Recently Indian Newslink celebrated success in our community by organising the Seventh Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards.
The Awards Ceremony is a great opportunity to meet, greet and celebrate members of our community who have worked tirelessly to build and grow their enterprises after migrating to a foreign country.
I have been fortunate enough to attend the awards evenings for each of the past six years.
Unfortunately though, my schedule did not allow me to attend this year.
Prime Minister John Key, along with National Party President Peter Goodfellow, and my Parliamentary colleagues were present at the Awards.
Indian migrants contribute socially and economically to many societies around the world. We have a positive contribution to make and the case is no different in New Zealand.
Our community currently contributes a significant amount of New Zealand’s GDP. Diwali and other Indian festivals are celebrated in New Zealand and across the world with as much fanfare as any region of India.
The Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards are an excellent platform to celebrate the contribution our migrants make to New Zealand. It is also a great way to further encourage Indian migrants to continue to strive for excellence in New Zealand.
Over previous years I have seen many family-owned businesses win these awards.
This year we saw the emergence of some young entrepreneurs. They may be young and energetic but they are also focussed. They are aware of what they want to achieve and what their contributions mean to New Zealand and to future generations.
Awards such as the ones organised by Indian Newslink go a long way towards encouraging our youngsters to achieve their potential.
I congratulate all winners of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards and hope they inspire others to aim high.
It’s encouraging to see the progress New Zealand is making through the hard work of households and businesses up and down the country.
The economy continues to grow, jobs, wages, and household savings are increasing, and unemployment is coming down. Businesses are confident and hiring more staff, all of our regions are growing, and more New Zealanders are voting with their feet and either staying home or coming home.
We are also continuing to see improved results from our public services in areas that really matter – such as lower crime, higher educational achievement, and more New Zealanders moving from welfare into work.
The National-led Government is playing its part, supporting businesses and households by responsibly managing the Government’s books and building a more competitive and productive economy.
There have been some pretty good indicators coming out recently. The economy grew 3.9% in the year to June, the fastest growth in a decade. There were 72,000 extra jobs created in the year to September, and unemployment is down to 5.4% well ahead of Australia.
Cost of living increases are low – inflation was just 1% in the past year. This is helping keep interest rates lower for longer.
Pay packets, on average, are ahead of inflation with hourly wages rising 2.3% over the past year, and average weekly wages rising 1.8%
Other recent data shows New Zealand’s household savings rate – that is, the difference between what households spend, and what they earn or use to pay back debt – has been positive for five consecutive years. This is the first time that’s happened since the years 1989-1994.
The latest ANZ Regional Trends report shows all 14 regions recorded an increase in economic activity in the past year.
More and more Kiwis want to be part of our strongly growing economy here in New Zealand. We’ve reached a big milestone with net monthly migration from Australia to New Zealand being positive last month for the first time in 20 years.
To help get those Kiwis home the Government is holding a series of job fairs in major cities across Australia with the first in Perth last weekend, Sydney this weekend, and Melbourne and Brisbane early next year.
New Zealand is on track, growing, and the future is bright as New Zealanders and the Government work together to lift our country’s performance.
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has been a Member of Parliament on the National List since 2008.