Ceremony breaks new ground

Ashley Bolt and Kendall Smith, formerly of England, made it a family affair yesterday when they...
Ashley Bolt and Kendall Smith, formerly of England, made it a family affair yesterday when they became New Zealand citizens carrying their New Zealand-born daughter Tilly (9 months). PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
Wanaka will undoubtedly remain a special place for the 92 people who became New Zealand citizens at the Lake Wanaka Centre yesterday.

Almost all of them had to travel from Queenstown for the ceremony.

Earlier this year, Queenstown Lakes District Wanaka ward councillor Quentin Smith suggested having the first citizenship ceremony in Wanaka as a way of saying thanks to the many Upper Clutha residents who had travelled to Queenstown for past citizenship ceremonies.

Amy Wilson-White, executive assistant to Mayor Jim Boult, said it was "appropriate" that a citizenship ceremony was held in Wanaka.

It did not pose any difficulties even though about 80 of the 92 new citizens and their guests were from Queenstown.

She said the afternoon ceremony was special for being held in Wanaka but also because all the councillors attended, having been on an induction tour around the Upper Clutha in the morning.

Mr Boult officiated at the ceremony, "welcoming home" the many former citizens of England, Australia, Ireland, South Africa, eastern and western Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

Two of the new citizens were Ashley Bolt and Kendall Smith, formerly of England, whose daughter, Tilly Bolt, was born in New Zealand nine months ago.

Mr Bolt said her birth was the impetus for both he and his partner to become New Zealand citizens.

"As a family, we could all be here together in New Zealand," he said.

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