Two Indian origin Members of Parliament (MPs) sitting on the Opposition bench of the New Zealand law making body has been named National Party party spokespersons for selected areas.
Fourth-term MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was named as spokesperson for internal affairs and made an spokesperson associate for justice.
Second-term MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar was made spokesperson for research, science and innovation, and an associate spokesperson for economic development.
Their appointment follows the election of Simon Bridges as National Party leader, replacing Bill English who led the party and was the Prime Minister until the party lost in the 2017 general elections.
Just months before the election, Kanwaljit was appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to then Police Minister Paula Bennett, who is now the second in command of the party.
Dr Parmjeet became the first Indian born woman to be a MP in New Zealand when she first got elected in the 2014 General Election.
Dr Parmar holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Auckland, as well as Bachelor and Masters degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Pune in India, according to her profile at the National Party website.
Prior to entering Parliament, Dr Parmar worked as a scientist, businesswoman, broadcaster and community advocate.
As a scientist she understands the importance of adequate funding as well as providing the opportunities for scientists to support innovation and as a businesswoman she knows first-hand the challenges of running a small manufacturing business.
On his part, Kanwaljit, the MP based in Manukau East, is New Zealand Parliament’s first Indian Sikh member.
He has a profound interest in trade, law and order and developing positive inter-ethnic relationships in the country, according to his profile at the National Party website.
NZ premier appoints Kanwaljit Bakshi as Parliamentary Private Secretary (Asia Samachar, 1 Feb 2017)
Sikh soldier exhibition a major hit in New Zealand (Asia Samachar, 7 May 2017)