From being held up at gunpoint three times in six months in their home country to wanting better education for their children, each of the newly minted New Zealanders had a considered reason to become a citizen.

Mr Cadogan read an introduction written by each of them before they took their oath of affirmation.

Kesaia Tavu, who came to Central Otago from Fiji, summed up the event in her introduction, saying ‘‘the profound and simple fact about citizenship [is that] no matter where we come from, or what our differences are, whether they are age, religion or race, to become a citizen of New Zealand is to belong.’’

Children from the Alexandra Primary School Sing Squad performed the national anthem before a morning tea of cheese rolls and pikelets was served.