If you have been approved for citizenship, you may need to attend a citizenship ceremony.
Due to limits on mass gatherings, citizenship ceremonies will not be held under Alert Level 3 or 4.
If your ceremony is cancelled, the Citizenship Office will instead send your citizenship certificate by courier post. We will contact you directly if this situation applies to you.
People who do not have to go to a ceremony
You do not have to go to a ceremony if you are:
- aged 13 and under
- already a citizen by descent
- intellectually disabled and cannot understand the oath or affirmation.
You can still choose to attend a ceremony, if you want to.
Private ceremonies are approved by the Minister of Internal Affairs only in certain situations.
If you believe you need to have a private ceremony, you must send a request by email or by post.
In your request:
- tell us why you want a private ceremony
- include any evidence to support your reasons.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post:Department of Internal Affairs
Citizenship Ceremonies Team
PO Box 10680
Before your ceremony
Your ceremony is held by your local council. After your New Zealand citizenship is approved, your ceremony will usually take place within 3 to 5 months.
You get an invitation about 4 weeks before your ceremony.
The invitation tells you:
- the date, time and place of the ceremony
- how many guests you can bring
- the statement you will read out at the ceremony.
You must attend a ceremony within 1 year of the date your application for New Zealand citizenship was approved.
If you change your address, plan to travel, or are unable to attend the ceremony
Contact the citizenship ceremonies team if you:
- change your address before you get your invitation
- plan to travel before your ceremony takes place, or
- are unable to attend the ceremony you have been invited to.
When you contact the Citizenship Ceremonies Team, include or have ready your:
- full name
- date of birth, and
- New Zealand citizenship reference number.
Freephone: 0800 22 51 51
During the ceremony
The ceremony can take a couple of hours. There might be speeches or performances and the national anthem is usually played.
You will make an oath or affirmation statement to say you are loyal to New Zealand. You are told what to say on the day.
You choose which statement you want to make in your application:
- an oath of allegiance — which is a religious statement, or
- an affirmation of allegiance.
You can make your oath or affirmation in English or te reo Māori.
Oath of allegiance
Oath in English
“I [say your name] swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand, her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of New Zealand and fulfil my duties as a New Zealand citizen. So help me God.”
Oath in te reo Māori
“Ko ahau, ko [say your name] e kī taurangi ana ka pirihonga ahau, ka piripono ki Te Ariki Tapairu a Kuini Irihāpeti te Tuarua te Kuini o Aotearoa, me ōna uri ake me ōna whakakapi e ai ki te ture ā, ka aro pirihonga ahau ki ngā ture o Aotearoa me te whakatutuki i āku mahi hei kirirarau o Aotearoa. Nō reira e te Atua, āwhinatia mai ahau. ”
Affirmation of allegiance
Affirmation in English
“I [say your name] affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand, her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of New Zealand and fulfil my duties as a New Zealand citizen.”
Affirmation in te reo Māori
“Ko ahau, ko [say your name] tēnei e whakaū pono ana ka pirihonga ahau, ka piripono ki Te Ariki Tapairu a Kuini Irihāpeti te Tuarua, te Kuini o Aotearoa, me ōna uri ake me ōna whakakapi e ai ki te ture ā, ka aro pirihonga ahau ki ngā ture o Aotearoa me te whakatutuki i āku mahi hei kirirarau o Aotearoa.”
Example of a citizenship ceremony
Watch an example of an NZ citizenship ceremony
You will receive your certificate at the ceremony.
Children aged 13 and under will receive their certificate without having to attend a citizenship ceremony.
If you are a family applying for citizenship together, you can all attend the ceremony and get your citizenship certificates at the same time.
If your ceremony is cancelled due to COVID-19, you will instead receive your citizenship certificate by courier post.
After you have attended your ceremony and received your citizenship certificate, you can apply for a New Zealand passport, if you want one.
This is a separate process.