E ngā iwi o te marae nei o Whakatu, aku mihi nui, i to whakatau i ahau, ki te Tauihu o te Waka nei. Mihi mai, karanga mai.
Tēnā koutou katoa.
[To you the people of this marae Whakatu, may I extend my thanks for your welcome to the Nelson Region. I acknowledge your greetings]
It is a privilege for David and me to be welcomed onto Whakatu marae today. We appreciate your welcome and look forward to developing a relationship with the iwi of this region over the next five years.
Today is a first for us both – just three days ago I was sworn in as Governor-General, and this is the first marae we have visited in our new roles.
In my swearing-in speech, I noted that I would respect and honour the place of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as our founding document, and my intention to live up to the expectations New Zealanders have of their Governor-General.
In this role, I will visit every region of New Zealand. I will do this because it is important for the Governor-General to get a sense of what is happening across the country, to celebrate what is going well, to understand the challenges New Zealanders are facing and to see what is being done to address those challenges.
I can take that knowledge and experience with me, as I travel to other regions, as I discuss what I have learned with Government Ministers, and when I meet international leaders, both here and overseas.
Today is my first step on that journey. David and I pleased our first regional visit is to Nelson – this is a very special part of New Zealand, and we love coming here. I know there is so much to celebrate about this region, but also, I am sure that, looking forward, there is much you would like to do to make it even better.
We are looking forward to meeting people today and returning to Nelson next month for a more extended visit.
Kia ora huihui tātou katoa.