It is an absolute pleasure to welcome “Thanks from ISO” to Ōtautahi Christchurch, and in particular here to Tūranga.
I want to acknowledge Accor Hotels for commissioning Ruby Jones to undertake this tribute to all those who have enabled the managed isolation and quarantine process to occur.
We are particularly familiar with Ruby’s work here in our city after the events of March 15th when her simple portrayal of a hug and the words “This is your home and you should have been safe here” spoke for all of us.
So to see her representation of the 14 days from the perspective of returnees and staff that protected our whole country is moving and endearing.
Reading the stories that accompanied each picture made me feel very emotional so I know those who have been part of the 14 day MIQ journey will find a point of connection with so many feelings they evoke.
The exhibition is designed to enable us to thank the MIQ workers and the more than 120 000 people who have been through the MIQ facilities.
The role of art and creativity in supporting our collective wellbeing is well-known here in Christchurch. Art has helped us recover after the earthquakes and after the terrorist attack.
MIQ has kept the team of five million safe and this exhibition has given expression to our gratitude.
As-Salaam-Alaikum Peace be upon you.
When Raf told me about tonight and the launch of the Sakinah Trust, I could not have been happier. What a glorious way to celebrate Mothers’ Day.
Seeing Muslim women taking a leadership role as agents of change makes me feel a strong sense of pride as Mayor of Christchurch.
You have truly captured the essence of community-led development.
We have heard the meaning of Sakinah and the commitment to both restore and grow these elements to the communities of Christchurch – tranquillity, peace, calmness and belonging.
Your commitment is to honour those whose lives who were so cruelly taken on 15 March 2019. And this has been enabled by the funds that were gifted from across the city, the country and the globe.
Born of tragedy, inspired by compassion and empowered by generosity were the phrases that came to mind. The commitment to bringing the Muslim and wider communities together to build community resilience, founded on social inclusion, social capital and social mobility, shows why this must be community led to succeed. And succeed you will.
And we will be with you every step of the way.
Our commitment as a city is that we stand together, you are never alone – that’s what we mean when we say ko tatou tatou, we are one.