(Hello, It’s my pleasure to be here with you this afternoon)
It’s my pleasure to be here with you this afternoon to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Consul-General Wang, I remember meeting you for the first time exactly a year ago at this event. Indeed it is hard to believe that a year has already passed. I want to thank you and your team for the fantastic ongoing work you do both for the benefit of your country and for our city.
The past year has been another big one for the relationship between China and Christchurch. Major city-wide celebrations were held, like the Rewi Alley Anniversary commemorations and the Christchurch Lantern Festival.
Next year the Lantern Festival will be expanded to embrace the whole of the South Island, a fitting way to welcome the China NZ Year of Tourism and the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the PRC. It will be a big year.
Christchurch Airport had another record summer of visitors with direct flights out of Guangzhou and Hong Kong. This has been an outstanding achievement and it has taken great partnerships forged between our airports and the airlines to make routes the success they have become.
Everybody in this room today contributes to the relationship between Christchurch City and Christchurch as the international gateway to Canterbury and the South Island and China, and today is a celebration of those special relationships. We can be very proud of what we have achieved, and look to the future with optimism.
Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words.
And thank you again to Consul General Wang and all the members of the consulate staff who serve us all so well.