The Green Party is continuing its push to make fresh inroads into the regions and territories considered beyond its influence in a bid to form their first ever government in New Zealand.

In 2014, more people had voted for Green than ever before and the Party is hopeful that it has a real chance to be in the government in 2017.

Towards this goal, it seems, the Party is coming up with innovative strategies and measures and connecting with

After the recent announcement of a provisional list of candidates, which had many young and popular faces, the party has announced a Kiwi-Indian Barrister and Solicitor Raj Pardeep Singh as their candidate in Manukau East.

Mr Singh is the founder and principal of Legal Associates, a law firm based in South Auckland.

Indian Weekender spoke with Mr Singh on his candidacy with the Green party and the value that he can offer to the Kiwi-Indian voters in the 2017 general elections.

IWK: Why did you choose Green Party over other main stream parties like the National and Labour Party?

Mr Singh: I find myself personally aligned with Green Party’s beliefs and values, especially in ecological wisdom, transparent governance, and centrality of Treaty of Waitangi in their deliberations. Ecological wisdom to me means that man is more important than the machine, which should be our key emphasis. Similarly, as a new migrant in this country, I find myself looking towards the Treaty of Waitangi as a basis for everyone getting equal and fair treatment in New Zealand.

IWK: Is there any particular Green policy which attracts you the most?

Mr Singh: Yes, transparent governance. I feel that there had not been much transparency in many previous governments, especially the National Party led governments. 

IWK: How are you going to convince the Kiwi-Indian voters for the Green party, as apparently Indian voters do not know much about the Green Party?

Mr Singh: Well, I believe that we should not be unnecessarily judging the intelligence of our Kiwi-Indian voters. I am confident that when we speak to them about the Green party’s values and policies, then they will surely be able to take an informed decision.

IWK: Is there any one particular policy that you want to talk more than anything else to the Kiwi-Indian community?

Mr Singh: Yes, certainly, with us Kiwi-Indians being the new migrants in this beautiful country, I will like to talk to them about Green Party’s migration policy. It is one policy that is dear to my heart. As a Green party member, I am putting my personal bill for three key policy areas – “visa for life,” “home for life,” and “water for life.” As a migrant and residents in this country, we all need a visa, home, and fresh water for life, regardless of our situation.

IWK: Do you think that the current National government or the Labour’s previously have not done enough on migration?

Mr Singh:  Once Green Party makes a government with the Labour Party as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), we will work together on migration and let’s see what we can do more for the migrating families, their parent and their children.

IWK: How do you see adding value to the lives of Kiwi Indian community all over in NZ as a Green Party candidate?

Mr Singh: This is the first time that our Kiwi-Indian voters will have a choice to vote for a co-member from the community in the Green Party if that is what they want to vote for. As a Green Party member and candidate, I will be going to people to explain what Green Party has to offer them.

IWK: Are you included in the recent provisional list released by the Green Party for the parliament?

Mr Singh: No, I am not on the list as I choose to be an electorate candidate only, as I need to first prove myself to the Indian community and the Green Party. I will be talking to the Party leadership that we need to understand what Indian migrants and other new migrant communities are seeking from the Green Party. We need to work in ways that bolster the imagery that Green Party is receptive and inclusive for all the communities in New Zealand.

IWK: Do you think Green Party has put you in a winnable position in this election?

Raj: Winnable position! Well that a good question. Of course, it’s not a winnable position because South Auckland is the weakest area for Green Party. We are around four per cent vote here in South Auckland, which includes Mangere, Manukau East, and Manurewa. Our main aim in this election is to increase party votes in South Auckland and make the party stronger.