Wellington: Rajen Prasad, an Indian-origin member of parliament in New Zealand, has announced that he will retire ahead of the September general elections.
Of Indo-Fijian descent, Prasad is a New Zealand Labour Party list MP and is the party spokesperson on immigration, associate spokesperson for ethnic affairs and associate spokesperson for social development. A list MP is elected from the party list rather than from a geographical constituency.
Auckland-based Prasad, who became an MP after the 2008 general elections, said that after six years as an MP, he has made his “parliamentary contribution”, Fairfax NZ News reported.
Stating that the decision was his own, he said that he has informed his party leader David Cunliffe.
“I look forward to new challenges in the international environment as well as in business in the next stage of my life,” Prasad was quoted as saying.
Prior to becoming an MP, he was New Zealand’s race relations conciliator from 1996 to 2001, and in 2003-04, he served as a member of the New Zealand’s Residence Review Board.
He was founding commissioner of the Families Commission from 2004 to 2008.
According to the Labour Party website, Prasad is “committed to working for a society in which all citizens can live with dignity and have control over their destiny”.
“He believes in the value of an ethnically diverse society in which all our cultures are understood and respected, where discrimination of any kind is eliminated and where we are all enabled to participate in and contribute to the fullest extent,” the website profile stated.