Rau rangatira mā, e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi mahana ki a koutou.
E ngā kaiwhakatau i ahau, he kupu whakamoemiti.
Otirā, tena tātau katoa.
Distinguished guests, warm greetings to you all
I acknowledge Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland;
Professor John Hosking, Dean of the Faculty of Science;
Professor John Fraser, Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences; and
Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull, Director of the Centre for Brain Research.
One of the most important responsibilities that I have as Governor General is to hold investiture ceremonies on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen of New Zealand.
They allow me to recognise, on behalf of the Queen and all New Zealanders, an extraordinary group of people. They also enable me to meet and thank these people for their exceptional service and contribution to our country. It is a great privilege and one I thoroughly enjoy.
One of the esteemed New Zealanders I met on such an occasion last year was Sir Richard, when I had the honour to bestow his knighthood for services to brain research.
I was fascinated by his enthusiasm and passion for the research he was leading and agreed to tour the brain research centre. There I was privileged to meet some of your dedicated research team.
Sir Richard’s enthusiasm was contagious and I really wanted to become involved with such an exciting and worthwhile enterprise. So I was delighted to accept the invitation to be Patron of the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland.
It was not a difficult decision to make.
As Governor-General, I am seeking opportunities to promote innovation and research, because perhaps more than ever before, we need to understand the challenges of our times, and find new and better approaches to address them.
I am particularly impressed by the Centre’s approach of bringing teams of scientists, clinicians, patients and their families together to collaborate in the research process.
It’s an excellent model of academic and clinical outreach into the community and it exemplifies Bertrand Russell’s maxim that a good world needs knowledge, kindliness and courage.
I imagine that for people who have brain diseases, and for their families, it must be empowering to be part of the development of new treatments and therapies, and to learn about what is possible as a result of these recent advances.
I am keen to learn more about your work, your achievements, and the projects you are undertaking, because during my term as Governor-General, I know I will have opportunities to be a roving ambassador for you. I will be delighted to do what I can to spread the word and hopefully to celebrate your successes.
Tonight, nine years after the Centre for Brain Research was established, we can celebrate the good work and foresight of everyone who has made it possible, including the researchers, philanthropists, ambassadors, patients and their families.
I wish everyone associated with its mission all the very best in the years ahead.
Kia ora, kia kaha, huihui tātou katoa