Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is a National List MP based in Manukau East and is New Zealand Parliament’s first Indian Sikh Member. He has a profound interest in trade, law and order and developing positive inter-ethnic relationships in the country.
Being the Chairperson of the Law and Order Select and Caucus Committee, he has always shown interest in matters relating to criminal law, police and serious fraud. He is also a Member of Commerce Select Committee that considers issues from sectors like business development, communications, energy and information technology.
He is also the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Police, Hon Paula Bennett.
Kanwaljit endeavors to generate awareness about the Indian culture and its people in New Zealand. He, along with the members of local Indian Community gifted the first copy of a book titled “A Spiritual Journey Harmandar Sahib: The Golden Temple” to New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key. He also received Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award for his extraordinary services and immense contribution to the Indian communities in New Zealand.
Having a political background, he always had a desire to understand politics while helping his father in various election campaigns. He is proud of continuing his family tradition whilst representing Indian communities in the country. Apart from supporting the Kiwis, he has also represented the South-East Asian Communities and was a member of a range of business and socially focused organizations. Recognizing shared values and principles, he became actively involved in the National Party shortly after moving to New Zealand.
“I feel privileged to be a MP for National Party that is working hard to secure a brighter future for all New Zealanders, recognizes potential, and rewards hard work.”
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was born in the capital state of India, Delhi, where he gained a degree in Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Delhi in 1985 following his high-school at Guru Harkishan Public School.
He soon began his career in commerce by joining his family freight business and worked his way up to being a successful marketing manager. Having a prosperous 30 years business experience in India as well as New Zealand, he acquired expertise in diverse fields such as fashion and trade industry.
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi married to Irvinder Kaur in the year 1989 and moved to New Zealand in the year 2001 where he and his wife considered the rising opportunities in the country that helped in growing their business and also gave a strong foundation to their two sons, Gawan and Rijak’s education. It’s a decision they always stood by.
Current parliamentary responsibilities:
- Chair, Law and Order Select Committee and Law and Order Caucus Committee
- Member, Commerce Select Committee Committee
2008-2011 parliamentary responsibilities:
- Member, Justice and Electoral Committee
- Member, Government Administration
Parliamentary Friendship Group membership:
Parliamentary Friendship Groups are informal groups of members of Parliament who organize themselves to promote parliamentary relations between the New Zealand Parliament and other parliaments. They play an important role in New Zealand’s engagement in inter-parliamentary relations, with group members often called upon to participate and host meetings for visiting delegations.
- Chair, India – NZ Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Chair, Pakistan – NZ Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Chair, Sri Lankan – NZ Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Chair, Indonesia – NZ Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Member, Poland – NZ Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Member, Israel – NZ Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Member, China – NZ Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Member, Korea – NZ Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Member and Former Secretary of the Auckland Sikh Society based in the Manukau East electorate
- Founding member of Sikh Naujawan Sabha, an organization which focuses on assisting teenage children to meet their full potential
- Member of the Auckland Indian Association
Awards and Recognition:
2015 – Received the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from the Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari
2014 – Speaker on Youth Development at Pravasi Bhartiye Divas, New Delhi, India on invitation from Government of India
2014 – Attended and spoke at the Punjabi Pravasi Sammelan 2014 on invitation from the State Government of Punjab, India
2013 – Chaired and moderated session on Sharing Experiences – The Indian Diaspora in the Pacific at the Pravasi Bhartiye Divas celebrations in Sydney, Australia as a guest of the Government of India
2013 - Felicitated by the Sikh American Chamber of Commerce at their annual gala celebrations
2013 – Felicitated by the World Punjabi Organization for his contribution to the Sikh and Punjabi Community
2013 – Inducted into the first Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame Award
2010 – Honored by the Global Punjabi Society