This arresting phrase – ‘Agriculture: New Zealand’s Silicon Valley’ – is not mine. It is Sir Graeme Harrison’s and I can’t improve on it. Sir Graeme, you will recall, is the founder and Chairman of ANZCO Foods, one of New Zealand’s largest exporters.
My parliamentary colleagues; Paul Gibson our Disability Commissioner; Riripeti Paine, the Chair of Parents of Vision Impaired; Paul Manning, your Executive Officer; family, friends and tamariki/mokopuna.
This is the kind of address one never wants to make. The premature and unexpected death of any person is a tragedy. It inevitably brings with it thoughts of what might have been and especially so in the case of the person whom we gather here today to honour, whose memory we cherish, and whose contribution to New Zealand we salute.
I want to begin by acknowledging the memory of two people, recently deceased, who longed for this day. The first is well-known to you all. Dame Judith Binney, the author of Redemption Songs and Encircled Lands.
E nga iwi o Ikaroa Rawhiti ara ko Ngati Porou, ko Te Aitanga a Mahaki, ko Rongowhakaata, ko Ngai Tamanuhiri, ko Ngati Kahungunu, koutou katoa kua tae mai ki tenei huihuinga e pa ana ki nga take whai whare noho, tena ra koutou katoa.