Once again many cultural festivals around New Zealand have had to be cancelled, postponed or moved online due to the impact of Omicron around our country. I was particularly saddened to see that this year I and my fellow National Members of Parliament will be unable to join the community in celebration of Holi, one of my favourite Indian festivals.
Every year my amazing National volunteers and I always look forward to coming together with diverse communities from across New Zealand in the light hearted playful spirit of the Holi festival to throw coloured powder, to dance and sing with young and old alike, celebrating our friendships and our cultures. In particular, the Waitakere Holi festival has been a cherished occasion I’ve enjoyed attending since its inception. Holi is truly a pan-cultural celebration that shows off the very best spirit of New Zealand.
In acknowledging Holi this year I also want to acknowledge the many people across New Zealand’s Indian community who have been unable to travel to their cultural homelands due to COVID-19, who have been separated from partners, parents, loved ones and friends due to our closed borders and to many who will be remembering those we have lost this past year. The spirit of the festival of colour to brighten our lives and to recognise the hardships we have endured is important and a significant way for us to denote the adversities we all have been facing together.
Whether it is the impact of the cost of living crisis on your household budget, the impacts of the border closures on your family or the impacts of crime in our communities harming your businesses, please know the National team are there for you and we will not hesitate to hold the Government to account for their wasteful spending and heartless approach over the past two years. National will fix the damage that Labour has caused but there are immediate steps Labour could take right now to bring your families and businesses urgent tax relief and I implore the Government to do so urgently. It is clear Kiwis deserve some relief from the current cost of living crisis. I hope they listen to our call and take action today for the economic future of our country because every single dollar counts for those suffering right now.
You can reach out to me and my Parliamentary Staff if you need assistance during these uncertain times. Even if my team are required to self-isolate due to the impacts of Omicron we are available digitally and over the phone. We are all here to help regardless of what COVID-19 throws at us.
However you and your households celebrate Holi this year, may it be colourful and joyous.
Best wishes and Happy Holi!
Note: This article was originally published in The Indian News in March 2022.
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