Louise Martin, The Honorary Secretarry of the Commonwealth Games Federation unveiled the first Commonwealth Walkway bronze plaque in Auckland today to mark the beginning of a walk that will link significant sites of heritage and culture in the city centre. The special ceremony was attended by councillor Chris Darby, Kathryn King (Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling manager), Bridget Davey (from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development), Sam Fellows representing New Zealand's Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors and Kereyn Smith President of New Zealand's Commonwealth Games Association,
The marker was installed outside Old Government House at the University of Auckland on Princes Street, an appropriate first point for The Commonwealth Walkway in Auckland to start. Hugo Vickers, Chairman of the Outdoor Trust says: ‘We are delighted that we are able to start the Walkway in Auckland, which has so much interesting culture and history, while the city is hosting The Commonwealth Games Annual Assembly. Old Government House is of particular significance as it is the former residence of the Governor of New Zealand and where Queen Elizabeth II gave her Christmas broadcast from in 1953”.
The Honorary Secretary is one of many Commonwealth dignitaries currently in Auckland for the Commonwealth Games Annual Assembly. Most of the 71 Commonwealth Nations and Territories are represented at the meeting who are planning forwards for future Commonwealth Games events. Louise said: “I am delighted that The Commonwealth Games Federation is able to be part of the Commonwealth Walkway in Auckland. Most of the Commonwealth nations and territories are being represented at the Annual Assembly and will get the opportunity to see the plaque. This illustrates very well how the Commonwealth Games Federation is working in partnership to ensure an energised, engaged and active Commonwealth”.
Sam Fellows, Commonwealth Youth Ambasssador, with HRH Prince Imran, The Commonwealth Games President and Jim Walker, Outdoor Trust CEO at the Commonwealth Games Annual Assembly in Auckland.
Aucklanders will be asked for their thoughts on the walkway’s route which will link local sites of historical and cultural significance. The opening of the first phase of the walkway is planned to coincide with His Royal Highness Prince Charles’s visit in November. Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling Manager said: “It is a great way to promote the fantastic walking routes that we already have around the city. There are some great places to walk in and around the city including the Domain, the waterfront and inner city parks. We would like Aucklanders to help design this route that celebrates our position in the Commonwealth.”
Local resident Genevieve Wannamaker, with her mother Claire, taking the first step over the Commonwealth Walkway in Auckland.