Jump to content

Sikhism in New Zealand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sikhism in New Zealand New Zealand
Total population
0.88% of the total New Zealander population (2018)
New Zealand EnglishPunjabi
Related ethnic groups
Historical population
1991 2,061—    
1996 2,817+36.7%
2001 5,199+84.6%
2006 9,507+82.9%
2013 19,191+101.9%
2018 40,908+113.2%
2023 —    

New Zealander Sikhs number over 40,000 people and account for 0.9% of New Zealand's population as of 2018, forming the country's fastest-growing and fifth-largest religious group.


Small numbers of Sikh immigrants from Punjab settled in New Zealand from the late 1800s. Large-scale Sikh immigration began after changes to immigration policies in the 1980s. The New Zealand Sikh Society was established in 1964 and first Sikh Gurdwara opened in 1977.[4]

Sikh communities[edit]

Photograph of Indian troops (including Sikhs) in Nelson, New Zealand, ca.1901. Nelson Provincial Museum.

The first identifiable Sikhs to arrive in New Zealand were two brothers - Phuman Singh and Bir Singh Gill from the Moga district of Punjab. Bir Singh was a herbalist who married and lived amongst the Māori on the North Island.[5] A small wave of Sikhs arrived in New Zealand between 1890 and 1910; mostly immigrants from Punjab.[6] Most Sikhs settled in Waikato, Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch.

There is a significant history of many Sikhs being dairy farmers throughout New Zealand,[citation needed] many of them being great pioneers. The majority are in the Waikato region and have been there for many generations. Much hard work was undertaken in terms of clearing scrub and tea trees to convert to farmland in the early years. Embracing the Māori culture was also an important aspect. Many of these farmers are well respected within and outside the community for the significant contribution they have made.

With the Sikh community in New Zealand increasing, the New Zealand Sikh Society was developed in 1964, and the first gurdwara was built in Hamilton in 1977 and another in 1986 in Ōtāhuhu. With the increasing number of Sikhs in New Zealand, an increasing number of gurdwaras have been established across the country.[7]

The number of people affiliating with the Sikh religion more than quadrupled since 2006. Papatoetoe in Auckland is considered to be the area with the most Sikhs in New Zealand and it has three sikh Gurudwaras in the suburb.


Geographical Distribution of Sikhs in New Zealand as per 2018 Census
Sikh New Zealanders by Region (2018)
Region 2018 New Zealand census[8]
Pop. %
Auckland 23,832 1.52%
Bay of Plenty 4,842 1.57%
Waikato 4,074 0.89%
Canterbury 2,973 0.5%
Wellington 1,647 0.32%
Hawke's Bay 1,347 0.81%
Otago 510 0.23%
Manawatū-Whanganui 447 0.19%
Northland 315 0.18%
Taranaki 234 0.2%
Southland 210 0.22%
Gisborne 171 0.36%
Marlborough 123 0.26%
Nelson 102 0.2%
Tasman 51 0.1%
West Coast 33 0.1%
New Zealand 40,908 0.87%


Gurdwara Guru Ravidass Temple, Auckland
The first general meeting of the New Zealand Central Sikh Association on 18 September 2022 in Takanini.

The New Zealand Central Sikh Association, a centralised representative Sikh body comprising 25 Gurdwaras and various other organisation from across New Zealand was officially formed on 18 September 2022 at the Sikh Library in Takanini.[9]

This is a list of Gurdwaras in New Zealand.

Name Location Region
Begampura Gurdwara 1/9 Vernon St, Papakura 2110 Auckland
Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib Papakura 7/46 Broadway, Papakura 2110 Auckland
Gurdwara Jagat Guru Nanak Sahib 29 Kilmarnock St, Riccarton, Christchurch 8011 Canterbury
Gurdwara Mata Sahib Kaur 23 Bryant Rd, Te Rapa, Hamilton 3200 Waikato
Gurdwara Shri Fateh Sahib Botanical Rd, West End, Palmerston North 4412 Manawatu-Wanganui
Gurdwara Shri Guru Ravidass Temple Hastings 193 Havelock Nth Road, Hastings Hawke's Bay
Gurdwara Sikh Sangat Tauranga 43 Burrows St, Tauranga South, Tauranga 3112 Bay of Plenty
Gurdwara Singh Sabha Christchurch 537 Ferry Rd, Woolston, Christchurch 8023 Canterbury
Gurdwara Sri Dasmesh Darbar 158 Kolmar Rd, Papatoetoe 2025 Auckland
Gurdwara Sri Guru Amardas Sahib Ji 24 Ward Ave, Fenton Park, Rotorua 3010 Bay of Plenty
Gurdwara Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Patshahi 6 84 Lady Ruby Dr, Dannemora 2013 Auckland
Gurdwara Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib 3034 Great North Rd, New Lynn 0600 Auckland
Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Otahuhu 120 Princes St, Otahuhu 1062 Auckland
Gurdwara Sri Guru Ravidas Temple 1998 Great S Rd, Bombay 2675 Auckland
Gurdwara Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji 24 Dunnotar Rd, Papatoetoe 2025 Auckland
Gurdwara Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Takanini 70 Takanini School Rd, Takanini 2112 Auckland
Gurdwara Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Tauranga 322 Cheyne Rd, Pyes Pa 3112 Bay of Plenty
Hastings Gurdwara 402 Eastbourne St E, Hastings 4122 Hawke's Bay
Linwood Gurdwara 692 Gloucester St, Linwood, Christchurch 8062 Canterbury
Nanaksar Thath Isher Darbar 100 Great South Rd, Manurewa 2102 Auckland
New Zealand Sikh Society Hamilton 6391 Te Rapa Rd, Horotiu 3288 Waikato
North Shore Gurdwara 128 Sunnybrae Rd, Hillcrest 0627 Auckland
Palmerston North Gurdwara 7 Amesbury St, Palmerston North 4410 Manawatu-Wanganui
Sri Guru Singh Sabha 127 Shirley Rd, Papatoetoe 2025 Auckland
Wellington Gurudwara 4-10 Vogel St, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011 Wellington
Whangarei Gurudwara Sahib 23 Water St, Whangarei 0110 Northland

Notable Sikhs[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2018 census totals by topic". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  2. ^ Table 28, 2006 Census Data – QuickStats About Culture and Identity – Tables Archived 2017-10-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "2013 Census totals by topic". archive.stats.govt.nz.
  4. ^ Morris, Paul. "Diverse religions - Sikhs". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Our Communities: Punjabis – indiannewslink.co.nz". www.indiannewslink.co.nz. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. ^ McLeod, W. H. "Dictionary of New Zealand Biography". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Welcome to the NZSikh Society". Archived from the original on 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  8. ^ "Religious affiliations in the Bay of Plenty Region, New Zealand". Figure NZ Trust. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  9. ^ Raman, Venkat (18 September 2022). "Sikhs create a national body to foster unity and representation". Indian Newslink. Retrieved 19 September 2022.

Further reading[edit]

  • McLeod, W. H. (1986). Punjabis in New Zealand: A History of Punjabi Migration, 1890-1940. Guru Nanak Dev University.