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The Chumas' journey this week took another turn when Mr and Mrs Chuma and their children, Adelaide and Tapiwa, became New Zealand citizens at a citizenship ceremony in Dunedin. Mr Chuma, a mechanical engineer, moved to the city in 2003, working at the Hillside Engineering Workshops until they closed late last year.
He had found his first winter in Dunedin much colder than Zimbabwe, but had quickly adjusted to the chillier conditions.
The Chumas found the city friendly and relatively compact, without the extensive commuting that was required in many larger cities.
They had been encouraged to come to New Zealand by friends already living here.
Mrs Chuma, who is an office secretary at the University of Otago, said friends had told them, ''New Zealand is a beautiful country.''
''What I was told is true,'' she said.
The Chumas were among 33 people - from as far afield as Hungary, Serbia and India - to become citizens of New Zealand at this week's ceremony.
They were: Dr Robert Ernest Lee Aldred, Thanasi Michael Balaphas (Australia); Joanne Dowd, Caoimhe Katherine Anne Dowd, Caolan Shane Dowd (Ireland); Seong-Young Her, Joon Ho Lee (Korea); Chia-Pu Huang (Taiwan); Kirstin Louise Kay (South Africa); Mukesh Kumar (Fiji); Rui Li (China); Zyrah Avian Milton, Derek Mycock, Maria Antonia Pozza, Jane Riley (Britain); Hong Anh Nguyen (Vietnam); Jasmine Xiuping Ong (Malaysia); Lucia Varghese Painuthara (India); Laszlo Peter (Hungary); Ralf Schruba (Germany); Dunja Sumar (Serbia); Mieliana Sunarto, Jesslyn Praganta (Indonesia); Tung Thanh Truong, Lien Thi Duong (Vietnam); Dr Mona Cara Wells, Wayne Edward Kimsey (United States); Karla Mariah Marcos Yumul (Philippines); Tiara Zaugg (Switzerland).