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Great respect for Sikhs in my heart: New Zealand PM

TBL web desk

On 21 March New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Gurdwara Sri Kalghidhar Sahib in Takanini Auckland. She was joined by Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff, Councillors Angela Dalton and Daniel Newman, and the Manurewa and Papakura Local Boards. She attended the opening ceremony of the New Zealand Sikh Sports Complex at the Gurudwara Sahib. Ravi Singh the CEO of Khalsa Aid also attended the ceremony through video conferencing.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern started her speech by saying Sat Sri Akaal. She said, “I would like to thank the Supreme Sikh society New Zealand for inviting me to this very-very special event. I am a little overwhelmed by standing in front of a wide community. Start by acknowledging members of supreme Sikh society and my colleagues who are present here, I am not surprised at all that PM in 2005 was here to open this gurudwara.”

She added, “How it’s been hard last year not just in New Zealand but all over the world with pandemic and how Sikh people delivered food to all needy people and it has given great respect in my heart for Sikh people. In my mind, Sikhs are the most deserving 2020 New Zealand food sharer award. I congratulate them. But thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

After that, she talked about the opening of sports facilities and how it will create more opportunities not only for people of New Zealand but from all around the world. She also mentioned how Sikhs have offered the hall at the sports facility to be using by police to wash their cars and she was very certain it be gladly accepted by the police. She then talked about how Sikhs are great people by heart and said that she was very happy for them to be a part of New Zealand. Then she ended by saying Sat Sri Akaal.

Phil Goff also spoke at the ceremony and thanked the Sikh Community. Later he wrote on his official Facebook page, “This afternoon I spoke at the opening of the Takanini Gudwara’s new $6 million sports complex. It was good to be there with PM Jacinda Ardern, Councillors Angela Dalton and Daniel Newman, and the Manurewa and Papakura Local Boards. This is a great new facility for football, cricket, kabbadi, basketball, and volleyball which the Sikh community is sharing with other sports groups and the wider community. The Sikh community has also worked hard to contribute to others with its huge effort to provide food parcels and essential services to thousands of families in need during the Covid lockdowns.  A big thank you to them from Auckland”.

Ravi Singh CEO of Khalsa Aid appreciated the efforts of Supreme Sikh Society and the Takanini Gurdwara Sahib committee. He  wrote on his Facebook page, “Proud to be part of the opening ceremony for the new Sikh Sports Complex in New Zealand! Great seva by Supreme Sikh Society and the Takanini Gurdwara Sahib committee. Wonderful coordination by Bhai Daljit Singh Ji. It was great to see the NZ Prime Minister @jacindaardern attend the opening ceremony”.

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