The Indian Weekender Honours, aka Kiwi-Indian Hall of Fame, is where the rarest of rare, especially those who have contributed immensely to the community are honoured, at a platform which is considered the biggest formal event of the Indian diaspora in New Zealand.
The rest of the community takes pride and inspiration from the Honours while showering their generous appreciation on those who eventually take home the Honours.
Community’s biggest Honours
The Honours, which initially started with the Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame, has over the years incorporated the Young Achievers and Community Excellence Award, to reflect the community’s growing expectations and ambitions in Aotearoa.
The list of former Hall of Fame inductees includes MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (2013), Judge Dr Ajit Swaran Singh (2014), Dr Kantilal Naranji Patel (2015) and Dr C.S. Benjamin (2016), Sukhi Turner (2017) and Dr Sharad Paul (2018).
The Kiwi Indian Young Achiever of the Year award recognises a young Kiwi-Indian (aged between 16 and 35) who has done exceptionally well in his/her field of work. The award was instituted in 2015 and was bestowed upon DJ Charlie aka Prerna Singh in 2015, neuroscientist Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains in 2016, budding politician Shail Kaushal in 2017 and Muskan Devata in 2018.
The Community Excellence Award came into existence in 2017 realising a long felt expectation within the community of recognising and facilitating some of the most dedicated personalities who have worked steadily in the area of community service. The inaugural edition of this award went to Thakor Parbhu Singh followed by Jeet Suchdev in 2018.
The brief description of the awards as mentioned above will inform everyone that the basic philosophy of The Indian Weekender Honours is recognition by the community and of the community.
It is to say that these Honours are not mere recognition of a selected few by the community; rather they are also recognition of the entire Indian community in New Zealand when the crème de la crème of the country gets a first-hand experience of energy and vibrancy that our community brings to Kiwi life.
An exclusive red-carpet reception is rolled out to every guest at the event with flashing cameras, so as to make them feel like a celebrity. The glamour and entertainment quotient of this annual event has always been the talk of the town, months after the awards night.
The event also has an envious tradition of having the country’s Prime Minister as the chief guest of the event, along with the presence of many key politicians including the Leader of Opposition, Mayor of Auckland, Ministers of the Crown and Members of Parliament.
Not to forget, major community organisations like New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA), Auckland Indian Association, Indian Association of NZ, Shanti Niwas, Gandhi Niwas, Telangana Association, Auckland Tamil Association, Auckland Marathi Association, Bhartiya Samaj, Auckland Sikh Society, Hindu Council, and Punjabi Cultural Association have been gracing the occasion with their presence.
Reaching new heights in 2017
In 2017, The Indian Weekender Honours reached new heights when Indian Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. V. K. Singh, visited the country exclusively for this event, thus raising the profile of this premium diaspora event high up in the Indian government’s calendar of global diaspora events around the world.
Simultaneously, Bollywood heartthrob singers Armaan and Amaal Malik and seasoned stand-up comedian from India, Amit Tandon, attended the event as special guests and were able to create a truly memorable night for those who attended the event.
The event has kept its promise of elevating the glamour and entertainment quotient of this annual event to a higher level.
Raising the bar in 2018
In 2018, a glorious new chapter was added to the annals of The Indian Weekender Honours as we launched for first-time 25 NZ–India Most Influential List – a prestigious list of key movers and shakers who have played a critical role in developing the bilateral relationship between India and New Zealand.
For the Kiwi-Indian diaspora, the relationship between New Zealand—a country they have chosen as their new home—and India—a country that many identify as their original home—is of paramount interest.
The Indian Weekender, through this high-powered and exclusive list, intends to salute the contribution of every individual towards the collective goal of taking the NZ–India relationship to the next level.
The inaugural edition of the 25 NZ–India Most Influential List was not only well-received among all key stakeholders of this growing relationship between the two countries, including the offices of India’s External Affairs Ministry and Commerce Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), New Zealand.
There are already huge expectations in the community and beyond about the second edition of the prestigious and exclusive list in this year’s Kiwi-Indian Hall of Fame Honours.
Apart from this India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, who was all set to attend the event in 2018 himself and had to cancel due to some unforeseen circumstances, addressed the guests through a video message.
Indeed, this was a great benchmark to just match, leaving aside the task of raising the benchmark in 2019 and beyond.
However, the publisher and the team at The Indian Weekender are committed to put in their best efforts for the show and promise to bring another night to remember and cherish about.
Call for nominations is open
The call for nominations is out now for the three categories—Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame, Kiwi Indian Young Achiever of the Year, and Kiwi Indian Unsung Hero of the Year, for the year 2019.
While our team works in the background to present another memorable award night, the community is on call for keeping an eye around to identify who they think would be worthy of the awards and nominate their names. The nomination form can be found at www.halloffame.co.nz. Just fill it in and submit (as per directions on the website).