History created: Labour Party's MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan has created history by becoming the first-ever Kiwi-Indian Minister in New Zealand government.
The second time MP Priyanca has been appointed as Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Minister for Youth, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment.
This is an incredible elevation for the second term MP to be given the responsibility with three full-fledged Minister roles and one Associate roles in the cabinet.
In the last term (2017-2020) Radhakrishnan was Private Secretary to the then Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa, who has been dropped from the executive altogether and moved into Assistant Speaker role in this second term labour government.
Exclusive interview with the Indian Weekender after becoming Minister
In an exclusive interview with the Indian Weekender from Wellington immediately after Prime Minister's announcement on cabinet reshuffle Priyanca expressed rejoice on the news of her elevation as the first-ever Minister of Indian-descent in any New Zealand government.
"This is a great privilege and I am humbled by this opportunity to serve the community," Radhakrishnan said.
On being asked when was the first time she was informed by the Prime Minister about getting the new role in the cabinet Radhakrishan sagaciously deflected the query with a smile and saying, "Look there was a bit of process ... and I got to know before today."
"As you would appreciate there is a bit of process to follow within caucus and nothing is certain till the actual announcement. So finally it was confirmed just before Prime Minister's media stand up," Radhakrishnan.
One the question of incredible responsibility being thrust upon her with full Ministerial responsibility for three different portfolios along with an additional Associate responsibility Radhakrishnan said, "This is a great privilege to have Ministerial responsibilities. These roles as you may know I am quite passionate about for a number of years."
"The community & volunteer sector is a sector in which I worked primarily in my working life. The other role of ethnic communities, I have been parliamentary Private Secretary for a year and a half in the last term."
"These all roles I am incredibly excited about and it is a great privilege," Radhakrishnan said.
Can Kiwi-Indian community facing immigration challenges expect more support from her?
When the Indian Weekender asked her on what can Kiwi-Indian community experiencing a myriad of challenges in negotiating with immigration system expect Radhakrishnan responded reassuringly that she was aware of community's plight and will continue to advocate for them with the Minister for Immigration.
Notably, among many other issues facing the Kiwi-Indian community, immigration continues to be one of the most pressing ones, with often lives of thousands and thousands of migrants being held hostage to lack of policy and procedural clarity from the government, particularly from the last term.
In this regard, Radhakrishnan's elevation as the first-ever Kiwi-Indian Minister in any NZ government would raise immense hope and expectation from the members of the community.
The Indian Weekender congratulates Radhakrishan on this historic achievement and wishes her a successful tenure ahead.
This article is free to read, but it would awesome if we had your support.