What a pleasure to be able to join you all today to mark a milestone in our history as a city.
As the founder of modern surfing and one of the world's greatest surfers, it is great that we have an acknowledgement that he was here, while at the same time making a connection to his home in Hawaii and other surfing beaches around the world that honour his memory in some way.
Everyone else has covered all that needs to be said, so can I just add a short reflection on how important it is that communities can come together and make things happen.
Cr David East has introduced me to the nightmare that planning rules can create for people who want to create a memorial or a work of public art.
I had no idea that there were any rules until I bought a small sculpture when I was MP and I wanted to gift it to New Brighton – my assistant found out that I would have to get a resource consent.
Suffice it to say it didn't happen.
The New Brighton Pier, Foreshore and Promotion Society were not put off and have managed to surf the waves of planning rules in order to complete this project for the centenary.
It shouldn't matter whether it's a memorial or a work of public art, we should make it easy for that to be achieved.
So congratulations on making this happen. I am looking forward to seeing the results of your hard work.
I do hope this celebration becomes an annual fixture in the beach calendar, as is the society's wish.
No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.