Prince Harry had a message for the students who mucked in to help after the Christchurch quakes: "Community comes first."
The prince was in Christchurch today and visited Christchurch University's Student Volunteer Army (SVA), which shot to prominence when they mucked in to help with such things as clearing liquefaction following the Christchurch quakes in 2010 and 2011.
He was escorted into the Matariki building to speak directly with SVA members, including co-founder Sam Johnson, and invited to sit in a green wheelbarrow as they explained how the group was formed.
Prince Harry spoke of how people were often more familiar with what was happening on social media sites such as Facebook than what was going on in their own communities.
"Everyone seems to be more connected with the world than with their own community," he said.
"Community comes first."
SVA members told the prince about their idea for a national service day, encouraging people around the country to give back to their communities.
Prince Harry said he believed the SVA model should be "replicated across the world".
"It's little things like that that make such a difference," he said.
Prince Harry was taken to various activity stations set up to show some of the initiatives the SVA was involved with in Christchurch after the city's earthquakes, including bicycle repairs, painting and vegetable gardening.
Student Florence Hinder showed Harry the SVA's bike restoration project.
"It's about getting old bikes from the university that are left around, restoring them with students and giving them out to people who've had their bikes stolen," she said.
Harry told her he "needed a bike" and was presented with a special gold-coloured model the SVA had restored especially for him.
"If he is willing to take it we'll happily give it to him, otherwise we'll auction it for Vanuatu," Ms Hinder said.
Prince Harry checked out a few other displays, including a food bank project involving Cobham Intermediate pupils and the SVA, and one from university students supporting Nepal following that country's magnitude-7.8 earthquake on April 25.
Prince Harry was then able to meet more members of the crowd, shaking hands and offering them cupcakes baked by students.
Hannah Frauenstein cheekily asked for the flowers Harry was holding, instead of a cupcake.
"He was the first boy to give me flowers," she said. "It's love - definitely worth the hail."
As the prince left the university, Sophie Smith said the visit had been "divine".
"I didn't care about him before, but I do now."
Prince Harry shook hands and was photographed with several people waiting patiently at the barricade, wearing ponchos due to the bad weather, and was invited to write his own message on a shed set up in the quad.
"Thanks for having me! Sorry about the weather!" He wrote.
Earlier today, Prince Harry took a tram ride with Prime Minister John Key and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee before visiting the Quake City exhibition.
He met Defence Force artist Matt Gauldie at the exhibition and asked him about a painting representing the service people who helped the the immediate cleanup of the Canterbury quakes, known as the Earthquake Patrol painting.
He asked the artist about his career - "Have you been all over the place?" - and told him his trip to New Zealand had been "fantastic".
Prince Harry also chatted to senior firefighter Scott Shadbolt, who won a bravery medal for his post-earthquake work.
Outside the exhibition, 11-year-old Milly Dobson and her mother, Jo, presented the prince with a quilt cover for his new niece, Princess Charlotte; he joked he was disappointed it wasn't for him.
Prince Harry had his photo taken with Queenstown woman Elle McCannon, who had travelled to Christchurch to meet him. She had a book with her that was as "old as the hills" and included photos of Prince Harry and Princess Diana.
Another woman brought her puppy to see the prince and could not understand why he appeared a bit afraid of it.
"He's been to Afghanistan - why would he be worried?"
Prince Harry also spent time in the city's ReStart Mall, talking to the public and shop owners as vocal protesters made their point over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.