On Friday morning, a group of Afghans who put themselves at risk to assist New Zealand soldiers received the equivalent greeting of "kia ora, mate".
The Afghans worked as interpreters providing support to the New Zealand Defence Force in Afghanistan.
Among them was Abdul and his wife Faytema Kazimi.
Abdul said it was great to be recognised as a Kiwi now, alongside his two young children who were born here.
Nawidullah Atayee, 23, was also officially made a New Zealand citizen on Friday.
He came to Aotearoa on his own and said he was hoping the government will help him get his parents and family to New Zealand too.
Sixty-eight former Afghans were granted citizenship at the ceremony, which was witnessed by around 200 people, including members of the NZDF.
Colonel Brett Wellington of the NZ Defence Force told the gathering: "Quite simply we could not have achieved what we did without your support in Afghanistan."