So, 7 days ago I became a New Zealand citizen and lots of people have said to me since, ‘You’re a Kiwi now!’ Funny thing is, I’m not sure what that means yet as I feel very English. Well I did spend 40 years there so I guess that’s not surprising! I’m always hearing ‘How very English!’ and ‘You’re SO English!’ and comments like that from Kiwi friends and colleagues, and am still figuring out if that’s a compliment or if it’s more of a ‘I can’t believe you’re such a stereoptype’ kind of comment. I wish I could see myself from their point of view and then I think I’d probably get it.
My other half and I had talked about citizenship on and off for the last 3 years, 5 years after we became permanent residents, as the law states that you can apply to become a citizen 5 years after gaining permanent residence. Something kicked in on October 29th 2013, 5 years to the day we landed in Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand, when we realised we could apply. The good thing is you can have dual citizenship and not give up your British passport to gain a New Zealand one.
Who knew that the first person to recite their affirmation at the citizenship ceremony would literally cry as she read her affirmation to Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth of New Zealand? (It wasn’t me but I welled up a bit as I heard her voice wobble and a sniffle). Queen Elizabeth of New Zealand – I’d never thought of her like that before. She’s the Queen of England, isn’t she? Afternoon tea was served but cucumber sandwiches were noticably absent, disappointingly! We did have tea though but there was a rather ugly off-white saucer to plonk your teabag on when you’d finished dunking. No teapot – oh no! I did appreciate the little sandwiches and sweet slices though – all very cute and bitsize and deliciously thoughtful.