National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has today lodged a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) seeking to change the law around the use of kirpans so that baptized Sikh are able to carry kirpans in public and work places.
“The Crimes Amendment Bill contains many changes to outdated parts of the Crimes Act signalled by the previous Government, but a glaring omission for the Sikh community is the change to allow Sikhs to wear a kirpan in public,” Mr Bakshi says.
“A kirpan is one of the five articles of the Sikh faith and holds tremendous significance. It is not used as an offensive weapon, but solely as an important symbol of faith, which is why it should be allowed to be carried by Sikhs.
“I have long advocated for the Sikh community and National announced prior to the election that we would change the law for carrying kirpans. When I raised this amendment with Labour and the Greens, both indicated they would support it.
“It’s disappointing the Government has not chosen to include it in the Crimes Amendment Bill from the outset, but I am hopeful it will accept my SOP.
“New Zealand is a vibrant, multicultural country that values diversity. That’s why it is important that we stop criminalising Sikhs for carrying kirpans,” Mr Bakshi says.
The SOP does not change the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules governing what may be carried on board a domestic flight. Decisions around prohibited items remain questions for the CAA.
MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi says he can’t wait to see the results of the Papatoetoe High School project in 18 months, which has been given $60,000 as part of a fund to encourage innovative teaching practices.
“I’m happy to see our local education providers working together to raise achievement for children here in Manukau East” MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said.
“This project is a collaboration between the Auckland Council Southern Initiative, Auckland University and a range of sectoral experts on enhancing literacy and numeracy for year 10 Māori and Pasifika boys”
“The project is one of 46 selected in this second round of the Teacher-led Innovation Fund. This fund supports teachers’ bright ideas that evidence shows are working and can be shared across schools.
“It is part of National’s $359 million investing in Educational Success initiative which aims to encourage collaboration between schools to lift teaching practices to help Kiwi students achieve.”
This round of the fund involves 114 schools and six early childhood education providers. It is committing about $3.6 million of the $18 million fund. The next funding round will open in November.
“These projects will trial new ways of doing things, all with the aim to increase achievement for young New Zealanders.
“Where these projects are successful, other schools will be able to learn from the successes as well so that excellent practice becomes common practice,” MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said.
More information on the fund is available at: http://www.education.govt.nz/ministry-of- education/specific-initiatives/investing-in-educational-success/teacher-led-innovation-fund