Sunday, July 3, 2016

New Kiwis

There were more of them than I expected.  If I'd given it some thought I might not have been surprised that the majority were Brits and South Africans.  But scattered amongst them were a Filipino, a Chinese, a Thai, a family from Sri Lanka, a Korean, a Samoan, an Indian, two from Zimbabwe, a Malaysian, an American, a French family, my friend Chris and a couple of other Australians, and the beautiful young lady from Burundi who captured the heart of everyone in the room.  

Full credit to Mayor Sheryl Mai and her Whangarei Council for a dignified ceremony that I felt honoured our new citizens and acknowledged their many different journeys to become tangata tiriti (people of the land by right of the Treaty of Waitangi). 


Congratulations, Chris.  

Chris chatting with another new citizen who lives in her area

13 comments:

  1. An excellent idea. Would be good if we emulated it.

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    1. Not sure what you mean, Adrian. I've watched a utube video of a ceremony in London, and while it was nowhere near as warm and welcoming as the one I attended, it did happen.

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    2. Never heard of it happening here. Maybe it's just a London thing.

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  2. Such a special moment! May they all have blessed lives in your beautiful country.

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    1. Yes, it was very special for all the recipients of their citizenship and their families.

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  3. This makes me wonder, do they have to take a test to become citizens? You do if you want to become an American citizen. My son's girlfriend recently became an American citizen and he too was moved by the ceremony. (Her test had only 5 questions...trouble is, you don't know what 5 questions they will be!)
    I want to see New Zealand, by the way!!

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    1. Hi Kay,
      There are no test questions in NZ although it has been discussed from time to time. But you do need to prove that you can speak English in everyday situations.

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  4. Citizenship swear ins are similar here. Everybody should attend one in their lifetime.
    My daughter got her American citizenship in it's a great ceremony too.

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    1. I agree, Red. Attending a ceremony gives an appreciation of the privilege it is to live where we do.

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  5. A wonderful way to recognize their citizenship!

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  6. I'm not sure of the procedure here, but I think it is the tradition, at least in my town, to hold a special welcome ceremony for new citizens in connection with Sweden's national day (6th June).

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  7. Although I know a few people who have gone through the NZ citizenship routine including spending time on the Marae I don't know of anyone actually becoming a British citizen. All the immigrants I know were either British by reason of Commonwealth citizenship or are EU citizens and not therefore eligible for British citizenship (I am advised).

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  8. My apologies, Pauline....I've been slack...with no good reason...and I've discovered I've missed a couple of your posts and am only now catching up.

    I've only attended one such ceremony...at Noosa on Australia Day 1999. I found it to be quite moving.

    The following explains the requirements needed here in the Land of Oz...

    "In December 2006, it was announced that applicants for Australian citizenship who are over 18 and under 60 years old will need to pass an Australian citizenship test. The objective of the test is to prove an applicant's grasp of English language and understanding of Australia’s "values", history, traditional and national symbols. Citizenship applicants are required to study a booklet produced by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

    On 2 January 2008, it was announced that the test would be reviewed when statistics showed that over 20% of those sitting the test failed on their first attempts.

    On 28 April 2008 the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced the appointment of an independent committee to conduct a review of the Australian citizenship test since its implementation on 1 October 2007.

    This review was commissioned to examine the operation of the citizenship test after six months experience and whether there were ways to improve its operation and effectiveness as the pathway for residents to become Australian citizens. On 22 November 2008, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans, released the Citizenship Test Review Report Moving Forward … Improving Pathways to Citizenship and the Government’s response. The report and the government's response are located online.

    On 19 October 2009, changes to the citizenship test came into effect. Under the new rules, a mark of 75% (15 out of 20 questions correct) is required to pass.

    Previously, a mark of 60% plus answering three mandatory questions correctly was required. Applicants will need to pass the test before a decision is made on their citizenship application, i.e. the application must be lodged before the test takes place."

    The computer based test consists of 20 multiple choice questions drawn randomly from a pool of 200 confidential questions. The test is only available in English. Applicants have 45 minutes to complete the test.

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