Rau rangatira mā, e nga tamariki o tēnei kura, e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou, kia ora tātou katoa.
Distinguished guests and students of the school gathered here today, greetings to you all.
Thank you for inviting me to share this special day with staff and students of Dilworth, past and present.
Governors-General welcome opportunities to celebrate remarkable New Zealanders who have done great things for their fellow citizens.
James and Isabella Dilworth were clearly such a people. Their dream of providing quality education to boys has transformed the lives of thousands of New Zealand men.
That precious gift of education has in turn strengthened their families and communities.
Of course, on International Women's Day, I can’t help reflecting on how wonderful it would have been if the girls of New Zealand had had access to the same opportunities…but that’s another story for another day.
I am delighted to see that one of my predecessors in this role, Sir David Beattie, was honoured in the awards that bear his name.
Sir David’s career deserves a place in the Dilworth story. His education here was the springboard for an illustrious career in law, before he was appointed to the role of Governor-General.
It must have been very satisfying for him to know that the David Beattie Awards would enable other Dilworth old boys to further their careers through post-graduate study.
I think he would have been just as pleased – and maybe a bit envious – about these brand spanking new sports facilities for the junior school.
Sir David loved sport and he was involved in many sporting codes throughout his life.
And that enthusiasm probably started when he was running around the fields here at Dilworth.
For my part, you could say that education is in my genes – both of my parents were teachers.
I started my classroom experience earlier than most people – in fact it was as a baby, in the back of my mother’s classroom.
Sport is also in my genes, because my father refereed rugby and cricket and I went along with him to matches. I wasn’t particularly active in sports myself, but I still love going to watch test matches.
Dilworth’s fostering of the arts is also evident in successes like Fortissimo’s stunning performance at the Big Sing finals last year, and their second placing in the national competition.
Judging by the video of Fortissimo that I’ve seen, there were plenty of students who had what it takes to get the performing arts scholarship that will be awarded shortly.
A well-rounded education extends outside the classroom and year nine boys are very fortunate to spend a year at Mangatawhiri. It must be a fantastic learning experience.
Developing survival and leadership skills is incredibly valuable.
So too is developing a greater respect for our natural world and our precious flora and fauna.
At this time in our history, it’s more important than ever to acknowledge our impact on the environment and to take responsibility for conserving it.
To the current pupils of Dilworth – I wish you all the very best for the rest of your school days here.
Honour James and Isabella Dilworth’s memory by doing your family and teachers proud.
Work hard, play hard, and remember this whakatauki:
Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata, haere whakamua
Care for the land, care for people, go forward.