New citizen Rosie Melrose, formerly of Fiji, shows her New Zealand-born daughter Bianca (4) the native plant she was given at the citizenship ceremony in the Skeggs Gallery at the Dunedin Municipal Chambers this week. Photo by Craig Baxter.
It felt like a long time coming, but Rosie Melrose can
finally call herself a New Zealander.
She was among a group of 31 people who were sworn in as New
Zealand citizens at a ceremony at the Municipal Chambers in
Dunedin this week.
Mrs Melrose said it was an emotional day for her and the
culmination of a long journey which started when she left her
Fijian homeland eight years ago.
''I'm very privileged to be here and to call myself a New
Zealander,'' she said after the ceremony.
Despite the turmoil and coup which gripped her homeland in
2006, it was love and not war which made her want to leave
Her New Zealand husband, George Melrose, said seeing her
sworn in as a citizen was emotional: ''Both of us are very
grateful for those that have helped us on this journey.''
The couple married in Fiji about 10 years ago and it took
three applications before she was able to enter the country.
That made this week's ceremony even sweeter, Mrs Melrose
''I feel very happy and free that I can enjoy the things that
New Zealand has to offer me.''
Other new citizens were. - Harriet Reith (Australian
British); Finbarr Noble (Belgian); Hannah Boden, Susannah
Cartwright, David Fitton, Camille Harisson, Azura-Amy
Patterson, George Ryan, Lesley Sime, Andrew Towner, Dr Andrew
Trotman (British); Wei Quan, Yangtian Zhou (Chinese); Bichoy
Fahmy (Egyptian); Salanieta Yacake Ahlbrandt (Fijian); Paul
Caumban, Lilian Mirandilla, Jessie Mirandilla, Jillian
Mirandilla (Filipino); Nana Amparbeng (Ghanaian); Leslie
Antony, Babu Ram (Indian); Seong Park (Korean); Joel Liew
(Malaysian); Agata Michalczyk Scoles (Polish); Faasipa Loli
(Samoan); Tzu-Chiao Hung (Taiwanese); Hermina Hotesi
(Tuvaluan); Khanh Nguyen (Vietnamese); Foster Chinorinda