Enriched by new citizens

Dunedin's growing diversity has been given a boost by those seeking citizenship in the city during the past two years.

Figures supplied to the Otago Daily Times by the Department of Internal Affairs showed 1623 people had chosen Dunedin for their swearing-in ceremony during the past five years.

In 2013, 435 people became new citizens in Dunedin - almost double the 238 in 2009.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the ceremonies were always full and it was not only the number of people which had increased at them, but also the diversity of new citizens' backgrounds.

Ceremonies could feature people from 20 different countries.

''I think it is wonderful for the city to have that range of diversity and cultural backgrounds. It really enriches the place,'' Mr Cull said.

More than 400 new citizens were also sworn in during 2012 and Department of Internal Affairs spokeswoman Jo Watt said while the numbers were not comprehensive, as people could be sworn in as New Zealand citizens in ceremonies held in regions outside where they lived, the rise in new citizens in Dunedin in past two years was ''statistically significant''.

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