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Dunedin Mayor Receives Indian Government Award


Dunedin Mayor Receives Indian Government Award

Dunedin (January 21) – The Mayor of Dunedin, Sukhi Turner, has been honoured by the Indian Government with its highest award for non-resident Indian citizens or persons of Indian origin.

Mayor Turner is the first New Zealander to receive the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award for the Indian Diaspora, and one of only 24 people to have ever received the award internationally.

The award is equivalent to the highest civilian award conferred by the Indian Government, and has been presented to Mayor Turner by the Prime Minister of India A B Vaipayee at an awards ceremony in New Delhi. The President of India, A P J Abdul Kalam, who is the award’s patron, also met with the awardees at the Presidential Palace.

The award recognises Mayor Turner’s outstanding contribution towards fostering better understanding abroad of India, her support for India’s diverse cultures and her advancing the understanding of India’s interests internationally. The award also recognises significant contributions and service to the Indian people internationally. There are more than 22 million Indians living outside of their home country.

Mayor Turner said she was honoured and humbled by the recognition.

“I see this as recognition for all of the people I have worked with in New Zealand, especially those who have helped me further the cause of cultural diversity,” Mayor Turner said.

“In particular, the many people throughout Dunedin who have helped make the City a wonderfully rich and diverse place are being recognised through this award,” she said.

Ms Turner moved to New Zealand in 1973. She was elected to the Dunedin City Council in 1992, as mayor in 1995 and again in 1998 and 2001. A graduate in history and political science, she has been a community and environmental worker, and small business owner. She has also been an active member of various national organisations including the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs and the Enviroshools Foundation Trust.

Mayor Turner was awarded the Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DCNZM) in 2002.

The award includes a 100-gm gold medallion and a citation from the Indian President, along with an all-expenses trip to India for the international awards ceremony.




- Born in India April 1952
- Educated at All Saints' Anglican School, Naini Tal, and Bombay University.
- Graduated BA in History and Political Science from Bethany College West Virginia, USA, 1973
- Married New Zealand Cricketer Glenn Turner; two children
- Dunedin City Councillor 1992-95, elected Dunedin's first woman Mayor October 1995. Re-elected to the Mayoralty in 1998 and 2001
- Appointed Director of Dunedin City Holdings Limited in 1995
- Director of Citibus, City Forests, Dunedin Electricity since 1999
- University of Otago Council Member since 1995
- Local Government New Zealand Council Member since 1998
- Member of the Dunedin Tourism Board since 2000
- Core group member of Mayor's Taskforce for Jobs since 2000
- Elected as the Metropolitan Sector's Representation on Local Government New Zealand’s National Council in 1998 – Present.
- Chairperson of the Local Government New Zealand's Economic Development Working Party in 2000 – Present.
- Chairperson of the Local Government New Zealand’s Tourism Project Team
- 2002 – Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DCNZM)
- 2003 – Chair, Enviroschools Foundation Trust
- 2004 - Pravasi Bharatiya Samman

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