Rau rangatira mā, e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou. Kia ora tātou katoa. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, warm greetings to you all.
David and I are just delighted to be here tonight for the Wallace Art Awards. The arts are very important to us both, and during my term of office, we are showcasing New Zealand arts and culture whenever we can.
Sir James has supported us wonderfully in that mission – specifically with the loans of from the Wallace Arts Trust collection to Government House Auckland – and we are deeply grateful for the opportunity this gives for guests to see these New Zealand artworks.
And again, for our garden reception on Waitangi Day this year, the lawn at Government House was transformed with temporary installation of sculpture from the collection.
I doubt that there is anyone who can match Sir James’s record for arts philanthropy in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Countless artists can thank him for his support and for boosting their careers by giving their works valuable exposure and promotion.
Sir James has brought art to thousands of New Zealanders through loans from the Trust’s collection, and exhibitions here at Pah Homestead.
We have been fortunate to have such a staunch public advocate for arts philanthropy, with such a strong commitment to arts and culture in our communities.
Thank you, Sir James for your extraordinary contribution and for encouraging other people to support the arts as you have done.
Tonight, five New Zealand artists have been given the opportunity of a lifetime, courtesy of the Wallace Arts Awards.
I know everyone is keen to learn who they are, so I won’t hold up things any longer.
Kia ora huihui tātou katoa