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Mayor Bob Parker will officiate at his 50th Citizenship Ceremony tomorrow to welcome new citizens to Christchurch.
A double Citizenship Ceremony – where people pledge their allegiance to New Zealand and receive their certificate of citizenship from the Mayor – will be held tomorrow evening at the Civic Offices, with a total of 164 invited.
The Christchurch City Council runs regular Citizenship Ceremonies for the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), which manages the citizenship application process and invites new citizens to the ceremonies. New citizens may also receive their certificates directly from the DIA if they chose not to wait for a formal ceremony organised by the Council.
Mayor Parker says it is heartening to see the numbers of people wanting to become New Zealand citizens and make Christchurch home.
“These individuals and families are showing their commitment to the city post-earthquake. Some of our new Kiwis have lived here for many years, while for others it is a much shorter time, but all share the desire to now be recognised as New Zealand citizens.”
The two ceremonies being held this week will bring the number of people who have been invited to receive citizenship certificates in Christchurch this year to 1705. This is a huge increase on last year when only 518 people were invited.
“The earthquakes interrupted the usual number of ceremonies we could hold but even with that in mind, figures for this year are also up from 2009 and 2010. In 2010 there were 742 new citizens invited to the ceremonies and in 2009 there were 1069,” Mayor Parker says.
There are at least two further citizenship ceremonies planned for later this year.