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Welcome to our February 2019 newsletter

The Kiwi Indian community woke up last week to news of terrorist attack in Pulwama, India.

The community under the leadership of Honorary Counsel of India to New Zealand S. Bhavdeep Singh Dhillon organised a candle light vigil at Aotea Square on Saturday, 16 April 2019 to pay homage to soldiers and their families who lost their lives in this terror attack.

The New Zealand National Party is deeply saddened by this senseless terror attack in Pulwama, India. Our hearts go to families of the brave soldiers who lost their lives today. We strongly condemn this terror attacks in the strongest possible terms and appeal to authorities to bring those responsible for this crime to justice.

Photo: Candle Light Vigil to mark Pulwama attack

During the Christmas and New Year break, I had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia and Malaysia.

In Cambodia, I along with my Parliamentary colleagues attended the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF). This forum was attended by 27 member countries and I had the opportunity to talk about Enhancing Parliamentary Cooperation in Promoting Culture Diversity and Tourism in Asia-Pacific. I urged member states for the need to consider greater openness as we welcome people from different cultures and practices to our countries. Openness need not be limited to welcoming other cultures, it can include promotion of competition between member states so that services remain competitive and tourists get the best experience for their money. When we want to be competitive without doubt we will need to lift our productivity. Offering high quality services is likely to attract more and more visitors which in turn will provide significant employment opportunities and raise standards of living for the local and national economy.

Photo: Representing New Zealand at the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum

From Malaysia and Cambodia, I travelled to Varanasi, India, to attend as guest of honour the Pravasi Bhartiye Diwas (PBD) Conference organised by the Government of India. During my speech at (PBD), I urged the Government of India to consider seats in the upper house of Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and for dual citizenship for persons of India origin (PIO’s).

This year’s Pravasi Samman Award was awarded to our Kiwi Indian community leader and Honorary Counsel of India to New Zealand S Bhavdeep Singh Dhillon.

Mr Dhillon has worked tirelessly over the years for the Kiwi Indian community. It was heartening to see his efforts being awarded.

Photo: Bhavdeep Singh Dhillon being awarded the Pravasi Samman by President of India

I was also inducted by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) to its honor roll at its annual valedictory session held in Varanasi, India. I became the first person of Indian and Sikh origin from New Zealand to be inducted in the roll.

GOPIO was established in 1989 with the aim of fighting human right violation of people of Indian origin. I have worked with Shri Kedar Nath Gupta and Shri Manish Gupta to setup GOPIO from its inception days in Delhi. After I moved to New Zealand, I then put my efforts towards establishing the New Zealand chapter of GOPIO with Harish Bajaj as its first President. My relationship with GOPIO New Zealand continues with current President Alkesh Sharma and Mrs Shefali Mehta in office, both of who, along with other office bearers, continue to work for the Indian diaspora in New Zealand.

Photo: Being inducted in the GOPIO Honor Roll

During my time in India I was invited to attend the Telangana Jagruthi International Youth Leadership Conference 2019. It was great to hear a number of youth from Telengana and successful people in many areas who have made Telengana a success as well as people from the state of Telengana who have migrated and have worked hard to succeed put forward their ideas. I also relished the opportunity to meet with Anna Hazare and hear his views on contemporary India.

Photo: Telangana Jagruthi International Youth Leadership Conference 2019

I also had the opportunity to attend the Indian Republic Day celebrations.

Photo: Attending the Indian Republic Day 2019

Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to remind you that I hold regular consultation clinics at my office on Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland.

If you would like to provide feedback or discuss any issues with me please call Rahul Chopra 09 278 9302 to make an appointment.

You might also like to connect with me on website or on Facebook

Yours sincerely,

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi
National List MP



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