Thank you for the opportunity to come to the Duvauchelle A&P Show as Mayor of Christchurch and the Peninsula. I've enjoyed participating in judging the pallet creations. I think that is a category that will go from strength to strength – re-cycling and up-cycling are the way to go.
I have been here before. Many years ago I came on behalf of the then local MP Hon Ruth Dyson, who couldn't make it. I saw the terrier race and I was hooked. I have never seen anything so funny in my entire life. I could hardly hold myself up, I was laughing so much.
Christchurch is of course the home of the Canterbury A&P Show with the annual NZ Cup & Show Week as one of the most important weeks in our calendar. But these local A&P Shows are magic. The young people especially get to win ribbons that reward their skills and effort.
I often think of the importance of these events in growing our future Commonwealth and Olympic equestrians as well.
And today the local community gets to honour one of its own champions - Mark Thompson - or Tommo as he is known. His service with the Volunteer Fire Brigade alone sets him apart as an outstanding community leader - nearly 40 years and he's around the same age as I am. I loved reading his story in the Akaroa Mail - so much service to the community deserves to be recognised and I'm just thrilled to be able to congratulate him in person.
So congratulations to everyone who has played a role in making this wonderful A&P Show happen, thanks to the sponsors, thanks to the Marshalls & Stewards, and congratulations to everyone who has participated. And thank you once more for inviting me to share the day with you.