E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e rau rangatira mā
Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te rā
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa
City Councillors, Community Board representatives, the QEII Park team, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Cr David East has described the history of QEII and Cr Glenn Livingstone has talked about the process that has led to the development of the new QEII at this place. I have been left with the task of describing the features that make up Taiora: QEII Recreation and Sport Centre.
But this facility is only the first stake in the ground for what’s turning into a very exciting phase for this historic patch of land and those of us who live close by.
If you look just south of where we are now, you can see Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ High Schools taking shape ready for opening in Term Two next year.
To the west, you can see the site for the Christchurch School of Gymnastics, which is building a brand new facility that’s set to open shortly after the schools in mid 2019.
And as we know, the proceeds from the sale of that south section of QEII Park to the Ministry of Education have been set aside for us to develop and deliver on an overall Master Plan for the rest of the park.
We’ve already heard hundreds of ideas from the local community about how they want to see the rest of this open space developed and preserved, and you will get a chance to have a say on the plans later in the year.
And then there’s the name Taiora, gifted by Matapopore on behalf of Tuahuriri Runanga. Tai means coastal waters or a collective gathering of people, and Ora means wellbeing, health and nutrients - a source of energy.
And given that this place will always be QEII to so many of us, with its long and proud history, it had to be part of the name, and as you can see, it’s emblazoned on the hydroslide tower.
I have been looking forward to seeing this place opened. I live down the road and have been watching progress since work began. And today is the day.
Thank you to every one who has played a part in making this happen and for being here today as we celebrate the Grand Opening of Taiora: QEII Recreation and Sport Centre.
Nō reira Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa