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New citizens living the dream

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

For Wairarapa College student Eteri Tafa, becoming a New Zealand citizen was “like a dream come true”.

The 14-year-old and her Samoan family now call New Zealand their country, as well as their home.

They were made citizens at the Te Rangimarie Marae in Masterton yesterday afternoon.

“It’s so different here – there’s better opportunities and a better lifestyle,” Eteri said.

“My plans are to finish school, go to university, and make the most of these opportunities – live my dreams.”

Eteri Tafa, 14 of Samoa, is a proud new citizen of New Zealand PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Eteri Tafa, 14 of Samoa, is a proud new citizen of New Zealand PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

She said she wanted to study agricultural science, and was happy to live in Wairarapa for that reason.

Her mother Sisilia Tafa, father Tuputau, and sister Asenate moved to New Zealand from Savai’I in Samoa in April 2014.

Mrs Tafa said the family would stay in New Zealand for the long-term, especially considering Eteri and Asenate loved their schools, Wairarapa College, and Lakeview School.

Also becoming citizens yesterday were Adriaan, Elsje, and Leo Rootman of South Africa, Rory Hughes of the UK, and Adam Parker from Australia.

Mr Parker had lived in New Zealand since 1994.

Masterton District Mayor Lyn Patterson officiated the ceremony, with councillors Frazer Mailman and Jonathan Hooker also welcoming the new citizens.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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