Special ceremony to be held for new citizens

Invercargill City Council is preparing to hold a special citizenship event for those that missed out on celebrating in the Council Chambers due to Covid. 

The event is part of Te Wiki o Manaaki Welcoming Week, which runs from 9-18 September. The week is an annual celebration of the inclusivity and diversity of Invercargill, and of cities around the world, who make communities welcome to all of those who call them home. 

Council Manager Strategy and Policy Rhiannon Suter said people who had become residents in the past year and who had chosen to become part of the Waihōpai Invercargill community had been invited to take part in a special Citizenship Plant Day in September. 

“We’ve invited people to come along with their families and plant a native tree and thereby truly lay down some roots in our community,” Suter said.  

“We know how important our Citizenship Ceremonies are, and we have all missed having them, so we wanted to do something special.” 

Te Wiki o Manaaki Welcoming Week will also be celebrated in Waihōpai Invercargill this month with another event that showcases the diversity and welcoming spirit of Waihōpai Invercargill. 

A Human Library at the Invercargill Public Library, on Sunday, September 11 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm, will be the opportunity to listen to stories of our newcomers and to gain new perspectives from their insights, she said. 

“The theme for Welcoming Week 2022 is Where We Belong, so we wanted to give our community the chance to listen to stories that highlight just what belonging to a community means,” she said. 

“For example, people can chat to Invercargill resident Victoria, who came to New Zealand as a student but who has now been granted refugee status as it would not be safe for her to return to her native Ukraine. 

“This week is a chance to show Whanaunatanga – the importance of relationships, and Manaakitanga – the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others. Invercargill is already famous for its Southern Hospitality and it’s right that we celebrate the extension of our welcoming spirits in this way,” Suter said. 

For more information on these events visit letstalk.icc.govt.nz