Your Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales,
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and distinguished guests.
It is a privilege to welcome your Royal Highness to Otautahi Christchurch on an occasion that is one of celebration.
As a city we have all experienced the profoundly personal touch and support from the Royal Family in our times of tragedy, and helping us get through our darkest days. This has meant more to us than words could ever say.
And today, knowing that Your Royal Highness has taken the time to visit Christ Church Cathedral, which is our direct connection to the Royal Charter of 1856 that gave us our city status, is very special indeed.
As well as its spiritual role, this Cathedral has become one of our most important civic places, hosting significant events that have shaped us as a city.
And here we are in our award winning Turanga, our city’s newest civic asset, and whose name speaks to our history before the arrival of the European settlors, looking out at one of our city’s oldest assets. And we are so pleased it is being reinstated.
As we are reminded, when we look at images of the Cathedral when it was first completed, building a Cathedral was a priority for those early European settlors.
I feel very strongly that we owe it to their memory to see her reinstated to her former glory.
Christ Church Cathedral may not be one of the world’s grandest Cathedrals, but it is intrinsically linked with our city’s identify, and has rich stories embedded in its stonework.
Many people say that until the Cathedral is reinstated, the city will not be fully healed.
It is literally the heart and soul of our city.
And the reinstatement will breathe new life into Cathedral Square, both preserving an important part of our heritage and enabling the city to move forward.
Your Royal Highness, we are deeply grateful for your visit and excited about what the future holds. Thank you.
It now gives me great pleasure to introduce His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.