Third times a charm – welcoming new Aotearoa citizens in the South Wairarapa

This week, in the third ceremony of the year, South Wairarapa celebrated with 17 people as they received their Aotearoa New Zealand Citizenship.

Held at the Martinborough Town Hall, the ceremony saw people from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Philippines, UK, and Thailand read their oath or read an affirmation. The ceremony started with a karanga led by Leanne Karauna as the soon-to-be citizens entered the Town Hall. Warren Maxwell followed on with a Mihi Whakatau.

Mayor Martin Connelly welcomed everyone before Councillor Colin Olds presented each person with their citizenship certificate, and a kowhai tree sapling that marks the beginning of their new journey as citizens.

Mr Connelly shared of how the Wairarapa has much to offer and encouraged the new citizens to explore its natural features, and learn more about Kupe, what happened to the Octopus, and the history of the region.

South Wairarapa’s new CE Janice Smith then congratulated the new citizens, speaking about the significance of the history and heritage new citizens bring from their homeland to their new status as a citizen of New Zealand, therefore enriching us all.

The ceremony, which saw friends and family of the new citizens in attendance, was concluded with an afternoon tea.


South Wairarapa is part of the nation-wide Welcoming Communities programme which addresses how accessible and inclusive our communities are for newcomers – namely recent migrants, former refugees, international students and relocating citizens.

Our own South Wairarapa programme has recently released their stock-take summary, and invites ideas and suggestions for our Welcoming Plan for newcomers to the district by contacting

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