At university Parmar completed a masters in biochemistry and was eyeing a PhD when her arranged marriage to husband Ravinder saw her move to join him in New Zealand.
She was awarded her PhD at the University of Auckland for work examining how connections are re-established in the brain. After working as a scientist Parmar moved into her husband’s confectionery and chocolate business.
On her weekends, the mother of two hosted a current affairs and talkback show on Indian radio station Radio Tarana, and travelled with the press pack with former Prime Minister Helen Clark and Key on their respective diplomatic trips to India.
That fed her interest in politics. She was appointed by National to the Families Commission board in 2013, and contested Roskill against Goff in 2014, entering Parliament at 48th on National’s list.
More than 3000 voters at the last election voted for Goff despite giving their party vote to National. Now he’s gone, there’s praise for Goff from Parmar.
“I worked alongside him in Parliament for three years, so that was really great to know Phil Goff and his work style, and he is widely admired. So I have to work hard to get that Phil Goff vote.”
Parmar said local issues she was focused on included making communities safe, improving transport, housing affordability and making life easier for small businesses.
She rejected criticism from People’s Party candidate and businessman Roshan Nauhria that she hadn’t done enough for the Indian community, and said her focus was wider.
“Yes, my ethnicity comes along with me. I don’t have to stand and announce my ethnicity. And since landing here in New Zealand, my goal has [been] to be part of the wider community.”
And she didn’t even want to come live in New Zealand.
But because of her links back into India, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And as far as that is concerned, she needs to be locked in as an electorate MP. As an MP however, she won’t be much use to Mt Roskill. It’s what she can do for National that is being played for.
The problem Parmjeet Parmar has is she is well considered to be part of the Bill English/Paula Bennett faction and is not that well liked by too many in caucus. Her husband isn’t much better. She is well supported also by the bugger’s muddle in Auckland.
There is a remote possibility that Parmar might actually win the by-election and that may not be a good thing, other than preventing a weasel like Michael Wood entering parliament after four failed attempts.
– NZ Herald