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21 May 2024

Community bulletin: Ranjna Patel to receive prestigious business honour

5:36 pm on 21 May 2024
Ranjana Patel has been inducted in the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame this year.

Ranjna Patel Photo: RNZ / Blessen Tom

A round-up of community activities from across the country:

Ranjna Patel to receive business gong

Ranjna Patel, co-founder of New Zealand's largest private primary healthcare network Tamaki Health and a well-known philanthropist, is poised to be inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame this year.

According to the award citation, Tamaki Health has impacted more than 300,000 patients through 50 clinics nationwide as well as on digital platform Bettr.

"Her notable contributions extend to founding Gandhi Nivas, an innovative family harm prevention program delivering significant social returns," the citation said.

"Awarded the QSM and ONZM for her charitable efforts, Ranjna also serves as a Trustee for the Swaminarayan Temple, promoting extensive community and social services. Her leadership in healthcare and social welfare has made her a pivotal figure in fostering community well-being and equity."

Established in 1994 by Young Enterprise, the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame has honoured more than 200 individuals who have made a significant contribution to the economic and social development of the country over the past three decades.

The annual event celebrates its 30th anniversary on 11 September, with Rod Duke, Sir Mark Dunajtschik, Sir Owen Glenn, Todd Heller, Diane Foreman and Sir Ian Taylor also being inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.

Former National Party MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has been named ambassador of Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand.

Former National Party MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has been named ambassador of Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand. Photo: RNZ / Blessen Tom

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi named new ambassador of Breast Cancer Foundation

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, a former list MP for the National Party and the country's first-ever India-born lawmaker, has been named ambassador of Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand.

"After witnessing the impact of breast cancer on my loved ones, I have come to realise the importance of educating people and providing support for those who need it," Bakshi said.

"Unfortunately, cultural stigmas and a lack of awareness is still preventing timely diagnosis and treatment. By engaging with the Indian community, we can dispel myths, promote regular breast screening and offer culturally sensitive support."

Ah-Leen Rayner, chief executive of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, said it was important for the charity to reach more Kiwi-Indians about the importance of early screening.

"Asian women in New Zealand are getting breast cancer at a younger age than other ethnic groups, and also have the lowest breast screening participation rates. So, there's a lot we must do to ensure more Asian women survive breast cancer."

Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in New Zealand, with around 3,500 women diagnosed with the disease every year.

Pan-Asian new year 2024 celebrations in Auckland

The Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in collaboration with the Communities Action Trust celebrated the Pan-Asian new year in Auckland on 21 April.

The event celebrated the rich culture and diversity of the South Asian and Southeast Asian communities of New Zealand.

"The cultural extravaganza unfolded with spellbinding performances that beautifully represented various countries and traditions," said Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in a post on social media.

"From the enchanting Swami Narayan prayer dance to the spirited Choul Chnam Thmey from Cambodia and soulful performances from Bengal, Karnataka, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Nepal, Tamil Nadu, Thailand, Kerala and Sri Lanka, each act enthralled the audience and showcased the vibrant tapestry of Asian heritage."

Auckland Tamil Association celebrates Tamil new year

The Auckland Tamil Association celebrated the Tamil new year - Tamil Puthandu, as it is known - on 20 April at Auckland's Freemans Bay Community Centre.

Apart from traditional food from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the evening featured dance and musical performances showcasing a vibrant Tamil culture.

As part of the festivities, the association honoured community member and well-known dance teacher Anuradha Ramkumar, who became the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit early this year.

The association's yearbook was also unveiled at the event, documenting its activities over the last year.

Photo: Supplied / Takanini Gurdwara Sahib

Sikh temple opens community kitchen

The South Auckland-based Takanini Gurdwara opened a 200 square-metre-wide state-of-the-art community kitchen in April.

The new kitchen, which took four months to complete, boasts high-tech stoves, deep fryers, a new washing area and improved drainage, as well as a large pot capable of producing 300 litres of vegetables in one cycle.

The Gurdwara gained widespread praise for serving thousands of free meals during the Covid lockdowns and Auckland anniversary floods and cyclones.

This inspired the Wiri Licensing Trust and its funding partner, Trillian Trust, to fund a full replacement commercial kitchen for the Gurdwara, which is managed by the Supreme Sikh Society.

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