A record number of new Kiwis to be sworn in at a Napier City Council-staged citizenship ceremony pledged the oath of allegiance on Monday night - at a special new venue.
Working in with the Department of Internal Affairs to reduce the number of potential new citizens on the waiting list the council switched the venue for the third ceremony of the year from the usual council chambers to the Century Theatre at the MTG.
As Napier City Council committee administrator Judy Buttery explained, the council chambers could get crowded and hot when a large number of people assembled there - and citizenship ceremonies often drew large numbers.
Monday night's ceremony saw 55 new citizens take the oath of allegiance, and that number along with their friends and other family could have breached fire regulations at the council venue.
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"The most we previously had was 40 so this is quite a step."
She said the Century Theatre venue was comfortable and worked well and would likely be used again for future ceremonies. The next is expected to be staged in July. At the top of Monday's list were Samoan people with 19 gaining New Zealand citizenship, followed by 13 people from Great Britain and 12 from South Africa. There were three people from China and two from Australia, with the rest made up of new arrivals from Iraq, Italy, India, Cambodia, Fiji and Germany.