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First photograph... Gore District mayor Tracy Hicks officiated at a ceremony on Wednesday to induct (from left) Marius and Isabel Meyer (South Africa), Helen Sutherland (Canada), Tatjana Lukic (South Africa), Irene Given (Australia), Shiron Nicholson (Australia) and Emma Bassett (Britain) as New Zealand citizens. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

Seven new citizens were welcomed into the New Zealand fold in a ceremony at the Gore District Council chambers on Wednesday.

District mayor Tracy Hicks officiated at the ceremony.

Mr Hicks said nothing gave him more pleasure as mayor to induct new citizens.

“I know that both the giving and taking of citizenship is not something that is taken lightly and I know that the events of Friday two weeks ago just really brought home to me the importance of citizenship in this community and who we are as a nation and who we are as individuals and what our place in the world is,” Mr Hicks said.

He encouraged the new citizens to think about their role in the community.

“I would like to reflect on who you are, what you are doing here and what part you have to play in this community and this nation into the future because there will be a big part and there will be an opening for those people that want to be part of the communities they live in ..

“I would encourage you to take the opportunities as they come along .. and to run with them to bring the vitality and vibrancy that we’ve seen from so many nations who come together in the south Pacific .. to build what I believe in the best nation in the world. ”

After being sworn in, the new citizens watched a video presentation and then enjoyed afternoon tea of Kiwi favourites, including pavlova and lamingtons.