Their nationalities read like an extensive list from a geography textbook. Now they’re calling New Zealand and Hamilton home. Yesterday 130 new kiwis from almost 30 countries, across a range of continents, were officially granted New Zealand citizenship at a ceremony in the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion.
The monthly ceremonies are the final step in becoming an official citizen of New Zealand, when citizenship certificates are presented. Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher officiated at the ceremony which at times was very moving, a special moment at the conclusion of the ceremony saw everyone come together to sing the national anthem.
People were also gifted a kowhai seedling to recognise their decision to plant their roots in Hamilton soil.
Those at the ceremonies include individuals or entire families, supported by councillors, representatives from cultural organisations, family members and friends.