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Seon Mi Kim (47), of Daegu, Korea, and her son, University of Otago microbiology student Hongrak Park (22), became New Zealand citizens after migrating to Dunedin five years ago.
''We love New Zealand. It is very beautiful and very peaceful here,'' Mrs Ki said.
Thirty-seven new citizens, from countries including Britain, India, the United States, Malaysia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Korea and Russia, were awarded New Zealand citizenship at a ceremony conducted by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, in the Skeggs Gallery yesterday.
''While our Maori heritage goes back over 1000 years, New Zealand is still a young country with a diverse mixture of cultures and people,'' Mr Cull said.
''Those who have come here as citizens of other countries will leave today as New Zealanders. In the years to come, you will share the customs, cultures and traditions of the communities from which you have come and this will benefit us all.''
The new citizens sworn in yesterday were: Sagheer Ahmed (India), Alan Albert, Karen Jane and Lorna Alice Bagnall (Britain), Albert Marinus Borren (Netherlands), Casey Lee Cameron (United States), Songbai Chen (China), Yuechan Cai (China), Paula Anne Ding (United States), Nicholas Frank Dudley Ward (Britain), David Peter Luscumbe Green (Britain), Guy Scott, Jamie Alexandra, Andrew Alan Robert, Mandy and Matthew Scott Ethan Hedderwick (South Africa), Shuwen Huang (China), Jinwook Hur (Korea), Seon Mi Kim (Korea), Hongrak Park (Korea), Shonal Shimal Krishna (Fiji), William Jungkwon Lee (Korea), Robert McKenzie (Fiji), Moses, Rosemary, Ray Tatenda and Lorraine Nyamugafata (Zimbabwe), Rory Frederick Peter James O'Brien (Britain), Emma Elizabeth O'Neill (Britain), Chandeep Singh Loveleen Singh and Gurpreet Kaur Sabharwal (India), Felicity and Faimafili Sanele (Samoa), Ella Soroka (Russia), Ramsey Suos (Cambodia), Tia Katherine Taita (Australia) and Stephanie Wen Cheh Then (Malaysia).