Judy Yun, President of the Korean Society of Christchurch
Mr Kim Hae-yong, Ambassador Designate of the Korean Embassy
Songpa Mayor Park Choon-Hee
Members of Parliament, Melissa Lee & Poto Williams
Councillors and community board members
Korean Honorary Consul Paul MacDonald
Christchurch Songpa-gu Sister City Chair Phil Tappenden
Last year I threw away my speech notes so that I could simply say thank-you to our Korean community for hosting the first cultural festival to be held in Cathedral Square since the February 22 earthquake.
I said how moved I was walking into the square as part of the parade, to see so much vitality, colour and life before me. It's great to be back.
The Korean Society is to be congratulated again for their tremendous effort.
We are honoured this weekend by the visit of Mayor Park Choon-Hee of Songpa-gu, here to celebrate and reinforce the 20th anniversary of Christchurch's sister city relationship with Songpa-gu next year.
Together, at 4pm this afternoon, we will dedicate the street lamp gifted by Songpa-gu as part of the Solidarity Grid – I love the symbol of hope and togetherness represented by these street lamps shedding light on our city. Please join us at the unveiling in Park Terrace.
I was also honoured to have been able to attend the opening of the Korean Antarctic Progam Office at Antarctica New Zealand earlier this month, following the opening of Korea's Antarctica Jang Bogo Station in February.
Korea's commitment to Christchurch as their gateway to Antarctica is a very valuable part of our relationship as a country and a city.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this celebration of Korean culture and I wish you all the very best on this Korean Day 2014.