Rau rangatira mā, e kui mā, e koro mā, e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou. Nau mai, haere mai rā ki Te Whare Kawana ki Tamaki Makaurau. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, warm greetings to you all, and welcome to Government House Auckland
It is a great pleasure for Janine and me to welcome you all to Government House this evening. I am delighted that we can celebrate the incredibly diverse and valuable work done by some of the 176 organisations that have Vice-Regal patronage.
Charities Services , which promotes public trust and confidence in the Charities sector, counts 26,946 organisations as charities, with an annual income of more than $16 billion. That’s a significant contribution of money, support and work across a wide spectrum of needs. There are 15 organisations represented here tonight that are representative of the high number of not-for-profit and charitable organisations active in New Zealand today.
Spending time with our patronages has been very important for Janine and me during our time in office. When we first arrived at Government House in 2011, we gave considerable thought to what was important to us and what was important to New Zealanders. We chose to support a variety of organisations that we felt were doing great things for New Zealand and New Zealanders. Your organisations provide valuable services and support for many people. Events like this one allow us to find out more about the work you are doing and to say thank you.
The mix of guests here this evening shows that our patronages in the charitable and not-for-profit sector cover just about every endeavour you can think of, and a few more. Here tonight we have representatives from choral singing, western opera and Cantonese opera, and groups that support sailing and use sailing to extend young people. We have people who look after the elderly, and our veterans, and who support those still serving in the military. We have representatives of organisations who undertake research who look for cures and seek to expand our knowledge. We have people who understand the world of heraldry and others who help people trace their ancestry. There are also those who seek to save and showcase our written and maritime heritage and those who celebrate the very best in agriculture.
The following patronages are represented – Gravida National Centre for growth and development, Neurological Foundation of NZ, NZ Society of Genealogists, the Heraldry Society of NZ, the Auckland Library Heritage Trust, Auckland Agricultural and Pastoral Association (oldest 1843), The Auckland Officers Club, the Ranfurly Trust, the Cantonese Opera Society of NZ, NZ Opera, Spirit of Adventure Trust, Voyager NZ Maritime Museum, Yachting NZ, NZSAS Association and Auckland Choral.
This gathering in many ways demonstrates how not-for-profit organisations operate in every sphere of New Zealand life, and underlines the huge contribution you and others like you, make to the social and cultural fabric of Aotearoa-New Zealand.
Tonight is also a chance for you to meet people from other organisations, and maybe share ideas. You will all have faced your own challenges and had your own successes. It’s amazing how adaptable good ideas can be. Who knows, you might leave here with the gem of an idea from someone from another organisation, to put into action on Monday!
Finally, I would like to thank you all, as representatives for your organisations for the work you do for your fellow New Zealanders. It can be tough working in the not-for-profit sector where we are reliant on the kindness of strangers. Organisations like yours are very reliant on the kindness of strangers for their continued existence - from members of the public who donate money, to the funding bodies that provide grants, to the volunteers who donate their time and energy; there’s a lot of asking for help that goes on. I thank you for your endeavour, your commitment, your contribution and your leadership in your communities.
Please enjoy your night and the hospitality of the house.
Kia ora huihui tātou katoa