E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga iwi o te motu e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou. Kia ora tātou katoa. Nau mai haere mai ki Te Whare Aotearoa ANZ House.
Good morning to you all.
I offer a special welcome to friends and family of our competitors this morning who are joining us for the formal opening of ANZ New Zealand House.
As you know all too well, family support can make all the difference when it comes to the success or failure of an athlete.
We thank you for being there for them, for doing the hard grind of early starts and ferrying from A to B – for being nurses, coaches, mentors and chief supporters.
Through your efforts and sacrifices, you have not only helped our athletes develop their potential – you have ensured that young New Zealanders have worthy role-models to look up to. So that they can aspire to be the best that they can be, in sport or other fields of endeavour.
I hope you will treat ANZ New Zealand House as your home-away-from-home over the next 10 days.
This is going to be the place to be, particularly late afternoon when our medallists will be here to join in the celebrations of our team’s efforts. David and I plan to join you whenever we can during the next few days.
We are both very keen followers of New Zealand sport and I was delighted to become Patron of the New Zealand Olympic Committee in 2016.
It was a special privilege to be in the stadium last evening for the magical opening ceremony. I’m sure those of you who weren’t able to be there in person, watched on the big screens. The kaleidoscopic lighting, the music and the breathtaking performances from seemingly thousands of performers, created a spectacular and memorable experience.
But the undoubted highlight for us was the entrance of the Kiwi team. We were very proud to see Sophie carrying the flag and to cheer the team in to the stadium. The deafening cheers and applause that they received from the entire crowd suggested that most of the 44,000 kiwis who live on the Gold Coast had come to support our team too.
We also had warm cheers for the teams of our closest Pacific Island cousins – Niue, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.
The ceremony reminded us all of the enduring bonds between Commonwealth members and the pride we share in the achievements of our athletes.
ANZ New Zealand House is sure to be a focus for the expression of that pride, where you can gather to celebrate, encourage and console our team, and I am delighted to now formally declare it open.
Kia ora huihui tātou katoa