Your Royal Highness, I have a few words of welcome to you and the Distinguished Guests at this dinner at Government House in Auckland this evening.
I greet everyone in the languages of the realm of New Zealand in English, Māori, Cook Island Māori, Niuean, Tokelauan and New Zealand Sign Language. Greetings, Kia Ora, Kia Orana, Fakalofa Lahu Atu, Taloha ni, and as it is evening (sign). My wife Susan in England for a fortnight with a grandchild and daughter and is not here for that reason.
I first of all thank you, Prince William, for your visit on behalf of all New Zealanders. You are well known and liked here-not least for a charming photograph taken some 30m from here when you were very young.
Your relatively short visit has as its linchpin, the opening of the new Supreme Court in Wellington tomorrow, but there are also opportunities for you to make connections with a wide range of New Zealanders, including a number you will meeting this evening-many of them young, whose backgrounds range from the Auckland isthmus mayors to people from academia, business, sport, the military, music and television and Parliament.
What we are to enjoy to eat this evening is a form of cuisine traditional to Māori-called hangi here, and in parts of the Pacific, umu. An earth oven, with a combination of steam, baking and a smoking creates a characteristic flavour which will provide a classic Pacific experience along with the music and some general ambience of the world's largest Polynesian city.
With those brief words of welcome, I would now invite Your Royal Highness to accompany me over to the hangi pit where I will invite you to lift the first basket of food.
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora, kia kaha, tēnā koutou katoa.