Kaipara residents became New Zealand citizens last Tuesday, at a ceremony for 19 people in the Northern Wairoa War Memorial Hall.
The range of nationalities including the United States, England, Wales, India and South Africa, came from across Kaipara.
Donice Hall-Morris who is originally from Texas said that she was ‘over the moon’ to receive citizenship.
Donice co-owns the Aratapu Hotel and lives on the Pouto peninsula with her husband Richard Morris.
She came to New Zealand 17 years ago to meet Richard’s parents as they were engaged “and fell in love with the place. I intend to retire here, die here, be buried here — I love this part of the world.”
Kaipara District Council Mayor Greg Gent started off the formalities with a welcoming speech.
“It is an honor at which you can be proud,” he said. “It’s our pleasure and duty to welcome you to this community.
The strength of New Zealand is in small towns and I encourage you all to get involved in the community.”
Each citizen read the oath of allegiance, before watching a welcoming video and singing the national anthem.