Priyanca Radhakrishnan became the first Indian to be sworn in as a Minister in New Zealand as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveiled her new cabinet. The 41-year-old has been sworn in as the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.
Radhakrishnan, born in Chennai and brought up in Singapore, has her roots at Paravur, Kochi, where her grandfather was a medical professional as well as a Communist.
A two-time MP from Auckland, she reached New Zealand to pursue her higher studies, following which she a Kiwi national hailing from Christchurch and since 2004 she has been in active politics with the Labour Party.
Radhakrishnan, who is from the 2017 intake of new MPs, is a minister outside of the Cabinet. She lives in Auckland with her husband.
Announcing the names of the new ministers, Prime Minister Ardern said: “I am excited to be bringing in some new talent, with the first-hand experience in the areas that they will be working in, and reflecting the New Zealand that elected us on the 17th of October. Within this lineup, I’m playing to people’s strengths,” she said.
“This is a Cabinet and an executive that is based on merit but also happens to be incredibly diverse,” Ardern said, days after her centre-left Labour Party won a landslide victory in the country’s general election.
The new executive was sworn in on Friday, which was followed by the Cabinet’s first meeting. “Much of what we’re focused on is making sure we’ve got our economic recovery hastened,” the 40-year-old prime minister said.
Priyanca Radhakrishnan shot into prominence and became a household name in Kerala during last Onam when she came live with Ardern to extend her greetings on the occassion. Radhakrishnan continues her love with Malayalam songs and she said her most admired singer is none other popular Keralite playback singer K.J. Yesudas.