Be­com­ing a Kiwi cit­i­zen

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - JOANNA GRIF­FITHS

Be­com­ing a New Zealand cit­i­zen is an at­trac­tive thing, ac­cord­ing to In­ver­cargill Mayor Tim Shad­bolt.

Eighteen peo­ple took an oath or an af­fir­ma­tion, pledg­ing loy­alty to the Queen of New Zealand, El­iz­a­beth II, and to faith­fully ob­serve the laws of New Zealand, at a cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony at the In­ver­cargill Coun­cil cham­ber on Tues­day.

In­ver­cargill City Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive per­sonal as­sis­tant Michelle Chap­man said so far this year, more than 60 peo­ple had be­come cit­i­zens of New Zealand in In­ver­cargill, with 123 peo­ple tak­ing the oath or af­fir­ma­tion.

Mayor Shad­bolt said the num­ber of cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies had dra­mat­i­cally in­creased the past 20 years. ‘‘When I first ar­rived as Mayor in 1993, we usu­ally had one cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony per year. Now we usu­ally have one ev­ery month.’’

One pos­si­ble rea­son for the in­crease was New Zealand’s politi­cal sta­bil­ity, he said. ‘‘I be­lieve many of them see New Zealand as a safe haven from the tragic civil wars and ter­ror­ism that of­ten oc­cur in the North­ern Hemi­sphere.

‘‘We are po­lit­i­cally sta­ble, there is rel­a­tively lit­tle crime or cor­rup­tion and we are wealthy com­pared to most other coun­tries in the world.’’

Four more cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies are planed to run in In­ver­cargill this year.

JOHN HAWKINS/FAIRFAX NZ

Stepthen Ki­ragu Ti­tus Mu­choki, In­ver­cargill Mayor Tim Shad­bolt and Anne Kaimuri Stephen Ki­ragu.

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