Chch's 160th anniversary celebrations
32 people from 12 nationalities granted NZ citizenship celebrating the City's diversity
A special citizenship ceremony was held on July 31, in Christchurch’s famous Botanical Gardens to mark the 160th anniversary of the founding of Christchurch. in which 32 people from 12 different nationalities became New Zealand citizens.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne, and a number of local MPs attended the function. Interestingly, Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on July 31, 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.
“Citizenship ceremonies are always very special, joyful occasions but this one was extra special because it is occurring on the 160th anniversary of the founding of this great city,’’ Mayor Dalziel noted.
Noting that she is overjoyed to be the first to congratulate the new citizens, Dalziel added, “There are certain functions that I attend as Mayor of Christchurch that are an absolute joy - an honour, a privilege. These include the bravery awards, the civic awards, and particularly this one - the citizenship ceremonies."
The Minister Peter Dunne too welcomed all new Kiwi citizens and thanked them for “making New Zealand a genuine melting pot of all cultures”. Acknowledging that some new citizens might feel a bit sad about leaving their roots behind, the Minister added, “You have not left anything behind. In fact, you have brought all aspects of your culture to enrich New Zealand's culture. It has made this country more colourful and vibrant.”
A sentiment shared by the South-African couple Andrew and Mary Alldred, and the Munyaka family from Zimbabwe. The families from Africa shifted to Christchurch in 2008-09, and decided to settle down here when they found Kiwis to be very welcoming and inclusive. They were among the ones who took up New Zealand citizenship during the special ceremony.
“While we also went through all the difficulties that migrants face for the initial few years, settling in was not that difficult. Especially now, when the South Island is becoming more and more diverse every year,” noted David Munyaka.