Sister Cities New Zealand newsletter - October 2018

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

2019 Annual Conference: 21- 23 March in Palmerston North - Prosperity through Partnership SCNZ members are encouraged to mark the date for the 2019 SCNZ Conference in Palmerston North themed: “Prosperity through Partnership”. Sessions will explore how international city partnerships can be fostered and managed for economic development outcomes, resulting in tangible benefits for both sides. Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith says that discussions will focus on how NZ cities & districts can achieve the best economic and community development outcomes from international relationships. This includes Sister Cities, Friendship Cities, Economic Alliances and other innovative forms of city or district relationships. The conference will include a practical sessions and workshops on new topics such as:

NZ foreign relations and regional economic development • Opportunities to leverage the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, and 2019 NZ China Year of Tourism • Working with Iwi and Māori business on international partnerships • Environmental cooperation via Sister Cities The annual SCNZ dinner & awards evening will be held on Friday 22 March, and will be well-attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps who travel up to Palmerston North each year to attend our annual Festival of Cultures, being held on Saturday 23 March at the conclusion of the conference.

• The contribution of Sister Cities/global city partnerships to

The conference also aims to capture best practice from up and down the country, so if you or your Council are leading an initiative that you think demonstrates a successful or innovative approach in any of the topics outlined above, please contact to discuss.

> Click to view the draft agenda

> Click to view the online registration form

• Measuring, reporting and communicating benefits of city international relations

Nelson in Full Bloom

Photos: Rayon Mackenzie

By Lyndal McMeeking, Nelson-Miyazu Sister City Association

Nelsonians and visitors alike turned out in big numbers to celebrate the 42-year relationship with Miyazu City & the coming of the cherry blossom in Nelson’s Miyazu Garden on 23 September. A crowd estimated at over 3,000 were treated to a sunny Nelson day (is there any other kind?) and sakura in full bloom as they enjoyed the Japanese food stalls and a varied entertainment programme. Master calligrapher Yuta Nishioka from Japan joined Nelson’s local Grand Master Akiko Crowther to create a spectacular big-brush calligraphy. Many festival-goers took up the

chance to participate in traditional Japanese dance with the ‘Sakura Odori’, a collection of 3 famous Japanese dances lead by the Nelson Japanese Society. The ‘Three Charms’ puppet show by the Koru Sakura theatre group was also a big hit. Local martial arts clubs Nelson Aikido and Shoshin Kendo gave popular demonstrations & the Embassy of Japan’s stall was a sought-after spot, with a steady stream of enquiry about the 2019 Rugby World Cup & 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 16th Nelson Cherry Blossom Festival was a festive celebration of the culture, the season and all things Japanese.

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

2018 NZ China Youth Leadership Summit By Jan Fitz-Gerald, Institute of Global Engagement New Zealand A very successful Youth Leadership Summit was held in July 2018. This was the first time China hosted the event and Qingdao (Auckland’s Sister City) pulled out all the stops to present a truly wonderful experience for students. The inaugural summit was held in Auckland in 2017. The purpose of the summit is to prepare the next generation of global citizens and leaders. They must learn about each other’s history and culture, experience living and working together and most importantly engage and explore their differences and similarities and how they can work their way through these differences within a cross-cultural environment. A delegation of senior leaders from NZ high schools enjoyed a two week program of special topics and leadership workshops. They applied for a place on the program and were highly recommended by their school. The program included special topic days in history, culture, innovation, technology and politics as they visited Hangzhou, Beijing and Qufu (home of Confucius). Then to Qingdao for the leadership summit held in Qingdao No. 9 School and kindly and most generously supported by the Qingdao Education Bureau and Qingdao Foreign Affairs Office. Close to 100 students attended the Summit workshops. Our delegation experienced living in hotels, the boarding school of Qingdao No.9 and in homestay – it was an authentic immersion program for our group.

Invercargill to Auckland with some kindly supported by their school, local government or local clubs to help with costs. We are delighted to announce that Christchurch City will be the 2019 host city. We trust this will be a welcome initiative for China NZ Year of Tourism with keen interest already from students, schools and supporters. “The summit was a lot more than a 2 week trip. It was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. The people we met along the way were amazing and the activities we got to do were incredible, while learning so much. I’m so privileged to have come on this trip and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Its organised perfectly and we all had the best time.” - Lukas Scowen, Western Heights High School, Rotorua

Some of the workshop topics included global relations (China and NZ); global issues, barriers and challenges; facing change and transformation, tomorrows leaders’ workshops, history and culture of China and group project work.

“The youth leadership summit was the most amazing opportunity I’ve had. It was a really amazing eye opener into another country’s culture and allowed me to experience something different and step outside my comfort zone. Connecting with the Chinese students was also really fun as we got to know them we realised that they are not as different to us as we may think, and there are opportunities for great friendships. The New Zealand group that was put together was the best group of people I have met, and we have established life-long friendships and connections. Overall, I would highly recommend this to anyone who thinks they might have a career that involves international relations, anyone who wants to step outside of their comfort zone, anyone that wants to experience something new or wants to try a change of lifestyle for a period of time.”

Our student delegation came from many NZ regions from

- Amelia Taylor, Mt Hutt College Methven

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

Farewell Message: ‘A Couple of Thoughts on Sister Cities’ By Toshihisa Takata, Former Ambassador of Japan to New Zealand It was when I was nine years old, in year 4 of primary school, that I heard the words ‘sister city’ for the first time. The City of Toyonaka where I lived signed a sister city agreement in 1963 with the City of San Mateo, California, USA, and from then, several exchange activities started. Toyonaka happens to neighbour Minoh, sister city of Hutt City in New Zealand. It was my first experience hearing the name of a foreign city repeated many times, apart from such famous names as London, Paris, or New York. I have never been to San Mateo nor participated in the exchange activities between the two cities. However, I believe the thought that somewhere in California on the Pacific side of the US, there exists a city closely connected to my hometown, must have inspired aspirations and an interest in foreign countries in the mind of that 9 year old boy. This may be one of the reasons why I became a diplomat.

spent a very enjoyable time talking and catching up. The time flew by. I firmly believe that there is a very important common requirement for both sister city relationships and alumni associations of schools. In order for both to be durable and sustainable, they need certain core members who are prepared to work tirelessly and without any reward, for their respective organisations. It is no easy task to maintain contact with other members, constantly update contact lists, and plan, prepare and implement every detail of events or activities, while managing their own jobs and housework at the same time. Of course the role of mayors and city councils are very important, but it is not enough. The dedicated contribution of those people who work quietly, tirelessly and enthusiastically for sister city relationships is absolutely essential. Bilateral relations between Japan and New Zealand are in very good shape, supported by the friendship and goodwill based on the many sister city relationships we have the good fortune of having. My three years and three months stay in New Zealand was a very comfortable one thanks to that friendship and goodwill.

According to the web sites of the two cities, the fact that both are residential towns of big cities and that both have an international airport nearby started the sister city relationship. I am happy to note that for more than fifty years the exchange activities between the two cities have been conducted vigorously through such activities as sports exchanges and speech contests. Last week I attended an alumni reunion of my class at junior high school in Toyonaka. Sixteen out of the forty plus class mates I had back then attended the party, and we

JNZBC’s 45th Annual Joint Conference 19 -21 November 2018, Pullman Hotel, Auckland Japan is New Zealand's fourth largest trade partner, fifth largest source of foreign direct investment, third largest source of overseas students, and fourth largest source of tourists. Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan, the Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games 2020, and the Americas Cup 2021 Auckland are major international events set to be hosted in Japan and New Zealand that will to bring people together, capture the imagination of the public, and showcase the innovation and creativity of both countries.

With the prospect also of New Zealand-Japan free trade relations in a completed CPTPP, and both countries common-minded on the need to address climate change and many other pressing global issues to underpin sustainable development, the JNZBC conference will focus on the opportunities and the challenges for both countries to do more together.

For conference and booking information please visit

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

Xiamen Seashine Group visit to Wellington By Jennifer Zhou, International Relations, Wellington City Council A group of senior managers from Xiamen Seashine Group Co. Ltd., a major Chinese comprehensive enterprise visited Wellington on 14 September on a hunt for more products for its New Zealand section. Founded in 1993, Xiamen Seashine Group Co. Ltd. owns over 100 chain supermarkets and 12 large wholesale markets in Xiamen and Fujian Province. In 2015, Seashine opened its first New Zealand products section during the inaugural New Zealand China Mayoral Forum. From then on by taking its advantages of the full supply chain, offline and online distribution channels and effective marketing strategies, the Company has successfully introduced over 100 New Zealand products to the Chinese market, selling NZ meat, wine, dry goods, dairy products, fruits, and other products to Chinese consumers. Reaching over a US$5billion imports volume in 2017, Seashine is becoming a key market player in China by offering one-stop supply chain services on imported food and agricultural products. Seashine pays regular visits to Wellington and other cities in New Zealand with the aim of expanding trade cooperation with more New Zealand companies. On 14th September, Wellington City Council partnered up with the Wellington Xiamen Association (WXA), organised an information evening for local businesses in Wellington Region to foster relations and discuss opportunities to sell products through Seashine platforms. Porirua Mayor Mike Tana along with Wellington City Councillor and city ambassador Simon Woolf attended the event and witnessed the signing of trade deals between several local businesses and Seashine.

Xiamen Seashine Group also operates tourism, logistics, and other businesses. It owns more than 18 star-rated and budget hotels, top restaurants in Xiamen and Fujian Province. 2019 is the New Zealand China Year of Tourism, customised travel itineraries and tours had been proposed and discussed at the event. A Wellington-based travel agency signed a memorandum of understanding with Seashine International Tour Services in the expectation of providing customers with best travelling experiences in the future. Wellington and Xiamen had celebrated our 30 years anniversary of sister cities relationship just last year. Janet Andrews, the president of the WXA, shared most treasured memories from the celebration and past trips to Xiamen with the audience.

Second Visit to Wellington this year by large Xiamen Company Seashine Group By Janet Andrews, President, Wellington Xiamen Association Wellington’s sister city of Xiamen has close ties with the Capital on many fronts - and Friday 14th September saw a business delegation arrive to sign MOU’s with various businesses, and to talk tourism and product sourcing. Seashine is a state-owned enterprise with interests in agricultural product distribution, logistics, real estate and property development, wholesale and retail. At present it owns over 100 supermarkets and features a “New Zealand Counter” in selected stores, and is working on a one-stop supply chain service for imported high-profile branded food products... wine, oil, beef and lamb, dairy, chocolate, frozen foods etc. The delegation also discussed tourism co-operation Xiamen is a very attractive coastal city, very popular with both domestic and foreign tourists, and Seashine provides tour services, catering and accommodation throughout the area. Wellington Xiamen Association and Wellington City

Council combined forces to host and provide opportunities for local businesses to meet Seashine executives.

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

Palmerston North’s American partnership revitalised By Toni Grace, International Relations Manager, Palmerston North City Council Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith led a six-person delegation to Missoula, Montana, USA to reinvigorate the sister city relationship between the two centres, resulting in new areas of exchange and cooperation. The visit coincided with Missoula’s “New Zealand Day” celebrations, held annually in honour of the Palmerston North relationship. Events included a rugby match, New Zealand film screening, and a community gathering with ex-pat Kiwis living in Missoula. Indigenous knowledge exchange was one of the core themes of the visit. Mayor Smith was joined by Wiremu and Trieste Te Awe Awe of Rangitāne Iwi, and Associate Professor Hone Morris from Massey University’s Te-Pūtahia-Toi (School of Maori Knowledge). Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) International Relations Manager Toni Grace also joined the visit, as well as Mayoress Michelle Smith, who travelled at her own expense. Mrs Grace said the cities were both founded at a similar period during the 19th century with today’s growth underpinned by agriculture, logistics, and business support, along with science and researchbased economies. “Missoula’s main industries closely mirror our own, and like Palmerston North, Missoula is also a nationally recognised centre for the arts.”

The Palmerston North delegation meets with Montana’s Lt Governor Mike Cooney (centre), joined by hosts from ARTS Missoula (Far L & R).

The delegation visited educational and arts facilities, science and environmental research institutes, business, economic development and tourism agencies, and Native American reservations. The trip also included a meeting with the Lt. Governor of Montana State and the Montana Departments of Commerce, Trade and Tourism to discuss state-level cooperation. The visit also advanced Massey University’s relationship with the University of Montana (UM), based in Missoula. Massey University has a student exchange MOU with the University of Montana and the visit explored new avenues of academic cooperation and indigenous student mobility. During the visit, PNCC announced two new travel grants to encourage more Palmerston North students to take up study exchange opportunities at UM. “As river-side university cities of comparable size and sectors, Palmerston North and Missoula have many things in common, which makes the relationship ripe for collaboration and exchange,” said Mrs Grace. During the visit, Massey’s Associate Professor Morris also shared information about the Manawatū River restoration project – Tū te Manawa - with river experts and Native American tribal groups in Missoula.

A US national icon, Montana is home to many Bison farms and protected areas where Buffalo roam. This farm is on the outskirts of Missoula City.

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

(continued from previous page...) The Palmerston North delegation were billeted in Missoula with local families, which added a personal touch to the visit. While many exchanges have

happened across the years, this was the first Mayoralled Palmerston North visit in the 36-year history of the relationship, adding to the significance of the trip.

“New Zealand Day” events hosted in Missoula, Montana, celebrating the longstanding Sister City relationship.

Students at the Payne Native American Studies Department, University of Montana, perform at a welcome for the Palmerston North delegation

Events We have a new Events section on our website! Check out our new and updated website for upcoming events relating to SCNZ, as well as recent events. If you would like your event to be featured on our website, simply send a relevant link as well as a quick explanation of your event to

World-class exhibition opens at Taupō Museum An exhibition featuring artefacts over 1000 years old has opened in Taupō. Suzhou Faith and Life, 618AD – 1279AD features treasures from the Tang and Song dynasties dating back to 618AD. This is the first time an exhibition of this age and significance has been hosted by Taupō Museum. It is on loan from Suzhou Museum as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Taupō’s sister city relationship with Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Mayor David Trewavas said that Suzhou Museum was one of the great international museums. “We are fortunate to have this unprecedented opportunity to share these ancient artefacts with our district through our relationship with Suzhou. Taupō’s friendship with the people of Suzhou has developed over the years to include civic exchange trips, exhibitions and the sharing of knowledge and skills. Increasing our understanding of the Chinese way of life through this relationship has helped to break down cultural barriers and bring our communities closer together,” he said.

Library and museum manager Luisa Haines said visitors to the exhibition will have a glimpse of a fascinating ancient world. “Suzhou was one of China’s earliest great cities, located right at the heart of some of the world’s largest trading routes at the time – the Silk Road and Grand Canal. The exhibition features some very special items, including a replica Pearl Pillar (a Buddhist Holy Relic), carved wooden figurines from burial sites and delicately glazed celadon pottery” she said. Delegates from Suzhou Museum attended the opening at Taupō Museum which also included the unveiling of a 4.2 tonne, 2.4 metre high granite archway in Taupō’s Tongariro South Domain.