Masterton gained 18 new citizens this week when people of six different nationalities were sworn in as New Zealand citizens at a ceremony held in the Frank Cody Lounge.

Six South Africans, four Indians, three Samoans, two North Americans, two British and a Dutch woman officially became Kiwis, and were presented with a certificate of citizenship along with a kowhai tree going to each of the families for them to plant as a permanent reminder of the occasion.

They were each welcomed by Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson, who said she felt honoured they had chosen Masterton to be their home, and the district council's international relations committee chairman, Jonathan Hooker, who spoke of changes over the years that meant new Kiwis could become official New Zealanders without having to renounce their country of birth.

A video was shown which included welcome speeches from both Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne.


All those present, along with family and friends, were then invited to afternoon tea.