Indian-born Priyanca Radhakrishnan creates history by becoming the first ever Indian Minister in New Zealand

Priyanca Radhakrishnan of Indian origin from Malayali family has created history by becoming the first-ever Indian Minister in NZ

Indian origin Priyanca Radhakrishnan (41) years has created history by becoming the first-ever Indian Minister in New Zealand. On Monday (November 2) Priyanca is appointed as Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, Minister for Youth, and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment in Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s Cabinet. She is serving as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 2017 onwards, representing the New Zealand Labour Party. Priyanca belongs to Paravoor in Eranakulam District in Kerala. She was born in Chennai in 1979 and moved to Singapore with her family before reaching New Zealand in 2004 for a post-graduation course in development studies.

She lives in Auckland with her husband Richardson, an IT employee from Christchurch. She had served as the private secretary to Jenny Salesa, former minister of ethnic communities. Her grandfather Dr. C R Krishna Pillai was a well-known medical practitioner and Communist leader in Kochi and actively involved in Kerala unification struggles in the early 1950s. Priyanca is the daughter of Raman Radhakrishnan and Usha. Even though she has her roots in Paravoor, most of her relatives are based in Chennai – where she was born. She grew up in Singapore and later moved to New Zealand to pursue her master’s degree in development studies from Victoria University of Wellington.

In a recent interview, Priyanca spoke about her passion for Carnatic music and about her favourite singer K J Yesudas. She was active in COVID-19 rehabilitation operations in New Zealand. “I was born into a Malayali family. I spoke only Malayalam till I went to school. Although I grew up in Singapore, I visited India every year to spend my school holidays with my grandparents and extended family in Chennai, visiting Kerala often. I still have family in Ernakulam and Ottapalam. My maternal great grandfather, Dr. C. R. Krishna Pillai, was a medical doctor, who was the Secretary of the Transport Workers Union. He was involved in left-wing politics in India and was part of the Aikya Keralam movement that was instrumental in the formation of the state of Kerala. He was also an author. One of the earliest travelogues for children in Malayalam was written by him in the form of letters to his granddaughter (my mother), and it was about his visit to the Soviet Union,” she said in a recent detailed interview with ‘The Week’ Magazine. Her full interview on various issues can be read here[1].

Priyanca recently visited Hyderabad in January 2020, to represent New Zealand in connection with Telangana Government’s IT-Hub project[2].


[1] Our best economic response to COVID-19 is a strong health response: NZ MP Priyanca RadhakrishnanSep 21, 2020, The Week

[2] Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao hardsells T-Hub in meet with New Zealand MPJan 09, 2020, Indian Express

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  1. Heartening to know that the best and brightest our women are getting their due in Western democracies, especially in politics. What far cry kind from the knd of politics practiced in India. May more join the tribe!

    • Hearthing? That’s a stretch.

      From today’s New York Times: ” Kamala Harris’s ancestral village in India offers prayers for her victory.”

      So they chose India and Indians and Hindus when it suits them. I have never seen or heard Kamala Harris mentioned being Hindu before. Or needing Hindu prayers. But now that the votes are cast, they run the headlines.

  2. We have seen this movie before, haven’t we? Is this minister for or against India and Hindus?

    There are many congressional men and women in the US who are anti India. Is she one of them?

    • Yes, indeed, unless any solid evidence of her leaning anyway towards Sanatana Dharma would ever become discernible. More so, given her explicit left upbringing environment, sprinting further and further away from Bharat, and clinging for good to a foreign, Christian civilization.

      It is curious and ironic to watch PGurus thumping the Bharatvasi chest, like any other mainstream medium would readily do without any absolute justification, just because the subject happens to be merely one among so many abandoning her own culture for an alien one, and at best is an Indian and female. By the by, a Keralite woman even traditionally retains her maiden (sur)name post marriage.

    • Exactly…i assume PGurus is highlighting this b/c she may be a genuine Hindu leader….the grandfather being a communist leader is a give away to possible anti-Hindu sentiment though.


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