Welcome to our May 2019 newsletter
Today, I wish to start my newsletter with an important message. Immigrants have and continue to make a mark for themselves in all spheres of public and professional lives in New Zealand. As our population grows along with our social and economic contributions in New Zealand, our engagement and influence in public and professional spheres also continues to grow. Many of us have carved a niche, and shown fellow immigrants the equal opportunities this country accords everyone. Our efforts as members of the ethnic communities over the years have resulted in not just social and economic contributions to New Zealand, but also being able to make a positive mark on people we interact with. In recent times there have been some main stream media reports about members of our ethnic communities who have chosen immoral and unethical ways. Those of us who have chosen to do so have in the process of personal gain ensured that not just them but the entire community gets a bad name. Their actions have resulted in embarrassing questions for each of us in our daily lives, be it at our work place or in a community gathering. Specific embarrassing incidents are being used to tarnish the whole community, and paint a grim picture of the Indians in New Zealand. It is disheartening to see the hard work of so many of us is being brought down due to the actions of a few. I urge all of us to spare a moment and consider how each of our actions can have an impact on our community as a whole. We are representatives of our origins in New Zealand. We must endeavour to work towards supporting and elevating efforts of present generations to provide a platform for our future ones. It is our present actions that lay the foundations for our future generations.
15 March 2019 was a dark day in the history of our country. As a nation state all of us were left in shock. Our response to the events of the day however, have made each New Zealander proud. This was experienced by me in the number of visits to mosques and other Islamic institutions. I also had the opportunity to experience the warmth and solidarity of our Muslim community at a recent Pearl of Island Foundation iftar dinner. It is obligatory for adult Muslims to fast from dawn to sunset in the month of Ramadan. When the fast is broken it is called iftar. It was my pleasure to co-host an iftar dinner last night with Pearl of the Island and it was well attended by representatives of interfaith communities of New Zealand. The iftar dinner was attended by members of all religious faiths. It was heartening to see all of us coming together against negativity and terrorism. The PIF also awarded Dr Farukh Mustafa and Dr Ashraf Chaudhary for their services to the community. I congratulate both the winner and thank the Pearl of Island foundation, its management and staff for their time and efforts in planning the iftar dinner.
Recently, the Fiji Girmit Foundation celebrated the Fiji Girmit Remembrance Day to remember the first arrival of Indians in Fiji. The celebration marked the 140 years of first arrival of Indians in Fiji. It was a humble experience to sit with the community and remember the hardships faced by our forefathers so that we can enjoy a good life in the Pacific now.
I had the good fortune of meeting Padamshree recipient Deepa Malik.
Ms Malik was visiting New Zealand on Sir Edmond Hillary fellowship. Her slogan ”disability is not inability” is an inspiration for all of us.
I had the pleasure of hosting Dr Satinder Sartaaj in the New Zealand Parliament for his contributions to sufi music, poetry and Punjabi culture. Dr Sartaj was felicitated by the leader of the opposition Hon. Simon Bridges MP, H.E. Sanjiv Kohli, High Commissioner of India to New Zaland and myself in the presence of many Wellingtonians and my Parliamentary colleagues Nicola Willis and Brett Hudson.
Recently, I met with the Dow, Porteous and Keene families in my Parliamentary office where they travelled to share Karen Dow’s petition seeking the introduction of roadside drug testing. I have signed this petition to hopefully save precious lives New Zealand experiences 70 deaths per year due.
The India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) organised a farewell for the departing High Commissioner of India to New Zealand Shri Sanjiv Kohli. Shri Kohli has represented India well in New Zealand. He has engaged deeply with the Indian diaspora here. I am sure we will all miss him and wish him well with his next assignment.
I also had a chance to visit the Papatoetoe Fire Station on International Firefighters Day. It was my way of thanking all firefighters for your dedicated service to us at difficult times whether it is fire, natural calamity or any accident you are our first responders. You all are our blessings and I am sure all New Zealanders greatly appreciate your work.
I was also invited to and attended the 5th Hindu Congress organised by the Hindu Council of New Zealand.
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 www.bakshi.co.nz or on Facebook
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi
National List MP
1/131, Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe
DDI: +64 9 278 9302
Fax: +64 9 278 2143