Outgoing Prime Minister John Key is making his last official public engagements today, signing off with jokes, selfies and tributes to political comrades and combatants.
Key opened Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism's new i-Site and Department of Conservation's visitor centre in the restored Arts Centre at Worcester Boulevard, which was badly damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.
The opening of a permanent one-stop visitor centre after five years in a temporary facility in the Botanic Gardens is a big boost to the local tourism industry.
Key said the centre was a "place that people who have time on their hands come to learn a little more and, come Tuesday, I'll have time on my hands".
"It's really great, on a personal level to be in Christchurch for the last full working day that I have as Prime Minister. You can take the boy out of Christchurch, but you can't take the Christchurch out of the boy," he said.
"And despite all of the great tragedies and sacrifices and difficult situations that the people of Christchurch have faced over the last six years, in a small way for me personally it's been wonderful to be able to support the people of Canterbury and put something back as you've gone through that tremendous journey that you've faced."
He acknowledged Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel for her "fine leadership" of the city.
"Lianne feels people's issues, absolutely really personally. She believes in people, she feels their plight, she cares about them a great deal and you can see that in what she does. Christchurch needs you."
Key also took time to pay tribute to the work of Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee for his work after the quakes, saying that "history will remember you very kindly".
"When you're the person in charge of leading all of the recovery effort and dealing with the multitude of problems and challenges, then that is a very big ask.
"You need immensely broad shoulders and capability and stamina to do that. Most people probably couldn't put up with the pressure that creates but Gerry could. Gerry has done the most outstanding job for the people of Christchurch. If anyone deserves the keys to the city of Christchurch, it's Gerry."
The opening of the iSite will also help get tourists back to Kaikoura, which Key said would suffer a much-reduced summer season.
But he said the Government was working "very aggressively" to reopen State Highway 1.
After the formalities of the opening, he chatted with tourism and DoC staff.
He had the group laughing loudly, and posed for several photos and selfies.
It's understood that Key will also attend the opening of a community centre for residents of the Russley Village in Christchurch today.