More than 70 new New Zealand citizens have been welcomed at a ceremony hosted by Hastings District Council overnight.
The special ceremony was held at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre to welcome 72 new citizens to Aotearoa, New Zealand.
It was one of the biggest citizenship ceremonies ever held in Hastings, with 45 individuals and 10 family groups, along with their family and friends, packing out the Assembly Ballroom to take the oath or affirmation of allegiance to his Majesty the King and attain New Zealand citizenship.
Hastings Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst said it was a wonderful and uplifting occasion, celebrating the rich and culturally diverse Hastings community who live, who work and who enjoy the local district.
“Our innovative, hard-working, community-focused people from such diverse cultural backgrounds bring a richness to our community and we welcome them,” she said.
“They have all been on a journey to make New Zealand their new home, and bring skills and experience to Hastings that support our district and region, for which we are hugely grateful.
“We hope their lives in Hastings, and as New Zealand citizens, are filled with many opportunities, lots of happiness, joy and fulfilment.”
The Mayor said the growing multicultural nature of Hastings was on display with citizenship recipients hailing from countries ranging from the UK and USA to Latvia, Namibia, Romania, Thailand, Uruguay, Zimbabwe and more.
As well as being presented with a citizenship certificate, recipients in Hastings also receive a Kowhai tree as a lasting memento.