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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:18am

Chasing new partners, education opportunities and escaping less than favourable living conditions were the main themes for the 24 new kiwis sworn in at the latest Citizenship Ceremony held at Selwyn District Council.

The new citizens hail from 14 different countries, continuing to increase the diversity of  Selwyn’s population.

The majority (21) of them are now based in Selwyn Central, but there was also a smattering from Springs (2) and Ellesmere (1).

The ceremony was a colourful event with numerous new citizens sporting traditional dress from their native countries.

Harpreet Singh of Southbridge says the event was a hugely enjoyable evening, for a man who spends his days looking after New Zealanders and helping them relax.

Mr Singh has lived the kiwi dream since arriving, although it wasn’t as straight forward as he had hoped.

“I turned up to study at Avonmore, but no one was at the airport to pick me up,” he says.

“Then things got really confusing when airport staff told me that it was daylight saving, and the clocks haCitizenshipd gone back an hour, we don’t have that in India.”

But since arriving in New Zealand, Mr Singh has made every post a winner.

“When I finished studying, I took up an opportunity with Dominos and saved up for my own business.”

At that point the affable Indian knew hospitality was the career for him, and he leased the Southbridge Tavern.

“I just love being a part of the community, it gives me a great chance to work with the people I live alongside.”

He has since gone on to lease two more pubs, one in Rakaia and the other in Christchurch, but for the time being Southbridge is home and he is happy there.

Citizenship ceremonies are held monthly at the Council Chambers in Rolleston.