Sister Cities New Zealand newsletter - April 2018

Page 1

N E W S L E T T E R April 2018

connecting globally through technology ence Sister Cities NZ Confer 24 - 26 May 2018 Lower Hutt

24 - 26 MAY 2018 REGISTER NOW AT scnz2018


From the board - new member Introducing Emeritus Associate Jan Fitz-Gerald, Chief Executive, Institute of Global Engagement New Zealand The Institute is a dedicated educational short-term study group program service provider. We design, develop and host customised programs (up to eight weeks) for university, college and high school students. As a relatively new institution our markets are primarily the USA and China with Japan and Vietnam with growing interest. We design programs according to the subject needs of universities and colleges and contextualise curriculum for experiential learning delivery within the New Zealand environment. Executive and professional education programs have also been presented to government and NGO officials from China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and South America. Youth Leadership Summit, for youth of the sister cities and schools of China and New Zealand, July 2018 We are particularly proud of our most important not-forprofit project. This is the Youth Leadership Summit that was hosted for the first time in 2017 at the University of Auckland School of Business and with the support of many local organisations. The main purpose is to prepare future

leaders and global citizens of China and New Zealand to work together within a cross cultural environment. The Summit is for youth (age 15 to 19) of the sister cities and schools of New Zealand and China. It will be hosted in 2018 by the Qingdao (Auckland’s sister city) Education Bureau and Foreign Affairs Office. We are currently reaching out to schools and universities for interest in the event and to join a New Zealand delegation. This culturally enriching event includes a three day conference in Qingdao and eight days of special topics (culture, history, technology and education) in Beijing, Qufu and Hangzhou. We are grateful for the support of Sister Cities New Zealand to the first Youth Leadership Summit held in Auckland last July, and for leading Kōrero - youth debate and hope that members may wish to join the delegation or seek details for colleagues and family. We are delighted to join the association and look forward to growing our sister city initiatives for youth. Further details, program and registration forms can be obtained from

N E W S L E T T E R April 2018

Southern Sister City Visit By Paul Casson, Chief Executive, Venture Southland The potential for a sister city agreement between Southland and Argentina was discussed in February when Argentine Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Fausto López Crozet, and President of Sister Cities New Zealand, Hiromi Morris was hosted by Paul Casson Chief Executive for Venture Southland in Invercargill.

SCNZ. Approximately 150 active relationships have been established between communities, towns, cities, and rural districts and communities overseas. These international contacts are estimated to be worth an estimated $50 million a year to New Zealand in tourism and cultural exchange dollars alone.

Meeting with the Mayors and Chief Executives of the Queenstown District, Invercargill City, Southland District and Gore District Councils His Excellency and Hiromi Morris were able to discuss the benefits of potential collaboration between the Southland region and Argentina.

Venture Southland was able to design an extensive itinerary for His Excellency and Hiromi Morris which included a special powhiri (Maori-welcome) by students and staff to Southland Boys High School, a site visit to Southern Institute of Technology and a tour of Bill Richardson Transport world hosted by Director, Joc O’Donnell Director and Tourism Manager, Hannah White.

On his first visit to Southland the Ambassador was interested in exploring opportunities presented in the tourism, education, agriculture and fishing sectors. The Ambassador saw many similarities between Argentina and the Southland region and believed that there were many mutually beneficial relationships able to be established.

The visit was of immediate benefit for Venture Southland’s International Education Manager, Joice Dondalski as His Excellency was able to provide contact details for her to use in Argentina when attending education fairs and expos.

Hiromi Morris approached Venture Southland to organise the meeting between the Southern Mayors, chief executives and key stakeholders recognising the importance of region to region relationships and collaboration.

His Excellency and Hiromi Morris were very impressed with the initiatives being undertaken in the Southland region and their meetings highlighted the many opportunities in which Argentina and Southland could work together.

As Sister Cities New Zealand (SCNZ) aims to foster cultural understanding between New Zealand and people around the world the meeting provided an ideal environment for Hiromi Morris to provide an update on

Venture Southland appreciated the work of Hiromi Morris to initiate this meeting and will work with Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand and other key stakeholders to build upon the opportunities identified.

Updates from Wellington City Council By Tom Yuan, International Relations Manager The start to 2018 has been all about planning for the future for Wellington City Council’s International Relations team. This week the Environment Court dismissed an appeal against the proposed redevelopment of Frank Kitts Park, meaning construction of the long awaited Chinese Garden can finally commence. The WCC International Relations team has been entrusted with procuring $4.5 million from Wellington’s sister and partner cities in China for the project.

The International Relations team has also begun to establish a Wellington Japan Festival Trust to manage the event organisation of the biennial Japan Festival amid its growing popularity in the capital. 2018 will be the 7th time Wellington has held the event, with the dedicated support of our sister city Sakai. A senior official delegation from Zhejiang, Wellington Region Economic Partner Province in China, will visit Wellington during the SCNZ Conference in May. They will bring over 100 children’s artworks to display with local children’s artworks from Te Aro Primary School in Wellington City Central Library and at the Arise Centre. Photos of the 2018 SCNZ Youth Trip to China will also be included in the Exhibition.

N E W S L E T T E R April 2018

Sister Cities New Zealand Regional Forum By Toni Grace, International Relations Manager, Palmerston North City Council On Friday 23 March Palmerston North City Council hosted an almost 80-strong regional forum for Sister Cities New Zealand. Participants included diplomats as well as local authorities and economic development agencies (EDAs) from the central North Island. The forum discussed how cities and regions can work together with central government, key organisations, and the diplomatic corps, to make the most of international relationships and opportunities. There was also a focus on wider tourism, education and economic opportunities from international partnerships. A key message from the Forum was the need for coordination, given the many agencies and players involved in this space. Regional forums and umbrella organisations like Sister Cities New Zealand provide an important coordination point for Councils and EDAs to benefit from collective international efforts and knowledge. “International relations is no longer just the remit of capital cities or huge metropoles,” says Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith. “We’re increasingly seeing the rise of small cities and districts in this space, and the benefits that can come from local government support and enablement for greater international connectivity.” PNCC International Relations Manager Toni Grace, who coordinated the event, said the forum ran expert-

led panels to create interactive conversations. “We discussed practical ways we can all work together for greater impact; from joint education or tourism initiatives, through to digital channels for schools that prepare young people for a cross-cultural future. By being proactive, Councils and EDAs can foster a strong sense of ‘globalisation’ – the ability to think global and act local.” Among those attending were ambassadors, high commissioners and embassy staff representing a number of countries that have current or potential sister cities in New Zealand, or want to strengthen connections with local government and regional communities. Representatives from CLAIR Sydney (the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations) were also special guests at the Forum, presenting on the many ways that they help support New Zealand-Japan Sister City relationships and exchanges. The forum was coordinated to coincide with the city’s Festival of Cultures, with many of the visiting diplomats staying to join the Festival of Cultures World Food, Craft and Music Fair on Saturday. The annual week-long festival celebrated the vibrancy and contribution that Palmerston North’s many diverse cultural communities make to the city. Left: Forum participants at the SCNZ Regional Forum, held in the Palmerston North City Council Chamber

Below: Mayor Grant Smith, SCNZ President Hiromi Morris and PNCC International Relations Manager Toni Grace, with several of the diplomats and representatives that attended the SCNZ Regional Forum.

N E W S L E T T E R April 2018

Mahina (Tahiti) Delegation visits Gisborne By Jan Calder, Secretary, Gisborne District Sister Cities, Photos by Whitiaua Ropitini, Gisborne District Council Sister City Mahina (Tahiti) Delegation was hosted by Gisborne Mayor & Mayoress Meng and Ying Foon for 5 days at the end of February 2018. The Sister City relationship was first signed on 30/11/2006 in Gisborne. The delegation included Tavana (Mayor) Damas Teuiria and wife Catherine Haumani, Councillor in Charge of Tourism Edgar Fritch, his wife Herenui Ori and Councillor in Charge of Communication Orama Gooding. Mahina and Gisborne have many common interests

Powhiri at "Awarua" (GDC) L - R Mahina Mayor Damas Teuira, Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon, Cr Edgar Fritch, Cr Orama Gooding.

including the migrations to NZ from the Pacific, "Tupaia" the Tahitian navigator/interpretor who sailed with Lieutenant James Cook in the HMS Endeavour on Cook's maiden voyage to NZ where the first landing on Aotearoa soil took place on 9th October 1769 and the study and viewings of the "Transit of Venus". Over the last 30 odd years the development of the sport of Waka Ama here in the rivers of Gisborne and then New Zealand wide has been a shared interest with Mahina and all of the Pacific Islands.

Hauiti Marae at Tolaga Bay. L - R Catherine Haumani, Herenui Ori, Clr Fritch, Mayor Meng Foon, Mayor Damas Teuira, Tolaga Bay Identity, Cllr Gooding.

Navigating the bay and coastline on "the district’s new floating classroom" Te Waka Haurua Tairawhiti hosted by Te Aturangi Nepia-Clamp and crew.

GDC full Council Meeting, Mayors signed documents to reaffirm the SC relationshp between the two cities. L - R Cr Fritch, Mayor Damas Teuira, Mayor Meng Foon, GDC Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher-Swann.

Mareikura Waka Ama Club with Founders Matahi and Raipoia Brightwell (back 2nd and 10th left).

Departure day - shared planting of a Pohutukawa sappling within the GDC grounds beside the Teruheru River to commerate Mahina SC visit February 2018.

N E W S L E T T E R April 2018

Visit from the Argentine Network of Municipalities against Climate Change (RAMCC) By Mariana Alvarez Rodríguez, Deputy Head of Mission-Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Argentina. The Embassy of Argentina in New Zealand organised several meetings for the delegation of the Argentine Network of Municipalities against Climate Change (RAMCC) who visited New Zealand from 19 to 23 March, with a view to have a dialogue on the way local governments address climate change. Argentina and New Zealand cooperate to tackle climate change at international fora, since both countries share national circumstances that affect the implementation of solutions. The delegates came from Godoy Cruz (province of Mendoza), Rosario (province of Santa Fe), and Villa María (province of Córdoba). On Wednesday 21st March, the RAMCC representatives met Sister Cities NZ President, Hiromi Morris, and its Vice-President, Mayor Ray Wallace. They exchanged views regarding the rise of local government international relations -including sister city developments-, and of new areas of possible cooperation –such as climate

change-. Following the kind invitation of Mayor Wallace, the delegates visited Hutt City on Friday 23rd to know more about the local challenges and several environmental initiatives. During their visit to New Zealand, the delegation had a meaningful dialogue with representatives of Auckland City Council, Wellington City Council, Palmerston North City Council, Horizons Regional Council, and Local Government New Zealand. They visited Auckland University of Technology and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. In addition to this, the delegates met with officials of the Ministry for Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Ministry for Primary Industries to better understand New Zealand international objectives and challenges. Among other issues, they were briefed on the work undertaken by the government and the Global Research Alliance on mitigation of agricultural greenhouse gases, in the context of the promotion of sustainable production. They explored as well the National climate change programme, and the Guidance for local governments on preparing for climate change, and to deal with adaptation at a local level. In March 2017 Argentina and New Zealand signed an Arrangement for Agricultural, Livestock and AgroIndustrial Cooperation, that has been welcomed by the public and private actors. In that context, cooperation to address climate change is of the utmost importance, since both countries agree that in today’s global markets our strong agricultural industries should complement each other to satisfy the rising global demand for food.

Above L-R: Mariana Alvarez Rodríguez and Ambassador Fausto López Crozet with Hiromi Morris and Mayor Ray Wallace.

Right: The RAMCC delegation at a meeting with the Hutt City Council team.

N E W S L E T T E R April 2018

Palmerston North welcomes RAMCC delegation from Argentina By Toni Grace, International Relations Manager Last month the Argentine Network of Municipalities against Climate Change (Red Argentina de Municipios frente al Cambio Climático -"RAMCC" for its Spanish acronym-) visited Palmerston North to talk about the work underway in the region on environmental sustainability. The delegation first visited the Palmerston North City Council where they met with Councillors Brent Barrett and Duncan McCann (leads of the Council environmental sustainability portfolio) and expert council staff to hear about the city’s new Eco City strategy and related plans. The RAMCC delegation then spent the afternoon at Horizons Regional Council, led by Councillor Gordon McKellar. As well as a presentation about the Sustainable Land Use Initiative, the RAMCC delegation got to visit the Manawatu River monitoring site and Fonterra Innovation.

other relevant stakeholders. The RAMCC is an instrument of coordination and implementation of local public policies against climate change in the cities and towns of Argentina. In this framework, actions are coordinated, experiences are shared and the results of programs developed by the municipalities are assessed. Among other activities, the RAMCC provides training programs aimed at the Argentine Local Governments, and in recent years has taken leaders to Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. More information about the organisation can be found at

The visit builds on the similar challenges that Argentina and New Zealand face regarding climate change, including sustainable agricultural production, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energies, management of waste, sustainable transport and adaptation to climate change. The objective of the visit was for the RAMCC was to learn lessons from the New Zealand local and regional governments´ experiences, as well as the solutions developed in cooperation with the private sector and

Civil Defence Spot: Mihara Emergency Management exchange By Tina Hodges, Communications Advisor, Palmerston North City Council The Palmerston North City Council Emergency Management team was delighted to host Mihara (Japan) City Council’s Superintendent of Emergency Management, Shogo Kosako to share knowledge around Civil Defence and strengthen our capabilities across the board in disaster preparedness, management and response. The week long exchange saw Mr Kosako and Council’s Emergency Management team visit various sites, including the Manawatū River and catchments, stopbanks and Flygers Line spillway. “Both cities share very similar structures and approaches in dealing with emergencies, it was a great opportunity to share expertise and civil defence learnings between the cities,” says Council’s Head of Emergency Management, Stewart Davies. Mr Kosako’s visit to New Zealand finished with three days attending the Massey

University Emergency Management Summer Institute, where the focus was around building resilient communities. Public education, community engagement and public participation play a key part in building resilient communities says Mr Davies. “We’re incredibly lucky to have such committed, hardworking and highly skilled staff and volunteers that provide a range of emergency services, which speaks volumes to our community spirit,” he says. The Council’s Emergency Management team are now in the process of creating community response groups around the city boundary. Response groups help communities to be more prepared and self-reliant in the event of a disaster or emergency. We’re on the lookout for volunteers! Find out more here: communityresponsegroups