Phil Goff becomes a Companion

While only one Indian was chosen by the New Zealand government for inclusion on the New Year Honours List issued in the name of Queen Elizabeth II on January 1, 2017 (see Homelink), there are a number of friends of Indian Newslink who have been recognised for their services to various sectors.

Foremost among them is our friend Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland, a longstanding Columnist.

He was appointed as Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM), for his services as Member of Parliament. After being an elected MP for more than 35 years, he resigned to contest the Auckland Mayoralty.

Our endearing friend

The results, announced on October 13, 2016, showed that Mr Goff had polled 75,891 votes more than his nearest rival, demonstrating his popularity across communities in the country’s largest city.

A hard-working public servant, Mr Goff is a source of endearment and friendship to people of South Asian origin, especially those from India.

People’s Representative

Mr Goff first stood for and was elected as the Member for the Roskill electorate in the 1981 elections, holding the seat until 1990. He became a Cabinet Minister in the Fourth Labour government following the 1984 election and held the portfolios for Housing, Employment, Environment, Youth Affairs, Tourism and Education during the period from 1984 until 1990.

He was re-elected as MP for Roskill in 1993 and under the Fifth Labour government led by Prime Minister Helen Clark in 1999 he became Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister of Justice. From 1999 to 2008 he was Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, as well as Minister of Corrections at various points during this period. In 2005 he became Minister of Defence and Disarmament.

In 2008, as Minister of Trade, he signed the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement, which had been negotiated over the preceding three years. Mr Goff retained his seat as MP for Mount Roskill in the 1999 election, and continued to hold this electorate until 2016.

-Venkat Raman

Photo Caption: Phil Goff

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