|Not citizens yet...|
|new citizens with the Governor General and his wife|
|From the Waka at Waitangi in January|
|Me after Aidan dodged out of the camera|
|The speech, far in the distance|
While all new citizens swear the oath or affirmation individually, some were joined by other members of their family; husbands, wives, partners and children who also became citizens at the same time. This, in my view, is in the spirit of those who signed the Treaty of Waitangi and everyone who has settled before and since that time.
Whether you or your ancestors came to New Zealand by waka a thousand years ago, by a sailing ship 200 years ago, by steamer 100 years ago, or by aeroplane 10 years ago, they came seeking a land of opportunity where they and their families could live in peace.
As the last habitable place on the planet to be discovered by humanity, New Zealand is a land of immigrants. As New Zealand historian, the late Dr Michael King, once said: “In a country inhabited for a mere one thousand years, everybody is an immigrant or a descendent of an immigrant.”
And on that note, as we celebrate Waitangi Day—our national day—we celebrate all of the things that are right with our country, and welcome into the fold our newest New Zealand citizens. Also, we recall the contribution of all those New Zealanders, who have made our country good and great. Kia ora, kia kaha, kia manawanui, huihui tātou katoa.