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A Tongan minister came to Dunedin on God's call and yesterday became a New Zealander - so he can spread the Gospel abroad if called upon again.
The Rev Sione Pule, of St Kilda, became a New Zealand citizen at a ceremony officiated by Mayor Dave Cull at the Skeggs Gallery yesterday afternoon.
As a minister for the Church of Tonga, he and his family have lived throughout New Zealand during the past 25 years.
The work was mostly in South Auckland, but they had lived in Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch, Oamaru and Invercargill, before moving to Dunedin in 2004.
''It's so difficult but it's what I believe. This is God's calling.''
His New Zealand citizenship meant he and his family could move internationally if needed, but Dunedin was the most enjoyable post in New Zealand, he said.
''Dunedin is the best. The people are so friendly.''
The other new citizens are: Carmel Cadzow, Mark Cadzow, Andrea Mosley (Australia); Ronel Cook, Ryle Jellone, Jayshree Marimuthu, Vadajalam Marimuthu, Patricia Marimuthu, Marius Minnaar, Yvette Minnaar, Lavell Muller, Tracy Rogers (South Africa); Robert Farquhar, Julie Furlong, Heidi Joseph, Elaine Kelly, Graham MacDonald, Deborah Nicholson, Joanne Norfield, Dylan Norfield, Marion O'Kane (Britain); Pradyumna Gampala (India); Brian Paavo, Frida Swerdloff, Sabrina Swerdloff, Cathryn Thompson-Conklin, Bryan Conklin, Christopher Conklin (United States); Peter Knight (Canada); Qian Li, Lu Tonkin (China); Grogry Peter Kini, Rowena Foo Yoke Li (Malaysia); Ronesh Ram (Fiji); Hady Riad (Egypt); Mariano Rodriguez Recio (Spanish); Saowanee Udkaew (Thailand); Pei-Hsuan Wu (Taiwan).