A little push from Mr Peters

Minna Ruski-Jones and her three children, from left, Ruby (15), Ollie (10) and Axel (12). PHOTO:...
Minna Ruski-Jones and her three children, from left, Ruby (15), Ollie (10) and Axel (12). PHOTO: MANDY COOPER
A Queenstown  woman granted Kiwi citizenship yesterday says it was Winston Peters' immigration election policies that prompted her to get her ducks in a row.

Longtime local and mother of three Minna Ruski-Jones was one of 20 people presented with a certificate and a plant by special guest Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult at the resort's most recent citizenship ceremony.

Dame Patsy, who was in Queenstown on Monday for the Queen's Baton relay, addressed the crowd yesterday before flying back to Wellington.

``Our communities can benefit greatly from the knowledge, skills, leadership and culture you possess - I encourage you to involve yourself in local life as much as possible and to teach us about the cultures you've come from,'' she said.

Finland born Mrs Ruski-Jones said she and her Kiwi husband had been living in the resort since 1998 and she had been granted residency in 2001.

After Winston Peters started discussing immigration cuts, she thought it was a good time to get her citizenship sorted.

``I thought having permanent residency, and having it for a long time, I thought there was no rush to do anything else.

``But it was a little push [Mr Peters' comments] because you never know what's going to happen, so I thought I better do it.''

Mrs Ruski-Jones works in customer service at the airport in Frankton for Air New Zealand and says she has friends and colleagues who are anxious about the potential changes.

Despite feeling like she has belonged in New Zealand for a long time, she says it will be nice to ``stand in the same passport line'' as the rest of her family.

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