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Indo-Fijians are Fiji citizens who are fully or partially of Indian descent, which includes descendants who trace their heritage from various parts of the Indian subcontinent . [7] They number 313,798 (37.6%) (2007 census) out of a total of 827,900 people living in Fiji . [8] They are mostly descended from indentured labourers, girmitiyas or girmit , from northern part of India brought to the islands by Fiji's British colonial rulers between 1879 and 1916 to work on Fiji's sugar cane plantations. Mahendra Chaudhry became Fiji's first Indo-Fijian Prime Minister on 19 May 1999.

Indians had been employed for a long time on the European ships trading in India and the East Indies . Many of the early voyages to the Pacific either started or terminated in India, and many of these ships were wrecked in the uncharted waters of the South Pacific . The first recorded presence of an Indian in Fiji was by Peter Dillon , a sandalwood trader in Fiji, of a lascar (Indian seaman) who survived a ship wreck and lived amongst the natives of Fiji in 1813. [9]

Before Fiji was given to Great Britain, some planters had tried to obtain Indian labour and had approached the British Consul in Levuka , Fiji but were met with a negative response. In 1870 a direct request by a planter to the Government of India was also turned down and in 1872, an official request by the Cakobau Government was informed that British rule in Fiji was a pre-condition for Indian emigration to Fiji. [10] The early ancestors of Fiji Indians came from different regions and backgrounds from India and other neighbouring countries. However, most came from rural villages in northern and western India.

In January 1879, thirty-one Indians, who had originally been indentured labourers in Réunion , were brought from New Caledonia to Fiji under contract to work on a plantation in Taveuni . These labourers demonstrated knowledge of the terms of the indenture agreement and were aware of their rights and refused to do the heavy work assigned to them. Their contract was terminated by mutual agreement between the labourers and their employers. In 1881, thirty-eight more Indians arrived from New Caledonia and again most of them left but some stayed taking Indian wives or island women. [11]

The colonial authorities promoted the sugar cane industry, recognising the need to establish a stable economic base for the colony, but were unwilling to exploit indigenous labour and threaten the Fijian way of life . The use of imported labour from the Solomon Islands and what is now Vanuatu generated protests in the United Kingdom, and the Governor Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon decided to implement the indentured labour scheme, which had existed in the British Empire since 1837. A recruiting office was set up especially around Calcutta and the South, West and North later, especially a lot in rural village areas in different farming regions, land and areas.

The contracts of the indentured labourers, which they called girmit (agreements), required them to work in Fiji for a period of five years. Living conditions on the sugar cane plantations, on which most of the girmityas (indentured labourers) worked, had poor standards. Hovels known as "coolie lines" dotted the landscape. [13]

Public outrage in the United Kingdom at such abuses was a factor in the decision to halt the scheme in 1916. All existing indenture was cancelled on 1 January 1920.

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and called it Staten Landt , supposing it was connected to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America. [12] In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland . [13] [14] British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. [15] [16]

In 1891 the Liberal Party led by John Ballance came to power as the first organised political party. The Liberal Government , later led by Richard Seddon , passed many important social and economic measures. In 1893 New Zealand was the first nation in the world to grant all women the right to vote [49] and in 1894 pioneered the adoption of compulsory arbitration between employers and unions . [50] In 1898 Seddon's government passed the Old-age Pensions Act of 1898, the first general pensions scheme in the British Empire.

In 1907, at the request of the New Zealand Parliament, King Edward VII proclaimed New Zealand a Dominion within the British Empire, reflecting its self-governing status. Accordingly, the title "Dominion of New Zealand" dates from 1907. [51] [52] In 1947 the country adopted the Statute of Westminster , confirming that the British Parliament could no longer legislate for New Zealand without the consent of New Zealand. [46]

Almost all parliamentary general elections between 1853 and 1993 were held under the first-past-the-post voting system. [70] Since the 1996 election , a form of proportional representation called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) has been used. [60] Under the MMP system each person has two votes; one is for electorate seats (including some reserved for Māori ), [71] and the other is for a party. Since the 2014 election , there have been 71 electorates (which includes 7 Māori electorates), and the remaining 49 seats are assigned so that representation in parliament reflects the party vote, although a party has to win one electorate or 5% of the total party vote before it is eligible for these seats. [72]

Elections since the 1930s have been dominated by two political parties, National and Labour . [70] Between March 2005 and August 2006 New Zealand became the only country in the world in which all the highest offices in the land—Head of State, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice —were occupied simultaneously by women. [73] The current Prime Minister is Bill English , since December 2016. His National Government won a third term in office following the 2014 election. [74]

New Zealand's judiciary , headed by the Chief Justice, [75] includes the Supreme Court , Court of Appeal , the High Court , and subordinate courts. [60] Judges and judicial officers are appointed non-politically and under strict rules regarding tenure to help maintain judicial independence . [60] This theoretically allows the judiciary to interpret the law based solely on the legislation enacted by Parliament without other influences on their decisions. [76]

New Zealand is identified as one of the world's most stable and well-governed states, [77] [78] with high government transparency and among the lowest perceived levels of corruption. [79] The country rates highly for civic participation in the political process, with 77% voter turnout during the most recent elections, compared to an OECD average of 68%. [80]

Finding someone that shares the same ethnicity used to be difficult, but thanks to the growth of Indian dating websites, it's now easier than ever to meet Indian girls in New Zealand. Indian Date offers completely free memberships and only requires an email to get started. Click a province/state within New Zealand from the list below or scroll to the left to find an Indian directly.

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Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and called it Staten Landt , supposing it was connected to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America. [12] In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland . [13] [14] British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. [15] [16]

In 1891 the Liberal Party led by John Ballance came to power as the first organised political party. The Liberal Government , later led by Richard Seddon , passed many important social and economic measures. In 1893 New Zealand was the first nation in the world to grant all women the right to vote [49] and in 1894 pioneered the adoption of compulsory arbitration between employers and unions . [50] In 1898 Seddon's government passed the Old-age Pensions Act of 1898, the first general pensions scheme in the British Empire.

In 1907, at the request of the New Zealand Parliament, King Edward VII proclaimed New Zealand a Dominion within the British Empire, reflecting its self-governing status. Accordingly, the title "Dominion of New Zealand" dates from 1907. [51] [52] In 1947 the country adopted the Statute of Westminster , confirming that the British Parliament could no longer legislate for New Zealand without the consent of New Zealand. [46]

Almost all parliamentary general elections between 1853 and 1993 were held under the first-past-the-post voting system. [70] Since the 1996 election , a form of proportional representation called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) has been used. [60] Under the MMP system each person has two votes; one is for electorate seats (including some reserved for Māori ), [71] and the other is for a party. Since the 2014 election , there have been 71 electorates (which includes 7 Māori electorates), and the remaining 49 seats are assigned so that representation in parliament reflects the party vote, although a party has to win one electorate or 5% of the total party vote before it is eligible for these seats. [72]

Elections since the 1930s have been dominated by two political parties, National and Labour . [70] Between March 2005 and August 2006 New Zealand became the only country in the world in which all the highest offices in the land—Head of State, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice —were occupied simultaneously by women. [73] The current Prime Minister is Bill English , since December 2016. His National Government won a third term in office following the 2014 election. [74]

New Zealand's judiciary , headed by the Chief Justice, [75] includes the Supreme Court , Court of Appeal , the High Court , and subordinate courts. [60] Judges and judicial officers are appointed non-politically and under strict rules regarding tenure to help maintain judicial independence . [60] This theoretically allows the judiciary to interpret the law based solely on the legislation enacted by Parliament without other influences on their decisions. [76]

New Zealand is identified as one of the world's most stable and well-governed states, [77] [78] with high government transparency and among the lowest perceived levels of corruption. [79] The country rates highly for civic participation in the political process, with 77% voter turnout during the most recent elections, compared to an OECD average of 68%. [80]