Priyanca Radhakrishnan

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Priyanca Radhakrishnan

Priyanca Radhakrishnan crop.jpg
Parliamentary Under-Secretary
for Ethnic Communities
Assumed office
27 June 2019
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
MinisterJenny Salesa
Preceded byMichael Wood
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour party list
Assumed office
23 September 2017
Personal details
BornChennai, India
Political partyLabour (2006–present)
Alma materVictoria University of Wellington
WebsiteLabour Party profile

Priyanca Radhakrishnan (Tamil: பிரியங்கா ராதாகிருஷ்ணன் ) is an Indian-born-New Zealand Malayali politician who was elected to the New Zealand parliament at the 2017 general election as a representative of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Early life and career[edit]

Radhakrishnan was born in Chennai, southern India but her family is from Kerala.[1] She grew up in Singapore before finally moving to New Zealand. She attended Victoria University of Wellington and graduated with a master's degree in Development Studies.[2]

After graduating Radhakrishnan worked as a social worker amongst the Indian community in Auckland. Her great grandfather was very active in left wing progressive politics in India and played an instrumental role in the formation of the state of Kerala. She joined the Labour Party in 2006 and has worked on the internal party policy development process and has been active in both local and regional party organisation.[3]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2017–present 52nd List 12 Labour

A the 2014 election, Radhakrishnan was ranked number 23 on the Labour Party list, the highest newcomer, but narrowly missed out on election due to a drop in Labour's party vote that year.[4] In October 2016, Radhakrishnan was selected as Labour's candidate for the electorate of Maungakiekie for the 2017 election.[5] She was also ranked number 12 on Labour's list, making her the highest-ranked Labour member not already an MP and a significant increase from her ranking three years earlier.[6]

Radhakrishnan did not win the electorate, but entered parliament via the Party list.[7]

Radhakrishnan was mugged in broad daylight in an Auckland street after returning from a visit to Bangladesh.[8]

Following a cabinet reshuffle on 27 June 2019, Radhakrishnan was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Ethnic Affairs.[9]


  1. ^ "POLITICS RUNS IN MY BLOOD: PRIYANCA RADHAKRISHNAN". Indianweekender NZ. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Indians add colour to political canvas". Indian Newslink. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Priyanka Radhakrishnan will be the most possible Labour candidate for Maungakiekie Electorate". India NZ Herald. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  4. ^ Parker, Elliot (25 June 2014). "Priyanca jumps up Labour list". Wairarapa Times-Age. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Priyanca Radhakrishnan". New Zealand Labour Party. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Revised Labour Party List for the 2017 Election". 15 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Successful Candidates". Electoral Commission. 23 September 2017. Archived from the original on 28 September 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ Christian, Harrison (11 November 2017). "Labour MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan mugged in broad daylight in Auckland". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Winners and losers - PM reveals first substantive Cabinet reshuffle". Radio New Zealand. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2019.