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 Hon Poto Williams, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector;
Her Excellency Ms Laura Clark, High Commissioner for the United Kingdom;
Members of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Board.
And of course, all the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellows here today.
During my term as Governor-General I am promoting sustainability and innovation, so it’s wonderful to host people who have been engaged in investigating better practice or expanding knowledge and expertise in their field of endeavour.
I am particularly looking forward to hearing Phil Squire speak about his study of urban climate-change and sustainability programmes in the UK and Germany.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has been a very apt way to acknowledge the legacy of a great man – and it also reflects the strong historical ties between the United Kingdom and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Sir Winston’s fortitude as a wartime political leader earned him a special place in our collective memory, but it’s worth noting that his career also included stints as a soldier, journalist, First Lord of the Admiralty, and historian.
In addition, he was an enthusiastic landscape painter and amateur brick-layer.
Given his extraordinary command of the English language, it was not surprising that he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.
His wide interests and talents no doubt influenced his wish that the Trust set up in his name should support projects that have practical applications.
The projects undertaken by the Fellows here today all have clear benefits for the social, economic and cultural fabric of our communities – in areas as diverse as art and design, health, prisoner rehabilitation, work with refugees and the homeless, farm safety and animal welfare, climate change and water management, or museum conservation.
I’m sure your international contacts also welcomed the opportunity to meet you and hear about how we in New Zealand are addressing issues of mutual interest.
Since the 1960s, nearly 900 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellows have helped fostering greater understanding – both in terms of developing particular areas of expertise – and as ambassadors for their disciplines and their country.
As you continue this journey, you can be inspired by the example set by Sir Winston himself, who experienced his fair share of setbacks before achieving success.
He is recorded as saying:
Success is never found. Failure is never fatal. Courage is the only thing.
Kia ora huihui tātou katoa