Melbourne: Priyanca Radhakrishnan on Monday became New Zealand's first-ever Indian-origin minister after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern inducted five new ministers into her executive.
Born in Kerala's Ernakulam district, Radhakrishnan, 41, went to school in Singapore before moving to New Zealand to further her education.
She has become New Zealand's first-ever Kiwi Indian Minister, the New Zealand Herald newspaper quoted Indian Weekender as saying.
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja congratulated Radhakrishnan through her Twitter handle.
Congratulations to Priyanka Radhakrishnan, who is given charge for social development, youth welfare and the volunteer sector in the @jacindaardern Cabinet. Priyanka is a native of Paravur, Ernakulam. This is the first time an Indian has become a minister in New Zealand. pic.twitter.com/UbJDQSGAOW— Shailaja Teacher (@shailajateacher) November 2, 2020
She was elected first as a Member of Parliament belonging to the Labour Party in September 2017.
In 2019, she was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities.
Her work in that area has helped her build the base for her new role of Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities.
In addition to this, she has become the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment.
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 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 will be sworn in on Friday, which will be 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.
If ministers don't deliver, they will be shown the door, Ardern warned....