Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

Last updated
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party List
Assumed office
8 November 2008
Personal details
Born (1964-02-20) 20 February 1964 (age 55)
Delhi, India
Nationality India
New Zealand
Political party New Zealand National Party
Spouse(s)Irvinder Kaur
Alma mater University of Delhi

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (Punjabi: ਕੰਵਲਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ੀ; born 20 February 1964) is an Indian-born-New Zealand politician and a member of the National Party. He was elected into the 49th New Zealand Parliament in 2008 by way of the party list.

Punjabi language Indo-Aryan language spoken in India and Pakistan

Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language with more than 100 million native speakers in the Indian subcontinent and around the world. It is the native language of the Punjabi people, an ethnic group of the cultural region called the Punjab, which encompasses northwest India and eastern Pakistan.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

49th New Zealand Parliament

The 49th New Zealand Parliament was elected at the 2008 election. It comprised 122 members, including an overhang of two seats caused by the Māori Party having won two more electorate seats than its share of the party vote would otherwise have given it. The Parliament served from 2008 until the November 2011 election.


Early life

Bakshi was born in Delhi, India. He attended Guru Harkrishan Public School and acquired a degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi in 1989. His first job after graduation was in the family's freight business where he eventually became a marketing manager. His father was a politician. [1]

Delhi Megacity and union territory of India, containing the national capital

Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is a city and a union territory of India containing New Delhi, the capital of India. It is bordered by Haryana on three sides and by Uttar Pradesh to the east. The NCT covers an area of 1,484 square kilometres (573 sq mi). According to the 2011 census, Delhi's city proper population was over 11 million, the second-highest in India after Mumbai, while the whole NCT's population was about 16.8 million. Delhi's urban area is now considered to extend beyond the NCT boundaries and include the neighboring satellite cities of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Sonipat, Ghaziabad and Noida in an area now called Central National Capital Region (CNCR) and had an estimated 2016 population of over 26 million people, making it the world's third-largest urban area according to United Nations. As of 2016, recent estimates of the metro economy of its urban area have ranked Delhi either the most or second-most productive metro area of India. Delhi is the second-wealthiest city in India after Mumbai, with a nominal economy of $110 billion for the entire Union Territory, and is home to 18 billionaires and 23,000 millionaires. Delhi ranks fifth among the Indian states and union territories in human development index.

Guru Harkrishan Public School

Guru Harkrishan Public School, New Delhi, India, is a co-educational, senior secondary school, affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). It imparts an education inspired by the life and teachings of the Sikh Gurus. It was among the first in the chain of schools established by the Gurudwara Management Committee in 1965, which today has 12 branches in Delhi, giving education to more than 20,000 students.

University of Delhi Central university located in New Delhi, India

The University of Delhi, informally known as Delhi University (DU), is a collegiate public central university, located in New Delhi, India. It was founded in 1922 by an Act of the Central Legislative Assembly. As a collegiate university, its main functions are divided between the academic departments of the university and affiliated colleges. Consisting of three colleges, two faculties, and 750 students at its founding, the University of Delhi has since become India's largest institution of higher learning and among the largest in the world. The university currently consists of 16 faculties and 86 departments distributed across its North and South campuses. It has 77 affiliated colleges and 5 other institutes with an enrollment of over 132,000 regular students and 261,000 non-formal students. The Vice-President of India serves as the University's chancellor.

Bakshi married Irvinder Kaur in 1989 and moved to New Zealand in 2001.[ citation needed ]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
2008 2011 49th List 38 National
2011 2014 50th List 35 National
2014 2017 51st List 32 National
2017 present 52nd List 32 National

Bakshi is both New Zealand's first Indian and first Sikh Member of Parliament. [2] He was elected in the 2008 election by way of the party list. [3] He is the Chairperson of the Law and Order Select Committee and a member of Commerce Select Committee. [4]

2008 New Zealand general election election

The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its parliamentary leader John Key, won the largest share of votes and seats, ending nine years of government by the social-democratic Labour Party, led by Helen Clark. Key announced a week later that he would lead a National minority government with confidence-and-supply support from the ACT, United Future and Māori parties. The Governor-General swore Key in as New Zealand's 38th Prime Minister on 19 November 2008. This marked an end to nine years of Labour Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth National Government of New Zealand which would govern for 9 years, until its loss to the Labour Party in the 2017 general election.

In early 2009 and again in August 2009, he was investigated by police and Immigration New Zealand over a scheme where he allegedly made false job offers to Indian people wishing to enter New Zealand. [5] Bakshi was later cleared by the police of wrongdoing without an interview of the main complainant who had left the country. [6]

Immigration New Zealand, formerly the New Zealand Immigration Service, is the agency within the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that is responsible for border control, issuing travel visas and managing immigration to New Zealand.

In June 2010, his Military Manoeuvres Act Repeal Bill was drawn from the member's ballot. [7] The bill passed into law in April 2012.

Kanwaljit accompanied New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key on his visit to India in June 2011. [8] He has been recognised for fostering ties between New Zealand and India. [9] Bakshi has also assisted the New Zealand Government in publishing their policies in Indian languages such as Hindi, Gujrati and Punjabi for the benefit of Indian Community. [10] He also received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award at a ceremony in India in January 2015 for building a positive profile of people of Indian Origin in New Zealand and South Pacific. [11]

Bakshi voted against the first reading of Louisa Wall's same-sex marriage bill in August 2012. [12] Bakshi later attended a protest against Louisa Wall's bill stating to the crowd of around 250: "We understand that God made us and we are firm believers (that) marriage is between a man and woman, I tell you, the majority of the National Party MPs voted against this bill. There were only three Labour party MPs who voted against this bill. So you can understand who believes in Christianity, who believes in this bill. It is the National Party." Bakshi later conceded that in fact a majority of National MP's had voted for the bill. [13]

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  1. "Here is a little further information about me –". Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  2. "New Zealand Parliament Gets First Sikh MP". Hindustan Times. 10 November 2008. Archived from the original on 21 September 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  3. 2008 Election Results
  4. NZ Parliament website – Current MPs – KS Bakshi
  5. Gower, Patrick (19 August 2009). "National MP faces police probe on jobs". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 19 August 2009.
  6. Gower, Patrick (16 October 2009). "Bakshi cleared of scam". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  7. "Military Manoeuvres Act Repeal Bill". Parliament of New Zealand. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  8. "New Zealand PM embarks on first visit to India". 25 June 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  9. "Another first for the first inductee of the Kiwi-Indian Hall of Fame". 16 January 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  10. "Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi". 12 August 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  11. "National MP receives prestigious Pravasi Bhartiya Award". 13 January 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  12. "Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill — First Reading". New Zealand Parliament – Hansard. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  13. Weekes, John (28 October 2012). "MPs attend protest against gay marriage". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 28 January 2013.