Members of Parliament
June Lady Hillary, Sir Brian and Lady Roche
Upoko Te Maire Tau
Dr Dan Asquith, great grandson of Sir Robert Falcon Scott, and his family, representing the family internationally
Distinguished guests one and all - international, national and local
This is a very special occasion and one I have been looking forward to as Mayor of Christchurch from the moment I was elected.
We have been speaking this week of the honour of being one of the five Antarctic Gateway Cities, and how we should see our roles as custodians - custodians of the history of Antarctic exploration, custodians of what Antarctica means to the world and custodians of what Antarctica means for our future.
On the 9th February 1917, 100 years ago this year, a huge crowd of people gathered here for the original unveiling ceremony of the statue that commemorates that heroic age of exploration as represented by Robert Falcon Scott and those who perished on that expedition.
His words from one of his diary entries were inscribed in the plinth - I do not regret this journey, which shows that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another, and meet death with as great fortitude as ever in the past.
This is a heritage memorial of international significance.
On the 22 February 2011 it was not capable of withstanding the powerful force of nature.
The statue sculpted by Kathleen Scott from Italians Carrara Marble weighs 2.5 tonnes.
This has been the most technically challenging statue repair ever undertaken by Christchurch City Council.
The break was severe and the marble is fragile, with many little fissures running through it. So there was a high risk of the marble shattering during the repair.
Much research went into finding a repair method that would strengthen and stabilise the statue to enable it to withstand future earthquakes.
At the same time the repair had to be sensitive to the statue’s heritage values
The repair strategy has been to strengthen the legs with carbon fibre rods and thread and equip the plinth with a form of base isolation to make the entire memorial more resilient
Innovative repair method never been used before on a statue anywhere in the world
The team at Emily Fryer Conservation, Consultant engineer Grant Wilkinson of Ruamoko Solutions and sculptor Mark Whyte have done an incredible job, repairing the damage but leaving little trace of their work
And a huge thank you to Jo Grigg who has lead an extraordinary team armed with modern technology and the finest international cooperation that involved Italian marble, Australia expoxy, US expertise on the repair strategy, the original UK artist, NZ Artist and engineer. You have delivered us a resilient statue what I have the honour to unveil today with Robert and Kathleen Scott's descendants.
A century ago, this statue honoured our Antarctic history, today it honours that and much more. May it inspire our children to become our modern day explorers - our researchers and scientists - who will help secure the future of our world.