I would like to acknowledge Sir Richard and Lady Diane Hadlee, Stephen and Heather Boock, Canterbury Cricket Trust Chair Lee Robinson, Councillors Mike Davidson, Jake McLellan and Phil Mauger.
I have been looking forward to this day when we see our cricketing future secured by our cricketing legends, for the benefit of our cricketing of the future.
The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre joins the Hagley Oval as a world-class asset for our city. I know I have referred to the Hagley Oval as the jewel in the crown of post-quake Christchurch, so this must be the gold that forms the crown that holds the jewel.
The Centre will welcome young people, many of whom will go on to represent their region and their country joining the Canterbury teams, Black Caps and the White Ferns in the future.
Until now, our lack of an indoor cricketing facility has made it harder for our teams to train to the best of their ability, and this has been putting pressure on the facilities in Lincoln and Rangiora.
Now we have the best training facilities in the country – number 1.
And I want to acknowledge those who have worked hard - sometimes against the odds – to make this happen. Stephen and Heather Boock who started the ball rolling. And Sir Richard who lent his name and his mana to the campaign.
$4.65M was raised with donations from the New Zealand cricket community:
Major donors included The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Trust, Sir Stephen Tindall, Glenn and Lynne Ritchie and Mark Stewart and completes the Hagley Oval Cricket Precinct which has fundraised approximately $20 million in total since 2014.
I want to pay tribute to Lee Robinson – his leadership throughout has been inspiring. His record of delivery is what inspires the confidence that our generous philanthropists rely on. His ability to respectfully negotiate with those who didn’t see eye to eye with the development of the Oval has strengthened the relationships. And the fact that Ngai Tuahuriri was here is a measure of the respect with which he is held.
To all those who have championed this project, thank you. Thank you for your passion, commitment, and vision.
Thank you for your tireless work to develop a precinct that will benefit this community today and tomorrow with the future of cricketing secured for generations to come. What you have achieved here is remarkable.
And on that note, it is my honour to invite Sir Richard Hadlee to join me in cutting the ribbon as we declare the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre officially open.
Nō reira Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa