New Zealand got its first-ever Indian-origin minister recently after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern inducted five new ministers into her executive. The 41-year-old, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, sworn in as the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector. Priyanca Radhakrishnan has spent her work life advocating on behalf of people whose voices are often unheard women survivors of domestic violence, and migrant workers who have been exploited.
She was born in Chennai but her family is from Paravoor in Kerala. She went to school in Singapore before moving to New Zealand to further her education. In 2017, she was elected first as a Member of Parliament belonging to the Labour Party and, in 2019, was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities. Radhakrishnan has now been given the role of helped role of Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities. Besides, she has also become the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment. She has become New Zealand’s first-ever Kiwi Indian Minister, the New Zealand Herald newspaper quoted Indian Weekender as saying. She is a minister outside of the Cabinet
Announcing the names of the new ministers, Prime Minister Ardern said: “I am excited to be bringing in some new talent, with the first-hand experience in the areas that they will be working in, and reflecting the New Zealand that elected us on the 17th of October”. “Within this lineup, I’m playing to people’s strengths,” she said. “This is a Cabinet and an executive that is based on merit but also happens to be incredibly diverse,” Ardern said, days after her centre-left Labour Party won a landslide victory in the country’s general election.
With 87 per cent of the votes counted, Ardern’s centre-left Labour Party has won 48.9 per cent of the vote, meaning her party looks likely to score the highest result that any party has achieved since the current political system was introduced in 1996. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had congratulated Ardern for her victory and said that he looks forward to working together for taking India- New Zealand relationship to a higher level.