If elected she would be the first Sri Lankan born Member of New Zealand’s Parliament.
Vanushi brings in a wealth of expertise and experience through her various governance and operational roles in New Zealand and internationally. She has worked in a private legal practice, the public sector, independent crown entities and not for profit and community organisations. She is currently a Senior Manager at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and a Trustee at Foundation North and has held roles as the General Manager of Youth Law Aotearoa and as an International Board member for Amnesty International.
Vanushi proudly acknowledges that her great grandmother from her father’s side was the second woman to be elected to the then State Council of Ceylon, Luisa Naysum Saravanamuttu. She held her Colombo North seat until 1947. Naysum’s husband was Sir Ratnasothy Saravanamuttu, the first elected Mayor of Colombo, Ceylon.
Sri Lankan-born Vanushi moved to New Zealand with her parents, father Late Jana Rajanayagam and mother Prithiva, when she was just five years of age. She is married to Rhys Walters, has three young sons and lives in West Auckland.