Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

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Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi.png
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
New Zealand
Political partyNew Zealand National Party
Spouse(s)Irvinder Kaur
Alma materUniversity 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.

Early life[edit]

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]

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

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
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]

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]

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]


  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.

External links[edit]