‘Lots of vegans/ vegetarians in the Green Party – feels like home!’
Barrister and solicitor Raj Pardeep Singh is Green Party’s first Kiwi-Indian electoral candidate
The weekends are no different from the rest of the week for barrister and solicitor Raj Pardeep Singh. Every Saturday morning, without a fail, Singh, along with wife Ashima, organises for a free clinic that is open to all. Legal Associates, their law firm based in south Auckland, has gained the reputation of a multicultural workplace that proudly caters to the needs of an equally diverse clientele.
“Sometimes we organise for counselling sessions in temples and churches and end up attending to over 30 people in one day. The advice they seek could be on anything, ranging from immigration to employment to family issues (eg domestic violence),” says Singh, adding, “When people migrate they need guidance to settle down and so we offer this to a wider public.”
Although Singh moved to Auckland in 2001, from New Delhi, and since 2007, he has been “Green Party-oriented”, he joined the political outfit formally only two years ago. Listing the principles that prompted his fascination with the Green Party ideology, Singh claims that “dry homes and insulation are an initiative of our Party”.
The principles include:
- Ecological wisdom that humans are more important than machines, helps humanity grow. Singh believes that we should “use machines as far as they do not harm humans”. He goes on to narrate that his son’s year 6 school project which is based on the Antarctic Treaty 1961. “Green Party follows a global ideology and believes in giving back to the community. We follow this very closely even at home.”
- Green Party believes in the Treaty of Waitangi that promotes equal treatment to all “which can only be achieved by forming a transparent government,” explains Singh.
- “The third principle is of non-violence, which is based on Gandhi’s philosophy, later propagated by Martin Luther King. There are lots of vegans and vegetarian candidates in the Party – it feels like home!,” says Singh with a smile.
If Singh makes it to the government, he promises to make Labour Party stick with Green policies. He also lays out his personal manifesto as follows:
- We need to introduce the community constables:
– for a restorative justice system
– to control law and order through family-based system
- The Sentencing Act needs to be amended to prevent the generation of criminals. I have a 4-step proposal to sentencing:
– At the initial level, there should be diversion (eg. warnings, apologies and acknowledgements)
– At the next level, there should be community detention
– This should be followed by home detention
– Prison sentence should be the final step, and bail conditions should become very hard.
- We need to work towards cleaner New Zealand rivers:
– They should be swimmable
-The water should be drinkable
- I support sensible migration, based on skill levels:
– Hospitality, tourism, aged care, farming, construction, herding – are some of the industries that will be badly affected if we prevent migration.
– The minimum wage should be a living wage and not below living standards.
- I have the vision of a perfect happy family, where parents get ‘visa for life’.
– If your parents are assets, our parents are not liabilities. Without my parents’ support, you lose out on me as a worker because you cannot offer employment to me if I am distracted by my children/ family commitments. I need to protect my children’s future.
“I am happy to go to Parliament with my community’s problems,” promises Singh, as he signs off.