I'd like to welcome the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to our city.
Christchurch has been waiting for this day to arrive for years.
In 2011 we were looking forward to hosting two quarter finals and a semi-final of the Rugby World Cup. But after the earthquakes there was no way we could deliver that.
Today, four years later, we welcome the world into our backyard – that's how New Zealand families play cricket – the backyard, the front yard, the local park, anywhere there is room to swing a bat.
The Hagley Oval that will set the scene for the first match on Saturday will invoke memories of an era long past – the village green and the pavilion – it will be magic.
Christchurch is the city that is turning disaster into opportunity.
The sense of expectancy, anticipation about what our city will become adds a layer of interest to this host city that hasn't been seen before.
I'm wearing red and black tonight – they are the colours of our province and we wear them with pride.
We are proud of our traditions. We are proud of our sporting history. And we are very proud of our city in transition.
This year we say 2015 Christchurch: It's Happening.
And this is where it starts.
No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
Welcome, welcome, welcome to you all.