It was a family affair for the Hatka family, originally from India. They are joined by Mayor Sam Broughton and Major Grant Payton Officer Commanding Burnham Military Camp

New citizens welcomed

by Mike Isle

From Vladivostok to Christchurch, journeys were shared as 26 New Zealanders were welcomed home last month.

The group from 11 different nationalities shared their stories of how they came to call New Zealand home as they became New Zealand citizens in the council’s monthly citizenship ceremony.

Each spoke of how they came to call New Zealand home, but there was a homecoming of a different kind for Tyler Hokianga. Raised in Australia, Mr Hokianga told the room it was a visit to see his parents back here in New Zealand that sparked a desire to embrace his Kiwi heritage and officially become a Kiwi.

Nine of the group spoke about intending to visit New Zealand for a short time on holidays, work or study and finding their partner. Among them was Candice Trumper from South Africa. “The one thing my father told me before I came was not to take up with any Kiwi boys. Well, we fell in love.”

Others spoke of falling in love with the country and the way of life.

Nina Kozhevnikova from Vladivostok in Russia who came for an adventure and to visit family after her husband died, Douglas Dorrian, who moved from Scotland to South Africa before settling here, also came for adventure.

“New Zealand is such a great country for all the opportunities we have cycling, jumping off things, every day it’s great to be here,” he said.