Kia ora koutou. Nga mihi māhana ki a koutou. Nau mai haere mai ra ki te Whare Kawana o Tāmaki Makaurau.
A very warm welcome to you all to Government House Auckland, and in particular to:
Frank Rands, President, Auckland Justices of the Peace Association
Sherryl Wilson, Immediate Past Present, Auckland Justices of the Peace Association; and
Ginny Radford, Vice President, Auckland Justices of the Peace Association
Tēnā koutou katoa.
I am very pleased to host your celebrations to mark 100 years of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association.
You will be aware that as part of my role as Governor-General, I have the privilege of appointing new Justices of the Peace.
I also have a very personal reason to join you in celebrating your centenary. My grandmother, who was a huge positive influence in my life, was a JP in South Auckland.
I remember being in attendance when she was sworn-in at the Ōtāhuhu District Court in 1977. It was such a proud day for the family.
Like you all, she was motivated by a strong sense of public service and I saw how much she was able to help people in the course of her duties.
A few weeks ago, we concluded the New Year Investiture ceremonies here in Auckland, where I presented insignia to recipients of Royal New Zealand Honours.
People are nominated for such awards by their colleagues and communities, in recognition of their accomplishments and service.
You will not be surprised to learn that many of those recipients are also JPs.
As the saying goes: If you want to get something done – ask a busy person.
Assisting others and serving the public good seems to be in your DNA.
The job description has evolved somewhat since Justices of the Peace were established in the 12th century. No doubt you are relieved that JPs are no longer called upon to keep the peace by catching and interrogating petty criminals, or expected to maintain highways and check weights and measures in shops.
The fact that the institution of JP has existed for so many centuries demonstrates how vital your work is to the functioning of our communities.
The last few years must have been particularly challenging. However, it must be reassuring to know that there are digital solutions that have enabled you to continue your work during the disruptions of the pandemic – because as we know, sooner or later, everyone needs the services of a JP.
I appreciate that for many of you, the JP responsibilities you shoulder are undertaken on top of a day job and family responsibilities.
Sincere thanks to you for what you do to contribute to the wellbeing and resilience of your communities.
Congratulations for reaching this impressive milestone, and I wish you all the very best in the years ahead.
Kia ora huihui tātou katoa.