Singapore born and Indian descent candidate for the Henderson-Massey Board and Waitakere Licensing Trust Murali Kumar is urging New Zealand’s ethnic communities remain connected by engaging within themselves and with the wider diverse Kiwi-communities.

Speaking with The Indian Weekender about the ongoing campaigning for the local body elections Murali said, “We must engage. We do have a very strong multicultural community here, and we have an opportunity to work with our diverse communities actively and build strong bridges across different cultures in New Zealand.

Murali has extensive experience in engaging with diverse, multicultural communities in different capacities of an artist, performer, council worker and is an event producer.

“It’s all good that we have flourishing ethnic communities within themselves, however, it is in everyone’s best interests and in the interest of New Zealand as a country that we have a thriving inter-community engagement as well.

 “We are fortunate to be living in New Zealand – a country with a robust democratic and political process in place – and it’s our duty to participate in that process and be represented in the decision-making,” Murali said.

Murali has worked as a teacher in Singapore for a short period before higher studies in Australia and New Zealand and eventually settling in New Zealand and in his own words is a “living example of multiculturalism.”

“I am fortunate to be born, raised and settled in a multicultural environment. From the very beginning, I have been imbibed with the innate sense of appreciating different cultures, thus helping me to connect with our diverse communities,” Murali affirmed.

Murali is the founding Trustee, Operations & Events Manager for the Communities Action Trust (CATNZ), through which he delivers the annual Diwali Festival of Lights and the bi-annual South East Asian Night Market events in Wellington.

“Now, I am fortunate to be standing for our diverse West Auckland communities and be able to represent them at the local board and licensing trust.”

Recalling his door-knocking and campaigning experience ever since throwing his hat in the ring for the local elections Murali said, “In the last two weeks I have been busy in meeting our diverse communities at different events like Pacific community event in Te Atatu - the Fiafia night, the Te Atatu family gala day and the Asian Bazar event, Waitakere Hindi Language and Cultural School’s charity show, St Dionysius’ Indian Orthodox Church’s Onam and LinkedIn Local Auckland event in Ellen Melville Centre and many more.

“I am thankful for all the encouragement and support that I have been getting throughout the process,” Murali said.

On being asked what were the main attributes and values that make him special and worthy enough to get a tick from prospective voters Murali said, “It would be my passion in bringing people together and connecting and empowering us.”

“I believe in giving and growing,” Murali said before signing off.