Sukhi Turner

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Dame Sukhi Turner
55th Mayor of Dunedin
In office
Preceded by Richard Walls
Succeeded by Peter Chin
Personal details
Born Sukhinder Kaur Gill
(1952-04-13) 13 April 1952 (age 65)
Ludhiana, India
Political party Green Party
Spouse(s) Glenn Turner (m. 1973)
Children 2

Dame Sukhinder "Sukhi" Kaur Gill Turner DNZM (born Sukhinder Kaur Gill, 13 April 1952) was the Mayor of Dunedin, New Zealand, from 1995 until her retirement from the position in 2004. She was also regarded by some as New Zealand's most prominent politician from the country's Indian community.

Early life[edit]

Turner was born in Ludhiana, the largest city in the Indian state of Punjab, to Squadron Leader Jasbir Singh Gill and Premjit Kaur on 13 April 1952.[1][2] Her birth name was Sukhinder Kaur Gill. She is a Sikh. She attended Bethany College, West Virginia, in the United States, gaining qualifications in history and political science. She moved to New Zealand after marrying Glenn Turner, a prominent New Zealand cricket player, in July 1973, and became a naturalised New Zealander in August 1973.[2] Sukhi and Glenn Turner settled in Dunedin in 1982. They have two children.[3]

Political career[edit]

Turner took part in a wide range of community work, focusing particularly on education. She took an active role in school committees and associations, and in 1992, successfully stood for election to the Dunedin City Council. After a three-year term on the Council, Turner chose to contest the mayoralty, challenging long-serving incumbent Richard Walls. She was successful, and was subsequently re-elected twice. Turner announced that she would retire from the position in October 2004, when her third term expired. She was replaced by Peter Chin. She is a member of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Life after politics[edit]

In the 2002 Queen's Birthday Honours Turner was appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to local government.[4] Following the reinstatement of titular honours by the New Zealand government in 2009, she accepted redesignation as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.[5]

In early 2004, Turner was among the recipients of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, an award given by the Indian government to honour those who have made a significant contribution to Indian immigrant communities in other countries.


  1. ^ Singh, Teena (2 December 2001). "Ludhiana girl’s hat-trick as mayor in New Zealand". The Tribune, Chandigarh. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "New Zealand, naturalisations". Operations. 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ Kumar, Rajesh. "Bowling 'em over". India Empire. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Queen's Birthday and Golden Jubilee Honours 2002" (5 June 2002) 57 New Zealand Gazette 1553.
  5. ^ Special Honours List (12 August 2009) 118 New Zealand Gazette 2691

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Walls
Mayor of Dunedin
Succeeded by
Peter Chin