Welcome to our September 2019 newsletter
My best wishes to the All Blacks as they work towards winning the Rugby World cup. Our hearts and prayers are with the All Blacks as they confidently progress through the tournament in Japan.
All Blacks - Rugby world cup 2019
With hours of sunlight getting longer in our days, Spring has signalled its arrival and our cherished Kiwi Summer is not too far. As most New Zealanders prepare to end 2019 and welcome 2020 celebrating many multi-cultural festivals and events along the way, I take this opportunity to share with you my activities of the past few weeks.
Recently, I travelled to India with Hon Simon Bridges, Leader of the Opposition and Hon Gerry Brownlee, the New Zealand National Party’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs.
During our visit, we had the opportunity to meet and interact with senior Indian Government officials including federal Ministers, bureaucrats and members of the Indian business community. All of whom have reiterated their commitment to further economic, political and people to people ties between New Zealand and India.
The opportunities for both countries are enormous. Our trade relationship currently stands at about $3 billion. In comparison to China with whom, New Zealand’s trade volume is $30 billion a year there’s definitely lots of opportunities for the two countries towards furthering this trade relationship.
Many of the people I met with during my trip shared their love for high quality New Zealand wine as well as our Manuka honey, fish, lamb and much more. However, they also shared with me that in comparison to other imported good the custom tariffs for New Zealand good is high.
The New Zealand National Party during its last term in office worked hard to work out a mutually beneficial trade agreement with India. We see and understand the potential that India brings hence will continue to work with our counterparts in India to deliver such an agreement on our return to Government.
During our trip, Simon and I advocated for direct flights between New Zealand and India as a means to grow our people to people relationship.
New Zealand is home to over 160,000 people of Indian origin and Hindi is now the fourth most spoken language. We are keen to for the Indian diaspora to participate in furthering our relationship with India.
The commonalities of language, cricket, and similar political and judicial systems make us natural partners.
At Akshardham Temple, Delhi with Simon Bridges and Gerry Brownlee
At Harminder Sahib, Golden Temple Amristar
Nikki Kaye, National Party Spokesperson on Education and MP for Auckland Central joined me at Hindi Language Workshop at Papatoetoe High School. During the workshop Nikki shared with attendees how her Members Bill in Parliament will help Hindi to be taught as a second language in Primary School.
The Indian Newslink does commendable work to keep the community informed with news, views and current affairs. It was a pleasure to attend their sponsor’s dinner organised by Indian Newslink’s editor-in-chief Shri Venkat Raman Ji.
Indian Newslink sponsors dinner
Organised a supporters dinner with Hon Louise Upston and New Zealand National Party’s special interest group IndoNats in her electorate of Taupo. This special interest group was launched by me to connect with constituents whose origins are from the Indian subcontinent. I have worked since 2007 to grow this group and will continue to bridge the gap between the community and NZNP as well as to advocate the party policies to constituents of Indian subcontinent.
A group of hard working volunteers, led by Kulwant Minhas, is organising events and fundraising activities to raise the profile of the Indian members within the National Party, including purchasing a table at the upcoming function with Rt Hon Sir John Key on the 25 November, at Eden Park.
IndoNats dinner with Hon Louise Upston
Shanti Niwas a noble organisation recently celebrated its silver jubilee. Their work touches lives of our seniors in many forms. It was great to be there to support them with a number of National Party MP’s including our leader Hon Simon Bridges.
Shanti Niwas 25 years
The month of September we celebrated the Korean festival of Chuseok and the South Indian festival of Onam. Both Chuseok and Onam are celebrate to mark harvesting of crops and as a means of thanking the Universe for providing us with abundance.
As we enter the months of October and November, I along with my colleagues look forward to celebrating Navratri, Dusshera and Diwali.
2019 is also a special year for Sikhs, the year marks the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. A pioneer for his times Guru Nanak gave humanity many messages that are relevant even in contemporary times. He was amongst the very first to preach and practise women rights. I look forward to celebrating his birthday in Parliament and with the Sikh community in New Zealand and across the world.
Guru Nanak 550th Birthday
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