THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ernakulam native Priyanca Radhakrishnan has created history by becoming the first-ever Kiwi – Indian minister in the Jacinda Ardern ministry. 41-year-old Priyanca is a second time MP and has been given three key portfolios which include community and voluntary sector, diversity, inclusion and ethnic communities, youth and is also an associate minister for social development and employment.
Priyanca is the daughter of Paravoor Madavanaparambu Raman Radhakrishnan and Usha. Even though she has her roots in Paravoor, most of her relatives are based in Chennai - where she was born.
Her great grandfather was associated with Left politics in the state where he played a crucial role in the formation of Kerala. She grew up in Singapore and later moved to New Zealand to pursue her master’s degree in development studies from Victoria University of Wellington.
A Labour party leader for 14 years, Priyanca had served as the private secretary to Jenny Salesa, former minister of ethnic communities. Her husband, Richardson, is an IT employee from Christchurch. On the eve of her elevation as a cabinet minister, Priyanca, clad in a yellow sari, had posted her pictures on her Facebook account coinciding with Diwali celebrations in her constituency in Maungakiekie, Auckland.