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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Our twenty new Kiwis

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

Masterton gained 20 new Kiwis yesterday, when people from all different backgrounds came together at Te Rangimarie Marae for a citizenship ceremony.

Eight Samoans, six South Africans, three Brits, two Americans and a French girl became Kiwis at the ceremony officiated by Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson.

Mrs Patterson said she was “delighted” to welcome everyone to the ceremony, and felt privileged to be conducting the ceremony.

Jeremy Wilhelm and Naya Brangenberg have become "part of the community". PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE
Jeremy Wilhelm and Naya Brangenberg have become “part of the community”. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE

Among the beaming faces were the owners of Longbush Free Range Pork.

Jeremy Wilhelm and Naya Brangenberg, the only Americans in the bunch, have made quite the mark on Wairarapa with their pork products.

Dr Brangenberg said their business had been growing and developing well in Wairarapa.

“We are a part of the community.

“It was time to make it official.”

She said they were looking forward to doing some travel as Mr Wilhelm prepared to help teach Cambodian farmers about pig farming.

South African Allyster Williams said New Zealand was a great place to raise his family.

“It still feels like I’m on holiday. I couldn’t be happier.”

South Africa's Brendan Witten, Magan Witten and Damon Witten took the oath of allegiance. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE
South Africa’s Brendan Witten, Magan Witten and Damon Witten took the oath of allegiance. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE

Samoan Douglas Lagolago had memorised his oath for the occasion.

He said it was special that so many members of his family became citizens on the same day.

South African Brendan Witten, his wife Magan and their son Damon all gained citizenship together.

Mrs Witten said they loved New Zealand because of the nice people and relaxed attitudes.

During the ceremony two videos played so Dame Patsy Reddy and Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne could extend their welcome to the new Kiwis.

Each family was given a kowhai tree as a token of the occasion.

 

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