From the land of ice to sunny Hawke's Bay

By Sam Hurley

For Einar Johannes Hreidarsson the 17,215.79km distance from Iceland to New Zealand was the long journey he had to make for love.

Last night, 21 years since crossing the globe, he was finally made a New Zealand citizen during the Hastings District Council citizenship ceremony. Mr Hreidarsson joined the 28 others at the council chambers who swore and affirmed their allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and was supported by his wife Monica, friends and sons Aron Einarsson and Guy Glasgow.

The remote underwater vehicle operator has lived in Hawke's Bay and Hastings area since moving to New Zealand in 1992 and one of the few similarities of the two countries was that both were islands in remote corners of the globe.

The 50-year-old said the major differences he noticed from his adopted country and his native home in the upper corner of the North Atlantic were the fauna and weather.

"Your winter is like our summer, but our winters are just brrrr," he said clenching his fist. "It's just beautiful here, a great place to live and the weather is fantastic."

All new citizens were welcomed by Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule and other dignitaries as well as being entertained by the Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre.

Each new citizen was also presented with a small Kowhai tree representing their new roots which had been laid in Aotearoa.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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