PRIYANCA … Priyanca, from Menon family in Kochi, as first Indian-origin minister in New Zealand

NEWS PRIYANCANEW DELHI: Priyanca Radhakrishnan, hailing from a ‘Menon’ family in Kochi, Kerala, has been named as New Zealand’s first-ever Indian-origin minister. She has been brought into the Labour Party-run ministry of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that is now under formation stage. Upon swearing in on Friday, she will be minister for diversity, inclusion and ethnic communities.

The 41-year-old Priyanka studied in Singapore, after her parents’ migration there from Chennai where her father first worked after obtaining a degree from Kanpur IIT. Priyanca later moved to New Zealand for further studies. There, she got involved in the Labour-run student union activities, functioned as leader of the foreign students group, and got close to Ardern. She also became MP; first in 2017 polls and now for the second time, helping in her inclusion in the Labour ministry, though without a cabinet rank for now. 

Last year, Priyanca had been appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the New Zealand minister for Ethnic communities. She has also been designated as associate minister for social sector development, and employment.The 40-year-old Ardern won a landslide victory for the Labour party in the general election to Parliament a fortnight ago, riding the crest of a popularity wave. 


New Zealand, set in the south-Pacific ocean close to Australia, has a population of nearly 51lakh. It is spread over two main islands and clusters of small islands numbering over 500. It is a largely developed, happy-go-lucky nation with its capital at Wellington, while Auckland remains as the principal commercial hub and largest-populated city in the island nation. 

HISTORY: Europeans or more precisely the seafaring Dutch set foot over the islands first in the 17th Century. In the 19th Century, the Great Britain signed an accord — Treaty of Waitangi — with the local tribal communities and brought the islands under its control. New Zealand gained full Independence in 1847, the same year as India too did. However, the British monarch –the Queen — remains as the head of the state.

An affluent nation, its per capita GDP is of $38,670. Against this, India’s per capita GDP is at a deep low of around $2000. –IHN-NNINDIA HERE AND NOW

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