Kia ora koutou. Greetings to you all. I want to specifically acknowledge: Dr Robin Youngson, Dr Glenn Twentyman, Gwyneth Evans, Linda Baker; and President of the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths, Leila Joffe; and the NZCH Executive Members.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I’m really delighted to host this New Zealand Council of Homoeopaths’ conference and AGM at Government House.
Government House Auckland, the house and its amazing grounds, was gifted to the Queen by Sir Frank and Lady Mappin in the 1960s. The Mappins were renowned as gardeners, and they were devoted to creating a beautiful natural haven here for birds and plants.
Given the Royal Family’s interest in homeopathy, I am sure they would be pleased to know that today this Vice-Regal residence is hosting people who promote and celebrate a holistic and natural approach to health and wellbeing.
The incredible generosity of the Mappins has meant that a broad
range of New Zealanders have access to this very special environment.
The House is used for a variety of events, including State welcomes, concerts, dinners, and investitures.
In the middle of the year we celebrated Matariki and a citizenship ceremony here. We held a children’s picnic for Barnados and next week we are hosting a reception for the Foundation for Youth Development Excellence Awards.
We meet extraordinary New Zealanders doing extraordinary things: people who are making a real difference, as innovators, volunteers, and entrepreneurs.
It is an honour to preside at occasions where our achievers can be recognised for their contributions, nationally and internationally. It is encouraging that many of them are young people who are serving their communities and their country in a myriad of ways.
When Jerry and I represent New Zealand overseas, we are proud to promote what our country stands for. New Zealand is a great place to visit, is a great place to do business and is a world-class centre of education and innovation.
During our time at Government House, we have welcomed the opportunity to learn more about our beautiful country. Having over 170 patronages has brought us into contact with people who can tell us about their organisations and the good work they are doing.
Jerry and I have a strong interest in health and wellbeing, and this is reflected in some of the organisations we have chosen for patronage.
For example, a few weeks ago, I hosted New Zealand Bowen Therapy, at Government House in Wellington. As a registered Bowtech practitioner, I was pleased to be able to support what they do.
In January 2015, I will be visiting the Crohn’s Colitis New Zealand Children’s/Teen Camp in Hunua.
The reason we are here today is our combined interest in promoting homeopathy. If the Council is to promote homeopathy as “everybody’s choice”, then events like this need support.
Education and professionalism are at the core of promoting homeopathy. The public expects and deserves competent practitioners who meet consistent professional standards. Professional development helps practitioners keep up to date and meet those expectations. I hope today’s conference will be a valuable opportunity to increase knowledge, share experiences and network with fellow practitioners.
I am pleased to see Dr David St George from the Ministry of Health here today. His presence indicates increasing interest, at a policy level, in complementary and alternative medicine. David’s previous association with education in herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine is a useful background, and will be of great interest to many people attending this conference.
I know from personal experience how gratifying it is to help people achieve better health outcomes. You work in a noble vocation – because as Thomas Carlyle said: “He who has health has hope, and he who has hope, has everything”.
It’s great to have the promotion of good health on my agenda today. As well as opening the conference, I look forward to this opportunity to share the rest of the day with you.
So it gives me great pleasure to now formally open the 2014 New Zealand Council of Homeopaths Conference. Welcome again, and please enjoy the hospitality of Government House.