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.

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