All 60 people in the room had one thing in common: at 6 pm none of them were New Zealanders; by 7 pm all of them were. One of those new Kiwis was me, and I have the certificate to prove it.
In 1963 our family emigrated to New Zealand, but it was only earlier this year that I finally felt compelled to take on New Zealand citizenship. I was watching Peter Jackson and his team accept all their Oscars. Seeing their modest demeanour I thought: “I’m proud to be a Kiwi”. The drawback to that though, was that in fact I wasn’t a Kiwi.
So, while I’m unmoved by and uninterested in cricket, rugby, netball and rich white boys in boats competing for an Americas Cup, I find a national pride was awakened by a somewhat scruffy crew of creative types quietly accepting awards.
I’ve affirmed my allegiance, shaken hands with the Deputy Mayor and sung the National Anthem; now I’m a Kiwi.