Almost 70 people from 23 countries became New Zealand citizens in Dunedin last week.
Monika Gamble, of Kenmure, wore colourful traditional Polish clothing when she swore allegiance to the Queen before Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull during a citizenship ceremony on Wednesday last week.
At the ceremony in the Dunedin Centre were her husband Chris Gamble, stepson Sean Gamble and daughter Nina (3), who wore matching traditional Polish clothing.
Mrs Gamble has lived in Dunedin for 11 years and said she became a citizen because it had been on her “to-do list for a long time”.
“The time was right. I’ve started a family and Dunedin has truly become my home.”
She met her husband when holidaying in New Zealand and had always felt “welcome and accepted” in Dunedin.
The thing she missed most about Poland, other than family and friends, was having a “white Christmas”.
The early childhood teacher said an aspect of Dunedin she enjoyed was “its sense of community and openness – the variety of people and cultures”.
The New Zealand food she loved the most was kumara.
“I couldn’t imagine living without kumara.”
Other people becoming New Zealand citizens in the ceremony were from the United States, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, the United Kingdom, Cameroon, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Fiji, the Philippines, Greece, India, Korea, Nepal, Samoa, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga and Ukraine.