Garam Masala: October 2015

Column – Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

Parliament has been in recess over the last two weeks which gives me the opportunity to meet and greet my constituents.Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, List MP based in Manukau East

Welcome to our October newsletter

Parliament has been in recess over the last two weeks which gives me the opportunity to meet and greet my constituents.

Meeting with Constituents in my Manukau East Office
I also had a chance to visit India and Malaysia. During my visit to India I met with Senior Ministers in the Indian Government. I had a constructive discussion with the Indian Minister of Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapati Raju on direct flights between New Zealand and India and offering quality training and education in New Zealand to young Indian students who are keen on building a career as pilots.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Commerce & Industry, as well as Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs with Government of India was also kind enough to meet with me during my visit. We discussed the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. I reiterated that New Zealand is very keen to engage with India and form a long lasting partnership between the two countries.

Meeting with Hon Nirmala Sitharaman and Graeme Morton, New Zealand High Commissioner to India
My visit to Malaysia was to represent New Zealand at the 36th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary General Assembly. At the assembly I had the opportunity to interact with delegates from Russia, Belarus, Georgia and the South East Asian region. All of these countries are keen to have positive relations with New Zealand.

Representing New Zealand at the 36th AIPA conference in Malaysia
On my return to New Zealand I was invited to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations of first Swamis from ISKON arriving on the shores of the United States of America at the Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple in Kumeu. As always it was serene to participate in and celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna with fellow devotees.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

At the start of this week our Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tim Grosser announced that their leadership and hard work of the past years has come to fruition. As a small country relying on exports, New Zealand can’t get rich selling things to us.

That’s why the 800 million customers in the recently completed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will make all the difference. It will build on the Government’s wider plan to diversify and strengthen our economy, support more jobs, and provide more opportunities for Kiwis to get ahead. As the largest economy in the world, the United States is responsible for over a quarter of all household consumption in the world. Japan is the third largest economy and TPP includes both of them.

New Zealand has being trying to get free trade agreements with these two countries for 25 years. The 12 countries involved in TPP account for 36 per cent of the world economy. Last year, New Zealand sold $28 billion worth of goods and services to the other 11 countries in TPP. With these numbers in mind, it’s no surprise TPP is New Zealand’s biggest ever trade deal.

TPP will save New Zealand exporters around $259 million a year in tariffs they currently have to pay just to get their products into these markets. That’s money they can now spend growing their businesses, and employing more New Zealanders on higher wages. The signing of TPP is a very positive for New Zealand and it’s going to be a real boost for our economy. It has been welcomed by many of New Zealand’s top export companies and business organisations.

Sir William Manchester Plastic Surgery Suite

I attended the opening of new Sir William Manchester Plastic Surgery Suite at South Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital with Hon Jonathan Coleman and Hon Judith Collins. This specialist clinic will provide treatment to suitable patients at their First Specialist Appointment.

With skin cancer affecting around 70,000 people each year, extra $400 million is being invested into the health sector this year to support this service.

My deepest condolences to the Lochan family on demise of Mr Cecil Ram Lochan. May lord give you strength to bare the sorrow and provide peace to the departed soul.

Youth Parliament Selection Process

Our Minister for Youth, Hon Nikki Kaye has now launched the selection process for the Youth Parliament Selection Process. The eighth Youth Parliament is scheduled for 19 and 20 July. Youth Parliament is a great opportunity for us, as Members of Parliament, to hear the views and opinions of young New Zealanders and raise awareness of the importance of youth civic engagement. In case you or anyone you know is between the age of 16–18 years of age (inclusive) on 16 October 2015 (the nominations closing date) and is keen on making an application to the eighth Youth Parliament they may write to me or make contact with my office.

Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to remind you that I hold regular consultation clinics at my office on Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland.
If you would like to provide feedback or discuss any issues with me please call Rahul Chopra 09 278 9302 to make an appointment. You might also like to connect with me on website – or on Facebook.

Yours sincerely,

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi

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