Citizenship ceremony highlight

Mayor Tim Cadogan (front) is pictured with the group, following the citizenship ceremony. They ...
Mayor Tim Cadogan (front) is pictured with the group, following the citizenship ceremony. They are (from left) Katie Lindsay, Veronika Sim, Christine Byrne, Irena Harman, Margaret Barbour, William McDonald, Daniel Love, Lesley Love, Gillian Kearon and Michelle Dacombe. Photo: supplied.
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan says attending his first citizenship ceremony was one of the highlights of his new job.

Eleven Central Otago people were made New Zealand citizens in a ceremony in the council chambers on Friday. They pledged allegiance to their new country and received a kowhai tree at the end of the service. Mr Cadogan said deciding to take the citizenship of another country was a huge step and became quite emotional for some of the people involved.  Each of them outlined their reasons for shifting to their new country and why they wanted to become "official" New Zealanders.

"To hear these stories and share in that way the journey that had led people to become one of us was a true privilege," Mr Cadogan said.

While the ceremony was lovely, discussions were under way about how to improve it, he said.

"I think it is something a lot of people would like to get to watch, and the current location and timing is not ideal for that."

Lesley and Dan Love shifted  from the United Kingdom as they were "keen for a challenge", she said.

"We can’t really put a finger on what really drew us to live in Central Otago but it’s just the most amazing place to live."

Margaret Barbour’s parents moved to New Zealand from England when she was about 2.  Passengers on the ship which transported them were told if they stayed in New Zealand for two years, they would automatically become New Zealand citizens, but that was untrue. Mrs Barbour said she had always classed herself as a Kiwi, so to make it official was great. Former Australian Katie Lindsay married a New Zealander and said it was a privilege to be raising their young family  in such a beautiful environment, while Veronika Sim said she felt a "sense of belonging" here she had not felt anywhere else in the world. 

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