INDEPENDENT NEWS

Government to Contribute to Cost of Citizenship

Published: Fri 31 Mar 2000 05:11 PM
Government to Contribute to Cost of Citizenship Ceremonies?
The Government is to be asked to share in the cost of citizenship ceremonies currently paid for by Auckland City.
The Council’s City Advocacy Committee has decided to ask the Government to pay a share of the $120,000 cost of the 10 ceremonies held each year.
Committee chairperson, Richard Northey, says the citizenship ceremonies are extremely important to the Council as it recognises they are for Auckland’s new citizens, and it is not trying to offload responsibility for them.
He said: “As the granting of citizenship is a central government responsibility, they should be prepared to contribute towards the cost. Otherwise, Auckland City, which has substantially more new citizens than any other local authority, carries an unfair burden.”
The Council, in conjunction with the Department of Internal Affairs, arranges and hosts the ceremonies at the Auckland Town Hall. Each ceremony involves 500 candidates and this high number is expected to continue for at least the next 12-18 months.
For the first time, Council will next month hold three ceremonies in one day. Usually, they are held only in the evening, but on Friday April 14, there will be ceremonies at 9.30am, 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
Council is seeking assurances from the Internal Affairs Department that citizenship applicants will, as far as practicable, be able to attend at the time of the day that best suits them and their families.
ENDS

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