Far North Mayor John Carter routinely tells those who gather at Te Ahu in Kaitaia to become New Zealand citizens that it is a happy occasion, and they are allowed to smile. He did not need to tell Andrea Dukers that last week.
Mrs Dukers, of Dutch descent, could not suppress a small whoop of delight as she returned to her seat in the atrium as a New Zealander.
She had lived in New Zealand since 1975, she said, and in that time had been "home" twice.
"I could never live there; totally polluted," she said, adding "Finally, 43 years later, a Kiwi!"
A few minutes earlier Tonymon Antony had affirmed his allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of New Zealand, her heirs and successors. He had arrived as a student in 2010, intending to stay a year, he said, but by the time he had graduated with a Diploma in Infection Control, then qualified as a registered nurse, he had fallen in love with the country.
"The people are so welcoming, so friendly, so proud of their country," he said.
And he was a Kiwi not just at that moment, he added, but had been since he arrived.
Anna Ilse Klekottka, who also took the affirmation, said she had been in New Zealand since 1990. Her son had just become a citizen at a ceremony in Auckland.
Accepting the invitation to address the gathering, she displayed the extent to which she had adopted her new home by speaking at length in te reo.
Those who gained New Zealand citizenship on Wednesday were:
Tonymon Antony (India, now living in Kaikohe).
Harikrishnan Bhaskaran Pillai (India, Kaikohe).
Andrea Dukers (Holland, Kaeo).
Anna Ilse Klekottka (Germany, Kaitaia).
Peter John Lindgren-Streicher (America, Kaeo).
Sheila Marisa Woods Nowak (Canada, Kaeo).
Lilian Veronica Onate Fuentealba and Alfredo Eduardo Fuenzalida Onate (Chile, Paihia).
Frederick Edward and Carol Ann Osler-Weppenaar (Australia, Paihia).
Robert James Parkinson (Britain, Kerikeri).
Jordan Luke, Sharon Amanda and Shauna Lee Roberts (Britain, Kerikeri).
Josephine Schlatter (Switzerland, Kaitaia).
Stephen Minton Schlendering (America, Russell).
Rev Augusten Subhan (India, Kaitaia).