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New Zealand's First Indian-origin MP Addresses Parliament in Malayalam, Shashi Tharoor Impressed

Priyanca Radhakrishnan has become the first New Zealand MP to address the Kiwi Parliament in Malayalam, her native tongue | Image credit: Twitter

Priyanca Radhakrishnan has become the first New Zealand MP to address the Kiwi Parliament in Malayalam, her native tongue | Image credit: Twitter

Labour leader Priyanca Radhakrishnan has been made a minister in the new New Zealand cabinet under re-elected PM Jacinda Ardern.

Priyanca Radhakrishnan, the first Indian origin minister of New Zealand, spoke in the parliament in her native language — Malayalam.

India’s Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri shared a video of Priyanca speaking in Malayalam in the parliament of New Zealand. Tweeting the video, he said, “Doing India proud, the Indian origin minister in New Zealand @priyancanzlp addresses her country's parliament in Malayalam.”

The video which is now getting viral is from November 2017. Priyanca has been a member of the New Zealand parliament twice and is a member of the Labour Party for the last 14 years. She was born in Chennai, the capital of the Indian state Tamil Nadu but her family is originally from Kerala. She moved to New Zealand for higher education after she completed her school in Singapore.

Earlier, Shashi Tharoor had congratulated Priyanca for her selection in the New Zealand’s cabinet in a tweet. He had also expressed that people from Kerala are taking pride in Priyanca’s success.

The 41-year-old New Zealand minister had thanked Shashi Tharoor and recalled an old incident with the Indian politician.

Many other prominent Indian leaders congratulated her for getting the new responsibility in the Jacinda Ardern-led government. Recently, dairy cooperative society Amul made a doodle on Priyanca and wrote ‘Immigreat achievement’ to mark that a first-generation immigrant has become New Zealand’s first ever Indian origin minister.

She thanked them for the doodle and said that she is utterly butterly delighted to be featured in the doodle. ‘Utterly butterly delicious’ is the tagline used by Amul.

Priyanca is among the five new ministers that have been inducted into the country’s cabinet. Jacinda had described this new cabinet as ‘incredibly diverse.’

She has been appointed the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment. She will also be the Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities. In 2019, she became Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities.


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