Priyanca Radhakrishnan


Manage episode 312790829 series 3246460
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Priyanca Radhakrishnan is a Member of Parliament in the New Zealand Labour Party and a Minister of the Crown. Her portfolios include Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities. She is the first person of Indian origin to become a Minister in New Zealand.

Born in India, Priyanca went to school in Singapore, and then moved to New Zealand to further her education. She has spent her work life advocating on behalf of people whose voices are often unheard, including survivors of domestic violence, and exploited migrant workers. She strongly believes that everyone has the right to live with dignity - meaning equitable access to affordable housing, quality education and decent, secure work.

"So it's this whole process of negotiating your identity. Who are you? When I came to New Zealand, I realised that I wasn't quite as Indian as I thought I was. I had lots of friends who were international students from India, and I felt that I was, again, a little bit different from that. I had to then acknowledge the fact that growing up in Singapore means that had shaped my identity and who I was, as well. It's actually when I moved here that I even acknowledged that which was quite a revelation for me. So this whole process of negotiating that, and then coming to a point in my life, where I thought, well, no, I'm not going to conform to something that people want."

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