Thursday, 10 August 2017

NRNA NZ मा राज महर्जन को नेतृत्व किन?

NRNA NZ मा राज महर्जन को नेतृत्व किन?
१. न्यु जिल्याण्डमा प्रवासी नेपाली हरुको प्रतिनिधित्व गर्न सक्ने खुवी, क्षमता र अनुभवका लागी:
१.१. न्यु जिल्याण्ड मा बसोबास गर्ने सबै नेपालीहरु को हक हित को मुद्दा सहि रुपले पहिचान गर्ने (issues identification) खुवी, क्षमता र अनुभवका लागी।
(सबै नेपालीहरु भन्नाले ग्रामिण क्षेत्रहरु (rural areas and farms) देखी शहर (cities and major centres) मा बसोबास गर्नु हुने विधार्थी साथी हरु, जब विसा मा हुनु भएका, पी. आर. लिनु भएका र किवी नागरिकता ग्रहण गर्नु भएका सबै जात जाति र पेशा गर्ने Kaitaia देखि Invercargill - Northland देखि Wellington र Gisborne देखि New Plymouth; Nelson देखि Southland र Greymouth देखि Akaroa - सम्म छरिएर रहनु भएका सबै नेपाली दिदी बहिनी दाजु भाई समेट्ने भन्ने बुझाई हो)
१ .२. पहिचान गरिएका मुद्दा हरुको सहि लेखा जोखा (policy analysis) गर्न सक्ने खुवी, क्षमता र अनुभवका लागी ।
(राज महर्जन पेशा ले नीति विश्लेषक (policy analyst) हुन् र उनि संग १० वर्ष न्यु जिल्याण्डमा नीति निर्माण (policy formation) र कार्यान्वयन (implementation) का लागी काम गरेको अनुभव छ)
१.२. नीति निर्माता (policy makers) हरु समक्ष सहि तरिका र सहि बाटो (appropriate way and right channel) बाट न्यु जिल्याण्डमा प्रवासी नेपाली हरुको अवाज न्यु जिल्याण्डको केन्द्रिय तथा स्थानीय निकाय (central government, line agencies and local authorities) समक्ष राख्न सक्ने आत्म विश्वाश, खुवी, क्षमता र अनुभवका लागी।
(राज महर्जन संग विगतमा, विशेष गरी सन् २०१५ को भुकम्प लगत्तै, न्यु जिल्याण्डको केन्द्रिय तथा स्थानीय निकाय संग समन्वय गरी न्यु जिल्याण्डका प्रवासी नेपालीहरुको हक हितमा काम गरी सकेको अनुभव छ)

Friday, 4 August 2017

न्यु जील्याण्ड मा सामाजिक कार्यको अनुभव

न्यु जील्याण्ड मा सामाजिक कार्यको अनुभव:

Raj Maharjan, Auckland, New Zealand (in NZ since September 2005)

- General member of the NRNA NZ since 17 August 2009

- New Zealand Nepalese Association (NZNA)

  • Past President 2015-2017
  • Various roles including Vice President and Secretary since the inception of NZNA in 2005 to 2015.

- Help Nepal Network New Zealand (HeNN NZ) 

  • Founder President of the ad-hoc committee formed to register NZ chapter of HeNN NZ in 2016
  • Coordinator 2011-15
  • Advisor to the executive committee of HeNN NZ since 2016 until now

Thursday, 3 August 2017



Ashburton, 2 August 2017, around 5PM. For the first time in my campaign trail, I saw someone's eyes filled with tears because of me. Because of my writing, to be precise. Yes, you guys are right - I should be careful what I write.

It was a kick in the guts. NEPAL (psuedo name) ji picked up no.3 in my one page road map titled, "गैरआवासीय नेपाली संघ न्यु जील्याण्ड लाई न्यु जील्याण्ड मा प्रवासमा रहनु भएका सबै नेपालीको साझा संस्था बनाउने अभियानको लक्षमा पुर्याउने १० खुड्किला" NEPAL ji repeatedly (at least three times) said that they liked point no. 3 in the road map. Comes out no. 3 happened to align with the frequency of what NEPAL ji was going through in life as an immigrant in NZ. 
(See screen shot of no.3 with this post. I have not disclosed the real name to protect NEPAL ji's identity. I will reveal the identity only after their kind permission, if they agree to do so)

In response to NEPAL ji's request to elaborate no.3, I said that I was a student and a new migrant myself a few years ago, and I knew what it meant to be in their shoes. I also made it clear that the subject matter is something very close to my heart and I genuinely want to do something to help the students and the new comers.

I pretended I did not see NEPAL ji's eyes filled with tears. I almost lost it there and then. Almost. It was so so close. Realised for the first time that I have now lost my liberty to be "soft". I had no other choice than to pretend that I did not see NEPAL ji's eyes filled with tears. We delved into other topics and the ambience gradually became less intense. 

This seemingly benign incident rattled me. It hit me hard and brought home the gravity of the journey I have embarked upon. The sense of responsibility and the weight of need to deliver almost crushed me there and then. 

For me, since 5PM yesterday, the campaign entered into whole another level. To justify the gravity of the situation we have in our hands, I declare here and now that, if the campaign of "The Change Agenda" is successful, we will hold THE FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION OF NRNA NZ 2018. Wait for this - it will be held in a beautiful location somewhere in the South Island. Details of the nuts and bolts of this FIRST CONVENTION will be worked out in consultation with the members of the NRNA NZ members and the wider Nepali community in NZ. For now, seven hints of the FIRST CONVENTION below, subject to improvements:

1. This will indeed be the FIRST convention 
(FYI, 7th national convention of NRNA Australia took place in Brisbane on 22 July 2017; the institutional knowledge of organising such convention lies across the Tasman where I personally happen to have excellent allies).

2. There would be representation of NRNA NZ members from all over NZ to discuss our local issues and to find local solutions to our domestic issues. 

3. Our global network colleagues from the ICC will be invited for their global perspective and international flavour.

4. A closed session (most probably the 22 NCC members) will devise NRNA NZ's short, medium and long term strategies based on our strength, weakness, opportunities and threat (SWOT). This will be facilitated by a management expert.

5. We will hold function(s) to celebrate success of our community members of all age and background so that others could be motivated.

6. We will invite dignitaries from NZ authorities to showcase that we are capable of holding top class quality function(s)/event(s). We will send a loud and clear message that Nepali community in NZ is now a large community that shall be considered with appropriate respect and recognition.

7. There would indeed be quality time with friends and family, including our own local food and entertainment.

There was another matter raised by a good friend (again, I will reveal identity only on their permission) of mine at the Riccarton School hall on 1 August about lack of institutionalisation of the knowledge in NRNA NZ.

It is my strong belief and gut feeling that we would have taken a step in the right direction if we listened to each other in the FIRST CONVENTION and took appropriate actions to deliver on the outcomes and directions from our discussion.


(Special thanks to the following generous souls who took care of the essential things of my stay in the Garden City between 31 July to 2 August:

- Everyone who took their time to meet with us despite your busy schedule. Without your willingness to talk to us, this visit would not have made sense.

- Ashok Kumar Shrestha and Sirjana Shrestha for hosting me. Sirjana bhauju, I am always impressed with your "impulsive" guest reception skills :)

- Rajesh Dhakal and Shalu Dhakal for hosting me. Rajesh dai, your intellectuality is something I will always aspire to achieve in life. Shalu bhauju your "presence" is so powerful; you don't have to say much. I hope you two are having good time in the warmer weather in Europe.

- Jitendra Bothara and Roshit Bothara for the breakfast and a cracker intellectual conversation early in the morning on 2 August. I am flabbergastedly impressed with the good work you continue to do. We shall explore more...

- Amit Bhandari for everything and literally being my shadow throughout my stay. Shristy Sapkota Bhandari, thanks for bringing back my childhood memories with the dinner in kaas to thaal

- Deepak Pandey, Bishal Sapkota - thanks for adding some joy through your "boy racing" skills. Drive Safe is all I want to say. I am impressed with your energy and network. Super top class leadership quality you have.

- Pradip Rupakheti - the tall and handsome man with long moustache. I'd love to uncover more about the layers of your mystery. Until we meet again next time...

- Suman Poudel - for organising the Ashburton meeting in such a short notice.

- Shanta Gyaba Lama and ThreeAngelsmum Lama for hosting our Ashburton meeting. Bhauju the "lamb" pies were awesome :). Thank you Dipendra ji, Parajuli ji and Gyan ji for taking time to meet us in Ashburton.

Any omissions are my error in judgement.)

Friday, 21 July 2017

गैरआवासीय नेपाली संघ न्यु जील्याण्ड लाई न्यु जील्याण्ड मा प्रवासमा रहनु भएका सबै नेपालीको साझा संस्था बनाउने अभियानको लक्षमा पुर्याउने १० खुड्किला

- राज महर्जन, अकल्याण्ड, न्यु जील्याण्ड, जुलाई, २०१७
गैरआवासीय नेपाली संघ न्यु जील्याण्ड २०१७-१९ (NRNA NZ 2017-19) का लागि अध्यक्ष पदका का दावेदार

गैरआवासीय नेपाली संघ न्यु जील्याण्ड (NRNA  NZ) र गैरआवासीय नेपाली संघको विश्व ब्यापी संगठन (NRNA  ICC) को विधान तथा गैरआवासीय अभियान (NRN Movement) को मर्म अनुरुप  न्यु जील्याण्ड मा बस्ने नेपाली तथा नेपाल र नेपालीको हक हितमा काम र सेवा गर्ने उदेश्यका साथ आएको मेरो उम्मेदवारी लाई दुई वर्ष NRNA NZ को नेतृत्व गर्ने सुअवसर दिनु हुन अग्रज, समकालीन मित्रहरु र नयाँ आउनु भएका साथीहरु लाई विनम्र हार्दिक अहुरोध गर्दछु

आउनु होस् हामी सबै मिली नेपाल पछिको दोश्रो घर सम्झेर न्यु जील्याण्डमा प्रवासी भई रहनु भएका नेपाली समुदायको सहि प्रतिनिधित्व गर्ने यात्रामा एक नयाँ आशा का साथ अघि बढौं।

१. NRNA NZ को पहिचान न्यु जील्याण्ड मा बस्ने सबै उमेर, लिंग, समूह, आस्था, विचार र  इमिग्रेसन स्टेटसका नेपालीको बृहत्तर हक हित (greater interest) का लागी प्रभावकारी भूमिका निभाउने संस्थाको रुपमा स्थापित (establish) गर्ने।

२. सकारात्मक सोचका साथ न्यु जील्याण्ड भरिका सबै नेपाली र नेपाली संस्थाहरु बिच सहकार्य गर्दै NRNA NZ लाई सबै नेपाली अट्न सक्ने छाता संगठनको अवधारणा संस्थागत (institutionalize) गर्दै अघि बढ्ने। विगत बाट सिक्दै आगामी दिनमा “NRNA NZ हामी सबैको आफ्नै संस्था हो" भन्ने भावना अनुरुप NRNA  NZ र NRNA  ICC को विधान र NRN Movement को मर्म आत्म साथ गर्दै नेपाल र नेपालीको सेवामा सहभागी हुने।

३. नयाँ आउनु भएका साथि हरुको हकमा यहाँ हरुको चुनैती र अवसर हरु पहिचान गर्ने। यहाँ हरुको न्यु जील्याण्डको पढाई र बसाई लाई कसरी अझ सहज गर्न सकिन्छ, के सहयोग गर्न सकिन्छ र यहाँ हरुले दिनानुदिन झेल्नु पर्ने समस्याहरुलाई कसरी सम्बोधन गर्न सकिन्छ त्यस बारे पहल र कदमहरु अघि सार्ने। जस्तै: "विद्यार्थी कल्याण कोष" को अवधारणा लाई उजागर गरि दुई वर्ष भित्र एक ब्यबहारिक र गरिमामय उचाई सम्म पुर्याउन पहल गर्ने।

४.न्यु जील्याण्ड का प्रमुख सहर (जस्तै: Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga) बाहिर बस्न हुने र काम गर्नु हुने हाम्रा साथी हरुको मुद्दा सम्बोधन गर्न वहाँहरु संग सर सल्लाह गरि उचित पहल गर्ने।

५. व्यवसायी साथी हरुको ब्यापार ब्यबसाय मा अझै बढी उन्नति प्रगति का लागी न्यु जील्याण्डको स्थानीय तथा  केन्द्रिय सरकार र निजि संघ संस्था हरु संग समन्वय गर्ने वातावरण तयार गर्न व्यवसायी र संघ संस्था हरु संग सहकार्य गर्ने।

६. न्यु जील्याण्ड मा रहनु भएका नेपाली बौदिक सर्कल (Professor, lecturer, PhDs, PhD students, Masters, professional practitioners) का साथीहरुको बौदिक क्षमता (intellectual potential) लाई उचित सम्मान (respect) र कदर (acknowledgement)  गर्ने। बौदिक केन्द्र (Intellectual Hub) को अवधारणा अनुरुप हाल NRN ग्लोबल द्वारा संचालित initiative of Skill, Knowledge & Innovation (SKI) प्रोग्राम मा टेवा पुर्याउने।

७ . न्यु जील्याण्डमा बसोबास गर्ने नेपाली हरुको छाता संगठनको रुपमा अरु संघ संस्था हरु संग हाते मालो गर्दै आवश्यकता अनुरुप न्यु जील्याण्डको सरकारी तह तथा आम जनमानस बीच  नेपाल र नेपाली हरुको स-सक्त  प्रतिनिधित्व गर्ने

८. खेलकुद प्रतियोगिता र संस्कृतिक कार्यक्रमहरु न्यु जील्याण्ड ब्यापी रुपमा अघि बढाउन उचित संयोजन, मिहेनेत र प्रयास गर्ने।

९. भुटानी नेपाली साथीहरु संगको सम्बन्धमा वहाँ हरुलाई वहाँ हरुको न्यु जील्याण्ड बसाईको को यात्रा मा सहयोग गर्ने वातावरण तयार पर्न आवश्यक पहल गर्ने।

१०. NRNA NZ को सांगठानिक संरचना (organisationl structure) मा व्यापक सुधार गर्ने। कार्य क्षेत्र र जिम्मेवारी खुल्ने गरि र सबैले बुझ्ने गरि चुस्त संगठन तयार गर्ने। छोटो, मध्यम र लामो समयावधिका कार्य योजना र निती (short, medium and long term plans, policies and strategies) तर्जुमा गर्दै कार्य विभाजन र कार्य सम्पादन गर्ने अभियान चलाउने।

यहाँको समर्थनका लागी हार्दिक धन्यवाद।


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Road Map 4 (RM 4) - NRNA NZ functions

(Published in the context of my candidacy for seeking the office of NRNA NZ 2017-19)

Work in progress...

1) Nepali transliteration of the Road Map (RM)

2) How do I plan to manage the organisational operation of the NCC of NRNA NZ so that it functions and delivers efficiently and effectively on the Road Maps I have proposed?
a) the entire team of 22 members NRNA NZ will be responsible for leading; the President will assume accountability on behalf of the team;
b) governance and management functions will be clearly defined so that the team members of the NRNA NZ and the general Nepali diaspora of NZ are aware of who does what;
c) functions will be devolved and decentralised to committees and sub-committees.

I'll elaborate on the above shortly...

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Road Map (RM) 3 - Further RMs...

(Published in the context of my candidacy for seeking the office of NRNA NZ 2017-19)
Picking up from the PS of my last post -
My candidacy is a journey. Further road maps to be continued...
In the spirit of making NRNA NZ an organisation for all, further road maps (RMs) will address the following-
- How do we address the matters related to our people who are living in the regions outside the major cities such as Auckland, Christchurch and Tauranga? Such as those who are toiling hard by working long hours in the remote locations in the farms of the Canterbury plains and orchards of Bay of Plenty.
- What can we do and how could we support our business owners to achieve their business goals and that to realise the dream of prosperity utilising the existing support, facilities and networking opportunities provided by the NZ Government (both local government and central government). Such as ATEED MBIE
- How can NRNA NZ establish, maintain and improve constructive relationship with other Nepali organisations so that there is a united front among all Nepali in NZ and that there is cooperation rather than competition?
- What and how can NRNA NZ play a positive role in terms of representing Nepal and Nepali interest in New Zealand in the public and government domains so that our presence is taken seriously by other ethnic communities and the authorities?
- How could we advance and promote NZ-wide (possibly beyond?) sports and cultural events and contests involving the youth and rest of the section of the Nepali community in NZ?
- Despite the fact that the Bhutanese Nepali are not technically part of NRNA NZ, my team would look into how could we support and help our friends to better settle in a new country.
If you want to be part of my team or are willing to support us in our campaign for the office of NRNA NZ 2017-19, please PM us today. Thank you for your interest and continual support.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Road Map (RM) 2 - Intellectual Hub

(Published in the context of my candidacy for seeking the office of NRNA NZ 2017-19)
Nepali community in New Zealand maybe small in number but we are a formidable force in regards to our intellectual capacity.
We have distinguished professors, Senior Lecturers, PhDs, PhD students as well as those with Masters in a large cross section of subject matters and disciplines.
I am of the view that NRNA NZ must rise above the business as usual (events and charitable causes are excellent but we are capable do more than that) and harness the intellectual capacity of our people based in New Zealand.
Under my leadership, NRNA NZ will consider to facilitate creation of an Intellectual Hub in consultation with relevant stakeholders. One of the areas the Intellectual Hub would deliver would be to explore how could we be creative and innovative to assist the NRN initiative of Skill, Knowledge & Innovation (SKI).
I may mention here that, I have already taken a similar initiative in the form of Professionals for Nepal (P4N). P4N is awaiting formal launch in the near future, subject to a few final touches and arrangements.

PS: My candidacy is a journey. Further road maps to be continued...

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Road Man (RM) 1 - NZ मा भरखरै र नयाँ आउनु भएका साथि हरु लाई मेरो सन्देश:

(Published in the context of my candidacy for seeking the office of NRNA NZ 2017-19)

मेरो उम्मेदवारी घोषणाको १ जुलाईको पोस्टमा उल्लेख गरेको थिएँ - "नयाँ आउनु भएका साथि हरुको हकमा यहाँ हरुको चुनैती र अवसर हरु पहिचान गरि यहाँ हरुको न्यु जील्याण्डको पढाई र बसाई लाई कसरी अझ सहज गर्न सकिन्छ, के सहयोग गर्न सकिन्छ र यहाँ हरुले दिनानुदिन झेल्नु पर्ने समस्याहरुलाई कसरी सम्बोधन गर्न सकिन्छ त्यस बारे मेरो उम्मेदवारी सफल भएको पहिलो दिनमै राहतका पहल हरु प्रस्तुत गर्ने छु।"
माथिको पहल लाई कार्यन्वयन गर्न आवश्यक रोड म्यापमा रहेको एउटा कदम हुने छ "विद्यार्थी कल्याण कोष"।
"विद्यार्थी कल्याण कोष" समग्रमा नयाँ आउनु भएका साथीहरुको मुद्दाहरु सम्बोधन गर्ने अवधारणा मध्ये एक कदम मात्र हो भन्ने मेरो बुझाई हो। "विद्यार्थी कल्याण कोष" बाहेक अरु गर्न सकिने राहतका उपायहरु नयाँ आउनु भएका साथीहरुको सर सल्लाह बमोजिम श-शक्त रुपले अघि बढाउन एक कमिटी (जसमा प्रमुख र नेतृत्व दाई भूमिका नयाँ साथीहरुको हुने छ) गठन गरि अनुसन्धान (research), योजना (planning) र कार्यान्वयन (implementation) को पहल गर्ने छु ।आर्थिक सहयोग बाहेक थुप्रै अरु पहल गर्न सकिन्छ भन्ने कुराको अनुभव मैले २०१५ को भुकम्प पछि NZ को स्थानीय निकाय र केन्द्रिय सरकार (Ministry of Education, Immigration NZ, Human Rights Commission, Council, NZ Police, MPs, Political parties) का प्रतिनिधि हरु संग काम गर्दा बुझी सकेको छु।
"विद्यार्थी कल्याण कोष" को कन्सेप्ट मैले २०१५ को भुकम्प पछि अक्ल्यांड को अल्बर्ट पार्क मा बोलाइएको एक भेलामा प्रस्ताव गरेको थिएँ, जुन विभिन्न कारणले अगाडि बढ्न सकेन । त्यसको प्रमुख दोषी म पनि हुँ यो मानेमा कि "विद्यार्थी कल्याण कोष" को अवधारणा लाई अघि सार्न मैले थप उर्जा र प्रयाश खासै गर्ने समय निकाल्न सकिन।
२०१५ मै लगभग ४०,००० NZD (भारतीय तथा चिनिया कम्युनिटी द्वारा सहयोग गरिएको) रकम भुकम्पले प्रत्यक्ष असर गरेका विद्यार्थी साथी हरुको फिस तिर्नको लागी प्रदान गरिएको कुरा शायद धेरै लाई सम्झना होला। भारतीय तथा चिनिया कम्युनिटी का प्रतिनिधिले उक्त रकम वितरणको सम्पूर्ण संयोजनको भुमिका (निर्णय होइन, कसलाई कति दिने कुराको निर्णय criteria को आधारमा भारतीय तथा चिनिया कम्युनिटी का प्रतिनिधिले गरेका हुन्) मलाई भारतीय तथा चिनिया कम्युनिटी का प्रतिनिधिले सुम्पेका थिए।
आउनुहोस मिलेर "विद्यार्थी कल्याण कोष"को अवधारणा मा काम गर्दै नयाँ आउनु भएका साथीहरुको मुद्दाहरु सम्बोधन गर्ने कार्यको थालनी गरौँ। धन्यवाद।

Saturday, 1 July 2017

एन आर एन ए न्यु जील्याण्ड (NRNA NZ) लाई न्यु जील्याण्ड मा प्रवासमा रहनु भएका सबै नेपालीको साझा संस्था बनाउने अभियानमा सहयोग र सहकार्य गर्न जारी अपिल

१ जुलाई २०१७, अकल्याण्ड, न्यु जील्याण्ड

NRNA NZ को अब बन्ने कार्य समिति (NCC) ले आफ्नो कार्य कालमा कार्यान्वयनमा ल्याउन सक्ने र उठान गर्न पर्ने मुद्दाहरु बारे विगत बाट सिक्दै संस्थाले आगामी दिनमा अझै प्रभावकारी भूमिका कसरी निभाउन सक्छ भन्ने सकारात्मक सोचका साथ NRNA NZ अघि बढ्नु पर्छ भन्ने मेरो मान्यता हो।

निकट भविष्यमा आसन्न चुनावमा NRNA NZ को कार्यकारी समितिको अधक्ष्य (President of the NRNA NZ) को पदका लागी मैले उम्मेदवारी दिन लागेको सबै न्यु जील्याण्ड बासी नेपाली दिदी बहिनी दाजु भाई मा बिनम्र जानकारी गराउन चाहन्छु।

मेरो उम्मेदवारी को प्रमुख लक्ष दुई वर्षको कार्य काल भित्र न्यु जील्याण्ड मा बस्ने सबै उमेर, लिंग, समूह, आस्था, विचार र  इमिग्रेसन स्टेटस का समस्त नेपालीले NRNA NZ लाई "हामी सबैको आफ्नै संस्था हो" भनेर माया गर्ने र सबै प्रवासी नेपाली NRNA NZ को छाता मुनि अटाउन सक्ने गरिमामय अवस्था सम्म पुर्याउनु रहने छ।

मेरो NCC टिम ले अग्रज, समकालीन र नयाँ सबै साथीहरु लाई संस्था भित्र समेट्ने  र अटाउने वातावरण तयार पार्ने कुरामा विश्वस्त गराउन चाहन्छु। मेरो यस उदेश्य प्राप्तिका लागी न्यु जिल्याण्ड निवासी सबै नेपाली र NRNA NZ का सम्पुर्ण सदश्य साथीहरुको सहयोग र सहकार्य पाउने आशा गरेको छु।

NRNA NZ लाई स्थापना देखि हाल सम्मको गरिमा मय उचाइ दिलाउन विगतका यत्तिका वर्ष अनवरत रुपले NRN को मर्म र NRNA NZ संस्थाको हित तथा सदश्य हरुका हक हित का लागी गरि आउनु भएको त्याग तपस्याका लागि हार्दिक नमन गर्दै मेरो उम्मेदवारी सफल भएको अवस्थामा यहाँ हरुको अनवरत माया, मार्ग दर्शन र सुझाव सल्लाह निरन्तर पाई रहने आशा गरेको छु।

आसन्न चुनावमा सहभागी हुन र म लगायत अरु "मनले खाएका" उम्मेदवार हरुलाई मत दिई दुई वर्ष का लागि केहि गरेर देखाउने र भिन्न प्रक्रिया बाट संस्था अगाडी बढाउने मौका प्रदान गरिदिनु हुन समस्त NRNA NZ का सदश्य तथा मतदाता दिदी बहिनी दाजु भाई हरु लाई हार्दिक अनुरोध गर्दछु।

हाल सम्म सदस्यता लिई सक्नु नभएका अग्रज, समकालीन मित्रहरु र नया आउनु भएका साथीहरु लाई आजै NRNA NZ को सदस्यता लिएर संस्था भित्र आवद्द हुन हार्दिक अपिल गर्दछु। नविकरण गर्न बाँकी सदश्य साथि हरुले आफ्नो सदस्यता आजै नविकरण गर्नु हुन पनि विशेष अनुरोध गर्दछु।

समकालीन साथि हरुलाई NRNA NZ बाट टाढिएर होइन यस भित्र समाहित भइ संस्था लाई नौलो तरिका बाट नेपाल र नेपालीको हक हितमा एक भई संग संगै हाते मालो गर्दै अगाडी बढौं भनि सहकार्यका लागि दुई हात जोडी विशेष अनुरोध गर्दछु।  

नयाँ आउनु भएका साथि हरुको हकमा यहाँ हरुको चुनैती र अवसर हरु पहिचान गरि यहाँ हरुको न्यु जील्याण्डको पढाई र  बसाई लाई कसरी अझ सहज गर्न सकिन्छ, के सहयोग गर्न सकिन्छ र यहाँ हरुले दिनानुदिन झेल्नु पर्ने समस्याहरुलाई कसरी सम्बोधन गर्न सकिन्छ त्यस बारे मेरो उम्मेदवारी सफल भएको पहिलो दिनमै राहतका पहल हरु प्रस्तुत गर्ने छु।  

NRNA  NZ र NRNA  ICC (एन आर एन को विश्व ब्यापी संघ) को विधान र NRN Movement को मर्म अनुरुप  न्यु जील्याण्ड मा बस्ने नेपाली तथा नेपाल र नेपालीको हक हितमा काम गर्ने हेतु का साथ आएको मेरो उम्मेदवारी लाई सफल पारी दुई वर्ष NRNA NZ को  नेतृत्व गर्ने सुअवसर दिनु हुन फेरी एक पल्ट अग्रज, समकालीन मित्रहरु र नयाँ आउनु भएका साथीहरु लाई विनम्र हार्दिक अहुरोध गर्दछु।

आउनु होस् हामी सबै मिली प्रवासमा बसी न्यु जील्याण्ड लाई नेपाल पछिको दोश्रो घर सम्झेका न्यु जील्याण्ड निवासी सबै नेपाली समुदायको प्रतिनिधित्व गर्ने हकमा एक नयाँ आशा को उजागर गरौं

यहाँको समर्थनका लागी हार्दिक धन्यवाद।

राज महर्जन
अकल्याण्ड, न्यु जील्याण्ड

- BScAg, TU, Nepal; MSc, Copenhagen, Denmark; MPlanPrac, Auckland, New Zealand
- General member of the NRNA NZ since 17 August 2009
- Past President of the New Zealand Nepalese Association 2015-2017
- Founder President of the Help Nepal Network New Zealand (HeNN NZ) 2016 and current advisor to the executive committee of HeNN NZ

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

“To NRN” or “Not to NRN”

Based on my observation and experience of being a part of the Nepali community in New Zealand since 2005, I am going to outline a few observations about the New Zealand chapter of the Non Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) (from here on “NRNA NZ”).

NRNA NZ was established in October 2005, a few weeks after I migrated to New Zealand. I have thus been aware about NRNA NZ, its activities and the office bearers from the organisation’s early days.

At the onset, I want to make it clear that my commentary here is about the organisation. Any reference to any individuals and their behaviour are based on their capacity as an office bearer, not as an individual. People’s individual (private) life is none of my business. However, I have taken liberty to comment on their public life. Public scrutiny comes hand in hand with one’s public role. In this case, the commentaries are aimed at individuals in their capacity of holding the office of the elected executive committee of the NRNA NZ. I have deliberately left a few open-ended questions unanswered for the readers to draw their own conclusions.  

NRNA globally and NRNA NZ has done many good work over the years. Globally, if and when the dual citizenship agenda becomes a success, it will open new avenues for all those who have adopted overseas as their new home. Globally and within NZ, NRNA has done many outstanding fundraising and charitable work. We must give them the kudos they deserve for those splendid achievements. I personally respect any work anyone does for the greater good of the Nepali community and Nepal.

Victim of its own success?
The NRNA movement has gained a considerable amount of momentum and support from a noticeable proportion of global Nepali diaspora. It is fair to say that NRNA is now an influential organisation within Nepal and in every country where it exists throughout the world.

With its influence and global reach, NRNA it seems has been an organisation where games of vested interests are played at the full throttle. The dramas that are staged prior to the “election” of any body of the NRNA is a testament to the fact that perceived stakes for the candidates are too high for those who keep ambition of being “elected” in any national chapter (known as the National Co-ordination Council - NCC) or the international governing body (known as the International Co-ordination Council - ICC). I will leave it up to the readers to dissect the issue according to their own context and experience. As I see it, the evidence is too long and dirty to re-play.

Rich (and) men’s club?
All three past chairperson of the ICC has been middle aged men with deep pockets. This inherited trait is highly likely to be perpetuated. It is hardly a surprise that this culture has, more or less, been conveniently adopted in the NCC’s globally.

Out of the 24 office bearer team of the 2015-17 ICC, only three are women two of whom are “women co-ordinator”. See this link about the information of the office bearers -

Should the size of your pocket and gender be a criteria to assume the role of NCC/ICC or one’s capacity to represent and lead?    

Zooming back into New Zealand, all presidents of the NRNA NZ has been men. Money matters in terms of the elected representatives has relatively been of not a great deal of fuss down under. Yet.

The dilemma known as NRNA NZ as I see it
I am in a serious dilemma over whether to give a damn to NRNA NZ or not. This maybe the reason why I find everyone else I talk to about NRNA NZ is in dilemma too. I may be totally wrong and short-sighted. I may have tinted and processed the information with my own filter and personal bias. My myopia over half of my life may have contributed to my short-sightedness.   

Let’s look at some facts. NRNA NZ, although being a nation-wide organisation supposedly meant to represent the entire Nepali diaspora in NZ, is far from having a respectable membership base over its lifetime of over 1.5 decade. Why? NRNA NZ cannot escape the fact that it’s number of members (those who continually renew their membership diligently and regularly) are not that different (or even low?) from the local geography-based organisations representing the Nepali community.

I meet people those who are super-keen in NRNA NZ.My conversation about NRNA NZ with the super-keen type often mostly almost always quickly zooms in towards the “should haves” and “could haves”. I find those topics so unhealthy. Yet, even before I realise we would already be engaging in such futile activity. I am equally, if not more than my colleagues, guilty of this sin that I continue to commit. I have now concluded that I have no right to criticise anyone unless I am prepared to get in and implement my own “should haves” and “could haves”. This applies to all those types who keep complaining by sitting on the fence and don’t intend to get their own hands dirty.

Now let us look at story from the flip side. I hear from people who vehemently abhor (to put it mildly) NRNA NZ officials and supporters. Please note that the hatred is towards the officials and supporters, not the organisation. They even don’t want to talk about NRNA NZ. Many times I have been told off to shut up when I had tried to initiate conversation about NRNA NZ with them. It is sad that number of such people are way higher compared those who are in love with NRNA NZ. I may be hanging around with the wrong bunch, I don’t know.

The not so flash history of an individual’s conducts seem to have come to haunt and taunt like a ghost from the past to those office bearers (and supporters) who are the subject of such unprecedented scale of mass dislike. I have to admit that I have not made an effort to verify the stories of such unflashy histories of the individuals. The way I see it is that an individual must be given an opportunity to prove oneself despite one’s past or mistakes. What matters is what one is doing now and what they are going to do in the future. Past is history and that is where the ghosts of the history should remain buried.

My personal analysis of those love-hate stories is that NRNA NZ has created credibility problems for itself due to providing public platform and having unabated involvement of such individuals who are perceived as “tinted” or “bad guy”. More so, those supposedly baddies (I stress, unverified once again) continue to wash their dirty laundry in the public even after assuming a public role.

It may be relevant to mention here that repeatedly, many members of Nepali community have made comments that those assuming roles in NRNA NZ are motivated by “other” factors than their intention to represent and lead the Nepali community or even their allegiance to the norm of the global NRNA movement. The accusations of “other” broadly constitutes yearning for recognition and hunger for respect. The most interesting accusation is that of developing an attachment towards the organisation developed over many years because of one’s involvement for far too long and at such a personal level that it becomes incomprehensible to them even to think that the organisation will survive if they leave the organisation. Obervation and history is evidence that there are elements of truth in those accusations.

The slips and slides, and oopsie daisies
A few years ago I once went to attend an AGM of NRNA NZ in Mt Albert, Auckland. There were about 10ish members present including only a handful office bearers of the incumbent NCC team. To my great surprise, after a discussion and completion of the topics such as annual report and audit report, significant changes to the constitution of NRNA NZ was proposed. I could not comprehend the courage of the officials’ guts for proposing such a significant scale of change in such low turn-out meeting. I expressed my view that the number of members assembled at the AGM to discuss and resolve the proposed change are too low, and I left. Literally, I felt sick and could not stand the atmosphere. I am to this day ignorant if those proposed changes were incorporated or dropped completely.

A regional meeting (of the Oceania region) was held in Pt. Chevalier, Auckland a few years ago. I was camping 250km away but made an effort to attend the meeting as an observer and a general member of the NRNA NZ. After realising that the overseas delegates almost outnumber attendees from NZ, my friends who came from Australia and are in the Australian NCC asked me, “why such low turn out from NZ”? I heard similar comments in a subsequent meeting held in Christchurch.

When I attend NRNA NZ’s functions, I find them dysfunctional. Turnout is often low (more so if there is no food served) given its status of nation-wide organisation. Lack of preparation becomes obvious and creeps in from the start until the end. Programmes often start late and technical quality (such as audio quality) is often poor. Having said that, last month I decided to go a bit late to attend the Everest Day as Nepali programmes seldom start on time. To my surprise,  when I got there the stage programme was already over. Maybe, this time punctuality was addressed. A quick conversation with those who attended the stage function and were then having lunch revealed that the inherent dysfunctions continued to occur on the day too. I can’t help but make this comment here that if one organises an event that is meant to represent the entire Nepali diaspora, it better be of a good quality one that is well attended by a respectable number of people. Period. There should be no excuse for sloppiness. This sounds harsh but one should be able to make an effort if one claims to represent the wider mass.

There has been a number of occasion where NCC members were seen too keen to take undeserved credit for someone else's’ hard work. This has happened even at very sensitive cases. Here is an example.  During the fundraising on Queen Street after the earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, the end of the first day of street collection turned out to be chaotic. There was no leadership which was not a big issue as the gathering was impromptu that started with a young person’s facebook post. That facebook post (with time stamp) could be retrieved from the facebook group. I was one of the first one to reach Aotea Square in the morning. All those, including myself, who gathered seemed to be crushed because of the scale of what happened back home. In a while after a quick discussion, it was agreed that the collection of the day would be handed over to the NZ Red Cross. I announced that to the gathering as the official present from NRNA NZ would not do so. Many young people came forward and initiated and lead the fundraising on the day. The were least concerned about who the fund would go to. Everyone, including, me was seeking release in company of the others and were kee to be able to do something soon.

I left Aotea Square soon after the collection began to catch-up with other earthquake related work.  When I returned to Queen Street later in the afternoon, things seemed to have changed. There were NRNA banners flying with people taking pictures on Queen Street. After the collection was wrapped up, two organisations (one of which was NRNA NZ) claimed to own the buckets which had collection from the day. I was gobsmacked and could not comprehend what was going on. I asked an official of the NRNA to inform to the mass gathered and to those who volunteered all day to collect fund that the agreement of morning (that the fund collection would go to Red Cross) has changed. They won’t do it.  I was personally told off by another NRNA NZ official for encouraging (apparently always, according to this gentleman) misconduct by the young people. All the buckets were divvied up between the two organisations claiming them to be theirs. A few of them were taken away by the NRNA officials for the collection to be counted at someone’s residence. At that particular moment, it was unknown where and when.

I observed that the emotion of young people who stood all day on Queen Street and did hard work to collect fund were running raw and flying all over. The fact that someone or some organisation could come and take away the fund raised for such a cause seemed to have fuelled the hurt and anger among many young people. A few people got so angry that they were about to take some “action” (भौतिक कारवाही). I personally told the dissatisfied group of young people to not to even think of such silly action against those who apparently caused gross anger and hurt to them. I said to them that two wrongs won’t make it right. I went to the extent of threatening them that if they did any भौतिक कारवाही at any stage, that would be the end of whatever relationship I had with them. No such ugly incident ever happen, thankfully. The young guns were wise enough not to make such silly mistakes. They rather decided to swallow their pride and push on with fund raise for the next week.

There are many such examples. Without going into details, similar incident seemed to have happened when a Nepali student committed suicide in Tauranga few years ago.

It would be a fair observation to conclude that our friends of NRNA NZ are hungry and a little too keen to take credit over things that they really should not meddle with.  

Who represents the Nepali community in NZ?
There should be no contest that NRNA NZ is capable of representing the entire Nepali diaspora of NZ. It is the only organisation of such calibre until now. NRNA NZ, however, has failed to deliver on in this expectation. It does not seem to be interested to take up this role at all.

After the earthquake of 2015, I got opportunity to work with the NZ Ministry of Education, Immigration NZ and NZ police to take some initiatives to provide relief to those impacted by the quake in Nepal. This is a separate topic for discussion sometime later.

One thing stood out during April 2015 amidst the chaos that followed in NZ due to the quake in Nepal. Nepali community in NZ do not have a coordination mechanism among the communities scattered all over NZ. There is a lack of a unifying entity that represents all. Identifying this gap, Tribhuvan Shrestha (I call him Tribhuvan dai; for the sake of detaching emotions I’ll call him by his name in this write up) of Wellington and I started an initiative called “Community of Nepali Community Representatives” (CNCR). Apparently, Mr. Shrestha proposed this model to the NRNA NZ only to be vigorously resisted. He apparently ended up having to nurse some friendship gone bad due to the events that developed. Briefly, CNCR is an informal (not intended to be a registered entity) network of the leaders of all Nepali community organisations throughout NZ. Tribhuvan Shrestha and I co-lead drafting its rules and regulations. Mr. Shrestha already had all the groundwork completed for this to initiate. I only proposed some cosmetic changes.  I chaired its first meeting held on 3 March 2016. If anyone is keen, I can share the minutes and other documents of the meetings of CNCR. The incumbent leader of the NRNA NZ was invited from the beginning to give input and to attend the meeting of CNCR. That never happened. Not until this day.

One might argue that CNCR was stepping over the role of NRNA NZ. My counter argument would be, well, do we wait or take our own initiatives? We are fed up of the waiting game and from inaction.

The so called “election”
The dictionary meaning of election is “a formal and organized choice by vote of a person for a political office or other position

There has never been a voting process for the election of the NRNA NZ. There doesn’t seem to be appetite to accommodate voting and choice. It seems there is no capacity within NRNA NZ to administer a NZ-wide election process.

The so called “election” of until now were decided behind closed doors under wraps and over series of phone calls under the cloak of consensus (सहमती). What was lost over the election cycles was the beauty of democratic process and free and fair competition. Such act of “consensus making” murders meritocracy and encourages partisan politicking (गुटबन्दी). It is the sad case of perpetuation and that of similarity with the attitude, society and politics of Nepal. In the past elections of the NRNA NZ, not only members who stood in election but the volunteers of the election committee were grossly harassed and disrespected by the too passionate candidates.

What next?
This year NRNA NZ will elect a new executive committee. If the past is an indicator of the future about the election process of NRNA NZ, it would be fair to say that the upcoming election would be “interesting”. As a matter of fact, apparently “interesting” events follow NRNA all over the world during their election process. A recent example is the news about a “scam” involving addition of “hundreds of would-be members with an aim to build a VOTE bank” to the Australia chapter of NRNA (Quotation source See the news piece for full reporting of the “scam”). Grape vines suggest that NZ chapter is not immune to “allegations” of such malpractice and other types of agee-bagee.

I remain cautiously optimistic that this year’s election of the NRNA NZ provides its members an opportunity to put the past behind them and prove that they are capable to operate and act differently in a more free and fair manner. In the unfortunate case of repetition of the “same old story” attitude in the election, NRNA NZ risks of further decline in its organisational credibility and social acceptance from the general population of Nepali diaspora in NZ. At the end of the day, relationship building is based on mutual respect and behavioural exchange, be it at a personal level or that in an organisational sense.   

Finally, am I interested in the upcoming NRNA NZ election? Hell, yes. Because whether I like it or not NRNA NZ impacts me on my capacity as a member of the Nepali community and a general member of the NRNA NZ. Will I stand in the election? I don’t know yet.