For the first time, Waikato District Council held its Citizenship Ceremony on the marae at Turangawaewae yesterday [Wednesday 8 November].
The ceremony began with a full powhiri for 35 new citizens and their families. Following the powhiri, the citizenship ceremony, led by the Mayor, took place on the Marae Atea (formal area) in front of the carved wharenui (meeting house) Mahinaarangi.
Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson said, “We want to provide new citizens to the Waikato District with an introduction to tikanga Maaori [Maaori protocol] and to acknowledge the Council’s partnership with Iwi, so we are looking to undertake at least one citizenship ceremony on the marae each year from now on.”
He welcomed those taking the oath of allegiance saying, “Our New Zealand culture is one built upon diversity. As a new citizen you are adding to that rich tapestry, and we welcome the opportunity for you to share your culture with us.”
“We look to our citizens to build a stronger better country for all of us and our children”, said Mayor Sanson. “While we are here to celebrate and look to the future it is also important to remember where we have come from.”
For more information please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633