Commitment to the future
Adopting New Zealand citizenship is a commitment to the future, not a rejection of the past, according to Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman.
Mr Sowman granted New Zealand citizenship to 21 Marlborough residents during a ceremony at the Marlborough District Council in Blenheim on Friday.
Friends and family gathered to support 12 new citizens from Britain, couples from Peru and the Czech Republic, two individuals from the United States and one each from Switzerland, South Africa and the Netherlands.
A message from Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain said that becoming New Zealanders did not diminish the importance of people's homeland. "I hope you share your culture with other New Zealanders," he said.
Among the new New Zealanders were Marco Fernandez-Delgado and his wife, Claudia Puertas- Reynoso, of Peru. They were accompanied by their 1-week-old baby, Cristina, 2-year-old son Alejandro and Mrs Puertas-Reynoso's parents.
Mr Fernandez-Delgado met his wife 20 years ago then followed her to France where she studied winemaking and later to Auckland, where she took up a winemaker's position during the 2005 vintage.
The couple married, spent six years in Auckland then last year moved to Marlborough where Mrs Puertas-Reynoso is an assistant winemaker at Constellation NZ.
"We love this country where our children were born," Mr Fernandez-Delgado said.
"The weather in Marlborough is good, similar to Arequipa where we come from."
They had not met any other Peruvians in Marlborough but it was always nice to hear people from countries including Chile speaking Spanish in the street, Mr Fernandez-Delgado said.
The couple swore allegiance to the Queen and promised to obey the laws of New Zealand. Others to gain citizenship were Hazel Shapcott, Shirley Culley, Gillian and Mark Dalton, Peter Deacon, Virginia Denmeade, Dominic Harvey, Peter Makin, Annette Marchant, Bruce Martin, Gillian Wallace and Adam Bogg of Britain, Lukas and Jana Mojzisek of the Czech Republic, Maria Cooper of the Netherlands, Scott Wight and Fernanda Castillo of the United States, Corinne Sillig-McBride of Switzerland and Suzanne Stander of South Africa.
- The Marlborough Express