Breaking: India to open full service consulate in Auckland
The Indian government has approved a proposal to open a full service consulate in Auckland, a move being described as one that will strengthen the South Asian giant’s diplomatic footprint in New Zealand.
The cabinet chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 27, 2023, cleared the opening of a new Consulate General of India in Auckland, likely within 12 months.
India’s main diplomatic mission in Aotearoa currently operates out of Wellington, and an honorary consulate opened in 2017 in Auckland serves Kiwi-Indians in this city.
The opening of that consulate was in line with established protocol, and a full service consulate will be the natural progression of that move, says Bhav Dhillon, the first and current Honorary Consul of India in Auckland. He expressed satisfaction and happiness that full services like passport renewal, OCI and visa issuance will now be available in Auckland.
“Thanks to PM Modi for accepting our long standing demand as a fully staffed and resourced consulate general was the need of the hour with now nearly 200,000 Indians in greater Auckland region.
"This will also help strengthen India’s diplomatic presence in New Zealand. This will bolster India's increasing role in the world, especially in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
The honorary consulate, called Consulate of India, Auckland, was opened nearly six years back with a view to providing a diplomatic channel and serving Kiwi-Indians, who had to liaise with the embassy in Wellington for all big and small needs.
According to a press statement from the Indian government, “Opening of Consulate General of India in Auckland would help in increasing India’s diplomatic footprint and strengthen India’s diplomatic representation in view of India’s increasing global engagement.
“This will also help promote India’s strategic and commercial interests and better serve the welfare of the Indian community in Auckland.”