New citizens: Waitangi Day Citizenship Ceremony 2017 held at Tuahiwi marae
This year, the Waitangi Day Citizenship Ceremony 2017 was held at the Tuahiwi marae in Waimakariri, in which 50 people - 12 from Waimakariri district and 38 from Christchurch, were granted their New Zealand citizenship. The new citizens were from the UK, Fiji, India, Philippines, South Africa, Samoa, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Korea, China, Slovenia, Malaysia, Romania, Nepal and the USA.
Elaborating on the significance of this yearly tradition, Duncan Sandeman, Head of Civic and International Relations at the Office of the Chief Executive in Christchurch City Council informed, “On Waitangi Day the Christchurch City Council works with tangata whenua to hold a citizenship on a marae in order to demonstrate the commitment to the principle of the Treaty of Waitangi and to recognise the importance of Waitangi Day.”
“In 2013, a citizenship ceremony was held on Ōnuku Marae on Banks Peninsula. Ōnuku was the first of three places in the South island where the Treat was signed by South Island Māori. In 2014 and 2015, citizenship ceremonies were held at Rāpaki Marae on Banks Peninsula, before returning to Ōnuku in 2016.”
“For 2017 the ceremony was held at Tuahiwi Marae, the home of Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri. While Tuahiwi Marae lies within the boundaries of Waimakariri District Council, Ngāi Tūāhuriri boundaries cover the majority of the City of Christchurch. Consequently, the mayors of Waimakariri and Christchurch and the Upoko of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, agreed to hold the Waitangi Day celebration and citizenship ceremony at Tuahiwi this time,” Sandeman added.