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Thirty new citizens welcomed at special ceremony

citizenship 1

Thirty Hastings residents celebrated a huge milestone last night, formally becoming citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Councils assist the Department of Internal Affairs to confer citizenship by holding ceremonies for people becoming citizens – this involves pledging the Oath or taking the affirmation of Allegiance, and being presented a citizenship certificate.

Usually in Hastings these are held in Council Chambers every couple of months but over the past two years, due to COVID restrictions, fewer have been able to be held so last night’s event was a catch-up and bigger than usual.

The occasion was somewhat significant compared to past ones due to the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, which meant the oath or affirmation referred to King Charles III.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was wonderful to be able to gather again to welcome these new citizens to New Zealand and the Hastings district.

“These ceremonies are a real highlight for us here at Council.

“Becoming a New Zealand citizen is an important milestone, and it’s an honour to acknowledge the people from all around the world who have made a commitment to live here and contribute to the rich diversity of our community.”

Presented with their certificates and Kowhai trees, last night’s recipients represented a broad range of countries and cultures – from the Philippines, India and South Africa, to Samoa, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

“Our people are the jewels in Hastings’ crown and my hope for our new citizens is that their life here is filled with many opportunities, and an abundance of happiness and fulfilment as New Zealand citizens.”

30 September 2022

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