Indian High Commissioner in Lower Hutt
The new Indian High Commissioner has taken up his position in New Zealand and his residency in Lower Hutt.
Admiral (Retired) Sureesh Mehta was the Chief of Naval Staff in India until August last year and was appointed as India's envoy to New Zealand not long after his retirement.
Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) hosted a function on January 17 to formally welcome the newly-appointed High Commissioner and his family to their base in Wellington.
At a private reception held at Riddiford Hotel in Lower Hutt, President of GOPIO Kumar Bajaj said Admiral Mehta brings with him a proven high profile, wide experience and depth of knowledge, as well as a sense of duty and discipline.
Admiral Mehta has been the recipient of two prestigious awards during his term of office.
In 1995, he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and in 2005 he received the Param Vishisht Seva Mandal Medal Indian military honours for distinguished service during peacetime.
Mr Mehta said he was pleased to meet everyone at the reception.
He said he intends to use the GOPIO forum to take relations between New Zealand and India to a higher plain.
"The Government of India relies heavily on people of Indian origin to further such people to people contact and cement business relationships," he said.
"You will be well aware that India is galloping along in its growth through high technology, education, agricultural production and the like.
"These spheres present exciting opportunities to broaden our economic relationships. I trust you will all put your might to fulfil this goal."
GOPIO is an international body of people of Indian origin representing the interests, issues and concerns of Indians living overseas.
GOPIO chapters are established in many parts of the world, with 10 chapters in New Zealand.