Town’s beauty captivates new citizens
Kaikoura’s beauty was the main drawcard for the latest citizens sworn in by Mayor Winston Gray at a ceremony on Thursday.
Five residents; Karin Funk, Peter and KatieJayne Watts, Susan Baker and Rick Looij all chose to make the southern coastal town their ‘‘home away from home’’.
At the welcoming ceremony at Kaiko¯ura District Council, Mayor Winston Gray welcomed the new citizens on behalf of minister of Internal Affairs Tracey Martin.
Martin said New Zealander’s took pride in the rich cultural traditions and shared values which are woven into the fabric of being a citizen of New Zealand.
‘‘Those who have chosen to share a common bond with New Zealand regardless of background, bring in the history and heritage of their homeland enriching us all.’’
Rick Looij who had already been living in New Zealand for 41 years said he was getting feathers under his armpits and his beak was growing so he thought it was about time he became a Kiwi. ‘‘I just love living in NZ, especially Kaiko¯ura.’’ When Karin Funk landed in Auckland 28 years ago she felt she was home.
The German-born woman said when the plane was circling above Auckland airport and all she saw was a thick green carpet she knew she was home.
‘‘I was really amazed by this beautiful environment,’’ she said.
Photography artist Susan Baker, who works out of her studio on Beach Rd had made Kaiko¯ura ‘‘a home away from home’’.
After touring New Zealand in 2006 Baker said it wasn’t until she came to Kaiko¯ura that she truly began enjoying her time in this country, a place very similar to her previous home in the UK.
‘‘When I walked the peninsula it was stunning - this is heaven - there was snow on the mountains, green grass - and the coast.’’
Peter and Katie-Jayne Watts moved from the UK six years ago because Peter had family in New Zealand. When Peter got a job as a helicopter pilot the couple moved to Kaiko¯ura.
‘‘It reminded us of home, in the sense it is a rugged coastline,’’ said Katie-Jayne.