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New Zealand PM hails Indian diaspora on Independence Day

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Wellington, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Friday hailed the contributions made by the Indian diaspora in his country, Indian Weekender newspaper reported.

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In his message to the Indian diaspora on the occasion of India’s 69th Independence Day, he said: “As prime minister, I value the contributions Indian New Zealanders are making to the overall success of our country.”

The annual celebrations are an opportunity for Indian New Zealanders to recognise this important event in India’s history. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the long-standing and broad relationship New Zealand and India have,” Key said in the statement.
New Zealand is “lucky to have a vibrant and diverse ethnic culture, and our Indian communities play an integral part in that”. Along side National (Party) MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Dr Parmjeet Parmar, we are committed to ensuring the voice of the Indian community is heard, Key said.
In his message to the Indian community, Bakshi said: “The Independence Day signifies years of struggle by our countrymen and women who stood for their beliefs and values.”
It also signifies that if we can stand together to achieve a common goal the victory will be ours. We should continue to keep these core beliefs and values in our minds regardless of where we choose live, Bakshi added.
Parmar said that he was very proud of the progress that India has made since its independence.
While we celebrate our vibrant culture, heritage and aspirations during Independence Day festivities, I commend the Indian community in New Zealand for preserving the culture and heritage, he added.

(IANS)

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After Being Stranded, 145 Pilot Whales Die In New Zealand

Marine mammals are frequently stranded on New Zealand's coasts and the average number of operations carried out by environmental officials is about 85 per year

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Pilot whales
Pilot whales. Flickr

About 145 pilot whales died in New Zealand after being stranded during the weekend on Stewart Island in the extreme south of the country, officials said on Monday.

A hiker alerted authorities on Saturday night about the situation of the whales, who were stranded in Mason Bay in two separate groups about two kilometers apart, a Department of Conservation of New Zealand release said.

Pilot whales
Almost 150 whales die in mass stranding. BBC

Half of the whales were dead when rescuers arrived and the condition of the rest, by the time they were found, was so bad it was decided to euthanise them, said Ren Leppens, operations manager at Rakiura.

“Sadly, the likelihood of being able to successfully re-float the remaining whales was extremely low. The remote location, lack of nearby personnel and the whales’ deteriorating condition meant the most humane thing to do was to euthanise,” said Leppens.

Pilot whales
A volunteer looks after a whale, part of a pod of stranded pilot whales.

Pilot whales, also called long-finned pilot whale, are a specimen with a bulging forehead and a robust body that can reach between six and seven meters in length, Xinhua news agency reported.

Also Read: The Ocean And Its Climate Crisis

Marine mammals are frequently stranded on New Zealand’s coasts and the average number of operations carried out by environmental officials is about 85 per year, most of them to save these animals individually.

The reasons why whales and dolphins can become stranded have not been clarified, although it is attributed to diseases, navigation errors, sudden changes in tides, being chased by predators or extreme weather conditions. (IANS)