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A speech by The Duke of Sussex at a reception for young people at Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland

Published 30 October 2018

It’s wonderful to be at an event celebrating diversity in one of the world’s most diverse cities.

Prime Minister, honoured guests, ladies and gentleman.

Talofa lava (Samoan)

Malo e lelei (Tongan)

Bula Vinaka (Fijian)

Fakaalofa lahi atu (Niuean)

Kia orana (Cook Islands)

Tena koutou katoa (Maori)

This is definitely the first time I have spoken most of those languages, so I apologise if my accent wasn’t any good, but I had to give it a go!

It’s wonderful to be at an event celebrating diversity in one of the world’s most diverse cities.

We’ve heard Auckland described as a multicultural melting pot by the sea. It’s mix of people, cultures and languages is what gives this city its unique identity - its energy and vibrancy, its openness and welcoming spirit.

Thank you again Prime Minister for hosting me and my wife on our first visit to New Zealand as a couple - it’s a place we’ve both visited separately and it has been a joy to return here together to enjoy this stunning country. 

We are meeting little kiwis, we’re meeting big kiwis, being treated to your fantastic food, culture and sporting activities - well if you can call welly-wanging or gum-boot throwing a sport! Perhaps we should have a three-test series and see who comes out on top... 

But tonight our focus is to acknowledge the outstanding young people here. For both of us, one of the most rewarding things about travelling though four Commonwealth countries these past few weeks, has been the opportunity to meet young leaders who are making a significant difference within their own communities. 

In my role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, it is a privilege to champion so many exceptionally talented young leaders across all 53 countries; your voices are being heard, and each and every one of you is making this change happen. 

You should never doubt that. 

Because as I was reminded the other night, one of your own, Kate Sheppard once said, ‘The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops.’

Despite the world you’ve inherited, your approach is groundbreaking and forward thinking, with an optimistic outlook that is inclusive of community, both people and nature, and conscious of the value of our mental fitness and how this is the key to the cure. 

You are arbiters of real change, and I must commend the Prime Minister in her approach and focus, in championing all of you. 

It is incredibly inspiring to see you forging new paths, while staying rooted in your language, culture and heritage.

Meghan and I have enormous respect for you, and I want to close by thanking you for all you are doing.

Your generation is quite literally energising the world and don’t ever stop fighting for what you believe in.

Thank you.