News in the interests of the Global Tamils

Jaffna born Tamil lady in Jacinda’s Government

Vanushi (right) with Jacinda Arden (left)

Jaffna born Tamil, Vanushi Sitanjali Walters (née Rajanayagam, born August 1981 in Manipai Jaffna) is a New Zealand lawyer, politician and Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives for the Labour Party representing the Upper Harbour electorate.

She is the great-grand daughter of Ratnasothy Saravanamuttu, a member of the State Council of Ceylon and the first native Mayor of Colombo, and Naysum SaravanamuttuCeylon‘s second female MP. At the age of five she moved to New Zealand with her parents Jana Rajanayagam and Prithiva Rajanayagam /

Walters has a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Auckland and a master’s degree in international human rights law from the University of Oxford.

Walters is a human rights lawyer and has worked in private practice, the public sector and for non-profit and community organisations. She was general manager for Youth Law Aotearoa and a member of Amnesty International‘s International Board.She is currently a senior manager at the Human Rights Commission and is a trustee of Foundation North.

Labour’s Vanushi Walters has won the race to be Upper Harbour MP in northwest Auckland, taking over from retiring National MP Paula Bennett.

She claimed a narrow victory over National candidate Jake Bezzant, a former tech company chief executive and cricketer for Hamilton, receiving 14,142 votes to Bezzant’s 12,727.

During the campaign, Walters, a board member of Amnesty International, said she was passionate about the electorate because of its “diverse” and “warm” communities.

Upper Harbour covers the north-western reaches of Waitematā Harbour


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