E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga iwi o te motu e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou. Kia ora tātou katoa.
I specifically acknowledge the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern; Hon Carmel Sepuloni and Hon Peeni Henare; Louisa Wall, MP; Paula Tesoriero; Shelly McMeeken; and Holly Robinson.
As Patron of the Halberg Disability Foundation, I am delighted to join everyone at the opening of the 2018 Halberg Games.
In April, I was fortunate to attend the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, where I saw our Paralympians in competition.
It’s tantalising to think that some of the young athletes competing here today could well end up competing in a future Paralympic, Commonwealth or Olympic Games.
We can thank Sir Murray Halberg for breaking through a barrier for disabled athletes in the 1960s.
He won more than gold medals at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
He won the admiration of the world for overcoming disability and becoming the top athlete in his discipline.
We admired Sir Murray even more when he used his fame to inspire disabled people to follow his example.
To the young athletes here today – congratulations for taking on the challenge set by Sir Murray, and for finding out just what you are capable of achieving.
For some of you, taking part is what matters. For others, it’s will be about achieving personal bests. And then there will be some of you who are here to win.
Your participation and your enthusiasm is the best legacy Sir Murray could ask for.
I wish everyone associated with the Halberg Games – including proud parents, whanau and coaches – all the best over the three days of competition.
It is now my pleasure and privilege to declare the 2018 Games officially open.
Kia ora, kia kaha, kia manawanui, huihui tātou katoa