National Party’s candidate in South Auckland’s newest electorate Takanini - Rima Nakhle -  visited Gurdwara Sri Kalgidhar Sahib on Sunday, June 21.

She was accompanied by National’s Kiwi-Indian MP, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, MP for adjoining Papakura constituency, Judith Collins, and local councillor Daniel Newman. 

They were received at the temple by Daljeet Singh and Ranveer Singh Lali, the spokesperson and the president of the Supreme Sikh Society - the body responsible for the overall functioning of the largest Sikh temple in New Zealand - respectively, along with other volunteers at the temple and some members of the community. 

Notably, Takanini Gurudwara is a prominent community hub in South Auckland that was granted essential services status recently during the Alert Level 4 lockdown, following which, the temple had offered free food-packets to the tens of thousands of families, earning a special vote of thanks from the NZ parliament. 

Earlier this year, the electoral Representation Commission has announced Takanini as the new electorate (earlier name Flatbush) in South Auckland for the upcoming elections in September 2020. 

Following that announcement, both Labour and National Parties had recently announced their respective candidates. 

Given the strong ethnic composition of the electorate particularly Indian, Chinese and Pacifica, there were huge expectations that both the parties might be keen on nominating ethnically diverse candidates. 

National Party has on Sunday, June 14, announced Rima Nakhle as the Party’s candidate for the Takaini electorate. 

Ms Nakhle is currently working as Executive Manager at Te Mahia Community Village, a family business which provides emergency and transitional housing accommodation.

She was born in Sydney and immigrated to New Zealand in 2012 after marrying her husband. She completed a Law degree at Western Sydney University and is an enrolled barrister and solicitor.

 “I’m delighted to be selected as National’s candidate for Takanini. This is an exciting new opportunity with a new electorate, and I will be working hard to ensure Takanini has strong National representation come September 19,” Ms Nakhle said.

 

“Takanini is a growing area with hard-working families who are trying to get ahead. They, alongside the rest of New Zealand, are facing tough economic times, and they need a National Government to help guide them through these times.

 About Takanini electorate

 Ethnic voters, particularly the Kiwi-Indian voters are expected to play a key role in deciding the election of the next electorate MP of the Takanini electorate, as rough estimates suggest that the community represents 21 per cent of total voters in the electorate.

 According to Statistics NZ, there are 15,720 usual residents in the 2018 Census, who identify themselves as of Indian ethnicity in Flat Bush ‘proposed’ electorate. 

 Notably, this count is for those who identified themselves as ‘Indian ethnicity’. 

This means that a person might have identified themselves as ‘Indian ethnicity’ only OR as ‘Indian ethnicity and other ethnicities’. 

The total population of Flat Bush electorate is 74,550.