Whanganui has 18 new citizens after a welcoming ceremony at the Whanganui District Council chambers on June 9.

The citizens, representing eight different nationalities, were welcomed by Deputy Mayor Hamish McDouall and council chief executive Kym Fell.

The ceremony wasn't without drama as one of the new citizens, a surgeon, raced in from the operating theatre to take part in the proceedings.

Mr McDouall said he was delighted to meet the new citizens, who "each will add a different dimension to our district".


"Recently the South African-born Precious McKenzie, who represented New Zealand in weightlifting, has joked that he is more Kiwi than people born here, because he chose New Zealand while we are here by accident of birth."

Mr McDouall said it was a great honour to welcome so many people from around the world to Whanganui.

The new citizens and their nationalities are: Genevieve Allan (South African), Mel Devon Allan (South African), Daelyn Mervyn Clements (South African), Ethan Caiden Clements (South African), Kaylee Jean Allan (South African), Luciano Alves De Araujo (Brazilian), Jaqueline De Andrade Araujo (Brazilian), Emily De Andrade Araujo (Brazilian), Arampath Mudiyanselage Lakshman Wipulasiri Bandara (British Sri Lankan), Julie Margaret Cowan (British), Debra Ellen Fleming (British), Rowan Goodfellow (British), Teu Lavoa (Samoan), Nishant Rajendran Nair (Indian), Nicholas John Palazzo (American), Michael Tafilipepe (Samoan), Christine Anne Roebuck (British) and Roberto Alfredo Sthory Sosa (Venezuelan).