrants less than 2 years in NZ and with WTR Visa, PR, Silver Fern or Work Visa In this specialist information workshop provides information for newcomers specialising in IT covering: • Suitable training/up skilling courses • English for the New Zealand IT workplace • Relevant recruitment agencies • Great CV tips and advice Receive handy tips from HR and

recruitment professionals and have the chance to ask questions Join us for a free workshop on Thursday 24th April, 2014, Time: 9:30am-2:30pm

English Advice

Free for migrants less than 5 years in NZ and with WTR Visa, PR, Silver Fern or Work Visa Auckland Regional Migrant Services help migrants with advice about their level of English, English classes and referrals to community resources. Clients are welcome to bring a support person with them. Service will be on 17 April, 24th April For more information contact: ARMS Manukau Team 2 Osterley Way Manukau/PO Box 27 6035 - Manukau PH: 09 263 5490/ Website:

Housing Accord report shows Offsite manufacturing Aucklanders were sold a lemon will cut $32,000 off cost N of new house ick Smith’s report on the Auckland Housing Accord is a mish-mash of projections, predictions and promises, but it fails to tell Aucklanders how many new homes will be built as a result of the Accord and how many of them will be affordable, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Nick Smith promised Aucklanders 39,000 new homes by 2016, but his own report shows that he will fail to deliver with only 2,392 new dwellings receiving building consent since October last year, when the Housing Accord was launched, which means only 7,176 houses “likely” this year according to the Minister’s own projections, leaving a deficit against his promise of 31,824 homes to build over the coming two years. To deliver, he will need to build homes at twice the rate of the first year, or over 15,000 homes in 2015 and another 15,000 homes in 2016. “His own report shows there have been a miserable 13 new dwelling resource consents for new homes in his Special Housing Areas since October last year. At first I wondered if that figure was a typo. “And worse, he is now congratulating himself for reporting numbers of sections and subdivisions consented and counting them as if they were somehow measures of real families being housed, as if the recently consented subdivision of Manukau Golf Course, where people are still playing golf, is part of the Minister’s deluded ‘success story’, when it is clear that actual families in the real world won’t be moving into these new homes for years.

“We know from the Auckland Plan that Auckland needs 10,000 new homes a year just to stand still against population growth, yet the government’s pathetic attempts to fix their failed housing policy, despite all the fanfare, is actually putting us further behind demand every day that goes by. “All Nick Smith has to show for five years in government, and months of big talk and bullying are some pretty uninspiring figures for consented sections, and a set of figures proving that his policy will not deliver the homes Auckland desperately needs. “Meanwhile Auckland house prices continue to escalate out of reach of first home buyers. Westpac’s Investment Report out today confirms the city’s status as a speculator’s paradise. “This Government has utterly failed to rein in housing costs, and make it easier for ordinary Kiwis to own a home of their own. National refuses to actually build affordable homes, and they refuse to crack down on speculators both foreign and domestic who are driving Auckland’s house prices higher and higher. “It must be humiliating for Nick Smith to see the Government’s housing policy collapsing around him. All the indicators are going in the wrong direction with house prices skyrocketing, first home buyers shut out of the market, interest rates heading north of 8 per cent, and wages for most Kiwis flat lining. It is a disaster of epic proportions and the Minister has run out of stunts and photo ops to hide his failed housing policy.”


abour’s Kiwibuild programme combined with offsite manufacturing and prefabrication will knock up to $32,000 off the cost of a standard home, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Mr Twyford was responding to a policy paper produced by BRANZ and Prefab NZ which estimates prefabrication can save about 15% of total construction cost, cutting $32,000 from a $246,000 157 sq m house. The paper says an additional $15,000 can be saved through bulk buying of building materials, taking the potential saving to $47,000. “This report from key industry players makes it clear modern manufacturing processes will go a long way to building high quality homes at an affordable cost. “Improving productivity in the construction industry is one of the challenges the country faces in fixing the housing crisis, and making home ownership affordable again. The analysis by Prefab NZ and BRANZ is a very helpful contribution. “Labour’s commitment to build 100,000 affordable starter homes is a once in a generation opportunity to improve productivity in the building industry. By building on this scale we can make possible the investment in plant and technology to allow offsite manufacturing. We can grow companies who have the size and capability to move to a more manufactured style of building.

“Prefabrication can save about 15% of total construction cost, cutting $32,000 from a $246,000 157 sq m house”. “There have been many efforts over the decades to introduce more prefabrication to Kiwi house building but because of the boom and bust cycle that plagues the industry, and the highly fragmented market made up mostly of very small building companies, these efforts have struggled to take root. “A government-backed building programme to deliver 10,000 homes a year is the perfect opportunity to drive this change. In fact it is probably the only way to achieve this transformation. “The Germans and Scandinavians are doing it. It is time for New Zealand home construction to embrace prefabrication and offsite manufacturing in the way we build our houses. With our Kiwibuild programme, Labour is ready to work with industry to meet the challenge.”


NEW ZEALAND 11 April 2014

NZ Ranked World’s Most Socially Advanced Country

Government has duty to act on climate change

Social Progress Index launched to enable better understanding of worldwide progress and growth


ew Zealand is the most socially advanced nation in the world according to a major new global index published today by USbased nonprofit, the Social Progress Imperative, and released at the 2014 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. New Zealand topped the rankings across a wide range of measures–according to the Social Progress Index 2014 which ranks 132 countries based on their social and environmental performance. People around the globe are learning what Kiwis know – New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world, says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Commenting on the 2014 Social Progress Index which ranks New Zealand in first place Mrs Bennett urged New Zealanders to take a moment and reflect on just how lucky we are to live here. “We are an ambitious people and we want the best for our families. Sometimes in our focus on always trying to be better we fail to count our blessings and acknowledge just how much progress we have made as a nation. “We are ranked first in the world for being a safe, honest, and tolerant country with a good environment. “The most pleasing part of the report was


our winning scores on Opportunity – this confirms that every Kiwi can have aspirations and that in this country it is possible to achieve those dreams. “To the naysayers – yes we can do much better in a lot of areas and every day we are all working hard to improve our health, welfare and education services with strong backing from the government. “We’re investing particularly heavily in new policies and services for children and families. The Children’s Action Plan, more social workers in schools and hospitals, greater support for parents, and welfare reforms to get more people in work to name just a few. “It’s great to live in New Zealand and it’s nice the rest of the world know it as well,” says Mrs Bennett.

he National Government’s hands-off response to the latest IPCC report on climate change adaptation is not only unbelievable, it’s embarrassing, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. “This Government is asleep at the wheel when it comes to decisive action on climate change and halting further increases in our greenhouse gas emissions. At the very least they need to be preparing for the inevitable impacts of existing climate warming.” “It is unbelievable that the so-called Climate Change Minister, Tim Groser, thinks adaptation to the impacts of climate change should be left to ‘natural processes’. “Labour will future-proof our economy. We will not saddle future generations with the legacy of inaction on climate change,” Moana Mackey said. Climate change adaptation is not enough Generation Zero Responding to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Generation Zero Policy Director Alec Dawson explains, “the report shows that the

impacts of climate change are already being felt across the world in all continents, and predicts that there will be significant impacts for the next generation. These include serious changes to the lives of people in coastal areas, global drops in crop yields, and impacts of heat waves and inland flooding in urban areas.” Mr Dawson; “Adaptation is essential to manage the unavoidable but we also need to avoid the unmanageable impacts of climate change. The reality is that on the world’s current emissions path we are on track for around four degrees of warming by 2100. “New Zealand could be following in the footsteps of countries like Denmark, with their ambitious plan to be completely fossil fuel free by 2050 - powering all of their energy including transport from clean, renewable energy.” “However, the current Government’s actions are taking us in the wrong direction. Official projections show our carbon pollution continuing to grow, with the sum effect of current climate change policies predicted to reduce total emissions by a pathetic 0.4% in 2030 compared to doing nothing at all.”

The Silva Children’s Seminar April 21st - April 24th (4 days Seminar)

This training will give your child the ability to manage stress, become a stronger and more resilient individual, become calmer, master their innate ability to remain healthy, highly motivated, accomplish homework and goals easily, increase their focus and concentration, spark their innate creativity to finding solutions and ideas, develop healthy self-esteem, self confidence and self assertiveness. In the workshop the children will learn the following : • The ability to relax physically and mentally. • The Alpha level and how to reach it and function there at will. • Manage stress and let go of anxiety, worry and fear • Developing positive thoughts and habits • How to achieve goals easily • How to become a better speller, improve memory, learning and • listening skills • How to say no to peer pressure and still have friends • Learn to communicate easily with friends, family and peers • How to be an A student and excel in studies • Learn study techniques and use the “3 Fingers Technique” to improve memory, • Recall and problem solving skills. • Learn how to replace unwanted habits and negative beliefs with positive ones. • Learn how to obtain information using all their faculties • Create a healthy self-image • Learn how to solve problems and find answers with their dreams • Learn how to energise themselves after a long day and have Alpha breaks • How to become more creative and inventive using visualisation and imagination • How to obtain information intuitively, using their subjective senses Creativity is one of the great assets of the human mind when you learn to think and solve problems at the right brain frequency, the Alpha level. Your child will learn how to help themselves and humanity in a positive way and make a positive contribution to the world.


The Seminar will run for 4 Days from 10 am to 5 pm (Hours are flexible depending on ages of the Children) Tuition fee: $ 900 Tuition fee for brother/sister $ 750 If there are more than two children attending please contact me.

POWER COLUMN 11 April 2014

Positive change supporting seniors, families, and workers Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi


he National-led Government is focussed on creating greater opportunities for all New Zealanders. We’re forging ahead with our clear plan to build a more productive and competitive economy, one of National’s priorities this term. When we talk about the economy – about things like GDP and the balance of payments – we’re ultimately talking about people’s jobs, their wages, and the costs they face in going about their daily lives and raising their families. That’s why on 1 April a number of positive changes kicked into action. Reduced ACC levies have now taken effect. This means the average household will save about $200 a year, small businesses will save about $180 a year, and large employers will save on average $6,000 a year in total. For New Zealanders, collectively we’ll be better off to the tune of $387 million. In 2011, we legislated to make sure benefit and superannuation payments increased each year to keep in line with inflation. We were the first government to legislate for payment rates to keep pace with the cost of living, despite challenging financial conditions at the time. This means people receiving benefits and

superannuation will get more in the hand, as those rates increased on April 1 as well. Benefits, student allowances, student loan living costs, and the Foster Care Allowance all went up by 1.38 per cent, in line with inflation. Changes to superannuation, which is linked to 66 per cent of the average wage, will see those on a married rate getting an extra $14.60 a week and those living alone getting another $9.50 a week. The minimum wage has also risen from $13.75 an hour to $14.25. We’ve increased the minimum wage every year we’ve been in government, and the latest increase will keep the minimum wage at about 50 per cent of the average hourly rate – the highest rate in the OECD. Our economy is looking up and that’s why it’s vitally important that over the next few years we continue to build on the hard-won gains we are making as a country. And we are making gains. Consumer confidence is running at a nineyear high. Consumer prices rose just 1.6 per cent in 2013 and food prices were up just 0.2 per cent in the past year. Interest rates, while increasing, remain near 50-year lows, and we’re on track to surplus next year. New Zealand now has the opportunity to significantly improve its economic fortunes and provide a better future for Kiwi families.


Reducing youth crime and helping families resolve disputes - Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi


ational came into Government determined to build a safer New Zealand, and we are delivering on this commitment. Youth crime has fallen 22 per cent in two years, and the number of young people facing court charges is at the lowest level in 20 years. The latest Child and Youth Prosecution Statistics show the number of young people (aged 10 to 16) appearing in court in 2013 was 2,487. This is a 51 per cent drop from 5,061 under Labour in 2007. Last year we announced a new youth crime target, as part of our drive to deliver better public services. Our target is to reduce youth offending 25 per cent by 2017 because we had already exceeded our earlier target of a 5 per cent reduction. National is taking action and achieving results. We are also seeing progress in our Family Courts. The Government’s reforms of our family justice system are now in effect [31 March]. Our reforms mark the most significant changes to New Zealand’s Family Court since it was established 33 years ago. Our reforms will help people resolve their parenting matters outside court and minimise

the stress children often face when their parents separate. We want to ensure the court focuses on those cases that most need judicial expertise, especially those cases involving domestic violence. The new Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) service, encouraging out of court mediation, will be fully-funded by the Government for those who meet the income threshold for civil legal aid. We will also ensure FDR is affordable for others, who will pay $897 per case. This amount will be shared by all parties, so an individual will pay less than that. All couples will have to complete FDR before they file with the Family Court, except in cases of urgency – such as domestic violence, or concerns for the safety of children. National wants to keep people out of court where we can, and get them to take responsibility for their own actions. We are trying to change the way New Zealanders think about family law, and putting the welfare of children first.

A hand up not a hand-out David Shearer


ood has always been important to the Indian community, taking on an almost sacred dimension that dates back to years where there were shortages and famine. Food was precious and nothing was taken for granted. I thought of those parallels when I visited a school last week. Despite being a decile one school, Yendarra Primary School in Otara said ‘no’ to government food handouts. Instead, in partnership with their families it developed a school culture that values good nutrition. And, they’ve achieved

healthy lunches for 100% of their children: fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, water. If they can do it in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the country, I believe any school should be able to do it. You can literally see the health and vibrancy in the children’s faces. Most importantly, obesity levels are down, and the ability of the children to concentrate on their work in class is up. With my food in schools bill coming up in parliament soon, it was exactly the type of inspiration I wanted to see. My bill will make sure hungry school children are fed. But I think it’s important that New Zealanders see food in schools as a means of developing self-reliance and encouraging

better nutrition. With better food comes better health and with better health there are fewer chronic diseases and hospital admissions that cost the country so much in taxpayer dollars. I asked the Yendarra School principal, Susan Dunlop, why her community had turned down free food in schools. She explained that most Yendarra parents are busy and hard-working, sometimes holding down several jobs, many of them shift-work. But feeding their families nourishing meals is a way they can show love to their children every day. They didn’t want that important role taken away from them. Yendarra’s approach provides benefits not just to the kids and their families, but to the

wider community. If every school community could be like this, we’d avoid a looming – and very expensive -- crisis in our health system. Currently one in four New Zealanders is obese, which brings with it other problems, like diabetes and heart disease -- the single most common cause of death in New Zealand. It’s both a tragedy and an economic burden New Zealanders can’t afford. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my work as a teacher, as a parent, as a humanitarian with the UN, and as a politician, it’s that people and communities operate best when they’re engaged in providing their own solutions for their own problems. That’s why I see my food in schools bill as a hand-up not a hand-out.

Playing with fire as another fruitfly found Winston Peters


here’s a big link between science and keeping New Zealand protected from harmful pests and plants. The latest biosecurity scare, when a fruitfly was found in Whangarei, demonstrates the need for strong science in New Zealand so we can prevent as many incursions as possible and have solutions if there is a breach. Unfortunately, science, one of our weapons against biosecurity breaches has taken a beating from the National Government recently.

Canterbury’s Lincoln University lost over $3 million in funding for its Bio-Protection Research Centre. Other research centres in the country also missed out. There are now suggestions the Lincoln scientists might get funding from overseas and start working on other country’s problems, not ours. The centre was formed by New Zealand’s leading plant protection scientists. What the Government has failed to take into account is the important work the scientists do around border security. They are working on solutions that will hit the mark when there is a border risk. Scientists at this centre will be determining reasons behind the fruit fly’s presence in New Zealand, and predicting what

we can do in the future. The Government is playing with fire by not having a pot of funding big enough to retain our valuable scientific work. Vigilance at the border and scientific answers will be our saviours. There are billions of dollars in exports hanging in the balance if we let our defences down. Every time a plane touches down or when ships and boats tie up at our ports New Zealand’s agriculture and horticulture industries are under threat. Our land, rivers and streams are also vulnerable. An increase in trade and travel has made the risk greater. In the past we have had many uninvited weeds and pests making New Zealand their home. Millions of dollars have been spent on

trying to deal with the Psa threat to kiwifruit and the varroa mite getting into hives. There are many more, including possums, didymo and creeping tropical grasses. Protection of New Zealand is not something that can be abandoned in the belief that the private sector will fill the gap. Yet the Government gives millions to Warner Bros, Rio Tinto and others, but it can’t find enough for us. Without government support of science our economy is at risk, and that will affect us all. New Zealand First is committed to funding research and development and providing the resources needed for bio-security checks, controls and research.

16 11 April 2014


First step is to get tested, that is the only sure way to know: Shaun Robinson Q&A with Shaun Robinson, Executive Director of New Zealand AIDS Foundation on preventing HIV in communities, IWK takes the opportunity to discuss HIV and related risks from a health angle - IWK Bureau Q - What is the current prevalence of HIV in New Zealand? There are approximately 2000 people living with HIV currently in New Zealand. From 2010 - 2012 new diagnosis for MSM who contracted HIV in New Zealand declined 12%. Our challenge is to turn these encouraging signs into a long term trend of reduced diagnoses. This is good news, but, to keep the figures low, we need to be reaching out more to people at risk and talking about safe sex. In New Zealand, unsafe sex is the main cause of transmission of HIV. Q – New Zealand is becoming more diverse, so how does that affect ongoing work to preventing HIV? HIV affects all communities in New Zealand. We’re currently doing some research on South Asian and Chinese gay and bisexual men to better understand how factors such as family, culture and identity influence attitudes toward sex and condom use. NZAF has partnered with Massey University’s SHORE, a multi-disciplinary group undertaking policy and community research and evaluation on a variety of health and social topics, to conduct the research which aims to explore how Chinese and South Asian

gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) view gay life in Auckland. The findings from this research will go some way in informing policy decisions and health communication to those in the South Asian and Chinese community that identify as gay or bisexual. Men who have sex with men or MSM are the most at risk of HIV. So it is important to gain these insights and the information from participants in the study which is confidential Q – So if someone thinks they have been exposed to HIV, what can they do? The first step is to get tested, that is the only sure way to know if you’re HIV positive or not.

We do confidential rapid testing at our centres in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and you get the results in just 20 minutes. There are counsellors who can help people living with HIV and their families to cope with their diagnosis. You can book on-line at our website Q – Clearly, there is a need for people to pay attention to HIV related information and if there is one thing they need to keep in mind, what would that be? The main thing is to have a conversation about HIV because the more you know the safer you’re going to be. Also, play safe and

protecting yourself. Q – Is there any other kind of engagement that your organisation is planning to do with the Indian community? In 2013 the NZAF ran a dance party for Indian gay and bisexual men as a way of extending our connection with that community. Since then we have had a good number of Indian men volunteer to help with activities such as our two yearly research into attitudes and behaviour around safe sex. We are currently looking at how we can keep this momentum of relationship building going and include the wider Indian community in the process.

Asian communities are able to access Diabetes Self Management - Nivedita Vij

Southeast Asian people have a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease than many other ethnic groups. A few people are aware that 80% of the type 2 diabetes is preventable.


rogrammes which help support those living with or have risk of developing diabetes to take control. Southeast Asian people have a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease than many other ethnic groups. A few people are aware that 80% of the type 2 diabetes is preventable. The complications of Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented or delayed through good daily management of the condition and working in parternership with their health care team says Nivedita Sharma Vij, DSME Coordinator and Diabetes educator from Auckland PHO. Diabetes Self Management education (DSME) programmes at ADHB helps them gain confidence in their ability to control their symptoms and how their health problem affects their lives. Diabetes Self Management Education programme is being run across the Central Auckland DHB area mainly through Auckland Primary Health Organisation (Auckland PHO). This information is available in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi and Punjabi languages. For the South Asian-specific courses, DSME team is working together with Asian General practitioners and GP practices , Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust (BSCT), Asian Senior lifestyle group at Eden Terrace, Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust, NZ Sikh Women Association and many other institutions to

offer the programme. Nivedita stated that there was participation of 27 people plus support family members enrolled in the Cantonese and Mandarin course started on 1st March 2014. “The turnout is pretty awesome,” says Nivedita Sharma Vij, Diabetes educator from Auckland PHO. “They are a very receptive group, mix range of all age group, very keen to learn, support each other and practice what

they learn.” Nivedita says that the sessions are very interactive and encourages people to come along. Referrals to this particular group have come via Dominion medical centre, College hill doctors and self referrals by Asian community through community champions like Raymond and Priscilla; However to take part in future courses, you can ask for a referral from their

family doctor , practice nurse or their health professionals. Please like Auckland DSME face book page and stay in loop to enhance your self confidence and skills to boost your health You can also self referral by calling Auckland PHO 09 3794022 or call or text Nivedita Sharma Vij at 021599029, you can also email her Get your prescription for ‘EMPOWERMENT’ today. 11 April 2014


Migrant Tales Every time a relative, friend or an acquaintance is planning to move from your native country to New Zealand, one is plagued by hundreds of queries and a constant need for attention. Indian Weekender has a few solutions to those woes. For people migrating to New Zealand, just send them the checklist of what not to do. Let them know not to get any ethnic food and spices and ‘masalas’, they are all easily available here. Definitely tell them to shed their shyness and be willing to ask, as people here are more than happy to help. The cultural amalgamation in NZ might give a few people, a culture shock, but let them know its ‘Sweet As Bro...’

Here are some more stories from the readers:


mazing skylines, w a t e r reflections, green landscapes, and super friendly people make up this city known as Auckland. Till now Auckland has been very kind to me overall. Small things like saying thanks to the bus driver, greeting people passing by on the road and buskers performing different arts on the road make me love this city more. Finding a job in Auckland was not difficult as hospitality is one of the booming industries. For a foodie like me, Auckland has not been a disappointment with many ethnic cuisines spread all over the city. After staying few months in Auckland I realised that “Thank you” is not a word anymore, it has been replaced by cheers, and sweet as means nice. Transport has a scope to improve but if anyone has to become thin or burn some calories then walking on Auckland roads would definitely make them achieve that in no time. I really love the way Auckland council supports all the different cultures with their festive celebrations. My few months in Auckland have been memorable and looking forward to many more sweet memories with this city. An amazing journey till now. CHEERS. - Abhishek Sharma


ts been great experience to come here for studies actually. I faced a lot of problems in the beginning like accommodation, job, etc. The biggest point I will bring up which is a suitable job. It’s really hard to find a good job in this country. There is lot of people out there who are highly qualified with lot of experience but they couldn’t find a suitable job. I find that’s the biggest problem here and I struggled a lot to find a suitable job relating to my studies as well. If we talk about overall it’s such a great country to live with very minimal criminal rate as comparative with other countries. - Harry Matharu


e a v i n g home at 21 was not an easy task but I took a plunge due to my passion for exploring new things in life. Not only did I study in New Zealand’s best university but I also travelled this beautiful country. Initially coming to Auckland was a scary decision but living in an international hostel and an extremely friendly country my experience was above par. I do have a message for every immigrant that we feel grass is always greener on the other side…none the less all’s well that end’s well. Be hopeful guys! - Priyanka S


came on a silver-fern job search visa, which allows you to search for a skilled job in a 9-month span, it is very easy to be misled about your chances of successfully immigrating here. As lot of companies don’t know what this visa is and they might not help you on their end. Many of us set our hearts on the move, and if people were to tell us that our chances were low of getting through – People would think twice before going for this. One had to be really lucky in finding the right company and then fitting in the requirement set out by immigration as not all the jobs will get you the extension. - Suchit Kaushal


n moving to New Zealand, I expected to finish my studies and get a relevant job. I have been lucky, with God’s grace I have completed my study tenure and am doing well. I have got myself a job. It has been a very easy experience, most of the expectations I cam with, New Zealand superseded those. -Sandeep Vankadari



The place, the people, the food, the language...nothing is alien as long as you are willing to appreciate what New Zealand has to offer. While there are a lot many positives that we would want to share, a few warnings are a must, and we decided it is better they come from the horses mouth. We have a mix of students, professionals, young families who have recently moved to New Zealand sharing how their expectations were met or thwarted by NZ’s reality. So we let the readers have a say, read on to reminiscence your own experiences.


o v i n g to New Zealand was an exciting step. I came with many ambitions and ideas for my success. I was further excited about how I am going to be independent now. At first things were complex and I was unable to understand life in New Zealand. I got my bearings right and moved from Indian Standard time to doing things ‘on time’. I definitely learnt how to do things on time here. Finally, I turned to be a new person, which I had never imagined. Adding some strong relationships. Becoming strong. Mom and Dad I miss you. -Kuldeep Ganisetti


expected a red carpet welcome and all I got was a miserable start. A pathetic sales job where I had to knock a 100 doors a day to get one sale. I was pushed into the sales stereotype, which I totally resented. However, I took it as part of the ups and downs of moving abroad. They taught me a lot about myself, life, and how to be self-reliant. It has been a rough year, I am still struggling and the prospects for a skilled graduate with so much experience still look thin. I have not been able to find a stable position. All in all, I have learnt to enjoy life and take things as they come. Mostly thanks to wonderful people and friends I made here. -Prateek Sadre


am a fighter, I came to New Zealand with the idea to see myself in a better stead. I have continuously pushed myself here in Auckland to always do better and manage with as little as I get. Life has not been easy here, the job scenario is very obnoxious, with only certain avenues open for all. But I will break through the wall, with my self-belief. On the other side, life in New Zealand, allows you a lot of spare time, it has helped me keep my interest in music, football, travel and the occasional gigs. I have had access to artist and musicians who I could only dream of ever playing in my hometown of

Bhopal. These experiences and freedoms, have kept me motivated. To a better life! -Suyogya Trivedi


y overall experience so far is good. People do have civic sense here as I expected. People are so kind and helpful also. The infrastructure is not that advance which I was expecting before landing to the airport. Infrastructure of the airport was little disappointing but the beauty of this country will make you forget everything. I am looking forward to have good experience with this country in future. -Vikram Singh Thakur


uper duper, so many opportunities if you want to grow, a stunted growth, in slow motion, but growth never the less. Not enough money to make though. The people are awesome to talk to, and such good-natured. Not kidding I have made so many friends and at times with complete strangers. Beer bonding and bonding over rugby is an absolute pleasure. People are so fit and fitness conscious it is not even funny, when I first moved, a 50 year old could out run me. But now I am on top of my game. Being healthy and fit, taking care of my diet and nutrition is so easy here, in 100% Pure NZ and it gives me so much more energy to do things. -Harmeet Singh Bali


ew Zealand is largely a classless society where status and where you come from are not regarded as important. People here are on an equal footing, and you can expect to be judged a lot more by what you do and how well you do it. And it’s pretty much the same way I expected it to be before I came here. People here have a very casual lifestyle and are very friendly. So far so good. -Hasnain Saghir


EASTER SPECIAL 11 April 2014

Easter messages from the readers


aster is one of the biggest celebrations in all of Christian festivals. Although us Catholics celebrate Christmas the most, the reason why Easter is such a big Festival is because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ mainly started the Catholic religion by giving away His life for us on the cross which happened on Good Friday and rising from the dead on Easter Sunday. The coming of Easter is known as the season of lent. People mainly make a lot of sacrifices during this period. Some of them fast while the others avoid some luxury in their lives. This is done by us Catholics mainly because we are mourning the death of Christ. We go for mass on Maundy Thursday (which is the Thursday before Good Friday), then the following day we attend mass on Good Friday, then we attend mass on Holy Saturday and finally we attend the Easter Vigil mass, which is the Midnight mass before Easter begins on Sunday. After the mass we greet each other a Happy Easter and celebrate the rest of the day with Easter sweets like Easter eggs and also maybe even go for a Easter party or even an Easter Dance. I’m glad to know that Christ gives all of us the message that we must never give up hope and always have faith in who we are and what we believe. Jason Correa

during which during the mass service we are blessed with ash. Which is a symbol of. We then follow the 40-day fast. During this time we as a family give up on one thing that is most dear to us e.g., eating non-veg or smoking etc. This is practiced the enter 40 days. All of these days are spent in pray and repentance. My family celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers and the ringing of the church bells. The day of Easter begins with church services where we rejoice the resurrection of Jesus followed with a family breakfast at home. It is considered as a feast for the day. After a family greeting we exchange Easter eggs and Easter bunnies. My sister makes Easter eggs for the family and personalises them to each family member. My mom bakes some smacking Easter cakes to satisfy the taste buds of d little ones. As a family tradition the eldest member in my family will distribute the holy cross, which is blessed in the church to every family, which is followed by a family prayer-thanking god. Celebration starts with the wine home made cake and music to sooth the ears. The day passes with guest’s and friends visits and wishes to join in the celebration. We youngsters prepare ourselves for the Easter ball that is continued till midnight. - Angela Lacroix

E Auckland over the Easter weekend. Easter in India, is one of the most important events and is normally celebrated with family. Beginning with a church service, and warm house parties with friends... Its a traditional holiday. Preparation and distribution of sweets, especially Easter eggs & Easter bunnies. Its a day where we expect frequent home visits from close relatives and neighbors. It’s a great way to learn about Jesus as a family. -Darryl D’silva

aster is the most important feast in the Christian calendar. It commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a Catholic, I will go to church on three days called the tridum from Thursday to Saturday. Hot cross buns will be bought and eaten on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday would be marked by fasting and finally Marzipan or Chocolate Easter eggs will be distributed on Sunday. These traditions have been practised for ages. Easter Sunday will be celebrated with friends and family with a grand lunch marking the end of forty days of Lent. Gavin Pereira

Message from the church:



aster is one of the most festive events among Christians in India. Lent marks the beginning of Easter. Ash Wednesday is the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter. Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting repentance and moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ- his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection. My family also prepares for Easter from Ash Wednesday,

very year I look forward to celebrating Easter, sometimes more than I do for Christmas. There is a real build up to Easter that makes it more special. The Holy Week as we call it, starting with Palm Sunday (the Sunday preceding Easter), Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and finally Easter. As a member of the church choir I used to lose my voice by the time we reached Easter. Easter day was fun, a special time with your family where we enjoyed a big feast for lunch as everyone can finally start eating meat which most people fasted on for lent... p.s still no idea how people can live without meat. Wishing everyone a Happy Easter and looking forward to getting delicious Easter Eggs ranging from chocolate to mazipan and so on and so forth. Here is wishing everyone a happy Easter. -Rochelle Diaz


ttend church services to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and since my family is in India, spend the day with my closest extended family and friends in Auckland. After the lenten season, what I look forward to the most is to a peaceful, rich feast of food and the extended weekend! Possibly also visit the Royal Easter Show that is held every year in

All Welcome to Easter Celebration


his year, City Impact Church’s Easter services make the point, “It’s not the cross on a man but the Man on a Cross.” “The message of Easter is that God loved us enough to come to earth and take the punishment for our sin upon Himself,” says Pastor Mark Mortlock. “And He did it so that we could know Him and walk with Him forever. That’s pretty epic if you stop and think about it for a moment.” City Impact Church’s creative team has put together a dynamic visual presentation of the Easter message ready for Good Friday and Easter Sunday starting at 7pm. The line up includes vibrant musical and vocal items, multi-media clips, poetic voiceover and a short film. City Impact’s huge theatre-style auditorium sets the scene for a truly different church experience. “Easter is the perfect time to gather your family and friends and come out to something special and significant together,”

says Events Director Krista Crawford. “Coming to an Easter service is a great way to reflect on how much God loves every one of us. Everyone is welcome to come along.” The presentation invites the audience to consider that Easter is not just about a cross worn around one’s neck, but about the Man who hung on that cross for all of mankind. The Easter services will be held at City Impact Church’s North Shore and Mt Wellington campuses. The church extends an invitation to people of all ages to come and celebrate with them at this special time of year. For more information contact the office on 477 0300 or visit www.cityimpactchurch. com. For more information on mass timings visit the following links: contact-us/

EASTER SPECIAL 11 April 2014


Whittaker’s Firsts for Easter T

o mark the first ever Whittaker’s Big Egg Hunt – a supersized Easter egg hunt to raise money for Starship Children’s Hospital – Whittaker’s is providing a unique 340g 18ct Gold Whittaker’s Slab as a grand prize and producing Easter-themed Creamy Milk Mini Slabs. As part of the partnership with Starship, Whittaker’s is donating at least $150,000 to Starship by donating 10 cents from every iconic 50g Peanut Slab, 20 cents from every pack of its top selling Fairtrade Creamy Milk block and 20 cents from its Creamy Milk Easter Mini Slabs sold throughout the hunt. During The Whittaker’s Big Egg Hunt between 21 March and 22 April, 100 giant eggs decorated by top New Zealand artists and designers will be hidden across Auckland,

Wellington and Christchurch. As well as the Whittaker’s donation, Starship will raise funds by auctioning off all 100 giant eggs – each a unique work of art – with 80 of them to go on Trade Me and the other 20 to be sold at a gala event in April.

Holly Whittaker said that since chocolate is such a big part of celebrating Easter, it was a natural fit for New Zealand-owned Whittaker’s to come on board as principal sponsor of New Zealand’s first Big Egg Hunt, in support of Starship. “We think Whittaker’s chocolate lovers will enjoy knowing that by treating themselves or their loved ones to some Whittaker’s chocolate during The Whittaker’s Big Egg Hunt they’ll be supporting the national children’s hospital. For more Information about the Whittaker’s Big Egg Hunt visit About the Starship Foundation: • Starship is New Zealand’s national children’s hospital. There are nearly 120,000 patient visits to Starship Children’s Health every year by children from all over New Zealand.

• The Starship Foundation is a charity that raises funds so Starship Children’s Health can better care for its young patients. The Starship Foundation wants every New Zealand family to have access to world-leading healthcare and experiences when they need it most. • The Starship Foundation raises up to $10 million a year. Donations are extra to Government funding and provide for initiatives such as Starship’s National Air Ambulance Service which brings children from all over New Zealand to Starship for life-saving care, as well as refurbishing older wards, new technology and medical equipment, vital research, boosted family support, staff training and community outreach projects to keep children out of hospital.

“EASTER INDULGE� Chocholate recipe from Baileys


hy should kids have all the fun? Baileys has put together a collection of sinfully delicious recipes that’ll make you melt this Easter – perfect for an indulgent treat over the holidays!

Baileys Chocolate Egg Bowls Ingredients Chocolate Bowls Chocolate melts Party balloons (not water balloons), blown up to a small ‘bowl’ size Baileys Chocolate Mousse 150g dark chocolate

Instructions - Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a muffin tin with nine paper cases. - Mix together the flour, baking Mousse in Easter powder, salt and sugar. - In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, Baileys and vegetable oil. Pour onto the dry 2 tbs whipping cream mixture. ž C whipping cream - Stir until just combined and 1 large egg, separated divide between the paper cases. 2 tbs Baileys Original Irish Cream Bake for 25 – 30 mins until Extra whipped cream, chocolate risen and golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. chips - Once cupcakes are cool, melt or fresh raspberries to garnish the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Coca-Cola Easter Show 2014 Coca-Cola Easter Show 2014

- Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the Baileys. Beat until thickened and cooled slightly. - Pipe ganache over the top of the cupcakes in a nest style and decorate with mini chocolate eggs. Baileys Chocolate Mousse in Easter Egg Bowls Ingredients Chocolate Bowls Chocolate melts Party balloons (not water balloons), blown up to a small ‘bowl’ size Baileys Chocolate Mousse





strength beenexhibits, seen to be believed. a massive line-up of entertainment,circus Withith a massive line-up of entertainment, acts, have ridestoand plus an A&P But even stronger, the Zealand circus acts, rides and exhibits, plus an Show that has been running for more than 160 years, the Coca-Cola Easter New Show has Strongman competition is always a crowd A&P Show that has been running for more a special place in the hearts and minds of New Zealanders. favourite as competitors win over the crowd with than 160 years, the Coca-Cola Easter Show has rides from four huge of prize winning livestock and theirhalls amazing efforts. a Big special place in Mahon’s the heartsAmusements, and minds of New five full days of cultural entertainment that spans thethis globe. Back year is the popular marketplace, with Zealanders. products to buy and demonstrations to watch. Big rides from Mahon’s Amusements, four feeding andNew watching sheep shearing, to Visitors literally go from And Zealand’s largest art competition is huge halls can of prize winning livestock andthe fivelambs screaming their lungs out on athat huge ride, along to aand fantastic something to see admiremusical with artworks of full days of cultural entertainment spans theto dancing performance, all in less than an hour! every type and genre. globe.Visitors can literally go from feeding the Fireworks displays close the event each lambs and watching sheep shearing, to screaming An essential feature of the Coca-Cola Easter Show, the celebrated Zirka Circus night, including EasterofMonday are another their lungs out on a huge ride, to dancing along to returns with 5 shows a day that will have the audience of the edge their seats. great attraction, lighting up the sky a Their fantastic musical performance, all in less than death defying feats of skills and strength have to been seen to be believed.above the showgrounds and for kilometres around. an hour! The Auckland is Coca-Cola Show is New An essential feature of the Show, the But even stronger, the New Zealand Strongman competition always aEaster crowd Zealand’s largest and most loved family show, an celebrated Zirka Circus returns with 5 shows a favourite as competitors win over the crowd with their amazing efforts. annual must-see for young and old and the young day that will have the audience of the edge of Back thisTheir yeardeath is thedefying popular marketplace, products to buy and at heart. their seats. feats of skills and with demonstrations to watch. And New Zealand’s largest art competition is something to see and admire with artworks of every type and genre.





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Baisakhi Festival

Baisakhi is one of the major festivals of Sikhs and is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and gaiety in the state of Punjab and all throughout the world where there is a significant Sikh population. For the large farming community of Punjab, Baisakhi Festival marks the time for harvest of rabi crops and they celebrate the day by performing joyful bhangra and gidda dance. For the Sikh community, Baisakhi Festival has tremendous religious significance as it was on a Baisakhi Day in 1699, that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru laid the foundation of Panth Khalsa-the Order of the Pure Ones.

Date of Baisakhi Baisakhi Festival falls on the first day of Vaisakh month (April-May) according to Nanakshahi or Sikh Calendar. For this reason, Baisakhi is also popularly known as Vaisakhi. According to English calendar, the date of Baisakhi corresponds to April 13 every year and April 14 once in every 36 years. This difference in Baisakhi dates is due to the fact that day of Baisakhi is reckoned according to solar calendar and not the lunar calendar. The auspicious date of Baisakhi is celebrated all over India under different names and different set of rituals and celebrations. Baisakhi date coincides with ‘Rongali Bihu’ in Assam, ‘Naba Barsha’ in Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and ‘Pooram Vishu’ in Kerala.

Baisakhi Celebrations

People of Punjab celebrate the festival of Baisakhi with exuberance and devotion. As the festival has tremendous importance in Sikh religion, major activities of the day are organized in Gurdwaras. People wake up early to prepare for the day. Many also take bath in the holy river to mark the auspicious occasion. After getting ready people pay a visit to their neighbourdood gurdwara and take part in the special prayer meeting organized for the day. At the end of the Baisakhi ardas, congregates receive specially prepared Kara prasad or sweetened semolina. This is followed by a guru ka langar or community lunch. Later, during the day people of Sikh faith take out a Baisakhi procession under the leadership of Panj piaras. The procession moves through the major localities of the city amidst the rendition of devotional songs by the participating men, women and children. Mock duels, bhangra and gidda performances make the procession joyous and colourful.

Celebrations by Farmers For the large farming community of Punjab and Haryana, Baisakhi marks a New Year’s time as it is time to harvest rabi crop. On Baisakhi, farmers thank god for the bountiful crop and pray for good times ahead. People buy new clothes and make merry by singing, dancing and enjoying the best of festive food. Cries of “Jatta aai Baisakhi”, rent the skies as gaily men and women break into the bhangra and gidda dance to express their joy. Everyday farming scenes of sowing, harvesting, winnowing and gathering of crops are expressed through zestful movements of the body to the accompaniment of ballads and dhol music. In several villages of Punjab Baisakhi Fairs are organized where besides other recreational activities, wrestling bouts are also held.



Importance of Baisakhi in Sikhism - All Sewadar of Gurudwara Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib


he Vaisakhi harvest celebration in countries such as in India is an occasion of dancing, singing, music, wearing of festive garments and religious praise. The festival marks the start of the New Year in the Nanakshahi solar calendar and recognizes the Sikh religious faith. On the first Vaisakhi day in the year of 1699, Tenth Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji asked for volunteers willing to give their head and created the Panj Pyare, a team of five Sikhs. These five were then administered ‘Khande di Pahul’ (the double-edged Sword Amrit) which was prepared from water and Patasa (sugar) stirred with a sword by the Panj Pyare while contemplating the divine. They were then knighted as Singhs, as the Five beloved ones, the first members of the Order of the Khalsa. The Guru then asked them to administer the Pahul (Amrit) to him in the same manner in which he had given the Pahul to them, and it was done so. Tens of thousands of Sikhs followed his example. Having established a method of baptism, Guru Gobind Singh ji created the warrior order of the Khalsa brotherhood. The original Panj Pyare namely shopkeeper - Daya Singh, farmer - Dharam Singh, water carrier - Himmat Singh, tailor - Muhkam Singh and barber - Sahib Singh came from all walks of life, but renounced their former occupation representing the abolishment of caste among the Khalsa. The initiated Khalsa warriors known as Sant

Sipahi (Saint & Soldier), kept a strict discipline or rehet as outlined in hukams, or decrees, issued by Tenth Guru Gobind Singh. The code of conduct applied to both spiritual and material aspects of life. Once initiated male took the

surname Singh meaning lion, and females took the surname Kaur meaning princess. Khalsa initiates renounced caste and lineage to become the spiritual children of Guru Gobind Singh and his spiritual consort Mata Sahib Kaur. In

addition to their arduous duties as administers of Amrit, the Panj Pyare took part in battles fighting at the side of Guru Gobind Singh as Khalsa warriors against the oppression, tyranny and forced conversion of the Islamic Mugal Empire. We, the managing committee of Gurudwara Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji, New Lynn, Auckland, which was established five years back with the aim of to encourage youth of today to participate and enhance their knowledge on Sikhism; on this occasion, wishing you a happy Baisakhi. May the Waheguru bless for your good deeds and make your year ahead filled with happiness and joy. Gurudwara Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib, New Lynn, Auckland. To follow them on Facebook: Gurudwara-Sri-Guru-Harkrishan-SahibAuckland-New-Zealand


INDIA 11 April 2014

End of dynasty rule has come, says Modi


JP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi called for an end to dynastic politics, saying there was no place for it in Indian democracy. The Gujarat chief minister, addressed four rallies in Bihar and Jharkhand as part of his Bharat Vijay rally series, slammed the Congress-led government for not bringing back black money from foreign banks. “The Congress is a party of mother and son, the Samajwadi Party is a father, son and daughter-in-law party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal is a husband and wife party, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha is a father and son party,” Modi said at a rally at Palamu in Jharkhand. “Dynastic politics has no importance in a democracy,” the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said. In mica-rich Kodarma in Jharkhand, he said the state’s resources were being looted. “People of Jharkhand are suffering because natural resources are being looted here.” Modi slammed the Congress-led central government for not knowing the grassrootslevel realities while making plans.

“They make development plans in air conditioned rooms in Delhi, they have no connection with the people,” Modi said. “Election in Delhi is about capturing power, it’s a narrow view of democracy.” In Buxar in Bihar, Modi vowed to bring back black money stashed in foreign countries if the BJP-led alliance is voted to power. “If the Bharatiya Janata Party government is formed in Delhi, I promise to bring back the black money and it will be used for welfare schemes for the poor,” he said. “Give us all 40 seats in Bihar as we want to form a government in Delhi with over 300 seats to take the right decisions.” Modi said the union government was slashing subsidies on agriculture to encourage meat export. “Bihar is a land of people who worship cows but leaders like Lalu Prasad have joined hands with those who are promoting meat export. The green revolution has been sidelined and the government at the centre is destroying the country’s livestock in the name of the pink revolution,” he added.

AAP fields Lal Bahadur Shastri’s grandson from Allahabad


darsh Shastri had joined AAP in November after quitting a lucrative job in Apple In what could give hope to Aam Aadmi Party’s prospects in Uttar Pradesh, the party has fielded Adarsh Shastri, grandson of Lal Bahadur Shastri from the Shastri stronghold of Allahabad. Lal Bahadur Shastri had won the Lok Sabha elections in 1957 and 1962 before his death. Adarsh had joined AAP in November after quitting a lucrative job in multi-national company Apple and is now looking to take his family legacy forward. “The party wanted me to fight from

Allahabad seat. It has been my home and I will take the Shastri legacy forward,” Adarsh said. Allahabad constituency has elected three former Prime Ministers of India, including Adarsh’s grandfather Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jawaharlal Nehru and VP Singh. Adarsh said that Allahabad has been a genesis of freedom movement in the country. “It has given birth to the thought of freedom movement and now mine will be a second freedom movement against corruption for India. I am confident that I will be able to defeat the opposition candidates who do not come with clean image,” Adarsh said.

While AAP fields former judge against Sonia


ormer judge Fakhruddin will be Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) candidate in Rae Bareli against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, as the party announced its 14th list of candidates for 19 Lok Sabha constituencies. Justice (rtd) Fakhruddin has served as judge in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh high courts. Harinder Singh Khalsa, former Indian High

Commissioner to Norway, will be the party’s candidate from Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab, while Jasraj Singh Longia will contest from Bathinda against SAD candidate and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal. With this list, the total number of candidates declared by AAP so far has gone up to 426.

B-stars line up from Mumbai North-West constituency


ollywood’s item girl Rakhi Sawant, who will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North West Constituency as an Independent candidate, said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is like her brother. “Uddhav ji is like my brother. It is he who woke my conscience up. He believes that I will be a better politician than Arvind Kejriwal. So I will prove it now,” said Sawant. Sawant said she has always fought for the people. The item girl will fight from Mumbai NorthWest constituency against Congress leader

Gurudas Kamat, Shiv Sena’s Gajanan Kirtikar, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Mayank Gandhi and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)’s Mahesh Manjrekar and Kamaal Rashid Khan (KRK) from Samajwadi Party. She will file her nomination on Mar 29, reports said. Pertinently, in January, Thackeray, in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, had attacked Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and the then Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and said an item girl like Rakhi Sawant can govern the national capital better than him.

WHO South-East Asia region certified polio-free

80% of the world’s population is now in polio-free certified regions


HO South-East Asia Region, home to a quarter of the world’s population, was certified polio-free today by an independent commission under the WHO certification process. This is the fourth of six WHO Regions to be certified, marking an important step towards global polio eradication. With this step, 80% of the world’s population now lives in certified polio-free regions. This is the fourth of six WHO Regions to be certified, marking an important step towards global polio eradication. WHO’s South-East Asia Region comprises the following 11 Member States: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. An independent panel of 11 experts in public health, epidemiology, virology, clinical medicine and related specialties constituting the South-East Asia Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication (SEARCCPE) met for two days to review evidence from countries before reaching the decision that all 11 countries of the Region are now polio-free and have met the requirements for certification. “This is a momentous victory for the millions of health workers who have worked with governments, nongovernmental organizations, civil society and international partners to eradicate polio from the Region. It is a sign of what we can bequeath our children when we work together,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal

Singh, Regional Director for the WHO SouthEast Asia Region. While celebrating the historic achievement, the WHO Regional Director also sounded a word of caution to maintain high vigilance against importation of polio. “Until polio is globally eradicated, all countries are at risk and the Region’s polio-free status remains fragile. High immunization coverage can prevent an imported virus from finding an under-immunized, susceptible population. A sensitive surveillance system, able to quickly detect and identify any importation and guide a programmatic response, is critical,” she added. AAP leader Ashutosh earlier in the day tweeted: “ Muthalik admission in BJP shows that girls were beaten up three years back at the behest of BJP and RSS endorsed that act.” “BJP and RSS by its ideology is anti women party and organisation it is proved today #muthalikBJP,” he said. Ashutosh posted on Twitter homepage: “Modi wants to become PM at any cost and he can make any compromise for that. Muthalik joining proves that.#muthalikBJP.”

Sonia Gandhi declares assets, has Rs 85k in cash, no car C o n g r e s s president Sonia Gandhi does not have a car of her own and has sworn that she has Rs.85,000 in cash. This and more has been revealed in her affidavit filed before the returning officer of Rae Bareli where she filed her nomination papers Wednesday for the Lok Sabha election. In a detailed break-up of her assets and wealth, the UPA chairperson has sworn that she has Rs.85,000 in cash. She, however, has Rs.66 lakh in bank accounts and ancestral jewellery worth Rs.23 lakh. Sonia Gandhi has also declared ownership of 1.267 kg of gold in the form of ornaments and others plus 88 kg of silver, largely silverware. During the last general election, her affidavit showed 2.518 kg of gold in her possession.

She owns 3.21 acres of land costing Rs.4.86 crore in village Dera Mandi and Sultanpur in Delhi. Compared to her 2009 affidavit, Sonia Gandhi’s cash holdings have witnessed an increase of Rs.10,000 over five years. Her UCO bank account earlier showed Rs.28.61 lakh in her account. Her affidavit shows she has no apartment or house in her name in India though there is an ancestral property in Italy, her birth place. 11 April 2014



India’s defining elections: A tale of three friends Vaibhav Saklani

General Elections



he National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in its golden days, under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s leadership had harboured good friendships from North to South. Good friendships, the corner stone of modern day coalition politics. Coalitions which relied on trust between the leading party and its various coalition partners to give a stable government

that will last a full term of 5 years. Reaching a tally of 272 (majority vote in the Lok Sabha or the House of People) is dependent on these bonds of trust. The UPA struggled with their bonds but has managed to scrape through mostly owing to a weak opposition incapable to match the numbers. Narendra Modi’s (NaMo) push across the country for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) to target 272 is an indicator how serious they are about the threat of coalition politics. The key to Modi’s success will be his ability to forge these ties, pre election, so that there are no hiccups in his crowning post May 16th when the final numbers are announced. However, the reasons for his failure will be a tale of three friends, Omar Abdullah, Nitish Kumar, and B.S. Yeddyurappa. NDA’s loss and BJP being left short of the magic number 272 might owe it to the inclusion of corrupt Yeddyurappa back in its ranks and exclusion of an ambitious Nitish Kumar and a fearful Omar Abdullah from the NDA coalition. Yeddyurappa, on being sacked as the Chief Minister of Karnataka with pending corruption charges was a brave move from the BJP, allowing them to be perceived on the right side of for the fight against corruption, however briefly. Yeddyurappa revolted and quit the BJP, forming his own party; only to later merge with the parent party again. This

friend number one, hailing from the Silicon Valley of India, will cost the BJP dearly. Karnataka a mighty state with contests for 28 constituencies will need a serious eye wash to miss this. The second and an almost unbreakable friend, Nitish Kumar (Leader, Janata Dal United), of the NDA was torn away by BJP’s hardline of projecting NaMo as the PM candidate last year. Nitish Kumar has had his own run of success at the regional level, as the Chief Minister of Bihar. Nitish has brought about a social revolution of sorts in Bihar, improving the State’s performance on socio-economic fronts from decades of misrule, just like Modi has done for Gujarat. Nitish, definitely reckons himself as one of the contenders for the Prime Ministerial seat, having served as a Union Minister before and having an unblemished repertoire to his credit. Call it Nitish’s ambition, or his unwillingness to lose the so called secular vote bank, or term it as Modi’s authoritarian style to not accommodate a detracting opinion, it is a loss. A very big loss for both the JD(U) and the BJP as they will feel spent contesting for the 40 seats in Bihar without having each others’ support for the first time in over a decade. The final friend that features on this list, does not bring with him the sway to control tens of seats, a meager 6 seats, that is all that get

elected from his State of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of J&K and Leader of the National Conference. What lends weight to his stature is the importance and position the State of J&K holds in Indian politics. A law and order situation in J&K can become a cause of concern for the Home Ministry, External Affairs, Defence Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office in no time. With the International media glued to Kashmir as a boiling issue; J&K is a boundary conflict unresolved for decades. The Union government not having a friend at the helm of affairs is disastrous. Under Vajpayee, the National Conference was very much a part of the NDA and Omar even served as a Minister, even though he had close family ties with Rajesh Pilot of the Congress Party. Which is highly unlikely now, and losing this friend is a matter of shame for the NDA, and a dent to their post poll political game plan. The rise of Modi is stunted by his inability to work as a team player, the man might have the gumption to stand tall against dynasty politics, putting India back on the path of growth, and even returning the country’s glory days; will delivering on duty alone, allow him to sail through? Will he have the trust of his friends? India’s decisive election will be how he is defined in history books too.

Kejriwal’s impact on parliamentary elections in India Dr. (Ms.) Rajesh Joshi


he cat is out of the bag. The elections are already in progress in India with more than 850 million voters to cast their votes across 9,30,000 polling booths in the biggest political show of the democratic world that will last up to May 12. Elections in India are more complex than the election in direct democracies. In the fierce battle between the two premier political parties of India, there was a new turn with the Aam Aadmi Party knocking at the door with unlimited confidence after its Delhi Legislative Assembly win. The AAP

looks all set for getting something between 50-75 seats. There has hardly been another political party that has had the chance to scale the graph of political success in India in such a short time as AAP. On the whole, the party presents novel ideas and factors as compared to the long-standing stale political ideologies of old guard politicians. Arvind Kejriwal; although a greenhorn in political arena; seems to have gained a good rapport with millions of supporters across the country. With his common man image and mannerisms, Kejriwal has struck a chord with the middle class Indians who had given up all hope of political revival and development in India. Kejriwal does not give the impression of a religious hardliner like Modi; neither does he appear too scholastic

like Rahul Gandhi who has little to his credit despite hanging around in the Parliament close to a decade. After forming the government in Delhi, Kejriwal took some good and swift actions initially but could not hold his ground for a long. He resigned from the seat of Chief Minister just after 49 days of gaining power. Relieved from the responsibilities of running one of the most politically inclined legislative assemblies, Kejriwal concentrated his party’s energies and ideas on the Parliamentary Elections. AAP has fielded over 400 candidates so far for 2014 elections. This sounds quite ambitious for the naive political party that lacks in experience, organisation, administration, rural recognition and support especially outside Delhi but that does not

dampen the spirit of the party. AAP has beyond doubts, captured eyeballs by making an excellent debut in Delhi. It has thrown a tough challenge at the established parties. The biggest hurdle for AAP is its failure to provide stable government in Delhi. Most of the voters see it as Kejriwal’s towering ambition that he did not respect public’s mandate and sacrificed Delhi in order to fan his aspiration of becoming the P.M. of India. People feel that he should have proved his party’s worth first in Delhi before hurriedly taking the bigger steps. Nonetheless, it is an open secret that AAP has changed the equations of Indian politics.

The possibility of ‘None of The Above’ Madhura Joshi


lections are interesting times in India when the political rhetoric in the Indian masses is at its highest. Loathe-it or love-it, one definitely cannot ignore the cacophony of political voices that ensue before every elections. However, often, there is prevailing sense of dissatisfaction ranging from the quality of debate to even the representatives one is supposed to choose from to govern for the next five years. There has been consistent pleas by individuals and sustained efforts by organisations to get the ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option included in the ballot papers.

The Code of Election Rules, 1961 Rule 49-O states that “Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.” A proposal to include NOTA was also made by the Commission in 2001 (vide letter dated 10.12.2001) and later recommended again by the Commission in 2004 under ‘Proposed Electoral Reforms’. However, till 2013, this option did not exist for the Indian voters. This option was included by the Election

Commission on 11th October, 2013, post the Supreme Court’s direction based on its judgement on the 27th of September, 2013 (in Writ Petition ( C ) No. 161 of 2004, People’s Union for Civil Liberties & Anr. Vs Union of India &Anr). In a setting where the individual voice gets lost in the mass generalisation of numbers in the form of election results, NOTA is one way to reaffirm one’s freedom of choice and belief in the democratic system. It will not lead to disqualification of the candidates, expensive re-elections, even if a large percentage of percentage of the voters select NOTA. In a First Past the Post System, where candidates coming into power secure lesser and lesser vote shares, NOTA is a tool without political power. However, its strength lies in the moral potential it offers. It is a registration of an

individual or individuals’ complete rejection of the candidates and political parties contesting. The results of NOTA in the 16th Lok Sabha elections will be very interesting for psephologists bringing with them the potential for greater electoral reforms, especially if the numbers are strong enough. The numbers represent a mass of population who took the effort to come out and register their dissent rather than callously ignore elections all together. While the major problem rests in mobilising these numbers, I chose not to be cynical. Awareness and the knowledge of discontent demonstrated by numbers has the power to bring about change. NOTA is not a full proof system and is riddled with systemic and practical issues. However, it is a reaffirmation of the moral stand to reject in politics.




Fiji: United we stand I

F not for anything, this year’s general election could well be remembered for the rise from the ashes of one of Fiji’s oldest political parties, and a greater sense of the acceptance of multiracialism. For the first time in its 50-year history, the National Federation Party, has as its president an indigenous Fijian, also a woman, and one whose political and biological bloodlines make her a royalty of Fijian politics. Adi Tupou Draunidalo, daughter of former deputy Prime Minister Adi Kuini Vuikaba, and former SDL Minister Colonel Ratu Savenaca Drainidalo, is the second woman (after Irene Jai Narayan) to preside over the party founded by the pioneer sons of Fiji’s “Girmitiyas”. NFP, with Adi Tupou, and new party leader Biman Prasad, economist, at the helm, could now make great inroads towards creating the political and economic stability once envisioned by former party leader and statesman Jai Ram Reddy. It was Reddy’s mature leadership in 1999 that saw the party teaming up with Sitiveni Rabuka’s SDL in a grand bid for national unity, and in the process becoming the first Indo Fijian ever to address the Great Council of Chiefs. And who can forget Reddy’s impassioned plea to the chiefs for national unity? It brought tears to many of the traditional rulers’ eyes. Alas, that national unity bid was rejected by the people, and the country saw the last of Reddy, one of its greatest leaders, and with him, the demise of the NFP. With Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry now convicted on Exchange Controls Act charges and could face a jail term or a hefty fine, there appears to be a spanner in the works of a Labour campaign. The conviction effectively rules Chaudhry, the country’s first ethnic Indian Prime Minister, out of the race in the September poll. This could actually see be the beginning of the end of Labour. Whether that gives Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and his Fiji First Party the upper hand, and a bigger slice of the Indian votes, remains to be seen. While Biman Prasad has said the NFP will not go into a coalition with another party, experience tells us that it could all change when election results are declared. High chief Ro Teimumu Kepa’s Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) has made it clear that it is keen to work in a coalition. Labour may have been its partner of choice, but NFP may now be the more attractive alternative. For NFP, known for its mature leadership in pioneering visionaries like AD Patel and Siddiq Koya, the time may be right in again taking the national unity approach with allies of a similar vision. Wracked by four coups from 1987, the last thing Fiji and its people need is more instability and insecurity. With harsh lessons learned from the hardships of the past 27 years, it is now time for those who harbour political aspirations to put their needs aside and work for the good of all. As Jai Ram Reddy said in his historic address to the Great Council of Chief: “We seek a country whose children of all races grow up with deep understanding and respect for each other’s cultures languages and traditions. “We seek a country which encourages the best and the brightest indeed encourages all its people of all races to work together. “We seek not to threaten your security; but to protect it, for in your security lies the basis of our own.” -Arvind Kumar

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Discrimination has no place in our new Fiji Nemani Delaibatiki


t comes in different forms and it is our collective moral responsibility to see that we live the spirit of the Constitution about equality for all Ram Naumi may be a festival for Hindus only but it has a universal message that is pertinent for the new Fiji. That is, discrimination, has no place in society. The birth of Lord Rama and his life was all about ending evil and making sure that everyone is treated equally. Our racial, cultural and religious diversity has sadly been exploited by politicians in the past to achieve their narrow sectional interests. Consequently, they have sowed seeds of racial disharmony and disunity which have permeated our community. The Ram Naumi Festival message provides an opportunity for everyone to look inwardly and ask: Am I living the spirit of this message daily? Other religions endorse the same message. The supreme document of the land, the Constitution, also guarantees that every citizen is equal. It says Fiji is founded on the values of equality for all and care for the less fortunate, based on values inherent in the Bill of Rights.

Simply put, it means, discrimination is against the law. Discrimination comes in many forms. It is manifested in individual perceptions, attitudes and actions. There is also institutional discrimination where an organisation’s actions are based on bias and prejudices against a particular person or group. The common ones are discrimination against race, colour, religious and political beliefs, gender or sexual orientation, age, disability, economic and social status. Our differences must not form the basis for discrimination. Instead, we should use them as resources for capacity building because we can learn from each other. We should start by learning and getting to know each other’s culture and religion. The teaching of vernacular languages in schools is a great initiative and a step in the right direction. This will help build understanding and tolerance and bridge the gap that divides us. Happy Ram Naumi. - Nemani Delaibatiki is managing / training of Fiji Sun, based in Suva

COMMENT 11 April 2014


Xenophobia vs Racism: Let’s make a distinction Vaibhav Saklani


acism or racist behavior, is a much flouted term. Every other instance, in a multicultural society, sparks these rows, where people’s approach towards their cultural values becomes rather jingoistic. Oppressors and villains are thus created, and what follows as a consequence, is a generalization, labeling an entire community or country as racist. We have done it too. The Oxford English dictionary defines racism as thus, “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races”; further, elucidating that prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism, directed against someone of a different race, based on the belief that one’s own race is superior, is racism. Xenophobia on the other hand, is defined as, “involving the relations and perceptions of an in-group towards an out-group, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity. Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the

form of an ‘uncritical exaltation of another culture’, in which a culture is ascribed ‘an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality’. Xenophobia includes a deep-rooted, irrational and unreasonable fear towards foreigners, and the unfamiliar. James H. Liu and Duncan Mills, in their paper ‘Modern racism and neo-liberal globalization: the discourses of plausible deniability and their multiple functions’ argue how racism has taken more covert forms in a global economy. “Considerable energy has been focused on extending the mandate of anti-racism… and showing how nationalism is used as a framework for denying racist intent. Analyses of historical context show how ‘race’ forms only one lens from which to view issues of intergroup relations. While the press was sensitive to issues of racism, they demonstrated little awareness of concurrent issues of neo-liberal economics, or market fundamentalism.” My strain, is on the cause of the two varying expressions; while racism is an expression to be used when distinctions are made, claiming a superior pedestal for oneself, Xenophobia, arises out of an inferiority complex or fear of disruption in the status quo. The two definitely intertwine, but their origins are separate.

Revisiting the two concepts from the perspective of mythological stories, GrecoRoman mythologies prescribe anything that does not conform to the set standards of ‘normal’ as vilified and something to be feared, thereby leading the ‘hero’ to end the threat. An excellent example would be Minotaur, a ‘creature’ with the head of a bull and the body of a man, who was killed by the Athenian hero Theseus. This lens is more likely to create expressions of Xenophobia and not racism, as it arises from a fear of the other. Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and Chinese folklore. The dragons have many animal-like forms such as turtles, fish, and imaginary creatures, but they are most commonly depicted as snake-like with four legs. Traditionally symbolizing potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it. Again, a creature that is not part of the ordinary, or part of the ‘normal’ is held in greater esteem. It is not an object of amusement but special, and praiseworthy. While a similar figure in Indian mythology, Ganesha, a diety with the head of an elephant is highly revered in the Hindu pantheon.

Ganesha’s status as special and praiseworthy even though he is different from the normal, evokes another question. Who gets to serve him from the devotees queuing up, the class distinctions created thus amongst people is more likely to create expressions of casteism and further racism, as people assume themselves superior to the other, and the cause is not fear. The stories we grow up listening to form part of our thought process and comprehension abilities as we decode the world through those lenses and filters. Suman Fernando, believes equating xenophobia to racism does not solve the problem, it depicts racism as a mere prejudice, which does more harm as it simplifies the problem. “…Racism is perhaps the most serious basic problem affecting the welfare of people referred to as migrants... Racism is not just about personal racial prejudice but also about institutional processes, ways of thinking and ways of doing things that are deeply ingrained in European culture... equal opportunities in access to a service must be balanced by strict control of institutional racism in the quality of the service and employment practices.”

Rajesh’s Rainbow

Chance to Change Dr. (Ms.) Rajesh Joshi


his is that time of the year (or 5 years) when the political juices of people in India are really overflowing. The election time in India is like a big charismatic carnival: vivid, crowd pulling, deafening, fanfare, showmanship, media hype and what not? Come elections and the excitement levels are at peak. Even those who do not seem excited, find it difficult to curb their curiosity as the results of the top examination of their country roll out. In more than six decades of Independence, elections in India have grown bigger and bigger in volume, expenses and populace but the vital question is that whether they have become more significant? Do they pull the present generations out of their homes to the polling booths? Many election scenarios and memories cross my mind today as I watch election news of India. The first memory is of my childhood days; getting ready early and accompanying my parents to the polling station on the day of election. On the way, my father would educate me on the nuances of voting and its effects on our country. I had to stay out while they voted. I used to be really fascinated to see that indelible ink on their finger and would try to do the same on my finger at home but the ink of my father’s pen would

‘Rajesh’s Rainbow’ column is based on day-to-day sundry experiences of the author or the people around her that provide us food for thought. However small an incident may be; still can have the power of generating ideas and thoughts. Read through and share your own experiences with us. not stay for long. Once, a few days before the elections, we were with our grandmother in her village. I vaguely remember that a political leader (maybe the sitting MP) came to the village. He went from home to home with folded hands. As he reached our home, he requested my grandmother to vote for him. My grandmother; though illiterate; was a bold and wise lady. She lambasted him left and right, “Now you have come for votes. Look at these streets and drains. They have never been repaired. Electricity is hardly ever supplied to the village. Last time you promised that soon we would have a bus coming here, where is that?” The sheepish M.P. struggled to speak as he was not expecting this kind of hauling over the coals from an old lady of a small village. He insisted that ‘soon’ all facilities would be provided to the village people. This is yet another story that even after three decades of that incident, the condition of the village has not changed much. Nonetheless, my undaunted grandmother considered it her pious duty to cast her vote till the end of her life. She had to be sometimes carried to the polling station when she was not able to walk but she never stopped voting although

she hardly knew anything beyond the ruling party. Many years later, I met another lady with similar fervour for voting. She was my grandmother-in-law, an educated woman who also worked as a teacher for a short while. On the Election Day, she would wake up with a sense of duty and wait for someone to take her to the voting station. She was aware of the credentials of most of the contestants of her constituency. She would egg on other family members too to perform their ‘sacred duty.’ In case of both of those reverential ladies, the enthusiasm (to vote) never faded, the energy never ebbed and they never ceased from speaking their minds on the political conditions of India. Conversely, generation ‘Y’ today thinks that Election Day is just another day or worse a holiday to relax at their leisure. Many of them cannot even tell the difference between ‘Loksabha’ and ‘Vidhansabha.’ Urban educated masses have also distanced themselves from enfranchisement as they find it an exercise in futile. They feel that things in India will not change in any case. A resigned attitude has superseded the sense of responsibility. They no longer see it as their chance to change the fate of their country

as they feel that most of the political parties have no mission or vision and trading Tom for Dick or for Harry is not going to change the fortune of India. Despite the entire disillusion, still the Indian citizens should try to fulfil the responsibility entrusted on to them by the constitution of India by voting for the most suitable candidate. They all must take inspiration from the 97 year old; Mr. Shyam Saran Negi of Kinnaur, Himachal Pardesh; the first voter of Independent India who feels proud to have voted in each election ever since 1951 . Beyond doubt, India needs good governance from the people who are genuinely interested to empower and develop it further but on the other hand the people also must willingly participate in the process of giving a suitable and stable government to India. Bricks & Bouquets: What was your most unforgettable journey? Please share it with me at

26 11 April 2014


Chaudhry convicted, out of election race


iji’s Labour Party leader and former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has been ruled out of contesting September’s general election. Chaudhry, 72, was convicted last week by the High Court in Suva of breaching the Exchange Control Act. His conviction means he is the second prominent political leader to be ruled out of contesting the election. Two years ago, deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase was convicted and jailed on charges of abusing office. Chaudhry faces a maximum jail time of two years or a fine. Justice Paul Madigan reconvened court three hours after the four assessors had unanimously found Chaudhry guilty on three counts. In an almost packed courtroom, Justice Madigan, in his judgment, said the offence was one of strict liability and all the elements of the offence were proven in the admitted facts. Under the Exchange Control Act, Fiji residents have to declare to the Reserve Bank of Fiji foreign currency held in overseas banks or bring the money back to Fiji where it can be held in local banks authorised by RBF to deal with foreign currency. Also under the Act, Chaudhry faces a maximum jail time of two years and or a fine of three times the value of what has been kept in the banks abroad. The conviction also means Chaudhry is no longer eligible to be a candidate for the 2014 election as provided in the Constitution and the Electoral Decree 2014. Section 56(2)(g) of the Constitution and Section 23(4)(g) of the Electoral Decree state that a person is eligible to be nominated as a candidate for election to parliament only if the

NZ, Aust lift travel sanctions on Fiji Army personnel


person has not, at any time during the eight years before being nominated, been convicted of any offence under any law for which the maximum penalty is a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more. Justice Madigan said Chaudhry never denied that he was a Fiji resident, that he did have foreign currency in banks abroad, that the money was held by an overseas bank that was not authorised by the RBF to do so, and that he allowed the investment of his money without the approval of the RBF. He said Chaudhry was made aware of the law by a letter from RBF solicitors in November 2009 but there was no attempt to repatriate the money. Justice Madigan said he found Chaudhry guilty on all three counts. Chaudhry was allowed bail until sentencing but has been told not to access funds abroad either directly or indirectly. He was also has been told not to travel abroad. Defence counsel Matthew Hutchings asked the court to have mitigation and sentence submissions on May 1. Fiji Times

he governments of New Zealand and Australia have lifted all travel sanctions on key members of the Fiji military and its regime now that a date for the first democratic elections since the 2006 coup has been set. New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and his Australia’s Julie Bishop visited Fiji in February as part of the Pacific Islands Forum ministerial group. “It was clear to us there was a really compelling case for removing the sanctions completely,” McCully said recently. An election decree was published last week and September 17 named as the election date three days before New Zealand’s next election. “On balance we made a measured judgment about how we could best contribute to this process,” McCully told reporters.

“Getting back into the habit of holding elections, to getting parliaments to work, those things are going to be a huge step in the right direction.”There would be some elements of Fiji’s progress that would take more time “and we do understand that”. “No one is arguing that perfection will be achieved overnight.” The sanctions were imposed eight years ago as a form of protest against the coup led by military strongman Commodore Frank Bainimarama. After seven years in his self-appointed role as Fiji Prime Minister, the former military commander stepped down a month ago in order to contest the election. He announced recently that his party would be called Fiji First.

Fiji’s first woman newspaper editor passes away


iji and the region lost one of its brightest and most respected editors last week. Laisa Taga passed away peacefully at her home in Suva amidst her close family members after bravely battling cancer over the past several months. She was only 56. Group Editor-in-chief of the region’s largest magazine publishing group Islands Business International since 1998, Ms Taga oversaw the editorial and production of work of the publishing group’s entire stable of up to 10 publications covering a wide spectrum of the South Pacific region’s current affairs and business.These included the flagship Islands Business, three inflight magazines – for Air Pacific (now Fiji

Airways), Solomon Airlines and Air Niugini – industry magazines for energy, tourism and aviation, besides a few others.From her earliest days Ms Taga had displayed a winning spirit. She was an ace sprinter and athlete, even representing Fiji in the 1974 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand. Professionally, she initially set out to become a teacher, following in her father’s footsteps, but a part-time stint at the Fiji Sun newspaper while studying at the University of the South Pacific got her hooked on to journalism. For full Pages/ArticleDetails/51/4337/Comment/Fijisfirst-woman-newspaper-editor-passes-away - Dev Nadkarni

Coup culture killing Fiji, says NFP president Arvind Kumar


COUP culture was holding Fiji back from progress, the head of the country’s oldest political party says. Adi Tupou Draunidalo, the first iTaukei (indigenous Fijian) president of the National Federation Party, said coups and its effects were keeping Fiji in the Third World despite the resources the country had. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have all lived under and experienced life under a military government, on and off since 1987,” Adi Tupou told delegates at NFP’s recent annual meeting. As NFP president, Adi Tupou follows in the tradition of some of the great Indian leaders who helped shape modern Fiji – namely: AD Patel, Siddiq Koya, Irene Jai Narayan, Ram Sami Gounder, Jai Ram Reddy, Harish Sharma, Dr Balwant Singh Rakka, Jagindra Singh, Shiu Charan, Dorsami Naidu, and Raman Pratap Singh. Adi Tupou herself is no stranger to Fiji politics and comes from a family closely associated with the country’s leadership. Her father is former Colonel Savenaca Draunidalo, minister in the SDL government, and mother is Adi Kuini Vuikaba, former deputy Prime Minister and Labour stalwart. “We all know that these unelected and dictatorial governments – answerable to no one but their armouries – restrict our basic freedoms

- of speech, association and religion; they discourage local and foreign investment; and they weaken and destroy important institutions of state,” Adi Tupou said. “The combination of those factors is the reason why Fiji is restrained from reaching its social and economic potential. “The coup culture holds us back from progress and development. It keeps us in the third world in spite of all of our resources,” Adi Tupou said. “And it holds us back from better schools and hospitals. It holds us back from more employment creation and better wages. It holds us back from leaving a stable, secure and prosperous Fiji to our future generations. “Look into the eyes of any child in Fiji today and ask yourself – am I doing enough to ensure that this child will grow up in a Fiji that is stable, secure and prosperous? A Fiji that has no more coups to deter investment? A Fiji that devotes its national budget to better schools, hospitals and other public services and utilities over military spending?” First iTaukei president she maybe Adi Tupou is not the first Fijian to be involved with the 50-year-old NFP. NFP had broad representation in parliament of members of both houses of Parliament from the indigenous community. They include Apisai Tora, Isikeli Nadalo, Atunaisa Maitoga, Ratu Glaniville Lalabalavu, Ratu Mosese Tuisawau, Ro Asela Logavatu, Timoci Naco, Sakeo Tuiwainikai, Ratu Jullian Toganivalu, Koresi Matatolu, Ratu Osea Gavidi, Ratu Napolioni Dawai II, Ratu

Soso Katonivere, Filimone Nalatu and Temo Sukanaivalu. “Those names ladies and gentlemen assure appropriate respect for and primacy of indigenous rights – one that would be jealously guarded and defended when required,” Adi Tupou told delegates. She commended NFP’s policy of working to protect indigenous rights. “Ladies and Gentlemen, the indigenous people of this land – we own our natural resources communally and we do very many things communally. “I am proud to say that this party has a very good record of appreciating this and working to ensure that these group rights are protected and that any reforms would be matters for self determination by we, the indigenous community. “This philosophy is clearly set out in the 1997 Constitution which the National Federation Party worked hard to shepherd through the Great Council of Chiefs and Parliament. Chapter 13, sections 185 and 186 of the 1997 Constitution enshrine and entrench indigenous rights. “Just as importantly, the entrenchment provisions of section 185 ensures self determination by the indigenous community in that all legislation dealing with our natural resources and other communal matters can only be amended with the ultimate consent of our elected representatives in the House of Representatives and Senate and traditional chiefs through the GCC nominees in the

Senate,” Adi Tupou said. “As an indigenous person, I commend the NFP and its leaders and parliamentarians for those provisions in the 1997 Constitution.” Adi Tupou cited the humble beginnings of some of the past leaders who contributed to nation building. “Many high achieving professionals who have led this party had very humble beginnings and so their own personal stories of beating the odds to rise to national leadership should give our citizens hope for a better future. “I have it on very good authority that our former leader, Mr. Siddiq Moidin Koya (the son of a cane farmer) left school at class 6 at Ba Mission School. He never enrolled at a secondary school but he worked hard as a law clerk and cut cane himself to save enough funds to see him through law studies overseas and the rest, as they say, is history. “If that story does not motivate you, nothing will,” she said. “I wish to round up my inaugural speech by saying that the maturity of this party and its leaders, members and supporters was very attractive to me. “At 50, the NFP shows its class – a fine history of service through dialogue and partnership with other political parties (ALTO, ALTA, 1970 Constitution, FNPF, Housing Authority, 1997 Constitution) and selflessness (both the party and its members). “I like that style very much. “Dialogue and understanding are sure ways to win allies and in a polarised state like ours – those qualities are rare jewels.” 11 April 2014



Fiji at a crossroads, says new NFP leader Arvind Kumar


iji is now at a defining point in its history, says the new leader of the National Federation Party. Biman Prasad, professor of economics at the University of the South Pacific, was elected leader at the party’s recent annual meeting. He follows in the tradition of respected political leaders like AD Patel, Jai Ram Reddy, Siddiq Koya, Harish Sharma and Irene Jai Narayan. “We are at a defining point in our history,” Prasad told delegates at the annual meeting. “Without doubt, we need a break from the past. Fiji needs leaders who can energize and bring people together, who will bring new passion and fresh perspectives to begin to use politics for the long term good, rather than the short term goal of self- preservation. “We have had a turbulent history since 1987. Consistent political instability has harmed the social, political and economic fabric of our country,” Prasad said. “This political instability has been caused by the military’s intervention in the political development of Fiji through its support for the coups. “The 2006 coup continued with the tradition of military intervention in our political life. As a nation, we need a calm conversation about how we are going to address this issue.” Prasad emphasized the need for the military to remain neutral and serve the elected government of the day for the sake of stability and prosperity of the country. “The military will need to introspect and be part of this national conversation. We welcome the new Commander of the RFMF, Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga’s firm assurance that the military will be apolitical, stay neutral during the coming election and respect the results of the General Election later this year. “In the last 8 years, many things have changed,” Prasad said. “Many of these changes have been haphazard; many policies are inconsistent and in fact contradict each other. But most of all these changes do not reflect inputs from us people who live in this country,” he said. “We are preparing for a General Election under a Constitution that has been imposed on our people. It is very important to understand our history if we are to confront the challenges that lie ahead with determination. “In the preparation for the elections, the last thing our people want is to be fed with propaganda, pie in the sky promises, vote buying and more short term populist policies. Policies and promises which will be hard to sustain and fulfill under current difficult economic conditions need to be weighed and pruned,” Prasad said. “As a nation we have lived in fear over the last 7 years. Fear grips our national life. Fear of being heard by someone and reported to authorities, fear of being bullied by those in power, fear of losing jobs, fear of being victimized, fear of losing licenses, fear of being witch hunted by government agencies.

“Workers, farmers, taxi drivers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, civil servants, academics, journalists, business people, many NGOs have shied away from raising difficult issues because of the fear of being victimized for being critical of the government,” he said. “This induced culture of extreme fear has harmed our prosperity and development. It will be a long and difficult journey to re-establish an open, vibrant democracy that derives its core strength from the free expression of our citizens, debate and open discussion. “There is an unhealthy condescending attitude that prevails in our country. If you question government policies, you will be told by the PM and AG that you are an old politician and projected to be anti-national,” Prasad said. “To paraphrase, the ‘power and freedom to question is the basis of human progress’. We

food they buy,” he said. “Most of all, they need fair play. “Fair play means that the government makes credible and sound economic policies that encourages people and companies to, innovate, to initiate new ideas and invest. “They need a level playing field, they need less intrusive government. From economic progress will come security and progress of our people.” “Our economic performance since 2007 has been dismal. On average the economy has grown by only over 1% in the past 8 years. The persistence of political instability, poor investor confidence, lack of investment in infrastructure, land lease problems, inconsistent government policies, restrictive decrees, high costs of doing business means confidence in our economy remains low. We need to rupture this cycle of

have lost that power. Today I ask the people of this country to ask questions to this government. Ask frank and difficult questions of us and all those who will seek your permission to represent you. “To the Government, you may direct questions about your freedoms: freedom to say things and be reported by the media, freedom to ask why you are paying so much for rice, milk, chicken, oil and kerosene, freedom to ask why you are paying such much in water bills, electricity bills,” he said. “You need to ask why is it that you cannot get a doctor to see you in a hospital when you need him/her, freedom to ask why you are paying punishing fees and charges to set up and operate a small business? “We have crucially not had the freedom to ask why the Auditor General’s report has not been made public, freedom to ask why the Public Accounts Committee has been disbanded without releasing reports for the years of Bainimarama government.” Prasad said the government was not serving the best interests of the people by giving handouts. “The present Government has tried to buy our citizens through doles and freebies. Our people don’t need pity, they need respect, and they need their freedoms to be restored. “Rather than expensive freebies they need decent and secure jobs, they need secure pensions, they need reasonable prices for the

low confidence and low growth. “Businesses and employers want certainty in the business environment. Our skilled, professional and unskilled workers want predictability in their employment. They will give their best when they know that their jobs are secure and their wages are fair,” Prasad said. “Government policy has been confused, designed to support certain industries and favor businesses selectively. Growth will not happen if Government selectively favors businesses based on their support to the government. Progress will not happen if concessions are granted to businesses based on the loyalty to Government. “It is possible in and open and free environment, with a fair and credible business policy regime to position Fiji on a high growth path well in excess of 6 percent per annum. This is our ambition within two years of the party in government.” Prasad said a NFP government would: In Government the NFP will reduce VAT from 15% to 10% immediately providing immediate relief on the growing costs of essential food items. We will review all import duties on important food items to reduce price further. The NFP will review the management structure of FNPF, review the representation on the board so that workers representatives have a majority decision making power. The NFP will review the contractual violations to the pension

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rates for our pensioners. The NFP will abolish all decrees including the Essential National Industries (ENI) restricting the rights of workers in this country and allow unions to operate in the spirit of dialogue and consultation with the employers. We will re-establish the tripartite forum where employers, government and the unions will have the platform to deal with issues affecting the workers of this country in a cooperative, consultative manner. We will revise the minimum wages based on different sectors and we will make the wages council more efficient and effective. The NFP as it has always done will help negotiate better deals with the EU and other markets. In Government the NFP will substantially invest in the industry to rebuild confidence of farmers, introduce private sector innovations and rebuild trust in our external markets. We will reinstate a bi-partisan approach to the management of the sugar industry. We will re-establish an elected Sugar Cane Grower Council to create cohesion and cooperation amongst the sugarcane farmers in the country. The NFP will promote a Master Lease concept where Government leases all available agricultural land from landowners and then releases it to tenant farmers for a minimum tenure of 99 years. We will push for agricultural and residential tenants leasing Crown C Land be provided the option to buy the land at a price following valuation of the Un-improved Capital Value of the Land. The NFP will review the salaries of doctors, nurses and health workers and implement a new salary structure within six months of being in government. In Government we will implement a health sector modernization program involving private-public sector solutions to improve medical facilities and equipment, to use new technologies including telemedicine to extend services to island communities, and reduce costs of private and public sector drugs through bulk -purchasing. The NFP will keep the toppers scheme for the 600 highest achievers in form seven. However, those who do not make the cut in the 600, we will introduce a means tested scholarship. This will ensure that students from very poor families will get full scholarship and will not be forced to take a loan. We will also convert all loans in 2014 to means tested scholarships for those who meet the criteria. The NFP will review the teachers’ salaries to ensure that we have a salary level commensurate with the work that teachers, specialists and school heads undertake. NFP in government will restore the retirement age to 60. In addition, we will extend this further to 65 on annual contracts on the basis of needs. NFP will focus civil service on delivering services to citizens transparently, in a time bound manner and have clear procedures for resolving citizen’s grievances in a timely manner. In government, NFP will remove all restrictions to media freedom.


INDIA ABROAD 11 April 2014

14yr old shows US Government how to save over USD400mn by changing fonts

Indian American teenager wins Presidential award



uvir Mirchandani, 14, was mulling over ideas for a school science fair when he worked out that by changing to Garamond font from the usual Times New Roman, governments would use 25% less ink and could potentially save millions of dollars. The teenager has hit upon a genius method to save the US government $400 million – by just a change in what font they use. The media reported, and catapulting Suvir to national fame in the USA for his genius and creative thinking at such a young age. That tiny amount of ink might not sound much but when you scale it up to the level of the US government, the volumes involved are massive. Federal government could save $136 million per year and an additional $234 million could be saved if state-level departments adopted the move. In fact, the estimated government expenditure on ink is a whopping £1.1bn a year

so a 25% saving equates to big bucks. Sarah Fankhauser, from the Journal for Emerging Investigators, said: “We were so impressed. We could really see the real-world application in Suvir’s paper.” So far the government has not said whether or not it would be implementing the change. Thomas Phinney, a senior technical product manager for fonts and typography, wrote on his much read blog that, “it is not the change of font to Garamond that saves toner; it is that their chosen font is smaller at the same nominal point size than the comparison fonts. Garamond* lowercase is about 15% smaller than the average of the fonts they compare it to, while its caps are only about 7.5% smaller. So it is no surprise that it uses less ink at the same point size.“ “That said, it is great that a middle school kid is doing creative problem solving and applying scientific thinking,“ he added.

kanksha Patel, an Indian American teenager from New Jersey, has received the US President’s Volunteer Service Award for her exemplary volunteer service. The award, which recognises Americans of all ages for voluntary service, was granted by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards programme on behalf of President Barack Obama, according to The award for 15-year-old Patel of Summit, a small city in New Jersey, was announced by the local Young Men’s Christian Association, which had nominated her for national honours, it said. As a volunteer for the past year at the Summit YMCA, Akanksha contributed her time and talent to help care for children at birthday parties hosted at the YMCA as well as other volunteer activities. Through these efforts, she has gained the satisfaction of giving back to her community. “Akanksha loves volunteering. It has taught her valuable skills such as patience, responsibility, teamwork, time management and

empathy for others,” Terri Clinton, executive director of the Summit YMCA, was quoted as saying. “Her volunteer activities have helped her to grow by enhancing her social skills and by building relationships with individuals of all ages. “She is a very responsible and courteous young lady with a caring nature and, most importantly, she treats everyone with a lot of respect.” John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, said: “The recipients of these awards demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities.” The YMCA is a worldwide, non-profit network of clubs and institutions that operates under the belief that “everyone, regardless of income, age or background, deserves the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive”.

US Senate confirms Indian-American Puneet Talwar for key State Department post

Sikhs in US army: India welcomes lawmakers’ backing



uneet Talwar has been confirmed by the US Senate to a key diplomatic position, becoming the second Indian-American to join the State Department. Talwar, who was a key aide of President Barack Obama on the Middle East, would now serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. He was confirmed on Thursday by voice vote. In September last year Obama nominated Talwar, who played a key role on negotiations with Iran, to this top diplomatic position in the State Department. After being sworn-in, Talwar would be the second Indian American serving as assistant secretary in the State Department after Nisha Desai Biswal, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. Talwar would provide policy direction in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defence strategy and plans, and defence trade. The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is the Department of State’s principal link to the

Department of Defence. Since 2009, Talwar has been a Special Assistant to the US President and Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, and the Gulf States on the White House National Security Staff. Prior to this, Talwar served as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the Committee on Foreign Relations of the US Senate (SFRC) from 2001 to 2009 and from 1997 to 1999, and was the chief advisor on the Middle East to then Senator Joseph R Biden in his capacity as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He served as a member of the Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 1999 to 2001. From 1992 to 1995, he served as a foreign policy advisor to Representative Thomas C Sawyer, and from 1990 to 1992 as an official with the United Nations. Talwar received a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. - IANS

ndian ambassador S. Jaishankar has welcomed US lawmakers plea to end US defence department’s presumptive ban on Sikh Americans serving in the US military with their beards and turbans. Over 100 members of Congress from both Democratic and Republican parties made the plea in a March 10 letter to the US defence secretary Chuck Hagel to promote inclusion of Sikhs in the US armed forces by updating their appearance regulations. The major bipartisan push for change was led by Joe Crowley, democratic vice chair of the Democratic Caucus in the house, and Rodney Frelinghuysen Republican chairman of the House Defence Appropriations Subcommittee. In a statement on the letter’s release, Jaishankar said: “The Congressional initiative is an important step towards upholding the cultural rights of the Sikh community in the United States.’’ “The large number of signatories to this letter testifies to the important role played by the Sikh community in the United States and its various walks of life.” “The Sikh community’s success in the United States is a source of pride for India and a pillar of

the India-US partnership,” he said. In the last 30 years, only three Sikh Americans - Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan and Corporal Simran Preet Singh Lamba - have been granted an accommodation, or permission, to serve in the US Army while maintaining their articles of faith. Such accommodations are neither permanent nor guaranteed, and must be renewed after virtually every assignment, the lawmakers noted. In their letter to Hagel, the lawmakers wrote: “Given the achievements of these soldiers and their demonstrated ability to comply with operational requirements while practicing their faith, we believe it is time for our military to make inclusion of practicing Sikh Americans the rule, not the exception.” Sikhs have served in the US army since World War I, and they are presumptively permitted to serve in the armed forces of America’s Nato allies Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as key partner India. Notably, the current chief of army staff of the Indian Army is a turbaned and bearded Sikh, the lawmaker noted.

SPORTS 11 April 2014


India punches below its weight in the finals R

iding on Kumar Sangakkara’s unbeaten 52, Sri Lanka thrashed India by six wickets to lift their first World T20 title here on Sunday. Chasing India’s modest 130 for four, Sri Lanka reached 134 runs by losing four wickets with balls to spare. World Cup hero, Yuvraj Singh, was at the receiving end of the brickbats for a below par performance being unable to push the scoring up in the crucial overs. A defensive approach and a modest target was nothing close to the promise Team India had shown all through the tournament. Sangakkara, who was adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’ hit six boundaries and a six in his 35-ball knock while Perera smashed a boundary and two huge sixes in his innings that helped his side win the World Cup after a gap of 18 years when they won the 50-over World Cup in 1996. Jayawardene also played his last T20 International on Sunday. Both Sangakkara and Jayawardene made a successful end to their T20 International careers on a shining note by helping their country lift the World Cup (including the 50-over format) for the second time. Sangakkara said: “I am happy to be a part of such a great side and win the World Cup.” India had performed brilliantly in the tournament and won all the matches before being defeated in the final by the neighbours. Kohli, who scored 319 runs in the series, was adjudged the ‘Player of the Tournament’.

He said: “I am pleased that the team reached the final and happy to contribute in all of the matches.” “We will learn a lot from the tournament and come back stronger in the next season,” he said. Indian captain MS Dhoni, under whose leadership the country had lifted the inaugural World T20 in 2007, said: “It was a perfect game for the Sri Lankan team. We were 10 to 15 runs short.” Team India has left their fans disappointed and India’s search for that steady No.4 continues after failed experiments with Yuvraj, Raina and the others. Will Sehwag’s gaining form be the answer to the woes? Will have to wait and see. However, the show must go on and the cricketing world will now shift its attention to the Indian Premier League which begins on April 17th.

Brief scorecard: India: 130 for four in 20 overs (V Kohli 77; R herath 23-1) Sri Lanka: 134 for four in 20 overs (K Sangakkara no; R Ashwin 29-1, S Raina 24-1) Later, the ICC in its ‘team of the tournament’ named MS Dhoni as the captain of the World T20 Chosen by a select group of experts, the team was aimed at being suited for Bangladeshi conditions, on the basis of performances at the just-concluded World T20 tournament. Statistics were used but were not the sole basis for selections. Selection panel chairman and member of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, David Boon, said: “It was a very difficult task for the panel to pick a team of 11 from the exciting players who featured in this

tournament. Other members of the panel included Marais Erasmus of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, ex-England captain Nasser Hussain, former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop and Utpal Shuvro, one of Bangladesh’s senior-most cricket correspondents. Full squad: Rohit Sharma (India), Stephan Myburgh (Netherlands), Virat Kohli (India), J.P. Duminy (South Africa), Glenn Maxwell (Australia), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India - captain), Darren Sammy (West Indies), Ravichandran Ashwin (India), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Samuel Badree (West Indies) and Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka); 12th Player: Krishmar Santokie (West Indies).

India leg of IPL to start from May 2


he second phase of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played in India from May 2. The first half of the cash-rick tournament will be played in UAE from Apr 16. Thirty-six regular season matches, plus the four playoffs will be played in India. “After discussions with the authorities in India, the BCCI is pleased to announce that a total of thirty-six regular season matches, plus the four playoffs of the Pepsi IPL 2014, will be played in India, starting Friday, 2 May 2014,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.

“There will be no matches on Thursday, 1 May, Friday, 16 May and Saturday, 17 May,” he said. Meanwhile, Patel announced two changes to the UAE leg of the schedule. The evening match on Apr 26 in Abu Dhabi, between Kings XI Punjab and KKR, would be designated as a home match for KKR. “Following on from the launch of ticket sales for the UAE leg today, I am pleased that we are now able to confirm the dates for the rest of the season. It is great news that the fans back home in India will be able to watch a large part of the Pepsi IPL 2014,” Sunil Gavaskar, Interim President, BCCI-IPL, said.

Supreme Court of India replaces Srinivasan, puts Gavaskar at the helm


he Supreme Court installed iconic Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar as the interim chief of the BCCI replacing controversial industrialist-cricket administrator N Srinivasan but only for the Indian Premier League (IPL) seventh edition affairs. While Gavaskar will head the affairs of the cash rich cricket league that is mired in controversy over spot fixing and betting, the non-IPL chief of BCCI will be former Indian cricketer Shivlal Yadav. The top court bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik said any vice-president of the BCCI can take over as its chief after the IPL. The apex court barred anyone connected to Srinivasan owned Indian Cements (which owns Chennai Super Kings team) to be associated with any IPL duty. The next hearing is on April 16. The apex court also allowed Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) to play in the seventh IPL as the court softened its stand on the teams.

Gavaskar has to come out of his contracts with the TV channels to officiate as the BCCI interim chief and court has asked the BCCI to compensate for that. BCCI told the court that Dhoni never misled the IPL scam investigation. “Very reckless allegations were made against the Indian captain,” said BCCI lawyer A Sundaram said, adding that Dhoni never was part of any cover up and “the fact of the matter is that he never said any such thing” as was reported (that Dhoni said he knew Srinivasan’s son-in-law Meiyappan, accused of betting, as only a cricket enthusiast and not a Chennai Super Kings functionary). The Indian Premier League Probe Committee, headed by Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal, who had been appointed by the Supreme Court to look into IPL 6 scam, submitted its report on Feb 10 where it found Srinivasan’s son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team’s Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of match-fixing.


EDUCATION 11 April 2014


“NZTC has the students’ best interests in mind…” Survey seeking student voices returns excellent results


ew Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC) is committed to hearing the voices of the students we serve. One of ways we do this is by inviting our students to complete our biennial Student Survey. The last survey, sent out late last year, gave students the opportunity to offer their thoughts on everything from handing in their initial application to receiving their final program transcript. 560 past and present students responded. We were delighted to read the positive comments they shared with us and appreciative of their suggestions for further development. The vast majority indicated that the College has exceeded their expectations with an overwhelming 94% of students saying that they would recommend NZTC to others considering study in early childhood education. The thoughts and suggestions have been analysed and are being used to inform the development of a number of key areas, including orientation, NZTC Online, support services and program content and structure. Read what some of our students have to say about:

Our lecturers: I would like to commend the lecturers I have personally dealt with at NZTC for their dedication. NZTC lecturers are easy to approach. Their comments are useful and supportive which helps students in their studies. They are extremely helpful in their feedback and prompt me to extend my thinking. The Pastoral Support team: They gave me peace of mind throughout a difficult time.

All the issues I had were resolved with their excellent services. I couldn’t have got through my studies without them. NZTC Online: The flexibility of the online mode enabled me to fit study into my home and work life smoothly. NZTC Online has an excellent structure and supportive readings with every course. I love that all of my course materials are delivered online, enabling me to study wherever I happen to be any time of the day or night. Our library: The library has helpful staff and a great selection of ECE literature and media. The library staff have been amazing over the last three years; very helpful and quick at finding the books you need. NZTC offers great library resources which support my studies effectively. Their NZTC experience as a whole: I love everything about NZTC - you are fantastic! If I had to choose my favourite thing it would have to be communication. NZTC

cares about their students. I love NZTC’s commitment and dedication to ECE in NZ and supporting like-minded students to reach their full potential in providing quality education to our tamariki. I like that I’m considered as a person and not just a number. I love NZTC, I never thought I would study again after school but when I found my passion in early childhood I am ever so grateful to the person that recommended NZTC to me. NZTC has students’ best interests in mind which should be the aim of every education institute. Thanks for all the great help. These are excellent results which affirm our dedication to our mission statement. Thank you to each of the respondents – your voice has truly been counted! If you’re interested in becoming another satisfied NZTC student, please call us today on (09) 520 4000 or email international@ .

Southern Institute of Technology forms international partnership with Malaysian education giant


new international partnership for the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) has further increased its excellent reputation in the education sector. SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sarawak Skills Development Centre (PPKS) chairman and International College of Advanced Technology (ICATS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain at the Hilton Hotel in Sarawak Malaysia on Saturday March 22. “I am delighted SIT is leading the way as the first New Zealand Institute of Technology to sign a collaborative agreement with a Sarawak Malaysia tertiary institute,” Penny Simmonds said. “This paves the way for SIT programmes to be delivered partially in Kuching and students to transfer to SIT Invercargill to complete their qualification.” Simmonds said the support of Associate Minister of Education Dr Pita Sharples, Deputy Speaker of the House and Invercargill MP Eric

both Christchurch and Sarawak have a lot in common. He described the agreement as timely, as PPKS/ICATS was in the process of taking over a new campus which will house their business and culinary science programmes. He told the Borneo Post these were areas where he could see prospects in having a connection with SIT and areas where SIT has its strengths.

Bharat Guha SIT Deputy CEO, Hisham Fauzi ICATS Senior Manager, NZ High Commissioner David Pine, Deputy Speaker of the House MP Eric Roy, Hon. Dr. Pita Sharples, Dato Baharuddin ICATS Senior Manager, Rambli Hastings ICATS Senior Manager, Anthony Sia is the CEO of Borneo Hosting Mortgage Finance Bernard. Roy as well as NZ High Commission David Pine at the signing ceremony in Kuching during NZ week ensured the collaboration received significant coverage in Borneo.

Sarawak Skills Development Centre (PPKS) chairman and International College of Advanced Technology (ICATS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain said

The relationship will also involve stair casing ICATS Trades Students (Electrical and Construction) from ICATS to SIT’s Christchurch Campus with the opportunity to do an internship with construction firms involved with the rebuild of Christchurch City. On the other side of the globe SIT programmes will be offered at ICATS Kuching Campus starting with National Certificate in Adult Education and Training Level 5 and the Bachelor in Hotel Management.

SIT’s Artist in Residence The Southern Institute of Technology continues to strengthen its arts curriculum by engaging established professional artists to mentor students. Each year an Artist in Residence spends approx. 6 months on campus as the William Hodges Fellow. This year’s resident is Auckland based painter Sam Mitchell who completed her Masters at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 2000. Mitchell’s studio is located in the SIT Arcade located in the heart of SIT’s creative downtown campus where her studio practice is drawing inspiration from the history of Invercargill and

its people. Mitchell will be in Invercargill until the 31st August. Sam Mitchell has exhibited works nationally and internationally in private galleries as well as public art institutions. Recent solo exhibitions include: Hip (Bartley and Co, Wellington, 2013), Members Only (Melanie Roger Gallery, 2012), Glean (Melanie Roger Gallery, 2011), Time May Change Me (Anna Bibby Gallery, 2010) and Samantha Mitchell (Newcastle Regional Gallery, Australia, 2010). Mitchell has received many prestigious awards for her work including the Paramount Award

at the Wallace Art Awards (2010) allowing a six-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Programme in New York. Additionally Mitchell has been featured in recent publications such as Warwick Brown’s Seen this century: 100 contemporary New Zealand Artists: A Collector’s Guide (2009) and Richard Wolfe’s New Zealand Portraits (2008). ( sam-mitchell/) Kathryn Mitchell SIT Programme Manager Visual Arts, Film & Animation says “The William Hodges Fellowship offers SIT Arts

students the opportunity to engage directly with contemporary visual art practices that they would otherwise have limited access to. The resident spends time with students in a teaching capacity as well as providing valuable insights into their own experiences working in New Zealand’s creative sector. Having the resident working on campus encourages collegial working relationships with students that facilitate discussion on the challenges and the advantages of developing a career as a creative practitioner.

FEATURE 11 April 2014

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32 11 April 2014


Sunset Years, Sunshine Life! Zee Shah


ge is nothing but a number”, according to new research that suggests you’re only as old as you let yourself feel. Such a profound thought, I wonder. We will approach our retirement years at some point in life, but never think or plan about it. Who cares, I hear many say. We will cross the bridge when we will come by it. I get a reality check, on every Sunday morning, as I walk past the vast gates of a retirement village & elder care rest home. I work there as a volunteer & my prime duties are reading the morning news, playing fun activities & taking the elderly to the church. Besides these, my main job is to also help the residents to cope & adjust to life in a long term care facility which can be a very daunting affair. After all, you are confined to a regulated life with nurses & care takers calling shots for you. My favourite moments are times that I spend visiting each elderly in their small room, which resembles quite a pigeon hole. The room spills with photographs of their loved ones, some fond memories of their younger radiant days. You are overwhelmed by a strange sense of a full life lived for 80 years bundled into a handful of photographs on a small window sill.

“I was quite a looker in my time,” she said as I stood there looking at a vibrant beauty in a black & white image. Mimi, age 84 is a wiser soul always smiling with her eyes. I nod at her in agreement. She goes on telling me the story behind the photo. “I had just turned 22, and my mum thought it would be nice to get me a portrait done to ensure some charming young suitors come my way. Back in those days, when we were young; they taught us how to dream, but they didn’t teach us what to dream. I feel my life is a distant dream now, but I have no regrets at all”. I could sense her voice quiver, & hug her warmly. You have taught me an important lesson Mimi, I will dare to dream & follow it too. While Mimi remains my inspiration, I could not help but sympathise with Margaret, age 94, who is unhappy living an institutional life & still misses her sprawling estate in Tauranga, which once belonged to her & her late husband. She moved in to the rest home, because she had no one nearby to take care of her & needed special medical care. Or rather even Peter, age 87, suffering from severe case of dementia, forgetting everything, He gets lost in the long corridors looking for his own room & need someone to help him find his way back. Most of the residents forget me & the fact that they have met in the past, since I visit them just once in a week. With advance age,

the spectre of dementia or stroke looms large. At 80, the marks of old age are all too visible. One’s reactions are a little slower, people’s names more frequently elude one, and one’s energies seems to be diminishing, but even so, one may often feel full of energy and life and not at all “old.” In order to mitigate this, I come up with a plan. I wear a clown’s smile mask, every time I pay a visit. And guess what, it worked. Gradually these wise souls started responding to the mask & their eyes would light every time they see me come. So you see friends, it is very important for us to understand what makes older people happy. We can help them by providing extraordinary moments in their life, as they realize, that these small moments count for more. It could be anything from a kiss to warm hug or just spending quality time in doing plain chit-chat. That is all they ask. I thought that I should share with you some of these happy moments (in random order) so you can pick and choose your favourite and make the elderly around you happy: 1. Remember their’ birthdays and important anniversaries. These dates are a great opportunity for you to make them happy and feel special. Give them handmade cards, buy gifts. The memories you create for them will stay in their hearts and make them feel you still love and care for them in their old age. 2. Pick up a bundle of fragrant fresh flowers.

The smell of fresh flowers might remind them of springtime in the country or a blast of spruce might tug at memories of childhood activities long gone. 3. Brush their hair or give them a back massage. Something about a warm hand that is wanting to be held can make a huge difference on a rough day. 4. Bring in a stack of world travel postcards and dialogue about sightseeing or look through old photographs, newspapers, or magazines. Visual stimuli can be a wonderful activity for someone who is suffering from dementia, especially if they are in a more advanced stage. Sometimes being able to see something beautiful can transform a difficult day. 5. Feed the birds together or water the plants. To incorporate exercise into a loved one’s routine, it may be difficult with a standard workout program. Instead, try using daily activities to get loved ones moving. Be best buddies with these wise souls & believe me you will never ever feel lonely again in life. Signing off with an interesting quote: “There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time. Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless.” Thanks for reading!

Living Auckland, dreaming Wellington Alisha Iyer


hen I first came to New Zealand, I chose Auckland over Wellington. I learnt after I got here about the Auckland vs. Wellington debate. Reminded me of my usual Bombay vs. Delhi banter with friends in India and I was secretly proud of the fact that I chose the ‘Bombay’ of New Zealand over the ‘Delhi’. Frankly, I haven’t spent more than 3 days in Delhi – but you know how it is, right? A Bombayiite would never agree Delhi is better. And those three days did not make me like Delhi anyway. Three days in Wellington however, changed my mind. Wellington is windy, there’s never any sunshine and the rain is a regular visitor, and worst of all – there is never anything to do there! – Okay, I heard that. Now was the time to go see if all I heard about Wellington was true. I practically took a storm along with me to Welly and the first day was apparently the worst weather day they had seen all year. The second day – take a wild guess – glorious sunshine yes!! The biggest difference I noticed between the two cities is that Wellington has so much more character! Auckland I believe does have to potential too, but it doesn’t seem to be working towards it. I’m a complete foodie and the gastronomic delights Wellington offered made me want to extend my trip, and my budget by so much more! Not that the food is too expensive, there’s just

a lot more variety and yumminess to explore! A walk down Cuba Street and Courtenay Place will give you a fair idea of what I’m saying.

Actually, a walk along anywhere in the city centre will leave you spoilt for choice too! A few hints for you reader – Sweet Mother’s Kitchen, Strawberry Fare, Thunderbird Café, Nicolini’s, Wholly Bagels, Scopa – these are just a few places I managed to try and would definitely recommend. Amongst the Indian food on offer, I managed to eat at Tulsi, and while I wasn’t too disappointed, I love Auckland’s Sandringham more. I must say the coffee was much better than Auckland, coffee lovers run! Don’t even get me started about how quirky the city is! Random art installations here and there, pop up shops, museums and art galleries… I love how all of them are free to walk into and you can easily spend a whole day or two being lost in them. I would vouch for Te Papa being so much more interactive than the Auckland museum. I wouldn’t be happy paying to get into the Auckland museum, I’m just glad I made the mandatory visit when I was a student and it was free for me. I also managed to catch an night art display called ‘Power Plant’ at the Botanic Gardens and wished even more that

Auckland had events like that one. The entire city centre is easily walkable – and I loved that about Welly. It is also awesome how you can take a vintage cable car when you want to go uphill! I’m dreaming of one of those on Auckland city streets…sigh! I did not need to use much public transport when I was there and this is a bystander’s perspective but there does seem to be a lot more people who use public transport there as compared to what I’ve noticed in Auckland. The bus stops and train stations were always full, buses were aplenty and there are trolley buses there too! All in all, I left Wellington with a heavy heart, craving more. I have even declared that I would Love to live there. I know just three days is too short a duration to declare something like this but hey! The city makes an impression, and a good one at that. Someone said, “ When people get time in Wellington, they enjoy the city. When people get time in Auckland, they run away!” Oi Aucklanders! Try running away to Wellington for a few days, what say? 11 April 2014


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Bollywood Diary Big B launches Rajnikanth’s ‘Kochadaiiyaan’

he wrote: “Back from the launch of ‘KOCHADAIIYAN’ Rajnikanth’s motion capture technology film, made directed by his daughter .. INCREDIBLE !!” Directed by Rajnikanth’s daughter Soundarya Ashwin, the film is supposed to be India’s first motion capture photorealistic 3D animated movie. ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ is slated to release Apr 11 worldwide.


ollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has launched the Hindi trailer of southern superstar Rajinikanth’s much awaited film ‘Kochadaiiyaan’. “Launching first look of dear family friend, colleague and admirer of Rajnikanth…,” Bachchan tweeted. Praising Rajnikanth’s daughter Soundarya’s work as a debut director,


Medical Health Expo Prevention is better than cure

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Deepika reaches 15 million Facebook fans


ollywood actress Deepika Padukone is all set to treat her fans after her Facebook page crossed 15 million likes recently, making her the first actor in the industry to cross the milestone number. To celebrate the appreciation she has been receiving, Deepika gave her fans an opportunity to chat with her live on Facebook on Mar 26. Deepika has always considered the fans to be the reason behind her success and makes it a point to express her gratitude in her own small ways. Even her recent gesture at the Filmfare awards won her many hearts and massive admiration. This Facebook chat seems to be yet another token of appreciation to her fans all over the world - her way of acknowledging that her fans mean the world to her. Deepika chose Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s dream project ‘Bajirao Mastani’ over Karan Johar’s Shuddhi. The hit jodi and real life couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone will play Bajirao and Mastani, respectively. Deepika had earlier been confirmed for Shuddhi but guess is that her love for Sanjay Leela Bhansali as a director came through. Both movies are set for a December 2015 release.

Sonam Kapoor got candid with dad Anil Kapoor on Koffee with Karan


aran’s flattering questions were met by an equally pompous Sonam Kapoor, while Anil Kapoor sat by her daughter nodding and backing her steps to stardom. Making shocking statements like, if you don’t look good they label you as a good actor, indicating she has the best of both. Excerpt from the interview: Karan: Does it bother you when you are not labeled as one of the lead actors, performance wise... you walk tall like one but does it bother you when they talk about other actors more in the acting department? Sonam : Well, you know the thing about the industry is they think if you are not good looking they think you are a good actor. It’s true! 11 April 2014



Eka Lagnachi Goshta delights audiences O

n the autumn evening of 29th March 2014, Avondale theatre audience were beaming with laughter and applause. The super hit Marathi play “Eka Lagnachi Goshta” was presented by Auckland Marathi Association, featuring Mr. Prashant Damle and Ms. Kavita Lad Medhekar. The supporting roles were played by local actors. The play derives its plot from the prenuptial and post-nuptial episodes that take place in the life of a couple. Typically these episodes revolve around emotions that range from jealousy to compromise that the couple makes in order to live happily. This show has started the onset of professional Marathi plays in New Zealand. Prashant Damle and Kavita Lad played the lead characters in the play. The two narrators in the play played by Bipin Chavan and Pinaki Naik,kept the audience’s attention glued to the circumstances the couple are found in. The other supporting actors were Vijay Parulkar, Jayashree Sonar, Binita Redey, Sunil Joshi, Vishal Patil, Manisha Kolhe and Pushkar Kulkarni.

It is certainly characters that derive this play. Each actor gave a strong performance that has us both sympathizing with and criticizing their characters, while never missing an opportunity for comedy. In particular, Prashant Damle, Kavita Lad , Binita Redey, Sunil Joshi and Vijay Parulkar demonstrated excellent comic timing – with Vijay Parulkar able to make the most straight-laced character of “Boss” into the comic role that blew the audience away. Prashant Damle said that Auckland audience was one of the best and praised the back stage team, also words of praise for Santanu Ghosh for his amazing sets. The two hit programmes hosted by Auckland Marathi Association would not have been successful without the help from

all our major sponsors and extreme hard work and dedication from all the AMAI Executive Committee members. Auckland Marathi Association is gearing up for another programme which is going to be unique in its own stride, a musical journey “Ragas to Rock” to be staged on 3rd May at Green Bay School auditorium. This event is free for all the AMAI members.


EVENTS 11 April 2014


how 2014

Zealand’s largest and most loved family show, an annual must-see for young and old and the young at heart. Date and Time: Thursday 17 April, 10:00am – Monday 21 April, 10:00pm Venue: ASB Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West, Auckland Admission: Free Website:

Buddha’s Day Multicultural Festival

The Annual Buddha’s Day Multicultural Festival will be held at Auckland’s largest working Buddhist Monastery. Come and enjoy the array of traditional Taiwanese, Chinese and Malaysian food. The main stage will be showcasing local and International talent throughout the day. You are welcome to join in the Prayer for World Peace, Bathing of the Buddha and Baby Blessings. With a massive line-up of entertainment, circus Go into the draw to win either a return trip to acts, rides and exhibits, plus an A&P Show that Asia and a return trip to Melbourne or Brisbane. has been running for more than 160 years, the Enjoy the Temple’s beautiful Zen gardens, Art Coca-Cola Easter Show has a special place up of entertainment, circus acts, rides and exhibits, an A&P Exhibits andplus Tea House. in the hearts and minds of New Zealanders. This is a free event and everyone running for more than 160 years, the Coca-Cola Easter Show has is welcome! Big rides from Mahon’s Amusements, five

Coca-Cola Easter Show 2014

Changing the Story – Symposium and Book Launch Coinciding with an autumn suite of exhibitions by indigenous artists from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki hosts the free symposium, ‘Changing The Story: How do we understand contemporary indigenous art today?’ on Saturday 12 April. ‘Changing The Story’ will offer attendees a deeper insight into contemporary Māori art practice, as well as a chance to reflect on how Māori art has been discussed in the past. The symposium is free and open to all, however people are encouraged to register as there is limited capacity at the venue. Date and Time: Saturday 12 April 2014, 10:00am – 6:00pm Venue: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland Tickets: Free For more information: http://www.

daysminds of culturalof entertainment that spans heartsfulland New Zealanders.

Date and Time: Sunday 13 April, 10:00am – the globe, feeding the lambs and watching 4:00pm sheep shearing. An essential feature of the Venue: Folivestock Guang Shan North Island, 16 n’s Amusements, four huge halls of prize winning and Coca-Cola Easter Show, the celebrated Zirka Stancombe Rd, Auckland Circus returns, thethat New spans Zealand the Strongman ral entertainment globe. Admission: Free competition and fireworks displays. Website: The Auckland Coca-Cola Easter Show is New

go from feeding the lambs and watching sheep shearing, to s out on a huge ride, to dancing along to a fantastic musical ess than an hour!

of the Coca-Cola Easter Show, the celebrated Zirka Circus s a day that will have the audience of the edge of their seats. feats of skills and strength have to been seen to be believed.

he New Zealand Strongman competition is always a crowd tors win over the crowd with their amazing efforts.

popular marketplace, with products to buy and watch. And New Zealand’s largest art competition is something ith artworks of every type and genre.

s brings the big rides to the Coca-Cola Easter Show and this t, Scream Machine, Gravitron and other favourites return to get ng for the big kids, while at the other end of the scale, the ing smiles to the faces of the little kids and their parents.

Sham-e-Ghazal, Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan

Urdu Hindi Cultural Assosiation of New Zealand Inc. presents 3-in-1 ghazal programme evening, in New Zealand. Help promote and preserve the two most prominent languages of the Indian subcontinent. Come one, come all. ‘Mazedar Hydrabadi Biryani’ and other vegetarian stuff will also be available. So don’t miss this special entertainment opportunity, which will also provide a glimpse of the cultural richness of Indian and Pakistani plethora to your children. Date: Saturday 24 May, 6:30pm onwards Venue: Fickling Convention Centre, Three Kings, Auckland Entry absolutely free For more information please contact: Syed Mujeeb 0211602135 or 09 8284876

Nanaksar Education Phulwari

In the divine presence of Sant Baba Amar Singh Ji , Nanaksar Education Phulwari Childcare Centre, Manurewa is celebrating its 5 years completion in the form of Family Fun Day on April 19, 2014. There will be performances by childcare children, face painting magic show, bouncy castle and much more. You all are cordially invited to grace the event. For more information contact on Tel no. 092693546, Mob. -02111313209


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Ankhon Dekhi: A Rajat Kapoor classic!

Now Miss World and Bollywood on Koyal Rana’s wish list

Shreya Bakshi


would begin by saying that Ankhon Dekhi, for me, is right up there, in the same league as Lunch box, however, not as polished. Ankhon Dekhi is, simple, subtle, and unique; it is a film that leaves you with a sense of calm, and confusion. Set in a tiny corner of Dilli 6, this film takes you on a journey, in to the life of one man, fondly referred to as Bauji. Bauji decides to stop believing in, what we call, hearsay; to be precise though, he decides to stop believing in anything and everything that he hasn’t seen with his own eyes and heard with his own ears. Interesting, right? And thus follows a series of comical, and emotional events; events that begin to define his life and of those around him. But, I have only just touched the surface; the issue is much deeper. Director Rajat Kapoor has managed to disguise a much deeper problem under the veil of humour. Bauji’s decision isn’t just a result of his struggles as a man who is struggling, on a daily basis, but is really a result of being a misfit in a society full of people who would rather just blindly follow, than learn. It is a result of being suffocated by prejudices, and constrained by unnecessary norms. It is a result of taking ourselves so seriously, as human beings that we forget we live in an absolutely wonderful world.

J Ankhon Dekhi is a commentary on the mentality and thought process of us humans; our rigidity, our fears and to a certain extent, our subconscious refusal to use our most powerful tool, our beautiful brain. It is a rendition of life as it is; but it comes with a lesson. It teaches us how to live, and do so with absolute joy. But that is not to say that the film is perfect; sadly, it falls short on certain counts. That said, these flaws aren’t so overwhelmingly bad, to stop you from enjoying the film as a whole. To read the full review visit: ankhon-dekhi-a-review/

aipur girl Koyal Rana knows what she wants and says after winning the Femina Miss India 2014 title that her next target is Miss World -- but in the meanwhile, if “good Bollywood offers” come her way, she wont’ mind accepting them either. “I am feeling on top of the world. I have clarity about what I exactly want to do in life. After being Miss India, now I aspire to be Miss World,” Koyal, who was crowned at the 51st edition of the beauty. She “look up to Sushmita Sen” for inspiration as she feels that the former beauty queen has “achieved so much in her life”. Born in Jaipur and raised in Delhi, Koyal says education is as important for her as being Miss India. She said: “Education is certainly important for me. I also want to focus on my studies. I am pursuing Bachelor of Business from Delhi.”


TANGY CHICKEN NIBBLES Ruby’s Kitchen By Ruby Dhillon

Ingredients • • • • • • •

750g chicken nibbles 2tbsp- liquid honey 2tbsp- tomato sauce 1tbsp- soya sauce 1tsp- red chilli powder 1tsp- salt 1tsp- garlic paste

Method • • • •

In a small bowl combine all the ingredients except chicken nibbles. Mix the ingredients with the fork. Add chicken nibbles to it and Mix well until evenly coated. Cover and keep for 4 to 8 hours. Cook on preheated barbeque for 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through. Serve hot.




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632 Dominion Rd | 195 New Windsor Rd, Avondale | 541B Sandringham Rd | 32 Queen Street | Unit 19, 185 Great South Road, Manurewa

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DISCLAIMER: *Based on availability and pricing as at 4th April 2014. Prices start from $585,000 NZD, refer to a current Ivory price list for a complete list of prices. All prices are quoted in NZD. Δ Entry into Auckland Grammar and Epsom Grammar (and all other schools The Ivory is zoned for) is a matter entirely at the discretion of the relevant schools. Prospective purchasers must make their own enquiries to satisfy themselves that purchase of a particular Ivory residence will allow for entry into their school of choice. **The purchaser must pay the balance of the deposit as specified in the Sale and Purchase Agreement, within 10 working days of signing the Agreement. At settlement the full purchase price, less the deposit, must be paid. Every Precaution has been taken to establish the accuracy of the material herein at the time of printing, however, no responsibility will be taken for any errors or omissions. Prospective purchasers should not confine themselves solely to the content of this material but make their own enquiries to satisfy themselves with regard to all aspects. The material herein was prepared prior to the commencement of construction and the approval of necessary Territorial Authority consents. The Developer reserves the right to increase or decrease the number of units according to market demand and therefore the sizes and proposed layouts of the units may vary accordingly. The number of parking spaces and configuration of basement levels in the Building may be altered in the sole and absolute discretion of the Developer. Changes may be made during development and all dimensions, finishes, fittings and specifications are subject to change without notice. Prospective purchasers acknowledge that they have had reasonable opportunity to seek legal, technical and other advice and have either obtained such advice or decided not to do so of their own accord. Auckland Council District Plan (Isthmus) minimum complying apartment sizes are studio 35m2, 1 bedrooms 45m2, 2 bedrooms 70m2, 3 bedrooms 90m2.


Iwk issue23 lowres  
Iwk issue23 lowres