NZ premier appoints Kanwaljit Bakshi as Parliamentary Private Secretary

| New Zealand | 1 Feb 2017 | Asia Samachar |
MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (right) with Prime Minister Bill English – PHOTO / Bakshi Facebook

Three-term Member of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has been appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary by New Zealand Prime Minister Bill England.

Kanwaljit, one of the five backbenchers from the National Party to be appointed to the roles, will assist Police Minister Paula Bennett.

“These are important roles that help ensure strong links between the Minister and caucus and help ensure communities are better served by the Government,” said English. “Keeping all of our communities safe is a priority of this Government and Mr Bakshi will help the Minister of Police in this regard.”

The private secretary positions were important roles which helped ensure strong links between ministers and the Parliamentary caucus, said English.

Parliamentary private secretaries cannot be delegated statutory roles or functions but they can represent ministers at public events, or deliver speeches. They will assist ministers, but are not part of the executive and do not get a pay rise, according to a NZ Herald report.

“I’m very excited to be given this opportunity by our Prime Minister and is looking forward to making a significant contribution in the new portfolio, Kanwaljit told SBS Punjabi, an Aussie-based radio station.

He said the crime rate in New Zealand is the lowest its been in 40 years, but there are some issues that need to be dealt with, like an increase in the number of family violence cases.

Kanwaljit said the NZ Police workforce is quite diverse, with many people from migrant communities joining up as Police officers. “There is no discrimination in New Zealand; there are many turbaned Sikh Police officers and other Punjabi members in the Police force as well,” he said.

Talking about the upcoming elections in Punjab, Kanwaljit told SBS Punjabi: “This is probably the first time that all major political parties in Punjab have engaged directly with members of the Punjabi diaspora, including in New Zealand and Australia. And Punjabis settled overseas are also taking a very keen interest. Even so, the results are extremely difficult to predict; although current polls show either the Congress or the AAP ahead.”


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