May I thank Mr Jin the Christchurch Chinese Consul-General for being here today and supporting the four delegations. May I also acknowledge Mayor David Ayers from Waimakariri District Council, Councillors Jimmy Chen & Jamie Gough, Council Chief Executive Dr Karleen Edwards & Malcolm Johns from our International Airport.
There hasn't been a time in our city's history when we have had the opportunity to four senior delegations from Chinese cities on the same day, and I am honoured that you have all come to visit Christchurch.
Mayor Tang, from our sister city of Wuhan. We celebrate 10 years of this relationship in 2016.
Vice-Mayor He, from our sister city of Lanzhou, in the Gansu Province - the place where Rewi Alley's commitment to the people of China formed the basis for a deep and everlasting friendship between our two nations. We celebrate 30 years of our sister city relationship this year.
Mayor Chen from Guangzhou - we are honoured to have you here - Guangzhou is the Garden City of China as we are the Garden City of New Zealand.
And Mayor Xu from Shenzhen a fast-growing part of southern China that I was surprised to learn has grown from 30,000 to 15M residents since it became China's first Special Economic Zone 30 years ago.
Our city has been on an upward journey in the recent years, and we are well aware that the earthquakes affected not just Christchurch but the international community as well. Your visit is an important indication of the value placed on our relationship. And an opportunity to say thank you for the support we received in our time of need.
The programme we have put on for you today has showcased different elements of our city, both the long established highlights, such as the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and the new projects that have grown out of our recent earthquakes, such as the Transitional Cathedral.
I trust this has been an informative and enjoyable follow-on from the valuable Mayoral Forum in Auckland where President Xi and Prime Minister John Key witness the agreement on Establishing the Mechanism of Exchange & Co-operation of Mayors of New Zealand and China.
We have enjoyed today immensely and hope you have as well. I look forward to seeing many of you in China when I lead a delegation next year
Lastly, I have a small gift for each of you that combines the best of China and New Zealand into one. This is a locally grown and produced baijiu, called Taizi, the first high quality baijiu produced outside China.
The producers say it is a spirit made for Crown Princes. The Ultimate Imperial Experience. So a fitting gift for our special guests.
Photos from the four Chinese delegations here.