Citizenship

Find out how you go about becoming a New Zealand citizen if you have moved here from overseas. 

Becoming a New Zealand citizen

The Department of Internal Affairs handles all the aspects and paperwork for each person or family group that wants to gain New Zealand citizenship. The Department of Internal Affairs website lists the requirements for gaining New Zealand NZ-Mapcitizenship, and has information about applying, including application forms. Anybody with queries about the process can contact the Citizenship Contact Centre on freephone 0800 22 51 51.

People who are eligible for citizenship are required to attend a public ceremony, where they will take the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, and receive their citizenship certificate.

Citizenship ceremonies

The Waimakariri District Council hosts the official citizenship ceremony, where new citizens are 'sworn in'.

When and where do citizenship ceremonies take place?

Citizenship ceremonies are held approximately every two months in the Council Chambers at the Rangiora Service Centre.

The Department of Internal Affairs lets the Council know the names of those taking part in each ceremony. The Council will then send out invitations to the candidates to attend a citizenship ceremony, and they are also invited to bring along family and friends to mark the occasion. A copy of the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance will be sent with the invitation.

What happens at the ceremony?

At the ceremony each candidate aged 16 years or over will read their Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance to His Worship the Mayor, and will then receive their citizenship certificate. Children under 16 don't need to read an Oath or Affirmation - they are just presented with their certificate. There is no official photographer present, but candidates and their guests are welcome to take photographs at any stage during the ceremony.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the New Zealand national anthem will be sung, followed by afternoon tea. Each family group gaining citizenship will be given a native tree, and a 'welcome pack' of information about the Waimakariri District. Passport application forms and election enrolment forms are also available at the ceremony.