New year and new citizens for Waitaki and New Zealand

Waitaki's new citizens, alongside the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors McCone, Hopkins and Ryan. (Photo supplied)

Waitaki welcomed twenty-four new New Zealand citizens at a ceremony on Tuesday this week.

Hailing from The Phillipines, South Africa, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Ukraine, India and Malaysia – the first citizenship ceremony of 2024 highlighted the diversity of our region.

Students from Oamaru Intermediate School’s Pasifika group welcomed the new citizens, their families and friends, with waiata.

The ceremony was led by Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher and Deputy Mayor Hana Halalele who was assisted by Councillors Hopkins, McCone and Ryan.

The new citizens took an oath or affirmation of allegiance, and were presented with a citizenship pack and a native hebe plant.

The ceremony then showed a welcome video from Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro, before the Oamaru Intermediate Students and the attendees sang the National Anthem.

Mayor Gary Kircher: “These ceremonies are truly special occasions and it’s a huge privilege to be part of such a significant time in people’s lives. I’m proud to show just how welcoming our country is to those who come to live here. Choosing to become a New Zealand citizen is something we should all celebrate”

The new citizens are:

Rica Oblad Esdrelon, Curtney Mari Oblad Esdrelon, Conrad Mari Oblad Esdrelon, Marvin Gurrea Esdrelon (Phillipines)

Michael Glen Kaiser, Erica Jane Kaiser, Peter Wolfgang Kaiser (S. Africa)

Gerardus Petrus Johannes Levering (Netherlands)

Shannon Lee Purcell (UK)

Tanya Melissa Ribbens (Belgium)

Alice Rebecca Sandlermann (Ukraine)

Dinesh Sreekumar and Sneha Soman (India)

Jeriel Chenhui Tee (Malaysia)

The ceremony ended with an afternoon tea, and completed the welcome for the new citizens.

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