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New citizens welcomed to South Wairarapa

A ceremony in Martinborough’s Waihinga Centre on Friday welcomed 17 South Wairarapa residents into the whanau of official New Zealand citizens. The freshly-minted citizens came from a diverse range of countries including the USA, South Africa, England and Ireland, the Czech Republic, Samoa, and Fiji, and were welcomed to the ceremony by mana whenua, with a mihi whakatau led by kaumatua Abe Matenga. Mayor Martin Connelly encouraged the new citizens to delve into the natural features of Wairarapa and learn about the history of the region. Also present was Russell O’Leary, one of the council’s senior managers who emphasised the significance of becoming official citizens: “Until today New Zealand was your home, now it is your country, and your future is connected to New Zealand’s future.” PHOTO/SWDC

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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