The latest international group of new New Zealand citizens are all smiles, standing with Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden (centre) on the council chambers balcony after their citizenship ceremony on September 20. Supplied photo.
A citizenship assessment service by officials visiting
Queenstown for the first time was deemed a success.
There were 19 appointments and candidates travelled from as
far as Te Anau.
The Department of Internal Affairs offered free assessments
of citizenship applications at a ''one-stop shop'' at 57
Shotover St, on September 16.
The service it provides in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington
and Auckland was brought to the resort, saving candidates the
cost of travel and missing work.
Department spokesman Michael Mead, of Wellington, said there
were 18 booked appointments plus one person who turned up on
Candidates had standard applicant questions to ask about time
frames, the next steps in the process and whether they had
they right documents to apply, Mr Mead said.
''Staff were able to resolve issues face to face and all
applications were lodged.
''We have found that the face-to-face approach makes it much
easier for the customer, compared with dealing with the
department by mail, as they know whether they are eligible or
not and they get to take their documents away with them - we
make copies at the office.
''Best of all is that they get to meet the real human being
who is looking after their application.''
Applicants told staff the service in Queenstown was much
easier than having to travel to Dunedin.
Mr Mead said a lot of feedback on the processes came from
those applicants and officials were ''very happy'' with their
''We have done a lot of work over the last few years to
simplify the forms and make the application process easier
"An extension of this is encouraging applicants to make an
appointment with a case officer who can work through the
finer details of the application and ensure that, where
possible, there is no more work for the customer to do beyond
the initial assessment.
''English is not the first language for many customers and we
are working with them to get it right first time and save
them any delay in having their application processed.''
The free citizenship assessment service will return to
Queenstown on October 21 and limited appointments are still
''We plan to continue to visit every six weeks, as long as
the customers are interested in using this service,'' Mr Mead
The latest citizenship ceremony was held in the Queenstown
Lakes District Council chambers on September 20.
The candidates who swore allegiance to the Queen of New
Zealand before Mayor Vanessa van Uden were Sergio Antunes, of
Brazil, Krystel Arboleda, of the Philippines, Mark Baker, of
the United Kingdom, Federico Callegari, of Argentina, Sue
Cheam, of Malaysia, Luke Godfrey, of the UK, Milagros
Hartshorne, of the Philippines, Marisol Lolas, of Chile,
Shashank Narad, of India, James Pollard, of the UK, Marina
Ten, of Russia, Amelia and Richard Prout, both of the UK, and
Jennifer Prout, of the UK and United States, and Georgiy
Smaga, of the Ukraine.