Rau Rangatira mā e huihui nei
Karanga mai, mihi mai
Tēnei ahau, te mokopuna tama a Kuini Irihāpeti Tuarua, Kuini o Aotearoa
E mihi nei
Te Paku o to Rangi Whare Tipuna
Tēnā koutou katoa
Thank you all for your warm welcome.
It is an honour to be here at Putiki marae, so close to the Whanganui River, to meet you and spend time with the people of Ngati Apa, Nga Rauru and Whanganui.
I am grateful to the Governor-General for joining me today. While I am visiting for the first time, I know that His Excellency grew up here. I look forward to getting to know the people and places that are such an important part of Sir Jerry’s heritage.
I understand that my Uncle spent a year here and was welcomed to the Putiki marae a number of times over that period. Unfortunately, I am not able to spend a whole year in Whanganui as he did. However, it is a privilege to experience the hospitality and traditions for which Whanganui is renowned.
I understand that there is a saying here: “I am the river. The river is me.” You have offered me the extraordinary privilege today of travelling on the Awa; which I am looking forward to immensely.
The health and wellbeing of the river is important to the health and wellbeing of the people of Whanganui. I look forward to hearing more about the Whanganui River Treaty Settlement, and how this will help protect the River for the future.
Mauri ora ki a koutou katoa