This was the original site of the statue, but it was moved in 1918 – to make way for a tram shelter and public toilets - and then returned here in 1933.
Those moves offered the opportunity to install a couple of time capsules, and, in March, after the February 2011 earthquake, a contractor discovered two items under the Godley statue plinth, one a small glass capsule and the other a large metal object.
Sir Bob is going to say a few words about those capsules as he was present at their opening.
The statue was reinstated last year, but we didn't have a ceremony, as we were awaiting the preparation for a new time capsule to be placed here. The intention is for it to be raised in 2067, the 200th anniversary of the unveiling of the statue.
So may I on this occasion acknowledge the project team that has worked on the reinstatement of the statue and those involved in the time capsule:
The structural engineers, Dunning Thornton
The conservator – Emily Fryer
The bronze workers who repaired & reassembled the statue - The Heavy Metal Company of Wellington
City Care and Mark Whyte – who looked after the plinth
And the Council staff who coordinated all of this (Jo Grigg, Maria Adamski, Jenny May)
The project also received a donation towards repairs from the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies of New Zealand, which I acknowledge with thanks.
So another piece of our colonial history has been restored and we are leaving some of our present for others to discover in the future.
I note that Godley died in 1861 - that's when Christchurch achieved its city status making it the first city in New Zealand - and as we can see around us, New Zealand's oldest city is becoming New Zealand's newest city.
Occasions like today allow us to reflect on our past while imagining what the future holds.
Thank you for everyone who has helped make this happen.