Sumana Ghosh fell in love twice. The first time with her husband and the second time with New Zealand's natural beauty.

Yesterday she officially became a citizen of the place she loves.

Ghosh was one of 28 people from nine countries who became a citizen at a ceremony in the Rotorua Council Chambers.

"I came with my husband after I got married. I fell in love twice," Ghosh told the chambers.


Originally from India, she became the last person in her family of four to be a citizen. Her son was born here and her husband and daughter had already become citizens.

"I have a 4-year-old son and he's the luckiest, he got citizenship straight away. I was the last person so today we are a Kiwi family."

Sumana Ghosh (left) with mayor Steve Chadwick. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Sumana Ghosh (left) with mayor Steve Chadwick. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

Her husband, Roy Yogobrata, said the family had been here since 2000 and becoming Kiwis also meant giving up their Indian passports so it meant a lot.

"We moved to Rotorua with our business and New Zealand has become our home so it's a good chance to be here," Yogobrata said.

"The country is so beautiful and people are really welcoming so that's something we really like.

"It's such a pure place and we believe in 100 per cent pure New Zealand. There's a future for our kids and their education will be pure as well."

Students from Rongopai Kohanga Reo greeted the new citizens with karakia and performances.

Mayor Steve Chadwick said they were a perfect example of learning a language when you're young.


"Some of us try to remember the reo but it's hard when you're older," she told them.

To the new citizens she said: "We want you to know we welcome diversity in Rotorua."

Rongopai Kohanga Reo performed karakia at the ceremony to welcome the new citizens. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
Rongopai Kohanga Reo performed karakia at the ceremony to welcome the new citizens. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

She invited them to plant a tree they received during the ceremony as a symbol of putting their roots down.

One new citizen had been living in New Zealand for 50 years and said she was grateful to finally be a Kiwi. Another had been waiting 20.

Kurien Yohannan told the room they'd experienced huge hospitality in their time in New Zealand.

"Just over five years ago, my wife and I stepped off a Naked Bus on Fenton St after a 30-hour flight. We were greeted by a group from Annie's work and hospitality made us feel truly at home."

New Citizens:
- Erica Carter, Australia/Holland
- Marion Forbes, Britain
- Xiaomin Frost, China
- Sumana Ghosh, India
- Pafuti Godinet-Tonuu, Samoa
- Wilna Janse Van Rensburg, South Africa
- Gulshan Kumar and Kabeer Dhillon, India
- Sun Lee, Korea
- Hai Lee, Korea
- Rev John Limrick and Sheila Limrick, Britain
- Gavin Long, Anne-Marie Long, Megan Long, Samuel Long, South Africa
- Wai Man, China
- Iryn Mendoza, Philippines
- Ghanshyam Patel and Nitaben Patel, India
- Sheleen Prasad, Fijian
- Nicholas Sharp, Britain
- Kurien Yohannan and Annie Yohannan, India
- Jack van der Vyer and Linda van der Byer, South Africa
- Jungchun Youn, Korea
- Rebecca Wiringi, Britain