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On the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, it seems fitting that Auckland Council should do its part to honour his legacy, National List MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar says.

“Mahatma Gandhi is one of the great leaders of the 20th century, and my petition calls for a statue to honour him in one of Auckland’s prominent public spaces.

“One of the key principles for which he is known is equality. He saw that a number of things needed to change in the Indian way of life. Gandhi promoted civil rights for women, abolition of the caste system and fair treatment of all people regardless of their religion or background.

“These are values which all New Zealanders will recognise.

“New Zealand’s Indian community accounted for just under five per cent of the population according to the latest census, and is the fastest growing Kiwi ethnic group in the country. Over 220,000 Kiwis are Indian New Zealanders, and the biggest proportion of Kiwi Indians are here in Auckland.

“India and New Zealand have a longstanding friendship. Our relationship dates back to the 1890s, when the first immigrants from Punjab and Gujarat came to New Zealand. Indian troops fought alongside the ANZACs in Gallipoli in 1915.

“Furthermore, India is one of New Zealand’s most significant trading partners, and if National is elected in 2020, we will push for a trade deal to grow our relationship even further.

“Honouring Gandhi in one of Auckland’s most prominent public spaces, such as Aotea Square, would befit a man of such importance and influence both in India and abroad.

“Please sign my petition here to honour the legacy and example of Mahatma Gandhi: https://parmjeetparmar.national.org.nz/honour_the_legacy_of_mahatma_gandhi.”

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