Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa
Greetings once, greetings twice, greetings thrice to all that have gathered here today.
It is a great honour to be here today. My colleagues and I feel very humbled.
I bring you the warmest greetings today from our Mayor John Carter, who sends his sincere apologies.
I want to firstly say a massive thank you – kia ora! This is truly an auspicious occasion!
A very special thank you to Mr Liang for his most generous hosting and support. We are truly grateful.
I want to acknowledge the deep and long history that the people of New Zealand have with the people of this amazing country, China.
I love New Zealand and am completely in love with our Far North district. It is my home and a truly magical place. One that we are very proud of and cherish greatly.
We have a beautiful, strong and generous people and a wonderful backyard that we like to call ‘our place’.
The Far North is located right at the top of New Zealand. With 7,324 km2 of land area, we are one of the biggest districts in the North Island. We boast a sub-tropical climate, with our seasons being the opposite to yours. Our summer daytime maximum temperatures ranging from 22 up to 30 degrees. We average around 2,000 sunshine hours annually.
We have approximately 42 communities and around 62,000 residents. Almost 50% identify with Maori heritage.
Our key industries currently are mainly primary (such as forestry, horticulture and agriculture). We also have a very buoyant tourism industry, with many people coming to enjoy our beautiful, unspoilt surrounds.
We recognise the immense importance of education and supporting our young people to be well equipped for an ever changing tomorrow.
Our culture and our history is of significant importance and is something we celebrate and cherish greatly.
We have a vision for the Far North, which is He Whenua Rangatira – A district of sustainable prosperity and well-being.
We have a clear purpose. Our strategic intent is to create:
We recognise that to achieve success, we must work together, for a better tomorrow. Our focus is not only on improving the life styles of our people today but ensuring we leave a legacy we can be proud of for the generations to follow.
We view wealth and prosperity holistically i.e. healthy minds, healthy hearts, healthy spirit, healthy environment.
We recognise the importance of building mutually strong relationships, ones built on integrity, respect and openness.
We acknowledge that there must be a high level of trust - that our interactions must be undertaken with complete transparency and wisdom.
Our district has amazing potential. We are committed to serving to the best of our abilities.
Helping build a prosperous future for our people, while ensuring we look after our incredible environment for today and future generations.
I finish in once again, saying kia ora - thank you. Thank you for the time. Thank you for welcoming us into your ‘place’ and making us feel so welcome.
We are deeply appreciative and grateful.