Sri Lankan-born HR lawyer Vanushi Walters elected to NZ parliament

Sri Lankan-born HR lawyer Vanushi Walters elected to NZ parliament

October 18, 2020   09:56 am

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Sri Lankan-born Human Rights lawyer in New Zealand, Vanushi Walters, has won the race to be Upper Harbour MP in northwest Auckland at the New Zealand’s general election.

Walters claimed a narrow victory over National candidate Jake Bezzant, a former tech company chief executive and cricketer for Hamilton, receiving 14,142 votes to Bezzant’s 12,727.

She is taking over from the retiring National MP, Paula Bennett.

During the campaign, Walters, a board member of Amnesty International, said she was passionate about the electorate because of its “diverse” and “warm” communities.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a landslide victory in New Zealand’s general election Saturday, leveraging success battling Covid-19 to gain an unprecedented outright majority and the chance to implement her reform agenda.

The new Labour Party caucus is far more representative of contemporary New Zealand than National, says a Massey University sociologist, with more than half of Labour’s 64 MPs being women, while having 15 Maori MPs, one in six MPs a Pasifika and a good mix of other ethnicities.

-With inputs from agencies

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