The Hon Nicky Wagner representing the government of New Zealand, Her Excellency Damla Say, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, MP for Christchurch East Poto Williams, MP Nuk Korako, Councillor David East, Andrea Cummings, Chair of the Burwood-Pegasus Community Board, members of the Avon-Otakaro Network and friends.
It was on Remembrance Day 2003 that I, as the MP for Christchurch East, had the honour of unveiling this commemorative sculpture, Poppies over Gallipoli, designed by Ian Lamont and Judith Streat.
The earthquakes stopped this sculpture from being the striking landmark it had become. The damage was indicative of the damage to the whole area and their restoration on our first extended ANZAC weekend speaks to the restoration that will come to the area that I know and love so well.
The story of how the poppy became an international symbol of remembrance is filled with meaning, but the fact that it has an ANZAC twist in New Zealand makes this sculpture even more special.
For every generation there has been enormous symbolism in the poppy, the small red flower that grew so abundantly in the fields of war dating back to the Napoleonic Wars when poppies were the first plant to bloom in the churned up soil of soldiers' graves.
This connection between the red poppy and the war dead was renewed over a century later on the battlefields of Belgium and northern France. Those who served on the front line had noticed the extraordinary persistence of an apparently fragile flower; the cornfield poppy, which splashed its blood-red blooms over the fields every summer.
But its place in history was immortalised when a Canadian medical officer scribbled a poem on a page torn from his dispatch book, verses which were later published under the title In Flanders Fields
The inspiration for the verses had been the death of a comrade, for whom he had performed the burial service, and the significance of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance is described in the lines: "If ye break faith with us all who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields".
These verses served to inspire a French widow in 1920 to manufacture artificial poppies for veterans' organisations worldwide, the proceeds of their sale to go to their own veterans and dependants as well as to benefit the thousands of destitute children in France.
The first such poppy appeal was held on Armistice Day in 1921, but the ship carrying the poppies from France arrived in New Zealand too late for the scheme to be properly publicised prior to Armistice Day. The Returned Services Association therefore postponed its poppy campaign until the day before ANZAC day 1922.
And that's why Poppy Day in New Zealand is forever associated with ANZAC day, thus setting it apart from the rest of the world.
As I said at the Dawn Service two days ago we do not glorify war with these memorials and events, we commemorate the lives that were lost, we commit to the peaceful resolution of conflict and we honour the values they fought for.
Courage, loyalty, selflessness, honour and sacrifice – these represent the true character of the Australia New Zealand Army Corps and the bond that was forged between two nations on a distant battlefield a century ago.
And the freedom they fought for is symbolised 100 years later by a representative of the government of Turkey standing side by side with us today in honour of this occasion. The symbol of the poppy under-scored by those powerful, compassionate words of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which she will read today.
No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou. tena ra tatou katoa.