Vice-chancellor Dr Rod Carr, Canterbury University students of 2015 and your families.
I would like to add my welcome in my role as Mayor of Christchurch – for those of you who have travelled here from out of town or overseas – welcome to Christchurch.
And that's for two reasons.
There is something that you will have on your CV that you can't get anywhere else. I'm calling it the resilience factor.
The capacity to thrive in the face of adversity – that is something you can't study but you can absorb in a post-disaster environment.
The opportunity to do things you never thought you could before.
I stole that expression from the Mayor of Chicago, when he was the Chief of Staff in the White House.
"Never let a serious crisis go to waste. It's an opportunity to do things you didn't think you could do before."
Anything is possible.
The second reason is that you have arrived at a very important stage of our city's journey.
Christchurch is a city in transition. '2015 Christchurch: It's Happening' is our catch-line. And it is.
No doubt you will have noticed the wonderful energy and buzz in the city. We are literally turning disaster into opportunity.
Students have an important part to play in the Christchurch story. You are the latest in a long line of achievers who've attended UC, some of whom have done amazing things in many fields.
From Nobel Prize winning scientist Ernest Rutherford to our Prime Minister John Key and even me although I wouldn't put myself in their category.
You are also following in the footsteps of students who did remarkable things for this city following our 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.
The Student Volunteer Army mobilised thousands of UC students into action, digging silt from the streets and assisting residents cleaning their homes.
You too will have opportunities to connect with your community while you are here, and I encourage you to seize those chances when you can.
You're here to learn - but there are all those other things you can enjoy.
From the ICC Cricket World Cup, and Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, to the Fifa Under-20 World Cup our city's 2015 calendar is packed with exciting events.
UC also has more than 130 student clubs - the most of any New Zealand university - plus the great outdoors around Canterbury has much to offer you.
I encourage you to make the most you can of your time here.
Get amongst it.
Enjoy doing things you didn't think you could do before.
The UC T-shirt students are wearing today says "Be prepared to save the world".
No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.