I make this greeting because we as a city were accused of being such when we refused to buy into the prevailing theory that selling our core infrastructure to the private sector would be in our city's interests. We didn't buy that then and we don't buy that now.
We know as a city that the quadruple bottom line matters and we know that if we are to be ahead of the exponential curve we see coming we need to utilise our infrastructure to prepare for that future even if returns are sacrificed in the short term. As a city we can't afford not to take a long term view.
Christchurch has a proud history of using business for good. But it was the earthquakes that provided a catalyst for real change.
What happened for me, was that the earthquakes and all the experiences that followed, helped me see clearly what was important in life and that sense of purpose creates meaning for individuals, communities and cities alike.
Our message to the rest of the nation and the world, is that no one needs to wait for a disaster for this to occur.
And that is why we so warmly welcome the Social Enterprise World Forum to Christchurch.
We are the Garden City of New Zealand, but what that means in the 21st century is so much more than what it meant when I was growing up. Now it is also about sustainability, food resilience, clean rivers and environmental protection. The earthquakes have enabled us to focus on these.
We now see ourselves as a city of opportunity - for all - a place that is open to new ideas, new people and new ways of doing things - a place where anything is possible.
And it is from this sense of possibilities, place and purpose that Christchurch is proud to be the global capital of Social Enterprise for the week.
Welcome to Christchurch. Please take the opportunity to explore all that our city has to offer as you explore the world of social enterprise.
No reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
Sent from my iPhone