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Newly minted citizens recognised at ceremony

Citizenship ceremony

Fowzia Isse Mohamud, from Somalia, is presented a kowhai tree by Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst to acknowledge her formal recognition as a New Zealand citizen.

An extra special Citizenship Ceremony was held at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre last night to acknowledge 66 new citizens of Aoteaora, New Zealand.

Usually held regularly, COVID-19 alert level restrictions meant ceremonies over the past year were unable to be held, so last night’s event was something of a “catch-up”.

At these ceremonies, Hastings residents who have become New Zealand citizens are presented with the formal certification, and a gift of a native tree.

Last night Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst presented the certificates and thanked those who were there for making Hastings their home.

“We are very proud of our rich and culturally diverse Hastings community who live, who work and who enjoy our beautiful district.

“Our region has so many wonderful qualities, from our landscapes, our beautiful produce, award-winning wines, great beaches, walkways and fantastic weather and our city, recently voted New Zealand’s most beautiful.

“But it is the people who are the jewels in Hastings’ crown. They are innovative, hard-working, community-focused people who are proud of their individual cultural backgrounds.”

She said welcoming these new citizens brought a richness to the community.

“As you become involved in the New Zealand way of life in Hastings, we welcome you to share your own cultures and traditions with us.”

At last night’s ceremony, there were people from countries all over the world, including the Philippines, Tonga, United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Samoa, the Netherlands, Colombia, Fiji, Somalia and Indonesia.

As well as being presented with a kōwhai tree, they watched a video presentation from Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy, welcoming them to New Zealand, and enjoyed a performance by the Kahurangi Māori Dance Theatre.

1 April 2021

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