Members of five gurudwaras in Auckland and Tauranga travelled to the town Ngaruawahia in Waikato on Sunday, May 17 to meet the Maori leadership and offer food bags and blankets sowing the seed of stronger ties with each other.
Led by Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand covering Takanini and Otahuhu Gurudwara along with New Lynn, Avondale and Tauranga met the Maori leadership in Ngaruawahia and shared dialogue to forge stronger bonds with each other and with the intention to help the communities in need together.
The community members were received by a traditional Maori powhiri and a powerful Hakka welcoming the members of the Indian community to their homes.
Representatives of the Sikh community led by Daljit Singh from SSSNZ met the Maori leadership and invited them to the Takanini Gurudwara in South Auckland for their gracious visit.
“We have been doing free food distribution runs for the last eight weeks, ever since the lockdown started and we got the ‘Essential Services’ approval from MBIE and went beyond Auckland to reach out to the needy having hardships during these times,” Daljit Singh from SSSNZ told The Indian Weekender.
Mr Singh added that in one of their free food distribution drills last week, the team went to Huntly and served 640 individuals with food bags there which gave them the idea to reach out to the Maori leadership in Ngaruawahia and get to know the communities on both sides better.
“There were a lot of needy individuals and families in Huntly, and we thought why not reach out to the Maori community leadership and get to know them, introduce ourselves in a better light and form an alliance to help the needy there,” Mr Singh added.
The representatives from five gurudwaras travelled to Ngaruawahia with 600+ food bags in seven trucks/van that included essential and grocery items to help support a family to steer for a week or two. The representatives also carried over 100 blankets to offer to the elderlies and senior citizens of the Maori community living there as a gift.
“We didn’t expect this, but we were given such a warm and beautiful welcome along with a thunderous Hakka that gave us goosebumps and made us feel empowered.
“We shared dialogue with the leadership there, invited the Maori King to visit our Takanini Gurudwara, and shared views on how we can help the communities on either side, both financially, in-kind, spiritually, through sports and share the values of this land to make the communities better for this world,” Mr Singh added.
SSSNZ is also planning to distribute blankets for the seniors, sports shoes for young children and food boxes for the needy and work together to make the communities understand each other’s values better.
In the last eight weeks, SSSNZ has done multiple free food runs at New Lynn, Avondale, North Shore, Tauranga, Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Hastings, thereby distributing 28,000 parcels and feed over 110,000 people through the Takanini Gurudwara alone.
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