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Indian Weekender

Indian Weekender

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Published by Indian Weekender
Vol 5 issue 7
Vol 5 issue 7

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Published by: Indian Weekender on Aug 22, 2013
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www.iwk.co.nz23 August 2013
 August 23, 2013 Vol. 5 Issue 8 | www.iwk.co.nz
The leading Kiwi Indian fortnightly newspaper 
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The Pulse of Kiwi Indians
www.iwk.co.nz23 August 2013
Len Brown: Clear focus on building an Auckland for the future
The Mayor on triumphs of his tenure and what will inspire confidence amongst voters in the upcoming election
Shriya Bhagwat-Chitale
en Brown looks relaxed, even if a tadtired. In his interaction with the ethnicmedia, he is always quite upbeat, evenexuberant. I have a feeling, a different side tothe Mayor, might come to the fore this eveningat the Town Hall in Auckland.“I enjoy campaigning, it’s an opportunity toget out in the community,” says Mr. Brown. Hehas been spotted at all the right events, amongstthe right people in the Indian community. Being personable is often attributed to him; sometimesas a compliment and sometimes as criticism,depending on who you care to ask.Well-recognised he might be, but is Len
Brown condent of being voted in the second
time, third if you count his stint as the mayor 
of Manukau? His landslide victory in the rst
Auckland-wide mayoral election in 2010notwithstanding, he is not taking the coming
election lightly. “Condence is not something
one can have too much of in politics,” he says.“But this is an opportunity for me to clearlyexpress my love for the community and for thecity.”Seated in the Auckland Town Hall, Mr.Brown seems at home. He seems philosophical,especially to the criticism of the Unitary Plan for Auckland. “You can’t please everyone,” he says,with a barely perceptible shrug.He doesn’t hesitate to back the current planwith touching conviction. Other contenders in themayoral race have pitched the idea of satellightcities. “As a proud South Aucklander, I can tellyou, that’s moving backwards. The current plan,is a good one, it’s prudent and considers the population growth of the future. We don’t wantan urban sprawl like LA,” he asserts. On manyoccasions, Mr. Brown has said that the UnitaryPlan allows for choices and options, with growththat is “a little out, a little up”.The Plan and with it the Mayor have hada fair share of criticism; but putting aside thedoubters for a moment, a recent New ZealandHerald survey revealed that 60 per cent of theCEO respondents said Brown should return tothe Auckland mayoral chambers. Only 16 per cent are against Brown getting a second term.This is sure to draw cynical snorts from some,especially if they’re competing with Mr. Brownin the mayoral race.“I make no apologies for having the backingof the business community,” he says. He smiles,admits he was surprised with the poll. “I am pleased and humbled by the results.”
Mr. Brown speaks condently of his tenure;
having maintained transparency in council’s
dealings, rigorous nancial management and
keeping rates under control.“Being able to achieve what we did withoutrate increases,” he says “is one of the top thingsin the list of those that he is proud of.” That, andthe rugby world cup; “we knuckled down anddelivered superbly despite massive pressure,” herecalls.However, the city rail loop victory, he termsas one of the greatest triumphs of his tenure. “Itis hugely impactful and to get the government’s backing after years; that’s pretty special,” headds.He has the determination to follow a planand having a clear focused; this Len Brown isvery different from the one that the ethnic mediausually sees on display at the ‘ethnic mediainteractions’. Today, he is serious and ernest.His campaign head, David Lewis who he says isreally just a mate, sits in on the interview.Mr. Brown takes his time to answer the allimportant question about why we should votefor him. “I absolutely love the community andlove the opportunity to represent the community.I have delivered on the vision and plan for the
city, and that should give people the condence,”
he says.
Representation, specically the ethnic
community closer to home, within the Councilwas raised as an issue by members of theEthnic Peoples’ Advisory Panel at a recent public meeting. Council data suggests thatethnic minorities are not fairly represented atmanagement positions.Mr. Brown reiterates his perspective on itfrom the meeting, “my job is to give a visionand plan for the city, make it the most liveablecity in the world. The CEO is the one who isresponsible for the running of the council.” Hewould not dabble in the actual running of thecouncil, “it is quite hard to set KPIs aroundsomething like this,” he says. And adds, “ I would be encouraging of the CEO so he or she can doeverything to broaden the representation.”For the moment, Mr. Brown says it’s time tostick to the plan and move forward to buildingAuckland into the world’s “most liveable city”.
“Being able to achieve what we did without rateincreases,” he says, is one of the top things inthe list of those that he is proud of. ”That, and the Rugby World Cup. We knuckled down and delivered superbly despite massive pressure,” he recalls.
www.iwk.co.nz23 August 2013
he Indian community and businessleaders in New Zealand have beendiscussing from some time the strongneed to motivate, bring forward and trainedIndian Youth for taking active roles andleadership in representing at Government andother important national and international platforms. One of such young persons -Shail Kaushal (19 Years old) is progressing promisingly. In a recent selection process for the forthcoming Local Government Electionshe has been selected for the Roskill Community
Voice ticket and conrmed as one of the
candidates from Mount Roskill, making himthe youngest Indian to stand up and contest theelections. Previously he has brought pride toIndian community by being the Youth Member of Parliament at 16 years and recently beingamong the 10 young people in NZ trained asfuture leaders in a joint pilot project by Ministry
of Youth Development, Ofce of Ethnic Affairs
and Auckland Council.The area which he is standing for coversMt Roskill, Three Kings, Hillsborough,
Waikowhai, Lyneld and Wesley. Shail Kaushal
says “I am privileged to be standing for thePuketapapa Local Board (Mt Roskill) under Roskill Community Voice, under the banner of City Vision a coalition of Labour, Greens andProgressive Community Independents”. Thestrong line-up of Roskill Community Voicecandidates include Julie Fairey, Harry Doig,Garth Houltham, Michael Wood and ShailKaushal.“My vision is simple, I want to see our young people, our community in Roskillgiven a fair go. I want the youth to be happilyemployed, learning or in training. I want tosee our community to be safe in Roskill”.Proudly brought-up and graduated fromRoskill Intermediate and Grammar, currentlya University of Auckland student, he bringsfresh thinking and strong vision for culturallydiverse Mt Roskill and the greater Auckland. “Iam committed to fairness, passionate aboutsustainability, retaining our heritage and
 believe in putting families, kids rst with youth
involvement in local communities” Mr. Kaushalsaid.As the young people like Shail are makingefforts and doing their best to bring pride for our Indian community in New Zealand, it equally puts a great onus on the community to ensurewe fully get behind them and support themensuring they succeed in their goals in the larger interests and future of our community in NewZealand.
Bharat Jamnadas
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Teen candidate ShailKaushal for Mt. Roskill

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