Sister Cities New Zealand newsletter October 2017

Page 1

N E W S L E T T E R October 2017

SCNZ Networking evening in Wellington Hiromi Morris SCNZ networking evening for the Central NZ Region was held on 23 August in Wellington with assistance from Local Government New Zealand. About 40 representatives from Embassies (Japan, China, USA), supporting organisations (MFAT, Asia NZ Foundation), and local governments as far as Horowhenua and Palmerston North, and community / individual members attended. Hiromi Morris welcomed guests in a Korowai which was gifted to SCNZ by Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt at the annual conference in May and Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace (SCNZ Vice President) spoke about the next annual conference in Lower Hutt 24-26

May 2018. Marcus Boshier, Director-Youth, gave a briefing on upcoming youth events; Korero 2017 in November in Wellington (youth-focussed debate), and the Youth Tour to China planned and organised by SCNZ Youth Subcommittee for April 2018. It was a casual and friendly gathering that everyone introduced themselves with information on their activities and participants enjoyed interaction, sharing information and getting to know each other. Malcolm Alexander, CEO of Local Government New Zealand concluded the evening with positive comment on the importance of collaboration with other organisations.

From the board The board are pleased to announce that SCNZ has appointed a new advisor, Rex Capil. We also welcome our new corporate member, Experience Mid Canterbury.

Rex Capil Group Manager Community and Futures, Southland District Council Rex has been involved with Community and Regional Development with the Southland District Council since 1996. Rex has strong international relationship development and partnership experience – from both a professional career perspective and also in a volunteer capacity as World Baseball Softball Confederation - Oceania President and WBSC Board member. He has travelled extensively to assist in building strong international relationships for his work and in his international softball role – including to Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, China (20+ cities), Germany, South Africa, Botswana.

Experience Mid Canterbury Haere mai, Nihao, Konnichiwa, Welcome to Mid Canterbury - From the Southern Alps (Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana) to the South Pacific Ocean. Mid Canterbury is full of great New Zealand (Aotearoa) experiences. Experience Mid Canterbury Tourism is the regional tourism operator for the Mid Canterbury region which is located in the South Island of New Zealand. We are tasked with the promotion of our stunning district. Mid Canterbury is home to a huge number of activities and attractions in Ashburton (Hakatere), Methven (Piwakawaka), Rakaia, Mt Somers (Te Kiekie), Staveley and Mt Hutt. Just one hours drive from Christchurch Airport, whether you’re driving north, south, east or west, Mid Canterbury is the perfect stop. Getting here couldn’t be easier. Check out what we have to offer at: Bruce Moffat, General Manager, Experience Mid Canterbury

N E W S L E T T E R October 2017

Canterbury came together recently to share their ideas and Sister City experiences. Linda Paterson, Christchurch City Council A Sister Cities Plenary was hosted by Christchurch City Council in conjunction with neighbouring districts including Hurunui, Selwyn and Ashburton and supported by Sister Cities New Zealand. It was held at the Christchurch RSA on Saturday 2nd September. The session was an opportunity to share ideas and knowledge and to promote Sister City relationships. Key note speaker Caroline Blanchfield, Business Development Manager of ChristchurchNZ spoke about Tourism, Airlines and Christchurch as an International city and said that sister cities are a conduit for links and partnerships in tourism, education, arts and culture across the world. Rob Hall, Chief Executive Officer of Development Christchurch Ltd spoke about the future of international relationships in business and investment and stated that it is important that we get the positive messages about Christchurch and Canterbury out internationally to inspire confidence – and that Cantabrians are our greatest ambassadors.

A youth panel led a lively discussion on how to involve young people in Sister City activities, with a range of ideas put forward. Some said that young people would be very interested if they knew more about sister cities and would take up the opportunities provided through their activities such as cultural exchanges and events. This led into the publicity and social media panel where the discussion was around how to better promote sister cities and engage with the community. Sister Cities New Zealand president Hiromi Morris attended the plenary and led a discussion around sister cities conferences. In opening the plenary, Christchurch Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner said, “It is the work that you do with Sister Cities and people to people relationships, as volunteers on committees, as council staff, as leaders of your communities and as that makes the real difference. The strength of the relationships that you develop makes positive impact on individuals and communities all across the world.”

N E W S L E T T E R October 2017

Palmerston North and Guiyang Celebrate 25th Sister City Anniversary Toni Grace, Palmerston North City Council The 25 year anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Guiyang, China and Palmerston North was celebrated recently during a Mayoral-led city delegation visit to China. During the event, Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith and Guiyang Mayor Liu Wenxin signed a Letter of Intent to cooperate on education, vocational training, consultancy and research. In recognition of the signing of the Letter of Intent and the 25th anniversary, UCOL and Palmerston North City Council also announced the establishment of 25 $10,000 scholarships for students from Guiyang. “Guiyang is a thriving and top performing city, and is positioning itself as a world leader in environmental sustainability and big data,” says Mayor Smith. “We’re committed to growing education links between our Sister Cities and also had a fruitful discussion about a possible economic cooperation agreement to advance business and commercial cooperation, as well as a tourism MOU.” Guiyang Mayor Liu Wenxin says 25 years is a brief moment in the long history of human history. “But in this time our two cities have established a deep friendship,

and formed good mechanisms for collaboration and fruitful cooperation.” Guiyang is the Capital of Guizhou province. With a population of almost five million people it offers a number of opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation with Palmerston North through the Sister City relationship. Guiyang indicated it wants to establish sister schools and send over Chinese language teachers to Palmerston North. “Other members of the delegation also advanced a number of exciting opportunities while we were there,” says Mayor Smith. “These span the beef trade, specialist helicopter pilot training and related services, and Massey University’s existing 35 year relationship with Guizhou University.” The Palmerston North Mayor travelled to China with a special delegation to explore business opportunities and undertake a number of education, agribusiness and tech visits. The delegation included representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Central Economic Development Agency, Building Clever Companies, Massey University, UCOL, Helisolutions, BlueSky Group, and Southern Cross International Import & Export Trade Ltd.

N E W S L E T T E R October 2017

2017 Hutt Tempe Student Exchange Julianne Hutley, Hutt Sister City Foundation We have successfully completed another exciting student exchange with our sister city, Tempe Arizona. At the end of May, this year’s Tempe students, Makenna Colton, Gaby Urias, Lexi Youngs, and Riley Wright were greeted at Wellington airport with a Powhiri performed by our Lower Hutt students and the Hutt City Council Kapa Haka Group. From that point, friendships were formed with our Hutt students; Lauren Hutley, Ellarose Lamberton, Kacie Jones, and Kiralee Cooke, and the adventures began.

At the beginning of July, it was time for the Hutt students to begin their part of their exchange. They arrived in the Tempe heat to rejoin their sisters and meet their families. A week was spent exploring with them before students from Tempe’s other sister cities arrived to begin the Tempe Student Exchange Programme. This included lots of pool parties, camping in the Grand Canyon, a road trip to California, spending almost an entire day at Disneyland, and going to an American Prom, amongst other things.

Each year the students’ family group develops the itinerary for the Lower Hutt programme with support from the Hutt Sister City Foundation. This year’s programme took our students to the Wairarapa for the night, exploring the coast to Cape Palliser, numerous activities in Lower Hutt and Wellington, a road trip to Taupo, Rotorua, and Hobbiton, as well as family weekends to Christchurch and Taranaki. Adventures included bungy jumping, jetboating, a helicopter ride, four wheel driving, tramping, ziplining, sky swinging, luging, and high ropes at Adrenalin Forest.

After five action packed weeks, our Hutt students tearfully said their goodbyes to their sisters and families. But the adventure hadn’t quite finished as they were very fortunate to spend four days in Houston hosted by Jennifer Vastola Soley, who is the mother of 2014 Tempe student delegate, Emma Soley, before heading home.

This year, our Tempe students spent a couple of days in Auckland with Paul and Suzi Duffin, President and Student Co-ordinator of HSCF before returning to Tempe.

Along the way, connections have been made with students from all over the world, lifetime friendships have been cemented with families in the two cities, and the students themselves have benefitted from life-changing experiences. A lot of hard work goes in behind the scenes to make this programme so successful but we can’t emphasise enough what an amazing and beneficial programme this is between our two sister cities.

N E W S L E T T E R October 2017

Zheijang delegation to Wellington Jennifer Zhou, Wellington City Council On 24 August, Sister Cities New Zealand was invited by Wellington City Council to meet a Zhejiang CPAFFC delegation led by Ms Chen Aizhen, Executive Vice President of the Association. The meeting was joint with representatives from the Hutt City Council, Local Government New Zealand, Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency and New Zealand China Friendship Society. Tom Yuan, International Relations Manager of Wellington City Council, chaired the meeting. Ms Chen spoke first about the purpose of this visit as to further strengthen peopleto-people friendship and to facilitate the communication and exchanges between Wellington and Zhejiang. Hiromi Morris welcomed the delegates on behalf of SCNZ presented a brief of the next Sister Cities New Zealand Conference in May 2018, and the flourishing relationship with Zhejiang since 2012. Hiromi extended high willingness to work in close collaboration with Zhejiang and expressed keen interests in the three weeks free home staying cultural

exchange programme in a traditional Chinese village in Jinhua, a city in central Zhejiang. Both parties agreed to work together and promote university students from New Zealand to participate in the 2018 programme. On 6 September, Sister Cities New Zealand was invited by Wellington City Council to attend a New Zealand – China tea cultural exchange event at Begonia House, in Wellington Botanic Garden. The Council, China Culture Centre New Zealand and Ming Tea Studio organised this event. Hiromi welcomed the Zhejiang China International Tea Culture Institute delegation led by Mr Zhou Guofu, exgovernor of Zhejiang Province on behalf of SCNZ alongside other VIP guests from Wellington City Council, the Chinese Embassy, Te Papa and Victoria University of Wellington. Hutt City Mayor Wallace, also the vice president of SCNZ met the delegation later on that day as well. The delegation was very interested in learning about the 2018 Sister Cities New Zealand Conference and agreed to help promote the Conference in Zhejiang.

N E W S L E T T E R October 2017

Palmerston North’s budding friendship with Mihara, Japan Toni Grace, Palmerston North City Council As part of a Mayoral-led business delegation to Asia, Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith recently visited Japan and spent two days in Mihara to explore a possible friendship city relationship. Key themes of the Japan visit included international education and emergency management cooperation. The Palmerston North delegation was formally hosted at a welcome reception with cultural performances including a traditional Yassa dance (famous in Mihara) and a stirring Haka from the members of the Hiroshima New Zealand Friendship Society. During the reception the delegation was able to display a mini expo and promotional videos about Palmerston North. On day one of the visit, the delegation took the ferry to Sagi Island and visited Sagiura Elementary school. The school’s 11 pupils had been diligently practicing their English in advance of the visit and took part in their first Skype call with Terrace End School in Palmerston North. The Terrace End students had the remarkable experience of speaking to their Mayor on Skype all the way from Japan! Mihara city is keen for its young people to gain international experience and improve English language skills, and hopes a friendship city relationship with Palmerston North will

support this. The Sagiura/Terrace End Skype link will be an ongoing channel for language and cultural learning between the two schools, and further sister schools are going to be matched up between the two cities. The Palmerston North City Council is also keen to learn from Japanese experience in disaster management, including earthquake preparedness and response, so the delegation also visited the Mihara disaster response centre. With Japan soon hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics, the delegations also discussed opportunities to cooperate on sport and tourism initiatives in the lead up to these significant events. A delegation from Mihara, led by Mayor Yoshinori Tenma, previously visited Palmerston North in 2016 to start the connection, where Mayor Smith was invited to reciprocate the visit during Mihara Castle’s special 450th anniversary year. While in Japan, the delegation also spent a day in Hiroshima hosted by the Hiroshima Friendship Society, including visits to the Hiroshima Peace Museum and Miyajima Island. The delegation also travelled to Okayama to visit the International Pacific University (IPU), which also has a campus in Palmerston North.

N E W S L E T T E R October 2017

Upcoming events Wellington-Xiamen Exhibition - in celebration of Thirty Years! An outstanding exhibition of art from both cities will be at the historic St James Theatre from November 27th – December 8th along with an exhibition of photographs of the people of both cities. If you wish to receive further details please contact Susan Superville (WXA Vice President) closer to the date. Susan Superville Wellington Xiamen Association

SCNZ Conference 24-26 May 2018, Lower Hutt Lower Hutt Events Centre, Laings Road, Lower Hutt - opening in 2018 The theme is "connecting globally through technology" and hosted by Hutt City Council.