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Luxon eyes Indian representation in Parliament from National ‘in due course’

7:09 pm on 19 October 2023
National leader Christopher Luxon thanks supporters in Botany after the 2023 election.

National leader Christopher Luxon thanks supporters in Botany after the 2023 election. Photo: RNZ / Tim Collins

The National Party selected an unprecedented five electoral candidates of Indian origin to run for office in the 2023 election, but none of these looks likely to make it into Parliament on the party list.

Such candidates include Siva Kilari (list ranking 30) from Manurewa, Mahesh Muralidhar (43) from Auckland Central, Navtej Singh Randhawa (46) from Panmure-Ōtāhuhu, Karuna Muthu (51) from Rongotai in Wellington and Ankit Bansal (52) from Palmerston North.

According to preliminary results, all five lost their bids to win an electoral seat in 2023. The Electoral Commission will announce final results on 3 November after all special votes have been counted.

Even before election day, ethnic media were skeptical any of the five would make it into Parliament, as they were all on relatively low list rankings and were standing in Labour strongholds.

The candidates also faced such questions on the campaign trail.

Now, however, the party with the highest number of Indian candidates looks likely to end up having no representation in Parliament once final results are confirmed.

Responding to such a possible scenario, National Party leader Christopher Luxon on Thursday assured the community of some representation "in due course".

"We have built strong connections with the Indian community here in New Zealand. It's one of the great groups we have energised within the National Party," he said.

"I know the community well. They also know our commitment to deepening ties with India," he said.

"We had around six candidates from the community this time and they all ran a great race," he said. "I am very, very confident and hopeful that we will have Indian representation in our Parliament in due course."

- RNZ senior journalist Emma Stanford contributed to this report.

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