With about 12 weeks left for the general election (September 20), public attention is now turning towards the Members Lists of political parties due for release soon, we focus our attention to Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, who has been working closely with the Indian community for the past six years.
Based on his performance and the high rating that he enjoys with Party Leader and Prime Minister John Key, senior ministers and the high echelons of National, it is apparent that he would be placed appropriately on the List to return to 52nd Parliament as a third-term MP.
He believes that there is plenty of work in progress and looks forward to his next innings in the Debating Chamber.
Mr Bakshi is perhaps a good example of easy accessibility gaining public support and sympathy. He is at preset at almost all events to which he is invited and spends time meeting the people and understanding their concerns. Every week sees him in more than one city- Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch and Tauranga, to mention a few.
Be it a Holi festival organised by so many organisations around the country or a peaceful march to ensure safety or people at home and on the streets, his participation is sincere and complete.
Simple & friendly
Known for his simplicity, friendliness and humility, Mr Bakshi is seen as a good representative of the people of Indian origin, with increasing acceptance from other South Asian communities. Although he is a National candidate from the Manukau East constituency, his status as a List MP accords him countrywide responsibilities, which he undertakes with pride and passion.
Mr Bakshi is like a solider, who knows the importance of discipline and confirming to rules and regulations and most important of all, the importance of performing well. While the people have been judging him on scales of honesty, transparency and ability to represent them, his Party hierarchy constantly rates him on his overall performance.
As well as attending meetings in Parliament and its Select Committees, Mr Bakshi also meets people from various parts of the country at his offices in Wellington and Auckland, listens to their problems, and tries to solve them.
He said that the current mood of the people is largely favourable to his Party.
“People tell me that the economy is ticking along well, our finances are expected to move to surplus during the current fiscal year, rising business confidence may lead to job creation bringing down the rate of unemployment and the general mood of the nation is positive. So why bother changing the Government?”
Mr Bakshi is a team player with the ability to bat on his own.
While public debate was raging about the ‘Marriage Amendment (Definition of Marriage) Bill’ in Parliament, he was among the first to voice his dissent, saying that it breaches the traditions values of the communities that he represents. The Bill had a rough time in Parliament with only 47 members supporting at its first reading but by the time it reached the third and final reading the situation reversed with the 77 members supporting it. The Bill became law in August 2013.
“It was a Private Member’s Bill and it was a conscience I have to protect and promote the interests of my Party and my Government but I also have my responsibility to my community,” he said.
Mr Bakshi plans to pursue a few projects for the benefit of all New Zealanders during his third term as a lawmaker. The first of these involves improving the lot of migrants.
“Over the last two decades, New Zealand has attracted migrants who are skilled and hard working. As a Member of Parliament, I have been fortunate to visit a number of businesses across the country hearing many positive stories about the value the migrant community add to our wider economy.
“I believe in creating an environment where migrants can maximise their potential in their work and home lives. I am proud to be part of a Government that understands the importance of seeing people. National is building a strong and inclusive nation with incentives that reward hard work and back our ability to take on the world and win,” he said.
Mr Bakshi is also keen to encourage the younger members of the society to become more productive with improved outlook towards the country and the world- a passion that we share in our own commitment to fostering young leaders.
“I encourage our talented youngsters to take up leadership roles, become politically aware, and use their vast experiences. My vision is to showcase the success stories of our migrant communities and build a brighter future, together, for the next generation,” Mr Bakshi said.
We at Indian Newslink have known Mr Bakshi soon after his migration to New Zealand in 2001. As a new migrant, he was a shy and withdrawing person and showed passing interest in politics. Graduating in Commerce at the Delhi University in 1985, Mr Bakshi joined his family’s freight business and learnt the nuances of the business.
Hs family has been closely involved with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which created history in the recently held general election by winning 282 seats in the 543-seat Indian Parliament to govern on its own.
“BJP is truly concerned with the progress of the business sector and the common people, similar to the objectives of my Party. I am confident that our relations with India will experience more positive developments in the near future,” he said.
As Bakshi prepares for the next election, he is aware that his immediate family, comprising his wife Irvinder Kaur and their sons Gawan and Rijak will work along with him in his efforts to create a better and more inclusive New Zealand.