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Chch to welcome 50 new Tampa citizens on Tuesday

Christchurch to welcome 50 new Tampa citizens on Tuesday

Next week Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore will confer citizenship on about 50 people, all connected to the group of Afghani asylum seekers rescued from drowning in 2001 by the crew of Norwegian ship Tampa.

Among those who will become New Zealand citizens at Tuesday afternoon's ceremony are several of the so-called Tampa boys - minors who embarked on the rickety Indonesian boat without parents or other relatives. The vessel was making for Australia before foundering off Christmas Island.

New Zealand took 150 of the Tampa asylum seekers as refugees after Australia refused entry to the ship. Similar citizenship ceremonies have been held this month in other New Zealand centres.

Christchurch City Council organises and hosts up to eight citizenship ceremonies a year, for new kiwis living in the greater Christchurch metropolitan area. Mr Moore presides over each of these Town Hall occasions and confers citizenship on up to 200 people at each of the half-day events.

? Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend on Tuesday, at 2pm in the Town Hall conference room, but the CCC would appreciate it if, in any reports before Tuesday, you do not mention the time or place as the room cannot handle a larger crowd than what is expected with the new citizens, their supporters and invited guests.


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