One of Hamilton City Council’s most treasured and colourful fixtures was celebrated this month when the city hosted its final citizenship ceremony of 2022.
Attendees, representing 26 countries, received their citizenship certificates after taking an oath or affirmation of allegiance in front of a gathering that included Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate at the Atrium at Wintec. People are encouraged to dress in their national or cultural dress.
Also in attendance were Members of Parliament, Hamilton City Councillors and Freedom of the City holders.
Mayor Southgate told the gathering; “For some of you, the journey to becoming a New Zealander has been a long one. And, for some of you, that journey has also been a difficult one, especially if you have come here as refugees.
“We are grateful that you have chosen New Zealand as your home. We’re also very proud that you have chosen to settle in Hamilton.”
Monday’s ceremony saw 183 people gain citizenship adding diversity to the a city that is already home to 160 different ethnic groups.
By becoming citizens, attendees now share a unique bond with other New Zealanders, Mayor Southgate said, noting she had migrated to New Zealand as a 16-year-old from England.
“As mayor of Hamilton, I’m proud to say our city is home to many different ethnic groups. Each group brings a richness and diversity that makes our city a better place.
“We embrace your culture, customs, language and your food. And as we come together and share those things, we become neighbours, work colleagues and friends.”