New Zealand Labour Partyâ€™s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad has declared his retirement from active politics as he says he is not seeking re-nomination for another term in Parliament at the next election scheduled for later this year.
â€œI have approached my professional and public life over the last 20 years, in the spirit of moving on to new challenges once I had made my parliamentary contribution.” says Dr Prasad – a former Associate Professor in Social Policy and Social Work from Massey University.
“My sixth year as a parliamentarian has also been a time to reflect on this role and consider other challenges I might accept.
â€œI have made this decision not to remain in Parliament, together with my family and friends and have informed the Party leader.
â€œI have been enormously privileged to have been given an opportunity to represent ethnic communities in general and the Indian community in particular in Parliament and in the Labour caucus. This has happened at a time of Â enormous ethnic diversification in New Zealand.
Dr Prasad had earlier served as the Race Relations Conciliator, Human Rights Commissioner and a Member of the Residence Review Board.
â€œMy experience from my life and my background in social policy and the front line social services has beenÂ critical in framing our Immigration and Ethnic Affairs policies for the next election.
He has not revealed his future plans but has provided some clues. â€œI look forward to new challenges in the international environment as well as in business in the next stage of my life.â€
New Zealand Parliament will miss him as a man of â€œintegrity, intelligence and insightâ€, says fellow Labour list candidate Sunny Kaushal. “He is a man who just naturally radiated charm, warmth and honour.
“It reminds of the words of the great poet Bertolt Brecht :
When the battle of the mountains is over
Then you will see
That the real battle of the plains will begin.“
Of Fijian-Indian descent, Dr Prasad is 11th in a family of 14 children. He has two married children and lives with his wife in Auckland. He has lived and worked in West Auckland, Porirua and South Auckland.