E te where e tunei tena koe
E te papa ki waho tena koe
E nga mate haere, haere, haere
E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga iwi o te motu, E te iwi o tawahi
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa
I would like to acknowledge:
Upoko Dr Te Maire Tau;
The Chair of the Runanga, Claire Williams; and the families of Ngai Tuahuriri and Tuahiwi Marae for hosting us this morning.
Mayor David Ayers, Mayoress Marilyn Ayers and Waimakariri District councillors Dan Gordon and Peter Allen
Local Member of Parliament Matt Doocey;
Christchurch City Councillors Jimmy Chen, Phil Clearwater, Anne Galloway, and Glenn Livingstone.
Dr Surinder and Mrs Archna Tandon from the Multicultural Council & Kevin Park from the Migrant Centre
And the Registrar-General of the Department of Internal Affairs, Jeff Montgomery.
Each year, we commence the year’s citizenship ceremonies with a Waitangi Day ceremony conducted on a marae.
Every three years I join Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu at Onuku Marae, one of the three places in the South Island where their forbears signed Te Tiriti O Waitangi.
I have also been honoured to conduct two citizenship ceremonies at Rapaki Marae.
Today is special. Absent the Peninsula, the city of Christchurch falls entirely within the rohe or area of Ngai Tūāhuriri, but their Marae falls within the Waimakariri District.
Therefore, I must thank not only Ngai Tūāhuriri, but also Mayor David Ayers for making today possible and for granting me permission to wear the city’s chains of office in this district.
We have also established the Te Hononga Council - Papatipu Rūnanga Committee, which formalises a mutually respectful way of working together with our five Papatipu Runanga. Dr Te Mairie Tau co-chairs this committee with me. So it is particularly fitting that we are here today.
For the Christchurch City component of this ceremony, we have 38 candidates from 17 countries becoming New Zealand citizens on Waitangi Day 2017. They are from Fiji, India, the Philippines, from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Samoa, Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Korea, Kenya, China, Slovenia, Romania, Malaysia, Nepal and the United States of America.
I will now ask candidates taking the Oath of Allegiance to stand.
With the Bible or your other Book of Faith in your hand, please repeat the Oath after me, saying YOUR name.
“I,………………. / Of Christchurch, New Zealand / swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance / to her majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand/, her heirs and successors according to law, / and that I will faithfully observe the laws of New Zealand / and fulfil my duties as a New Zealand citizen. / So help me God.” /
Followed by those taking the Affirmation.
I,…………….. / Of Christchurch, New Zealand / solemnly and
sincerely affirm / that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance /to her majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand, / her heirs and successors according to law, / and that I will
faithfully observe the laws of New Zealand / and fulfil my duties as a New Zealand citizen.” //
Thank you. Please be seated.
As your names are called, please come forward. I will present you with your certificate and then we will pose for the official photograph.
You will also then be presented with a native tree for you to plant, to symbolise putting down your roots in New Zealand, and a book published by the Department of Internal Affairs, called ‘Choice – Whiriwhiria – the New Zealand Citizenship Story’. Councillors will present these to you.
(Official presentation of certificates)
May I be the first to officially congratulate you as New Zealand citizens. I hope you will always remember this occasion.
The fact that you are gaining citizenship on Waitangi Day makes this even more significant, as it is today that we reflect on our bi-cultural nationhood that has enabled us to celebrate the diversity of our multi-cultural society that we have become.
I remember when I became Mayor, I was asked by the City Library to write what Waitangi Day meant for me so that they could share the message with the children who were learning about the Treaty of Waitangi, our founding document.
It caused me to reflect on my own experience. I said when I was a child we didn't learn anything about the Treaty at school. As an adult I became ashamed at how little I knew.
I said I was pleased that young people today learn about our shared history with Maori, good and bad, and not just the history of the European settlors.
The Treaty in modern times has served as the basis for resolving grievances that arose when its principles were not honoured.
Every settlement begins with a statement of the facts (gleaned from a consideration of all the evidence by the Waitangi Tribunal) and an apology for the wrong that has been done.
It is easy to explain to children the importance of people owning up and saying sorry when they have done wrong. In this case the wrong was done by the Crown, which lives on in the form of the Executive arm of government, which is why the apology is recorded in the Act of Parliament that confirms the settlement.
I have been reflecting on the importance of owning up and saying sorry. During my time in Parliament, the government acknowledged two non-Treaty historic wrongs and apologised for them.
The first was 15 years ago, when the Prime Minister apologised for the poll tax and other discriminatory practices that were applied only to the Chinese migrants, many of whom originally came to mine for gold.
The second was to apologise for New Zealand's early administration of Samoa covering the influenza epidemic of 1918, the shooting of unarmed Mau protesters by New Zealand police in 1929 and the banishing of matai (chiefs) from their homes.
The apology was delivered by the Prime Minister in Samoa on the occasion of their 40th Anniversary of independence.
In recent times we have reflected on the life of Nelson Mandela and his gift to his nation of truth and reconciliation.
It was a nation’s chance for restorative justice – the chance to speak the truth, acknowledge what had been done, own up and take responsibility for personal actions, whether directed or otherwise, and to express sorrow and regret – a genuine apology for the wrongs that have been committed against others.
Recording the history – laying down the truth - and apologising for wrongdoing is at the heart of our Treaty settlement process here in New Zealand.
It is a firm foundation for building enduring relationships and creating unity.
Every one of you has your own story about what has brought you here. It is the culmination of those stories that adds another chapter to our nation’s history.
Each one of us or our ancestors made a journey to make Aotearoa New Zealand home - by waka, by ship or by plane - it is that journey that we all have in common and that is one of the foundation stones of our nation.
Sharing the stories of our journeys that brought us here enables us to build understanding which also builds enduring relationships and creates unity.
That is why being here at Tuahiwi Marae on Waitangi day is so special.
Some of you have had to give up your citizenship of your place of birth in order to take up citizenship here.
Let me say that as new citizens none of you severs your ties with your home of birth; you bring your language, your culture and your history with you, and you nurture them in your children.
And we, the wider community, are enriched by your experience and all that you bring with you.
And you gain another home – a place to stand – as a citizen of New Zealand.
Congratulations to each of you. I wish you well on the next stage of your journey.
No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena ra tatou katoa.