NZ's first political party dedicated to immigrants

The acting leader is Roshan Nauhria
The acting leader is Roshan Nauhria

Law and order will be a key focus of the newest player on New Zealand's political scene - a party formed by Indians for New Zealand's Indian and Asian communities.

It's the first New Zealand political party dedicated to immigrants.

Auckland suburb Mt Roskill is about to become the biggest battleground in New Zealand politics, and there's a new contestant in the ring - the New Zealand People's Party.

The acting leader is Roshan Nauhria - successful Indian businessman and member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

He says it's about time Indians and Asians are represented

"The population of our people is 13 percent. We just feel that we are not fully represented in the Parliament and other aspects of the country."

The party's constitution has a big focus on crime, following a number of attacks on Indian shopkeepers.

"The biggest issue with our people is law and order," he says. "It's a big issue and nobody is really standing for them. Then suddenly somebody gets killed then everybody comes in, the Prime Minister says this statement or MPs make this statement, then nothing happens afterwards."

The constitution also has a clear focus on immigration, stating it wants to develop immigration policies to allow international students, migrants and refugees to settle sooner into a comfortable life in New Zealand and crack down on crime, including assaults and exploitation of students.

But Mr Nauhria says there'll be policies for everyone.

"Initially we will be talking about our Asian people and Indian people, but I'm 95 percent sure that we'll be in a bid to get Kiwi votes.

"Once we get close to the election we'll announce policies which will appeal to everybody."

Mt Roskill is first on the list - a by-election is almost a certainty, with Phil Goff expected to win the Auckland mayoralty.

While Mr Goff won Mt Roskill because of his strong personal following, the party vote shows National is actually more popular, receiving almost 15,000 party votes to Labour's 12,000.

And if Mr Goff vacates the seat, there will be a New Zealand People's Party candidate standing, joining National's sitting MP, Parmjeet Parmar, and Labour's new kid on the block, Michael Wood.

"The party will definitely stand one candidate," Mr Nauhria said. "Hopefully in the next six to eight weeks we'll announce that we're going to get the best candidate."

But it's not just Mt Roskill the party is targeting. Mr Nauhria is feeling confident, as the party has its 500 eligible members and will be standing candidates at next year's election, with lofty aspirations for the newly minted party.

"My target is 10 percent," he says.

While the People's Party isn't likely to win Mt Roskill, the race between National and Labour is expected to be very close given the high Indian population in the electorate.

It's clear the party will cause some extra niggle for both sides.

Constitution of the New Zealand People's Party by NewshubNZ on Scribd

Newshub.

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