Wellington, Aug 14: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Friday hailed the contributions made by the Indian diaspora in his country, Indian Weekender newspaper reported.
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", he added.
"Alongside 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.