An Australian-born woman has tonight recited her New Zealand citizenship oath of allegiance in te reo Māori.
Natalie Evans’ te reo Māori request inspired change tonight when the Auckland Council agreed to let recite her ‘oath’ in Māori at the citizenship ceremony in the Auckland Town Hall.
Evans spoke to Kawekōrero Reporters via Skype from the town hall ahead of her the ceremony.
“It is an official language of New Zealand,” said Evans.
“For me, it just felt like a natural thing to do.”
Evans and her whanau live on Auckland’s Waiheke Island and she is learning te reo Māori alongside her partner Pete. She said her five-year-old daughter Evie recently started school and enjoys learning kapa haka.
“There’s lots of waiata often sung in our house,” said Evans.
“So we learn a bit of te reo at home. And I just thought what a wonderful opportunity to share the language. And celebrate the language.”
Evans said she is growing an understanding and love for Māori culture through learning the language.
“I think everybody, given the opportunity, should take it and learn more. And I hope that I can learn more from now on.”
Evans will officially become a New Zealand citizen alongside 510 others at tonight’s ceremony.