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Sister Cities New Zealand August 2015

2016 Sister Cities Conference in Nelson

Planning Well Underway for 2016 Sister Cities Conference in Nelson Nelson City Council and their Sister Cities Co-ordinating Group are thrilled to be host city for the 2016 Sister Cities Conference scheduled for 28-30 April 2016. The theme “Connecting People – Celebrating our Past, Creating our Future” allows a great opportunity to acknowledge some significant Sister City milestones. These include the 40-year anniversary of the Nelson-Miyazu relationship & 35 years since the establishment of Sister Cities New Zealand. If you or your organisation has a special anniversary in 2016 please advise Sister Cities New Zealand ( so it can be recognised. Why not extend your Conference stay in Nelson and spend a little extra time exploring the beaches, national parks, gardens, galleries, boutique brewers, wineries, fresh produce & health/wellbeing options for which the region is famous? Time has already been allowed in the Conference programme for a visit to the well-known Nelson Market but there is much, much more to enjoy. The invitation is open to you and your family (and it is school holidays) - so watch for more information as the 2016 Conference plans take shape. Conference organisers will work with you to make sure you get the best from the Nelson-Tasman region no matter how long you choose to stay. Lyndal McMeeking, Conference Coordinator, 2016 Sister Cities Conference

Local Government New Zealand - 2015 conference

Left to right: Ray Wallace (Mayor of Hutt City), Lawrence Yule (President LGNZ, Mayor of Hastings), Hiromi Morris

Left to right: Ray Wallace (Mayor of Hutt City), Malcolm Alexander (CEO LGNZ), Hiromi Morris

Hiromi Morris was invited to the LGNZ Rotorua conference in July, after a successful workshop hosted by Government House in April 2015. The conference provided a great opportunity for networking, and promoting sister city activities. Special thanks to Malcolm Alexander, CEO of LGNZ, for his understanding and support to our organisation.

CLAIR Sydney welcomes a new Director Farewell to Yasuhiko Tanabe - our appreciation to him for his support during his tenure, and we wish him the very best for his new assignment as Secretary General CLAIR headquarters in Tokyo.

A warm welcome to Katsunori Kamibo, the new Director of CLAIR Sydney, and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship with CLAIR. For more details visit: URL:

New MFAT Advisor to the Board of Sister Cities New Zealand David Pennycook, Advisor to the Board I joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in February 2015 and am the desk officer for Japan. I have previously resided in Japan for 10 years – 1 year at Hiroshima University; 3 years on the JET Programme in Oita Prefecture; and 5.5 years as a visa officer at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo. Back in New Zealand, I have worked for Immigration NZ, Fonterra and the Embassy of Japan, before joining MFAT. Sister and friendship city relationships with Japan have played a large part in my life. As a high-school student on the North Shore in Auckland, my family hosted students and teachers from Ichikawa City (Chiba Prefecture) each year. On the JET Programmes, I was responsible for coordinating three visits between my Japanese town, Amagase, and its sister city, the Buller Region. I am very interested to see how sister and friendship city relationships are developing around the world and look forward to meeting you all.

By Gail Collingwood

Pat Jones

Pat Jones, a life Member of the Nelson Miyazu Association and a member of the Sister Cities New Zealand board from 1992 to 1996, was recently presented with a City of Nelson Crest along with a certificate of appreciation to recognise her contribution to Sister City relationships since 1990. The crest is a very special recognition of a high level of service to the City. During her time on the SCNZ board Pat served as a director and then as the secretary. As part of a special project Pat visited every council in the country with a formal Sister City agreement collecting information to compile a directory. Pat was one of four SCNZ board members invited to visit China in 1995 as guests of the China Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. Her main focus has been on Japan and the first visit to the City of Miyazu happened in 1990. Later that year she organised the first Festival of Japan. Other visits to Japan followed from 1991 and in 2007 for a final sayonara visit.

Pat floated the idea of the establishment of Miyazu Gardens within Miyazu Park and this was supported by both councils with people from Miyazu coming to Nelson to help guide the planning and planting. In 1991 Pat was asked to visit Glenorchy in Hobart, Tasmania to assess the status of the sister city relationship signed in the 1980’s and on return recommended that the agreement be annulled by both councils. Pat was instrumental in establishing and formalising a new sister city relationship in 2000 with Eureka in California, although the activity between Nelson and Eureka has fallen away over recent years. During her time as the Nelson City Council Sister City Coordinator Pat has worked closely with four Mayors and several councils encouraging and promoting the links between the cities with whom Nelson City Council has agreements. Pat says she has made many friends through sister cities and many of these friendships are ongoing.

Taiwan's Economic Development and Cooperation with Bing Lou New Zealand On Thursday 30 July, SCNZ board members Bing Lou and Hiromi

Moreover, New Zealand has a lot more to gain in cooperation with

Morris had the pleasure of attending the Asia New Zealand

Taiwan beyond trade.

Foundation talk on Taiwan’s Economic Development and

There is a well deployed Taiwanese business network in China and

Cooperation with New Zealand.

Asia, particularly useful as a test bed for small and medium enterpries

Dr Jiann Chyuan-Wang from the Chung-Hua Institution for

to become familiar with Chinese processes. Additionally, tourism and

Economic Research provided an indepth overview of Taiwan’s past

educational exchanges are an integral part of growing bilateral

and present global trade and investment, as well as key regional

relations, particularly with close ties in indigenous history, people and

strategies, policy measures and economic developments.


Taiwan is a fast growing high-tech industrial nation. Its multiple

Back in 1997 North Shore Mayor George Gair signed the sister city

science and technology research centres have helped develop its

agreement with Taiching City in Taiwan. The relationship plays an

high-tech industries, particularly in textile/garment production,

important role in trade and cultural matters, allowing New Zealand

electronic and automobile production, and biotechnology research

and Taiwan to learn from each other, especially in the science-

and innovation.

technology industries, such as renewable energies and electronic

In relation to New Zealand, Taiwan is now our eighth largest export


market, and we import a number of their bicycles, turbo engines

There is no doubt New Zealand will continue fostering economic and

and steel. With over 23 million people, Taiwan has high potential as

cultural relations with Taiwan into the future.

a place to do business, especially as a gateway to other markets including China, ASEAN, Japan and the United States.

Asia New Zealand Foundation website: URL:

Osaka High School Rugby training camp

Welcome reception at the Petone Rugby Club

Initiated with Japan New Zealand Centre (formally Kansai New Zealand Centre) in Osaka, Japan, Hutt City i-SITE Visitor Centre, Lower Hutt and Christian Cullen Management Group, a rugby training program is created to teach players and coaches the fundamentals of the game. The cultural and sport exchange has been running since 2008 and has had another year of success. A group of high school rugby players from the Osaka Prefecture, accompanied by teachers and coaches in a week-long visit to Lower Hutt, arrived on the 22 July and were very pleased with the exchange. The Japanese high school students are hosted with local families which gives them the opportunity to immerse themselves in Kiwi culture. The rugby camp hosted by the Petone Rugby Club and training run by the Christian Cullen Management Group consists of fitness, skill development and testing, with a match against a local school.

Hutt City Council

Photo: Masanori Udagawa and Hutt City Council

This year the squad of 23 went up against Hutt International Boys School (HIBS) and after a fairly even game our visitors from Japan came away with a 24-17 win. Exchanges between Japan and New Zealand continue to develop and strengthen and future rugby camps look to increase. These programs are supported by Hutt City Council in particular the team of local experts in the i-SITE Visitor Centre. Photo: Left of the seated group: Ms Kazue Fuijimoto – Japan Information Cultural Centre, Embassy of Japan, Wellington; Mr Maeda – Japan Rugby Football Union; Linda Goss-Wallace – Lower Hutt Mayoress. Right of the seated group: Mrs Hiromi Morris – President of SCNZ; David Pollock – Rugby and Beyond/Petone Rugby Club and Christian Cullen – Christian Cullen Management Group.

Masterton District Council Jonathan Hooker

Vice Mayoral delegation picture includes our two Iwi leaders. Chen to the left of Mayor Lyn Patterson. Nelson Rangi and Mike Kawana to her right. Photos: supplied by Jonathan Hooker

Deputy Mayor Graham McClymont, Stu Orme Guide, Xixi White-Guo, Jason Deiderich Helicopter pilot

In January we hosted a six person delegation from Changchun led by Vice Mayor Si Chen. The delegation included officials with an interest in deer, as well as a businessman also with an interest in NZ venison for his restaurant chain. There was discussion with a local deer farmer, and holder of paua and crayfish quota. We also visited Watsons and Son’s - a local manuka honey company which specialises in medicinal honey preparations. On their way out of the country we were hosted at Deer Industry New Zealand. At Sister Cities Conference time our good friend Ke Liu (Leo) from Changchun Foreign Affairs paid a quick visit to continue discussions about venison and honey. At the same time Xixi Guo a, businesswomen from Changchun and now married to a Kiwi visited. Another area we are working on is high end tourism so both Ki and Xixi were flown into the Tararua’s for a quick fishing trip. A smaller than usual group of five students and two chaperones visited for ten days from Hatsukaichi. The students were of various ages and are selected from across the city, not from a specific school. On their return home a Sister School arrangement has been started between one of our local schools which has been amalgamated (Primary and Intermediate) and a school that was being amalgamated back in Hatsukaichi. We hosted two teachers from Changchun who came for five weeks working in various schools. Shi Caichun (Jack) and Yang Shuang (Audrey) were originally teachers but were now working from the Educational and Teaching Research Centre. Audrey in particular was researching how New Zealand schools internally assessed their students.

Hosted two teachers Yang Shuang (Audrey) Shi Caichun (Jack)

Hatsukaichi students

Auckland Council Rural Fire Authority Nemec, Auckland Council. On Display In Fukuoka By Kathryn Photos supplied. The Auckland Council Rural Fire Authority are not your ‘usual suspects’ when it comes to supporting partner city relationships. However, they quickly responded to a recent request for a new fire fighters uniform and made a generous contribution of a brand new uniform to the Fukuoka Disaster Prevention Centre. The Fukuoka City Disaster Prevention Center opened in 1992. Since then about 2.5 million people have visited the Center from Japan and abroad. Visitors learn how to survive disaster such as earthquakes, fires and typhoons, through hands on activities. Not only do visitors experience simulated disasters, but they also learn how to improve their judgements in critical situations. Firefighter uniforms from all Fukuoka’s sister cities (Atlanta, Auckland, Bordeaux, Busan, Guangzhou, Ipoh and Oakland) are on display at the Disaster Prevention Centre. However, both the Auckland uniform and information about Auckland Council, had become very out of date. As a result, we received an unusual request for a new fire fighters uniform, and the Auckland Council Rural Fire Authority gifted a new helmet, jacket, trousers, gloves and other protective gear, for the display. In addition, information about the role of the Rural Fire Authority was provided - what they do, and the services they provide for citizens of Auckland. The Auckland Council Rural Fire Authority plays a hugely important role in managing disasters across the Auckland region and within local communities. With over 260 volunteer fire fighters across the region, the service relies on men and women who are willing to help their neighbours, their friends, and their communities when needed.

Left: Display of Auckland Firefighter Uniform. Donated by Auckland Council Rural Fire Authority in May 2015. Above: Fukuoka City Disaster Prevention Centre


Lower Hutt, NZ – Minoh, Japan: 20th Anniversary 1995-2015 By Linda Goss-Wallace, Hutt City Council

Minoh City Mayor Tetsuro Kurata and a delegation of 21 visited Lower Hutt recently to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their Sister City Relationship and close friendship. During their stay, the delegation attended several official events, enjoyed a local festival - Te Ra O Te Raukura, visited Te Papa and Weta Workshops and took in local sightseeing. Some members of the delegation were home hosted by locals which gave them the opportunity to learn more about the kiwi lifestyle, language and culture. A special event, “Tomodachi Day” (Tomodachi translates to “Friend”), was organised by Hutt City Council’s Project Manager, Linda Goss-Wallace to bring together the Japanese guests, dignitaries and members of the public to celebrate 20 years of friendship. A Maori welcome from the Council’s Kapa Haka Roopu, “He Ngakau Kotahi”, was followed by official speeches and waiata then Mayor Kurata joined Lower Hutt’s Mayor Ray Wallace to cut a celebration cake. Guests and public then enjoyed local group performances of Taiko Drumming, Koten Dance, Sumo and Karate.

Members of the delegation joined in and demonstrated the traditional Japanese arts of tea ceremony, calligraphy, watercolour painting and origami. See a short video on the event here: Currently two schools and a library in each city connect daily via the that was initiated from Mayor’s Kurata’s previous visit to Lower Hutt in 2011. During this visit, discussions between the Mayors were about extending more connections and engagement between Lower Hutt and Minoh. In the coming years the focus will be on increasing the Skype Program and creating more exchanges between schools, teachers and students. Over 30 teachers, students and Hutt City Council representatives will travel to Minoh later this year to continue the 20th anniversary celebrations. in Normandale, Lower Hutt, a regional hub for learning Japanese culture, arts and language, hosted the delegation during their stay.

“Tomadachi Day” 7

Our kiwi ‘No.8 wire’ thinking can add-value globally

James Lamb

Attendees at a recent Hutt Valley of Chamber of Commerce “a taste of Japan” Business After Five networking event in July heard that Kiwis can offer Japan a lot.

the very deep 20 year relationship with our sister City Minoh in Osaka. Several local businesses now exploring opportunities to join a group trip with the Mayor to Minoh in September.

Ian Kennedy, Chairman of the Japan New Zealand Business Council says that our no.8 wire attitude is increasingly relevant – “especially when you match our inherent problem solving skills with the Japanese ability to deliver top-notch precision and quality.”

“I invite anyone who is keen to establish or enhance connections with Japan to join us. We can help you kick start your venture in Japan as we look to engage more with the Osaka business community.”

As Lower Hutt grows to be one of New Zealand’s centres of science and technology, with a focus on innovation, Japan becomes increasingly relevant, given their own international reputation as a leading high-tech manufacturer and innovator. “It may take some time to reach a deal. The investment in building relationships, especially face to face, is vital in a country where trust comes before a contract. “When you do strike it right, you know you’ve got a business partner for the long haul.” Some of Lower Hutt ‘s leading exporters such as HTS-110 Ltd, Imagination Technologies NZ Ltd, Tekron international, Solid State Equipment Ltd, Callaghan Innovation Research Limited, Macaulay Metals, Trinity Bioactives and many others are already doing business in Japan. Mayor Ray Wallace is hopeful more local businesses can take advantage of

“As well as our trip in September, the Japan New Zealand Business Council are your go to team when you’re starting a venture in Japan and can help with new business opportunities, networks and research.” Hutt City Council would like to thank Sister Cities New Zealand President Hiromi Morris for the introduction to Ian Kennedy and the ongoing work possible through introductions to further establish networks on offer in Japan and around New Zealand. Find out more by contacting James Lamb, International Relations Manager at Hutt City Council or 027 266 9295

Number 8 wire is a gauge of wire on the British Standard wire gauge that has entered into the cultural lexicon of New Zealand. Number 8 wire is often used inventively and practically for applications other than fencing. It is also used as a term that epitomises the "kiwi bloke" as someone who can turn their hand to anything, most commonly found in the phrase "a number 8 wire mentality", meaning the ability to create or repair machinery using whatever scrap materials are available to hand.

JET Programme (Japan Exchange & Teaching) By Melissa Huggins, Embassy of Japan With the addition of this year’s 92 participants from across New Zealand departing to take part in the 2015 intake, the number of Kiwis taking part in the JET Programme will spill over 3000 – making it one of the most important and successful exchange programmes between Japan and New Zealand spanning almost three decades. The JET Programme started in 1987, back when there were only 4 countries participating and there are now over 4,700 JETs spread across Japan from over 40 countries. Most of the successful 2015 JET Programme participants from New Zealand arrived in Japan on Sunday 2 August and spent two days at Tokyo Orientation before heading to their new homes all around the country to promote internationalisation at a grass-roots level. A number of these JETs have received placements in areas with sister city links with New Zealand such as Otaru-shi, Eniwa-shi,

Photo: supplied by Melissa Huggins Tomakomai-shi (all in Hokkaido), Shinagawa in Tokyo, Miyazu in Kyoto and Minoh in Osaka. We wish them all the best for an exciting year ahead and look forward to welcoming them back to New Zealand with open arms when they choose to return from the JET Experience. If you are interested in applying for the JET Programme there are information sessions around the country in August and September. Applications for the 2016 Programme will open in mid-October. For more information please see: URL: or or URL:

The JET programme started in 1987 - with 848 participants from just four countries (including New Zealand) that year. In 2015, the 29th year of the programme, there are 4,786 participants from 43 countries.

(Successful 2015 JET Programme August departees from Wellington with Ambasador Takata at their “Itte-Rasshai Function” on Friday 31 July)

The Sakai Wellington Educational Exchange 2015

L to R: Castlepoint, horseriding, and Sakai students performing a traditional fishing dance. For just over 20 years, Wellington and Sakai have been sister cities.

students spend three days in the Wairarapa, climbing, tramping, high

And for 20 years, the Wellington Nakano Educational Society (see

wire balancing, and sightseeing. On their last day back in Wellington

WNES on Facebook) has been exchanging young secondary school

they visit Zealandia (this year with a sighting of the amazing kakapo,

students between schools and families here and in Sakai. Over this

Sirocco) and ride horses in the Ohariu Valley, courtesy of the

time 400 students have participated in the programme.

Wellington Sakai Association. Many of our guests have never seen a horse in the flesh, let alone ridden one.

In the latest round Wellington College and Newlands College have hosted 26 fourteen-year-olds over two weeks from the end of July.

The students of the first Wellington-Sakai exchange are now 35

The main features of the programme are the home-stay

years of age. None of them will have forgotten their positive

arrangements, time in the schools and excursions around

experience in Sakai and in Wellington in 1994. Many of them are


now moving up the management ladder, making decisions in business and government and health and education – to name but a

The most important part of the exchange every year for the

few professions. Their careers are accelerating at precisely the time

students of both cities is that they stay in family homes, live within

that new technology such as social media and easier international

families, experience how their host brothers and sisters study and

communication means the sister city relationship can move ahead.

have fun; see the busy work schedules of the parents; and enjoy the hobbies and entertainment. The best way for a young person to

Like sister city arrangements, educational exchanges are not about

learn something about another culture is to live for a while with a

short term payoffs or even medium term government policies. Their

family in that other country. Despite language barriers, the guests

benefits come over decades, and it's thanks to wisdom of leaders

quickly learn the conventions of normal weekday home life and then

and officials in both cities that the exchange has been so successful

are usually treated to the local tourist highlights in the weekends.

over the past two decades.

In the first week, the visitors are split up between the two host

The final event is a farewell dinner, this year addressed by the

schools. The schools provide a Kiwi cultural welcome. The students

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. A spokesperson for the

attend normal classes where, it has to be said, they may be slightly

students made a thank you speech and the whole visitor group

at a loss, and they are provided with specific ESOL classes.

performed a fishing dance. It’s always striking how close are the friendships that have been quickly established between the students

In the second week we showcase what New Zealand does best,

and their host siblings. The evening finishes very slowly with

some outdoor experiences, albeit in the dead of winter. The

innumerable happy group photos. Frances Yamada

Mayor of Wuxi visits Hamilton By Justine Allen

Mayor of Wuxi – Wang Quan visited Hamilton last Monday with a delegation of around 11 people from the municipal government. It was a special visit as it is the first time in over 10 years that the Mayor of Wuxi has joined a delegation visit to Hamilton. They had a meet and greet and lunch in the Office of the Mayor with Mayor Julie Hardaker, Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman, and city councillors, as well as the following people:

Mayor Julie Hardaker, Anne Sayers

Also in attendance at the ceremony was Anne Sayers. Anne was president of the NZ China Friendship Society (Hamilton branch) in the 1980’s when the sister city agreement was established between Hamilton and Wuxi Anne was also a NZ China Friendship Society national executive She also was the Chair of the Chinese Scholars Garden Trust helping to bring in

Photos: Greg Taipari

Former Hamilton Mayor Margaret Evans Chinese Consul General (Auckland) Mr Niu Qingbao Chinese Consul (Auckland) Mr Zhan Yhui Chinese Consul (Auckland) Zhang Heqing NZ China Friendship Society (Hamilton Branch) President Miao Fan and Ian Howat Next year we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary since the signing of the sister city agreement with Wuxi (1986)

Mayor Julie Hardaker, Mayor Wang Quan

funding and volunteers to establish this garden. Anne was gifted at the time some lovely documents from the then Mayor of Wuxi when they donated the tables, stools and plaques to the Chinese Scholars Garden (Anne was instrumental in getting these items donated to the garden). Earlier this year Anne had these documents translated, and has now gifted them to the city / Hamilton Gardens the documents to be put on display.

Asia New Zealand - Leadership Network Asia New Zealand has just welcomed 35 young people to its Leadership Network. Aaron Hape of Commonwealth Youth NZ, who spoke at our recent conference, and Kirk McDowall who also attended our conference representing NZ China Friendship Society Wellington, join more than 300 existing members, including Sister Cities New Zealand’s Youth Director Bing-Ying Lou, and Linton Rathgen, our Auckland based director, who have also both recently been accepted. The aim of the Leadership Network is to nurture the professional development of its members. Further details: URL:

Tina Law wins Best Regional Reporting award from NZ China Council Press reporter Tina Law recently won an award from the NZ China Council, for Best Regional Reporting. Law accompanied the mayoral visit to China with the assistance of the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Her April article “Was the Christchurch mayoral trip to China worthwhile?”, looked at the costs and benefits of a mayoral trip. Press article April 2015: URL:

The inaugural NZ Chinese Language Week is 7-13 September, 2015. For more information, visit: URL:

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

Copy deadline for October issue is 30th Sep 2015.

Sister Cities New Zealand - August 2015  
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