More than 30 people have been welcomed as new Kiwis at a citizenship ceremony in Rotorua - and for one, it could mean an addition to an already very special tattoo.

At the ceremony at Rotorua Lakes Council today, mayor Steve Chadwick said: "Welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud.

"This is our way of welcoming you into our community, it's a very profound day for you," she said to the crowd.

Nathan Fletcher, originally from Britain, has been in New Zealand for the past 11 years. On the day he got his permanent residency he had a tattoo of the New Zealand flag put on his left upper arm.


"I love this country. When you arrive here they should tell you that you won't want to leave. I've never looked back.

"I might have to get the date and the word 'citizen' tattooed under my flag."

Mr Fletcher said he couldn't imagine living anywhere else in the world.

"Rotorua is wonderful, I love the lakes, it's a great place to live."

Mr Fletcher has just opened his own hire-a-paddle-board business called Mega Paddle and he also works part time as a bouncer at the Pig and Whistle.

He said he enjoyed the community atmosphere in Rotorua and meeting the "welcoming" people.

The ceremony also included kapa haka items by the Rotorua Lakes Council kapa haka group. Each new citizen or family received a book called Choice and a seedling.

Mrs Chadwick said the seedling was for them to plant in a special place so they could put their roots into the community.

The women also received a corsage.

Five Indians, one Cambodian, one Swiss, six British, eight South Africans, six Fijians, and one Ukrainian person became citizens.