Citizenship Ceremony Otaki

Geoffrey and Margaret of our team attended this on Wednesday evening as Waikanae Community Board members, as did Cr Martin Halliday and deputy mayor Janet Holborow.  Notably, no Otaki elected members did except for Mayor Guru.

It was a cultural and colourful occasion, with a powhiri (welcome) by different speakers and waiata (songs), all in Te Reo Māori.  No doubt it provides an incentive for the new citizens to study the language, although the French family in the photo above demonstrated that they had already done that by declaring the oath of citizenship in Te Reo and, even more impressively, in unison.

A total of 32 Kapiti residents became new citzens, who had come originally from Britain, France, Germany, Iran, China, South Africa and Samoa.  One of them had lived in Aotearoa NZ for a mere 50 years, but most have been here for a couple of years.  They were clearly invited to wear clothes depicting their homelands: one had Scottish apparel and one wore what must be an African outfit.  All made it a positive, less sterile formality than is usally the case.