A special ceremony was held at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre last night to welcome 72 new citizens to Aotearoa, New Zealand.
It was one of the biggest citizenship ceremonies ever held in Hastings, with 45 individuals and 10 family groups, along with their family and friends, packing out the Assembly Ballroom to take the oath or affirmation of allegiance to his Majesty the King and attain New Zealand citizenship.
The growing multicultural nature of Hastings was on display with recipients hailing from countries ranging from the UK and USA to Latvia, Namibia, Romania, Thailand, Uruguay, Zimbabwe and more.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was a wonderful and uplifting occasion, celebrating the rich and culturally diverse Hastings community who live, who work and who enjoy our beautiful district.
“Our innovative, hard-working, community-focused people from such diverse cultural backgrounds bring a richness to our community and we welcome them.
“They have all been on a journey to make New Zealand their new home, and bring skills and experience to Hastings that support our district and region, for which we are hugely grateful.
“We hope their lives in Hastings, and as New Zealand citizens, are filled with many opportunities, lots of happiness, joy and fulfilment.”
Councils assist the Department of Internal Affairs to confer citizenship by holding ceremonies for people becoming citizens – and as well as being presented with a citizenship certificate, recipients in Hastings also receive a Kowhai tree as a lasting memento.
In general, the aim is to hold ceremonies within three to four months of people having their citizenship conferred, but due to Covid and other factors fewer ceremonies than usual were able to be held over the past year, so last night’s event was a way to catch up and acknowledge the recent new citizens.
31 May 2023
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