Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Citizenship Ceremony for Tampa refugees in Chch.

Speech at the Citizenship Ceremony for Tampa refugees in Christchurch

Today we welcome our new citizens to the New Zealand family. They all share one thing in common - they arrived in New Zealand at the same time - back in 2001 after arriving in this part of the world on the Tampa boat.

To welcome you today as fully-fledged kiwis is a hugely important step on your journey. This sort of ceremony marks an important partnership between our new Kiwi citizens - in this case, from the Tampa - and existing New Zealanders.

It is a unique relationship recognising the contribution and perspective you bring as new citizens, and acknowledging your recognition and acceptance of the values of New Zealand. It is also about sharing and celebrating our differences while recognising the common bond we have as New Zealanders.

Why is citizenship important?

It is heartening to see so many of the Tampa people and their families here today making the commitment to New Zealand. In taking the oath of allegiance to New Zealand you are signalling a commitment to your new country while no doubt keeping your links to your former home country and culture.

In entering the kiwi fold today you have completed a journey that began when you arrived here three and a half years ago as refugees. Since then you have worked towards achieving your New Zealand citizenship by fulfilling the requirements of being a New Zealand citizen.

Each one of you has shown a commitment to achieving citizenship. All of you, for example, have demonstrated a competency in understanding and speaking the English language and you have all been New Zealand residents since your arrival.

You are demonstrating a commitment to the responsibilities and privileges of New Zealand citizenship. By that I mean you are agreeing to abide by the laws of New Zealand and fulfil your duties and obligations as a New Zealand citizen.

One of those obligations is respecting the diversity of New Zealanders. In becoming a citizen you are accepting formal membership of the New Zealand community. It is a common bond and, as I referred to in my opening remarks, is a unique relationship involving reciprocal rights uniting all New Zealanders while respecting their diversity.

Today you can hold your heads up high as you become members of the New Zealand community. Your arrival into the Kiwi family will contribute to the richness and diversity of our country. I am sure you will all become valued New Zealand citizens and I trust you all in return will value the uniqueness and opportunities that New Zealand offers you.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages