SCNZ August 2016

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The Word Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival

Fukuoka Day

Indigenous writers from Adelaide and Seattle – two of Christchurch’s Sister Cities – will take part in this year’s Word Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival. See more: The Word Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival runs from August 24 to 28. View the full programme:

NZ Chinese Language Week 12 – 18 September, 2016 New Zealand Chinese Language Week (NZCLW) is a Kiwi-driven initiative that aims to increase Chinese language learning in New Zealand. The initiative is the first of its kind in any Western country and emerged in the context of a rapidly strengthening relationship between New Zealand and China. NZCLW seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic knowledge gap between China and New Zealand by delivering fun and practical initiatives that assist Kiwis to learn Chinese, ranging from programmes and resources in schools and libraries to business and government organisations. Learn more at

Sakura TV Sakura TV, a hybrid TV station, is broadcasting free content during August relating to Kyushu and Fukuoka, in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between the City of Fukuoka and Auckland. You can watch it on tablet, PC and smartphone, anywhere in New Zealand 24 hours 7 days.

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SCNZ welcome any queries and requests for companies interested in closer relationships with our organization.

New Member: Eastern Bridge Eastern Bridge is a business which focuses on building economic and business relationships between New Zealand and East Asia. The company works closely with New Zealand businesses and local councils, and is a partner of LGNZ. The company provides a range of services that you would expect from an International Relations Department including: communication, marketing, due-diligence, relationship management and strategy development. Eastern Bridge’s team of ten bring together a range of skills and languages including Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese and expertise in strategy development, export education, trade and investment attraction. The concept of the company was developed by Simon Appleton who is a Chinese and Korean speaker with a Masters in Chinese law from Beijing’s Renmin University.

Simon also worked in China and South Korea for approximately a decade before returning to New Zealand to work in local government and regional economic development.

Contact details: Simon Appleton 305, 350 Queen Street, Auckland, 1010 E: W: M: 022 396 9590 DD: (09) 216 2632

Taupo District on itinerary for 1000 Chinese tourists A tourist initiative launched by Taupo District Mayor David Trewavas during a visit to the Chinese city of Shaoxing will see at least 1000 people from the friendship city visit here over the next 12 months. Shaoxing has committed to sending at least 1000 tourists to Taupo every year as part of the agreement. Trewavas led the 18 person trade delegation to China in May 2016, profiling the Taupo District and exploring opportunities that exist with New Zealand’s second largest trading partner. The initiative was announced as part of the first Shaoxing Friendship City Conference, attended by representatives from 17 different countries which have existing friendship city relationships with the city. The Taupo District initiative was arranged by the Shaoxing New Zealand

Association and will bring with it a number of economic benefits. Trewavas said that he was excited the district would be able to host more visitors, and showcase it to the world. ‘‘Tourism remains a key component of our district’s economy, and with initiatives like this, we can continue to grow our presence as a destination for this growing Chinese market. ‘‘Hopefully, if we can show these 1000 tourists some good Taupo District hospitality, they will tell their friends and family what a wonderful place Taupo is, and we can grow further from there’’.

Sister Cities New Zealand - newsletter. All contributions and enquiries to

Mayor Trewavas gave a keynote presentation during the opening ceremony of the conference. The Taupo District formed a friendship city relationship with Shaoxing to foster economic ties in 2014.

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Rizhao and Gisborne - 25th Anniversary Over the last 20 years the Sister Cities of Rizhao, China and Gisborne, NZ have each hosted and enjoyed visiting for mutual benefits several times. On behalf of GDC Mayor Meng Foon gave a GDC Certificate to acknowledge the anniversary and a carved waka in recognition of the continuing journeys of the

two cities. A Rizhao Delegation was to be welcomed by Gisborne District Council and Gisborne District Sister City in mid May where the 20th anniversary would have been marked. However the delegation had to return to Rizhao unexpectedly.


Memorandum of Understanding signed between Rizhao City and Gisborne City. The Gisborne Delegation officials who attended the signing were the then Mayor and Mayoress of Gisborne City, Mr. John & Mrs Barbara Clarke, GDC Councillor Mr. Simon Cave, Gen Mgr Gisborne Harbour Bd Mr. Ben Tahata, Ch. Gisborne Harbour Bd Mr. Peter Franks.


From left: James Zhang, Ming Yang, Mayor Meng Foon Gisborne, Mayor Liu Rizhao, Quin. The rest either side are all staff from Rizhao.

“Bonjour Bastille Day” - Cambridge Goes French For a Day By Julie Epps, member of the Le Quesnoy Sister City Committee and board member of the Cambridge Community Board, Waipa District Council. Bastille Day saw Cambridge go French for the day to celebrate its sister city connection with Le Quesnoy in northern France. “Bonjour Bastille Day” was a fun day organised by the Le Quesnoy Sister City Committee, of the Cambridge Community Board, in conjunction with the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Love Cambridge and the shops, cafes and restaurants. The Cambridge Town Hall and

clock tower were lit in French colours as well. Shops had beautiful shop displays and specials and sales on the day; cafes and restaurants put delicious French items on their menu, Waipa District Council’s front counter team in Cambridge wore French attire, the library had a Le Quesnoy display; there were even “frog’s legs” on offer downtown! Julie Epps and Grant Middlemiss, members of the Le

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Quesnoy Sister City Committee said, “We came up with the idea of ‘Bonjour Bastille Day’ to promote the sister city connection to our community, and to bring it alive for Cambridge. We want to tell people about Le Quesnoy - it has such interesting links with New Zealand, dating back to when our soldiers liberated Le Quesnoy at the end of World War I on 4 November 1918”. The Le Quesnoy Sister City Committee had an information stall in town which attracted a lot of visitors. There were buskers, the bagpipes played “La Marseillaise” and there was a play-to-win “French Scrabble” competition to find the best French Scrabble word. French Scrabble is harder than it sounds and the French dictionaries came in handy! Being in the middle of the school holidays was perfect, and by a happy coincidence, the stall was also the location of a Pokemon Go “Pokestop”. Cambridge

Cambridge clock tower lit in the French colours. Photo supplied by Michael Jeans

Frontline Customer Support staff of Waipa District Council, Julie Kitching and Leona Peacock in the Cambridge Service Centre.

Bowling Club got involved too by building a petanque court which was opened on Bastille Day and is now a permanent fixture at the bowling club. To round off a very French day, a group of about 40 took part in a French progressive dinner involving three Cambridge restaurants – Alpha Street Kitchen & Bar, Onyx Cafe & Bar and Alpino Cucina e Vino. These top restaurants went all out – the beautiful French cuisine and great company and atmosphere made a fabulous evening. Mike Pettit, Chair of the Le Quesnoy Sister City Committee, said “it was with sadness that we then heard the next day about France’s tragic losses following Bastille Day. We cherish our French sister city links and our deepest sympathies are with them”.

The Le Quesnoy information stall manned by (from left to right) Bryan Mitchell, Pipe Major of the Cambridge and Districts Pipe Band, and members of the Le Quesnoy Sister City Committee, Julie Epps, Miriam Farrell, Sue Pickering and Delysse Storey.

The Le Quesnoy display in the Waipa District Council’s Cambridge library

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Canberra and Wellington agree to strengthen ties From Wellington City Council Wellington signed a new sister city agreement with Canberra in July that will bring the two capital cities closer together and strengthen economic ties. The Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, MLA, signed the agreement with Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. Mr Barr visited the Collider Tech Hub and NEC’s ‘Living Lab’ project, which uses technology to make the city safer and smarter. Singapore Airlines’ decision to start four flights a week on its ‘Capital Express’ route – Wellington-CanberraSingapore – enabled this meaningful agreement to go ahead. The flights, which start on 21 September, provide significant opportunities to grow two-way trade and investment between Wellington, Canberra and Singapore and enable the promotion of cultural, social and education links. Each Singapore Airlines service will provide 20 tonnes of freight capacity, which will provide new opportunities for exporters in the region to enter the Asian market. While there is a focus on growing the economy, the agreement is much broader. It’s about business partnerships, innovation, nationhood, the environment, promoting tourism and events, education, cultural and sporting exchanges. On the education front, the ‘Capital Express’ flights will improve mobility and opportunities for academics and students and make it easier for Wellington to attract

more international students. “Our two capital cities will be stronger and have more impact globally as a result of this agreement,” says the Mayor. “It will deliver real benefits for Wellington. Singapore Airlines’ new ‘Capital Express’ route is a great example of what this Anzac alliance can deliver. “It makes sense that our capital cities have close cultural, economic, political and environmental ties.”

Wellington and Çanakkales In April 2015, Wellington City Council formed a Historical Sister City Relationship with Çanakkale, to commemorate the World War I centenary and to honour the friendship between the people of New Zealand and Turkey.

Below are links to three articles from Wellington City Council for more information. •

Sonic Wells – forging links between Australia, Turkey, and New Zealand news/2016/04/sonic-wells

New Sister City for Capital honours Anzac links news/2015/04/new-sister-city-for-capitalhonours-anzac-links

Sonic Wells – backdrop to Historical Sister City agreement news/2016/04/sonic-wells-backdrop-tohistorical-sister-city-agreement

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Wellington Citizens Explore Xiamen By Janet Andrews Thirteen enthusiastic Wellingtonians met at the airport on the evening of the 29th May, to head for our sister city of Xiamen. The diverse group included a travel broker, a photographer, a teacher, a translator, a former NZ ambassador, the general manager of a contemporary dance company, a gallery owner, a travel writer and blogger, an artist and several community members. Each were carrying 2 or 3 books generously donated by Te Papa Press, as gifts for Xiamen Library. This was the second citizens’ group (the first travelled in 2013) organised by Wellington Xiamen Association (WXA), to give Wellingtonians a sister-city view of Xiamen – the geography, culture, art, attractions, the technology, and the potential – and the differences and the similarities between our two cities. We were an ‘official but not formal’ sister city delegation – as such all delegates were personal ambassadors for Wellington, and we did meet with and were very warmly received by Xiamen officials and other contacts. We offered to help delegates with any specific interests and aimed to further WXA projects and contacts between the two cities while there. Over the seven days the group participated in a nonstop itinerary – visiting exhibitions, temples , historic villages, cultural performances, museums, teahouses, neighbouring cities, world heritage Tulou sites – and of course enjoying a wonderful variety of eating experiences.

Photos: Simon Hoyle

On the official side, we succeeded in linking up the two cities’ libraries as “Sister Libraries”, an idea welcomed by both Chief Librarians – who are now looking forward to exchanging information, sharing systems, and promoting cultural exchanges and exhibitions. We had a tour and book-presentation ceremony at the Xiamen Library – a very attractive light-filled library built around a central tropical garden, and with some very interesting technology. Discussions were held in the areas of art, dance, education, teacher training (especially early childhood and vocational) and some plans were hatched for next year when we celebrate 30 years of sisterhood. We brought back thirteen very impressed and informed Wellingtonians, all of whom had participated eagerly and with very good humour, and who through their individual and industry networks, and by collective word-of-mouth, are raising awareness of Xiamen and the sister city idea. Our photographer Simon Hoyle sent back a constant stream of great photos on Instagram, now on facebook: Our travel writer Heather Hapeta has written an entertaining series of Xiamen blogs: wellingtons-sister-city-xiamen-fuijianchina/

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Wellington’s revamped sister city relationships By Amanda Cundy, Policy Officer, International Relations, Wellington City Council Over the past few months Wellington has been revamping its already robust collection of international relationships. Covering a wide range of beneficial themes such as trade and logistics, compassion and peace, and film and creative economy, Wellington’s newest partnerships are expected to contribute to the city’s development and versatility.

The following day Wellington Chamber of Commerce president Peter Cullen and Canberra Business Chamber chief executive Robyn Hendry signed a cooperative MOU. The chambers plan to focus on promoting trade and tourism between the regions, and the sharing of information on trade, economic and technology, and will encourage seminars, forums and exhibitions.

During the anticipated lead up to this year’s ANZAC Day, the Wellington City Council unanimously moved for a formal relationship to be established with the Turkish city of Çanakkale, the closest city to the battle fields of Gallipoli. To commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign (known as the Çanakkale land battles in Turkey) a historical sister city agreement was signed by the Mayors of both cities to symbolise graciously moving towards a peaceful, friendly future. The memorandum of understanding signing was accompanied by a ceremonial flag raising event and the construction of a sonic well in central Cuba Street which allowed the citizens of both cities to communicate with each other.

A major purpose for Mayor Celia Wade-Brown’s recent trip to Asia in July was to visit Seoul in South Korea and sign a friendly cities agreement with Mayor Park Won-soon. The MOU focuses on creating ties in the film industry, trade, education and creative economy, and exhibits all the requirements and support to evolve into a sister city relationship in the future. During her trip Mayor WadeBrown visited a number of creative economy projects in the city such as the Centre for Creative Economy and Innovation and the newly developed S-Plex Centre. Recently opened on the 14th July, the S-Plex Centre boasts the nation’s largest e-sports stadium, state of the art 3D movie theatres, cyber security centre, traffic broadcasting system and technology support centre. Mayor Wade-Brown believes there are many opportunities for Wellington’s innovative start-up companies to work together with Seoul and its advanced facilities.

The Turkish Ambassador to New Zealand H.E. Damla Yeşim Say explained that “The sister city relationship between Çanakkale and Wellington will serve as yet another testament to how Turkey and New Zealand have built a new friendship out of the embers of a horrible war.” On the 6th of July Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr led a delegation from Canberra to Wellington to sign a sister city MOU with Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. The two capital cities of rival countries aim to support each other in leading their respective countries on the global stage. Connections between Wellington and Canberra will become stronger and more accessible once Singapore Airlines begins its ‘Capital Express’ route four times a week from September 21st. The civic leaders of both cities anticipate that the flights, which each provide 20 tonnes of freight capacity, will promote opportunities to increase two-way trade and investment between Wellington, Canberra and Singapore, and will also make the Asian market more accessible for local businesses.

During the same trip, Mayor Wade-Brown paid a visit to three of Wellington’s long running international partnerships Xiamen, Tianjin and Beijing. Of the three Chinese cities, Xiamen and Beijing are sister cities and Tianjin is a friendly city. Civic leaders of Beijing welcomed Mayor Wade-Brown with unparalleled warmth and hospitality as Beijing and Wellington honour their 10 year anniversary since their sister city agreement was signed. The milestone was celebrated with the signing of a continued cooperation MOU by Mayor Wade-Brown and the Beijing Party Secretary Guo Jinlong followed by a friendly football match between the Wellington Phoenix and the Beijing BG and the Olympic Sports Stadium. Wellington plans to welcome Xiamen delegates to the city with the same hospitality in 2017, the 30th anniversary of sister city relations between the two cities.

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Two Lower Hutt teachers to co-teach in Minoh Lower Hutt and Minoh City celebrated the 20th Anniversary of their Sister City relationship in October 2015. During these celebrations Mayor Wallace and Mayor Kurata signed an agreement to formalise the establishment of the Hutt-Minoh Teacher Exchange Programme.

October 2016 for two weeks to co-teach English and New Zealand Culture in selected schools. To ensure they learn about the Japanese lifestyle and culture, they will be home hosted during their stay. They will also reciprocate the hospitality when two teachers come to Lower Hutt in 2017 on the return exchange.

Hutt City Council and Minoh City Office have worked together to establish this exchange opportunity for local teachers to experience educational similarities and differences between the Sister Cities and to embrace the culture and lifestyles in each country.

Managed by Linda Goss-Wallace, Projects Manager at Hutt City Council, the MINTEX working group is pleased to announce the two delegates selected to participate in the inaugural Hutt to Minoh Teacher Exchange Programme are: Ardis O’Connor and Michelle Gibson.

Two Lower Hutt teachers will travel to Minoh in

Huge Fundraising Effort for Teacher Exchange By Linda Goss­-Wallace, Hutt City Council Since selection on the Hutt-Minoh Teacher Exchange Programme (MINTEX), Michelle Gibson and Ardis O’Connor have been busy planning fundraising events such as a Quiz Night, a Movie night and many sausage sizzles, to assist toward the costs of the exchange. On 25th June their first big event was a Quiz Night, where over 100 people attended. This included friends and family as well as members from the Hutt Minoh Friendship House Trust,

Hutt Sister City Foundation, and staff from the Embassy of Japan. As Michelle and Ardis depart for Japan at the end of September they will continue their planning and preparation for their presentations, co-teaching in classes and learn more about the Japanese culture and language through the MINTEX working group of volunteers, managed by Linda Goss-Wallace at Hutt City Council.

Paper Cutting artist plans return to Lower Hutt By Linda Goss­-Wallace, Hutt City Council Having built a strong relationship with the Director of the Japan New Zealand Centre (JNZC) in Osaka, for more than 10 years and received many educational, leisure and sporting groups to Lower Hutt, the Hutt City Council and Hutt Valley High School (HVHS) were pleased to host an internationally recognised Paper

Cutting Artist and a group of Junior High School students recently. The artist, Mr Yusuke Shimomura spent some time with Hutt City Council Officer, Linda Goss-Wallace and volunteer interpreter Ikumi Hirayama visiting The Dowse Art Museum’s latest exhibition of local Maori art and craft, The Hutt Art Society and Alfred Memelink’s Artspace Gallery. He was interested in exploring local gallery spaces, as he planned to return to Lower Hutt to exhibit his art and run workshops to teach locals the amazing paper cutting technique in the near future. The visitors were introduced to Lower Hutt through Ms Yuriko Tegoshi from the JNZC after arranging a meeting in Minoh City during October last year, between Mayor Ray Wallace of Lower Hutt, his official party and the Director General (Mayor) of Higashisumiyoshi Ward and his senior officers.

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Ms Tegoshi worked hard to secure the bid for a students group to return to Lower Hutt for three weeks and was fortunate to include an artist with such a unique and interesting craft of intricate paper cutting.

Ikumi Hirayama (volunteer interpreter) and Mr Shimomura

The 7 students were home hosted by families connected to Hutt Valley High School where they spent nearly three weeks in morning classes, learning English and being looked after by a school buddy. Their afternoons included taking in the wonderful sights and activities around the Lower Hutt area and Wellington City. Mayor Ray Wallace hosted afternoon tea for Mr Shimomura and the students from Higashisumiyoshi Ward along with the International Teachers from Hutt Valley High School.

Mayor Ray Wallace, Mr Shimomura, Fiona Howat (HVHS) and the students from Higashisumiyoshi Ward.

Recognition of 35 years as Sister Cities – Lower Hutt/Tempe A Mayoral Reception was held in June at the Lower Hutt Council Chambers to formally welcome teacher, Cassie Lobert, and students, Carmela Guaglianone, Mariah Porritt, and David Ewen who were here on exchange programmes from our Sister City of Tempe, Arizona, USA. During the Reception, as recognition of their achievement in attaining 35 years as sister cities, Hiromi Morris, President of Sister Cities New Zealand, presented certificates to Mayor Ray Wallace and to Cassie Lobert that congratulated the Mayors and citizens of Lower Hutt and Tempe on this relationship. In 1981, Lower Hutt became a sister city with Tempe, Arizona. Tempe had forged a number of sister city relationships with other cities and was operating a very successful student exchange programme with

most of those cities, and Lower Hutt decided to join the programme. The Hutt City Council established the Hutt Sister City Foundation (HSCF) to administer this exchange programme. Since then we have formed other sister city relations with Minoh City, Japan - established 1995, Taizhou City, China – established 2008, and Xian City, China. The sister city agreement was signed on 23 November 1981, and to mark this occasion we will be holding an event in Lower Hutt on Wednesday, 23 November 2016. We would like to get in touch with as many as possible past and present teachers, students, host families, business delegates, and anyone else who has any connection with the Sister City network. Come and celebrate with us!! Please register your interest at and share this with anyone who you think would like to join us.

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30 years of the JET Programme fostering relations with Japan and the rest of the world By Raewyn MacGregor This year the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme celebrates 30 years since its establishment by the Japanese government as a way to bring internationalisation to the people. The idea is that by bringing young people to Japan to assist in English Language Education in schools and provide English Language support to local authorities. On 31 July 2016, 86 Kiwis from all over the country left for Tokyo to begin their lives in Japan and start placements teaching English or working in Local Authorities all over Japan. At the same time JETs who have spent 1-5 years in Japan are packing up their lives after completing their contracts and coming home from their placements all over Japan on CLAIR run programme. The time in Japan on what an official from MFAT called “the world’s most prestigious and well run English teaching programme” at the farewell reception for the outbound Wellington JETs will have been one of fond memories and many challenges. They return home in many cases as different people from who they were when they left. They will have developed an ability to adapt to new situations, understand Japanese culture and developed relationships all over the world. They will also be advocates for internationalism, internationalisation and the sharing of cultures in their communities. By being placed outside of their comfort zone in many cases they will have become stronger and developed soft skills that many find hard to articulate. Since 1987 more than 3000 New Zealanders have

embarked on the JET Programme as part of their OE and many want to give back to the communities in which they grew up but also the communities that supported them in a place where for many it was initially hard to let their guard down and ask for help. Some do this through their local JET Alumni Association (JETAA), of which there is three chapters in New Zealand (Auckland, Wellington, South Island), others do so through sister city organisations or other Japan related cultural groups. Because of this, this year CLAIR organised a meeting of JETAA chapter representatives and Sister Cities New Zealand in which we discussed our common goals and found much common ground in how we work. JETAA’s New Zealand chapters are supportive of sister city relationships and are keen to help out where we can. 28 JET participants recently returned to New Zealand. Areas of Japan where they were based are: Hokkaido, Sendai-City (Miyagi Pref), Yamagata Pref, Iwaki-City (Fukuoka Pref), Tokyo Metropolitan Government, KagaCity (Ishikawa Pref), Shizuoka Pref, Kyoto Pref, Hyogo Pref (includes two from Kobe-City), Nara Pref, FuchuCity (Hiroshima Pref), Tottori Pref, Ainan-Town (Ehime Pref), Saga Pref, Nagasaki Pref (Includes two from Nagasaki City and one from Omura-City), Oita Pref, Miyazaki Pref, Okinasa Pref. To find out more please contact, either your local JETAA chapter or myself Raewyn MacGregor,

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Leaving on a JET plane for Lower Hutt’s sister city in Minoh, Japan By Linda Goss-Wallace, Hutt City COuncil Five young people Thomas Palmer, Hannah Van Vliet, Martin Wabnitz, April Sului, Malcolm Pimentel from Lower Hutt will soon be heading to Minoh, Japan to teach English on the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching) programme. Minoh in Osaka has been Lower Hutt’s Sister City for 21 years. To apply for the JET programme, applicants must have completed a university degree in any subject before going through a rigorous international application process. It has taken about nine months since applying to be finally selected. The JET programme is supported by the Embassy of Japan in Wellington who coordinate all the NZ applications. The final decision was made by the Japanese Council of Local And International Relations (CLAIR) in Tokyo, who recently advised the successful applicants of their new city for the next year. Thomas and Martin have already had some experience mentoring and tutoring students at university so assisting in classes will not be totally new to them. Malcolm is multilingual and has completed a degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Hannah has completed an honours degree in Japanese language so has a head start on her colleagues who are learning the

basics of Japanese language and culture prior to leaving at the end of the month. Only April has been to Japan before as she has a sister already on the JET programme. The new JETs met with Mayor Wallace to talk about their exciting opportunity to travel to Minoh, immerse themselves in Japanese culture, represent Lower Hutt and teach English as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) in Primary and Junior High Schools for a minimum of one year. Mayor Wallace was pleased to meet these young Ambassadors who will not only teach English in Minoh schools but will interact with locals promoting their hometown and strengthening the Lower Hutt-Minoh Sister City relationship. Minoh City Mayor Kurata is thrilled to receive so many young people from Lower Hutt to live and teach in Minoh for the first time in over ten years, since a similar programme finished in 2006. The new JETs will also be very involved with the Hutt Friendship Club, based in Minoh, who Skype with their counterparts in Lower Hutt each month to discuss topics of mutual interest. It will be great to see local faces in Minoh and hear about their experiences. It is just another example of the growing intercultural engagement and continued internationalisation between our sister cities.

From left: Hannah van Vliet, Malcolm Pimentel, Mayor Ray Wallace, Martin Wabnitz, April Sului and Thomas Palmer

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