As she prepared to take the affirmation, Valerie Janin felt like it was her wedding day.

But instead of marrying a person, she was marrying a new country.

Janin and her husband Alain, both from France, were made New Zealand citizens this week.

The pair own Rotorua's Le Cafe De Paris, and after being in the city for 15 years, they felt it was time to officially become Kiwis.

Le Cafe De Paris, pictured in 2015. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
Le Cafe De Paris, pictured in 2015. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

"It's a long process, it felt like my wedding day," Janin said.

"It's not just an administration day. I feel like it's my country."

She and her husband returned to France for the first time last year. While she still loves France, when she arrived back at Auckland Airport, it felt like home, she said.

The pair, avid golfers, used to travel to Rotorua to play and they fell in love with the city.

When the opportunity to buy what was then a coffee shop came up, they jumped at it.

"Rotorua has a true soul," Janin said.

"It's a good size, it's not too big, it's easy to know each other. It's a beautiful country as well.

"I know lots of people, I know my customers, because of this," she said, gesturing to the cafe.


"People here are lovely."

Just moments later, almost as if proving her point, a woman walks past the cafe, sees Janin being interviewed, and calls out "you're famous, Val".

While they love New Zealand and its culture, they also enjoy sharing their perspective on things with people.

"We're very happy to bring our culture to everyone."