Today's citizenship ceremony at the Rotorua Lakes Council was a mixture of welcomes and farewells, as the new citizens, their whānau and friends, and councillors gathered.

Thirty new citizens from 12 different nationalities were sworn in at the council chambers.

Mayor Steve Chadwick acknowledged the ceremony was councillor Karen Hunt's last, as she is not seeking re-election this year.

Karen Hunt was sworn in by mayor Steve Chadwick in 2016. Photo / File
Karen Hunt was sworn in by mayor Steve Chadwick in 2016. Photo / File

"You've been at nearly every citizenship ceremony, welcoming people," Chadwick said as she turned to her colleague.

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She then welcomed 30 children in the Malfroy School kapa haka group who sang four waiata.

Malfroy School's kapa haka group performs to the ceremony. Photo / Stephen Parker
Malfroy School's kapa haka group performs to the ceremony. Photo / Stephen Parker

"These groups are getting bigger and bigger and more diverse," she said.

Alex Robin was the first on the list to be a new citizen.

He came to New Zealand from India more than seven years ago with his wife Deepa.

Alex Robin, with mayor Steve Chadwick. Photo / Stephen Parker
Alex Robin, with mayor Steve Chadwick. Photo / Stephen Parker

They have lived in Rotorua ever since.

Deepa studied for two months at Waiariki Polytechnic to cross credit her training and is now a registered nurse at Rotorua Hospital.

Alex worked in banking and is now employed in Mobil's customer service department.

"My wife already is a citizen, so I am very excited to become one today too," he told the Rotorua Daily Post.

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The couple has had two children in New Zealand.

New Rotorua citizens

Rosemary Barlow. Photo / Stephen Parker
Rosemary Barlow. Photo / Stephen Parker

I had been living here for quite a few years so I decided to finally become a citizen.
Rosemary Barlow
Britain

Mary Brijwal. Photo / Stephen Parker
Mary Brijwal. Photo / Stephen Parker

I could not have made it to this day if it wasn't for the people of Rotorua. It has been a rollercoaster for our family. I have just had a one-month-old baby.
Mary Brijwal
Philippines

Mary Kusabs. Photo / Stephen Parker
Mary Kusabs. Photo / Stephen Parker

I came here 21 years ago and married a Kiwi. I have had a lovely career as a teacher and helping out at Vetora. Mum joined us 17 years ago.
Mary Kusabs
Britain

Marilyn Feetham. Photo / Stephen Parker
Marilyn Feetham. Photo / Stephen Parker

I emigrated 32 years ago. From the first day I arrived, I was always proud to say where I resided and now I can say I am a New Zealander. New Zealand has been very good to me. If you work hard you can achieve a lot and I have. I am eternally grateful.
Marilyn Feetham
Britain