Immigration, a term coined in the seventeenth century when people crossed borders was of significance then and is of huge prominence now as well. United States witnessed huge influx of people during the colonial era when people migrated for greater economic opportunities or in some quest of their own belief. Today, when we have countries with their own specific laws and regulations governing the immigration documented in their law books, people migrate for a better life in terms of economy, standard of living or eminent facilities.
On the same lines, many Indians have migrated to New Zealand and have established their identity in the new country. They migrated with some aspirations and have been among the lucky ones to achieve them. Looking at some of the major ones of recent times –
Sir Owen George Glenn
Born in Kolkata in 1940, India Sir Owen George Glenn immigrated to New Zealand in 1952 and became a naturalized New Zealand citizen in 1961. A very successful businessman and a philanthropist, he is the founder and executive chairman of Vanguard Logistics Services, the USA’s largest neutral non-vessel operating common carrier and among top five largest NVOOCs in the world. His philanthropic works are remarkable and his contribution is believed to be the largest private donation in New Zealand educational history.
An Indian born New Zealand businessman, Anthony was the chairman and managing director of WA Marketing Ltd (WAML Group) and the chairman and Director of Pact Industries Pty Ltd, Australia. He studied in Loyola College, Chennai and later on became the Deputy Director and Secretary to the Board of Studies for Loyola Institute of Business Administration. He was also appointed as the Director on the Board of Bank of Baroda in New Zealand.
Born in Daman (city in India), Shirley Setia is a New Zealand singer of Indian origin. She studied in Auckland and started her career by uploading content on YouTube. With time, she rose up to become extremely popular among the youth and enjoys a huge fan base today. As of March 2020, she has 3.3 million subscribers on YouTube and 244.86 million users. She has shifted to Mumbai to explore her dream opportunities in Bollywood.
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi
Bakshi was born in Delhi, India. He studied and worked in India and then moved to New Zealand in 2001. He belonged to a political background in India and in New Zealand, he is a politician and a member of the National Party. He is both New Zealand’s first Indian and first Sikh Member of Parliament. Elected in 2008 by way of party list, he is recognized for fostering ties between New Zealand and India. He has also received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award at a ceremony in India in January 2015 for building a positive profile of people of Indian Origin in New Zealand and South Pacific.
Studied and worked amongst the Indian community in Auckland, New Zealand, she is an Indian-born-New Zealand politician who has been elected to the New Zealand parliament in 2017 general election as a representative of the New Zealand Labour Party. Post the re-shuffling of the Cabinet, she has been appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary for Ethnic Affairs at present.
Jeetan Shashi Patel
With his roots belonging to Navsari, Gujarat, Jeetan Patel is a former New Zealand international cricketer – a restrictive off spin bowler. From 2005 to 2013, he played for New Zealand internationally. He has twice been named as the most valuable player by England’s Professional Cricketers’ Association.
There are various other notable examples of Indian origin personalities who have made their mark in New Zealand post immigration. Undoubtedly, this highlights the merit of individuals and is also evident of the fact that New Zealand not only welcomes the immigrants, but also gives them the opportunity to prove their worth in every field. Be it business, politics, media, singing or sports, Indian New Zealanders have made significant contribution in each domain.
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