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Wairoa extends warm welcome to its newest Kiwi citizens

Citizenship August 1

Wairoa warmly welcomed its newest Kiwis at an official citizenship ceremony yesterday.

Mayor Craig Little presented Blen and Lorna Durante, and Agnes Ejem with their certificates of New Zealand citizenship by completing the formal ceremony and welcoming them as New Zealand citizens.

Citizenship August 2Citizenship August 1

“On behalf of the Government and the people of New Zealand in general, and the citizens of Wairoa District in particular, I welcome you here today for the purpose of taking the Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, and completing the necessary formalities to make you a citizen of New Zealand,” said Mr Little in his speech.

“It takes great courage to leave the country of your birth and it takes even greater wisdom to call New Zealand and Wairoa your home.”

Family and friends also gathered at Wairoa District Council’s Chambers to share in the ceremony.

Originally from the Philippines, Mr and Mrs Durante have lived in Wairoa for seven years.

They settled into Wairoa nicely and took ownership of an orchard in Ōpoho near Nūhaka.

“The people here are very friendly… I love Wairoa,” Mrs Durante said.

She and her husband have been living in New Zealand for the past nine years.

Citizenship August 4Citizenship August 3

“I’m so grateful that my citizenship has been confirmed. I feel a greater sense of connection to Wairoa and to New Zealand now,” Mr Durante said.

Ms Ejem was joined by her young son, who attends St Joseph's Primary School, and more than a dozen friends and family members at Wednesday afternoon’s ceremony.

“I’m very excited to finally have my citizenship… I, like Mr and Mrs Durante, love Wairoa; it is my home now and I don’t want to move,” Ms Ejem said.

Ms Ejem has lived in Wairoa for nine years, and currently works at New World supermarket.

31 October 2018

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