Among the dozens who became New Zealand citizens at a Napier City Council ceremony were an English family of five.

After five years of living in New Zealand Miki Skeels said she was "honoured and delighted" to be one of dozens to turn her residency into citizenship, presented by mayor Kirsten Wise at the MTG on Wednesday.

"It just made us all feel very special – particularly when people came over to congratulate us," she said.

"The actual ceremony was shorter than I had anticipated, which is a good thing when you've got younger children," she joked.


"It was especially lovely to be a part of the newly-elected council's start of time in office.

"A few of them took the time to come over and congratulate us personally, and said that we were welcome in New Zealand.

"That reflects what we have found all throughout the country – people are so friendly and welcoming."

Born in the United Kingdom, the 48-year-old mother of three made the move to Taradale where she works as a physiotherapist, specialising in child disability, at Kowhai Special School, alongside her partner Jason Bishop, 49, who works as a labour inspector for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

"Working at Kowhai Special School, it made the kowhai tree part of the ceremony even more special," she said.

"The children loved the whole ceremony and now they can call themselves real Kiwis.

"Jack, who now goes to university in Wellington, was 15 when we made the move from Newcastle, which was of course hard for him.

"Leaving your friends and your school would not have been easy. Matt on the other hand was just 18 months old when we moved, so he doesn't really know any different.


"None of them have picked up the accent though yet. Jack quite likes his English one and Matt may pick one up when he starts school. They all use Kiwi words though."

Kate, 15, of Taradale High School, and Matt, 6, of Taradale Primary School, were delighted to become New Zealand citizens and thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony.

Kate said: "The singers were so good and we liked spotting places in the video they showed that we recognised."

Matt added: "I loved going on stage and getting my certificate. I even got to touch the medals around the mayor's neck."