Rau rangatira mā, e kui mā, e koro mā, e huihui nei,
tēnei aku mihi nui ki a koutou.
Nau mai hoki mai ki Te Whare Kawana o Tamaki Makaurau
Kia ora tātou katoa
After several attempts thwarted by COVID lockdowns, I’m delighted finally to be able to welcome you all to Government House to present four Child Cancer Foundation Life Membership awards.
In my role as Governor-General, I’m privileged to meet many New Zealanders who contribute to the wellbeing of others in their communities.
Many do so as volunteers.
Countless community groups and charities would collapse if these stand-out people weren’t there, devoting their own time, knowledge and resources to worthy causes.
Their selflessness and willingness to think beyond themselves and their own bubble is truly admirable and inspires other people to follow their example.
They bring their skills and acumen from their day-jobs as well as a truly astonishing level of manaakitanga to their roles. The mana of these organisations can be attributed to the generosity, compassion and commitment of their greatest supporters. We are recognising four of them today.
The citations for Jim Boult, Stuart Hutchinson and Alison and Terry O’Connor are evidence of why the Child Cancer Foundation is held in such high regard.
In a perfect world, there would be no need for this occasion. We all dream of the day when no-one will receive a cancer diagnosis.
Unfortunately, Aotearoa has the unenviable distinction of having the second-highest reported cancer incidence rate per capita.
Most of us have our own experiences of how our lives or the lives of whanau, friends, or colleagues have been blighted by cancer of some form or another.
The stress and anguish is compounded when it is a child who is facing the battle.
The Child Cancer Foundation helps them and their families through the most stressful of times. I acknowledge the many volunteers, medical professionals and staff who enable the Child Cancer Foundation to offer such a strong support base to families.
Jim, Stuart, Alison and Terry – you have made exceptional contributions to the lives of young cancer sufferers and you have truly earned the respect and gratitude of their families through your leadership, wisdom, dedication and sensible advice.
I congratulate you on the award of these life memberships. The work you have done and continue to do makes a real difference and is deeply appreciated by us all.
There is a whakatauki that reminds us that a person’s worth is best measured by the good that they do for their family, friends and wider community:
He taonga rongonui te aroha ki te tangata
Goodwill towards others is a precious treasure
Thank you for the gifts you have given us.
You have helped to make Aotearoa New Zealand a better place to live.
Kia ora, kia kaha, huihui tātou katoa.