Hindi is now the fourth-most widely spoken language in New Zealand, the country’s envoy to India Joanna Kempkers said on Friday, PTI reported. “We both [India and New Zealand] share common values, such as the commonwealth heritage and democracy,” Kempkers said at an event in New Delhi. “And also common languages – English and now Hindi.”
“In fact, Hindi is now the fourth most-spoken language,” she added. “We have about 1,85,000 people belonging to the Indian community, who live in New Zealand and are contributing to the growth story of our country.”
Kempkers said that the number of Indians visiting New Zealand was also on the rise. “In 2016, the number of Indian tourists who visited New Zealand stood at 58,000, while the corresponding figure from New Zealand to India was 66,000,” she said.
The ambassador said that Bollywood was an attraction for those wanting to study in New Zealand. She said that when government agency Education New Zealand appointed Bollywood actor Kriti Sanon as its ambassador, the number of applications for New Zealand universities increased.
“Indian students are increasingly choosing to study in New Zealand,” Education New Zealand’s Regional Director (India, South East Asia and Middle East) John Lexon said. He said there had been a 24% rise in student visas to New Zealand during the January-October 2017 period.