Sikhs create a national body to foster unity and representation

New Zealand Central Sikh Association elects founding officers

The Office-Bearers and Wing Leaders of the New Zealand Central Sikh Association at Sri Kalgidhar Gurdwara in Takanini
on September 18, 2022 (Photo Supplied)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, September 18, 2022

The 75,000 Sikh community in New Zealand created history today with the formal launch of a national body with a centralised Council of office-bearers with the widest representation yet.

Called, the New Zealand Central Sikh Association (NZCSA), the national body brings together 25 Gurdwaras, Sikh Sports Clubs, Sikh Associations and other bodies spread across the North and South Islands under a single umbrella to serve its members and be more meaningful partners in New Zealand’s progress.

First Settlers in New Zealand

The Sikh community is the oldest in New Zealand with its first settlers arriving as early as the 1840s, soon as the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, although recorded history began in 1890. Since then, the community has been growing and Sikhs are known for their hard work, deep faith in Sikhism and strong community spirit.

The formation of NZCSA marks another milestone in the impressive history of Sikhs.

At what was described as the largest meeting of its type held at Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Gurdwara in the South Auckland suburb of Takanini, Sikh men and women elected their leaders to represent them at the national level.

Prithi Pal Singh Chairman of the newly formed New Zealand Central Sikh Association (Photo Supplied)

Key Officials

Prithi Pal Singh, one of the most respected leaders of the community was unanimously elected to the post of Chairman, while Daljit Singh, also known for his services to New Zealand, became the Founder President.

“September 18, 2022, will be remembered as one of the most important days in the history of Sikhs in New Zealand as 25 Sikh Temples, Sikh Organisations working for various social causes and Sikh Sports Clubs jointly formed New Zealand Central Sikh Association Inc (NZCSA). It was one of the largest meetings of its kind, with representatives from almost every city or town where Sikhs live and work. They were present at the meeting, either in person or virtually,” he said.

Karamjit Singh Talwar was elected to the post of Secretary-General.

Among the other Office-bearers are Gurinder Singh Shadipur (Vice President) Malkit Singh Sahota (Assistant Secretary), Manjit Singh Bath (Treasurer),  Bibi Jatinder Kaur (Assistant Treasurer), Lali Ranvir Singh (Spokesperson) and Ranbeer Singh Sandhu (Auditor Advocate).

Daljit Singh said that the Meeting also established many Wings.

Daljit Singh, President of the new New Zealand Central Sikh Association (Photo Supplied)

They are Religious Affairs led by Hardayal Singh. Immigration Affairs led by Paramjeet Singh, Women’s Wing led by Jit Kaur, Youth Wing led by Amritpal Singh Maan and Constitutional Affairs led by Ajit Singh Randhawa.

Navtej Randhawa was chosen for the post of Technical (IT) Coordinator.

Former Member of Parliament Dr Parmjeet Kaur Parmar will head the Policy Making Unit.

Daljit Singh that NZCSA will work for the Sikh Community strategically with the best policies to be devised for their betterment.

Large Representation

“The Association comprises 5000 Financial Members representing all the associated 25 Sikh Temples. They are directly connected to NZCSA because as delegates, they elect the Executive. We will announce Chairpersons of various Wings. It is worth noting that all office-bearers elected today have been associated with the Sikh community for at least two years,” he said.

Daljit said that the total population of Sikhs is likely to be about 100,000 in Census 2023.

“We will therefore account for 2% of the total population of New Zealand. The growth of our community and its importance in the New Zealand polity and economy necessitated a central body that will represent the community throughout the country through a democratic process. NZCSA will be a single, strong and united platform for all Sikhs in New Zealand,” he said.

Daljit said that Sikhs in New Zealand had vitiated their image of being involved in financial tussles and chieftainship conflicts.

“Not anymore. Sikhs are today united and work towards the single purpose of promoting their ideals, furthering the cause of Sikh values and looking after everyone in need. We will also set examples for the growing generations. NZCSA will work for the Sikh community with fervour and zeal. We are one and for all,” he said.

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