Surrounded by family, friends and well-wishers, 40 people completed the final chapter in their journey to becoming New Zealand citizens at a ceremony held in the Ashburton Trust Event Centre today.
Individuals and families from South Africa, the Philippines, Samoa, Egypt, Tonga, United Kingdom, Nepal, Sweden, Australia, Romania and Moldova swore their oath or affirmation of allegience to New Zealand and the Queen during the ceremony and were presented their certificates of citizenship.
The ceremony began with a moving performance from the Allenton School Kapa Haka group, which school principal, Bruce Tilby said was their first public performance.
"It is an absolute privilege to perform here today and to be a part of this ceremony," he said.
After a short introduction from the Mayor, each person, either as a family group or individual was asked onto the stage to swear their oath or affirmation. They were then presented their certificate, two books and a native plant symbolising setting down new roots in their new home.
A video from the Department of Internal Affairs was then played and the ceremony concluded with the national anthem.