New Kiwi likes being relaxed and free

Newly-sworn New Zealand citizen Alevtina Redden (30), left, of Kazakstan, with friend Genia Colling (30), of Russia, celebrate. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Newly-sworn New Zealand citizen Alevtina Redden (30), left, of Kazakstan, with friend Genia Colling (30), of Russia, celebrate. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Dunedin provides a better lifestyle than Kazakstan, even though life in the central Asian country is nothing like the Borat movie portrayal, student Alevtina Redden says.

Mrs Redden (30) moved from Kazakstan to Dunedin six years ago and became a New Zealand citizen at a ceremony in Dunedin this week. She moved to Dunedin with her Australian husband, who works in the mining industry, and is studying hotel management and business in Dunedin.

The couple have a 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. Mrs Redden, who worked as a translator in Kazakstan, said she loved the Otago landscape.

''It's a beautiful place - it's paradise for me.''

Kazakstan was ''dry, flat and like a desert, similar to Australia'' and New Zealand was lush and green - which she preferred.

She believes she is the only Kazakh expat in Dunedin and misses her friends and family in Kazakstan - but not the country.

In New Zealand, there were more opportunities than in Kazakstan and life was easier.

''People are more relaxed here - and free.''

The ''proud Kazakh'' said the movie Borat was an insult to her country.

''Borat is just a silly character and it upsets me a lot the way he describes life in Kazakstan. It is nothing like that, but some people believe it, unfortunately.''

The family planned to move to Queenstown in January ''for an adventure'', Mrs Redden said.

Other new citizens are. - Norman Firth (Australia); Dee Carmichael, John Carmichael, Rachael Carmichael, Alanna Carmichael, Angela Dunn, Barrie Lewis-Shell, Julie Tolson, Steven Tumilty, Irene Frazer, Emma Tumilty, Simon Tumilty, Jacqueline Walker, Stacey Walker, Kellie Walker, Clemency Wright (Britain); Lieselotte Tolson (Britain/Germany); Man Wong (China); Dagmar Lewis (Czech/Slovakia); Adrian Ng (Malaysia); Pusi Tofilau, Christina Tofilau, Caramelrose Tofilau (Samoa); Quintin Harrald, Adele Rheeder, Jacques Rheeder, Keanu Rheeder, Ryan Ogle, Lee-Anne Ogle, Rylee Ogle, Leah Ogle (South Africa); Ganna Heckard (Ukraine); Jill Haley, Jill Leichter (United States); and Naume Mukata (Zimbabwe).shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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