Diwali lighting new beginning

Friday 29 October 2010, 6:18PM
By Pansy Wong


Parts of Queen Street will be closed as Auckland celebrates the 2010 Diwali Festival of Lights to be hosted by the Asia New Zealand Foundation And Auckland City Council on Saturday October 30 at the Aotea Centre.

Minister of Ethnic Affairs Pansy Wong will address festival goers and says more than 5000 people are expected at the event which signifies hope, new beginnings and good over evil.

"It was fitting that Christchurch, after all the trauma its people have suffered since the September earthquake, was the first city to celebrate Diwali this year.

"It is also befitting to celebrate Diwali just days before the official beginning of Auckland under one council as one city with over 1.4 million residents. New Zealand needs Auckland to realise its full potential to propel the economic growth of our economy.''

Mrs Wong says Diwali celebrations are the showcase of the vibrancy, colour and sound of the ancient culture and modern Bollywood of our Kiwi Indian culture.

"It is the celebration of our diverse culture in the open and inclusive way that earns New Zealand's reputation as the most peaceful nation two years in a row in the 2010 Global Peace Index compiled by the Australia-based Institute of Economics and Peace."

Mrs Wong welcomed the return of Diwali to Queen Street, the centre of the super city, for all to enjoy.