Sister Cities New Zealand October 2016

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N E W S L E T T E R October 2016

Kaiti School connects with China Courtesy of Natasha Thompson, Gisborne Herald KAITI School students are on their way to becoming global citizens following a donation to the school’s proposed Mandarin language programme. Delegates from Beijing-based Sino New Zealand Multimedia Association visited the school to deliver a collection of Chinese artwork. The collection, donated by the multimedia association and Lions Club Beijing, features more than 30 works from Beijing artists, including pieces done in the style of the art Chinese President Xi Jinping gifts to visitors.

One panel features a woven flax cat, which appears in a completely different colour set when reversed. This dual tonality was achieved through simultaneous sewing from two artists. The eye-catching works will be sold, with profits going towards a Mandarin learning programme to begin next year. The association also donated a $1000 scholarship to the school, which will be used to support the same programme.

Kaiti School board member Annette Toupili was thrilled by the donation.

Principal Billie-Jean Potaka Ayton was encouraged by the generous donations.

“We just feel blessed. How often does this stuff happen in Kaiti?” she said.

“It’s amazing. It’s so important for children to learn different languages because a lot of the jobs they will be going for in the future will be global jobs,” she said.

The collection includes framed woven flax panels, where figures and illustrations change shade depending on the outdoor temperature.

See full article: localnews/2478433-135/kaiti-school-connects-with-china

L - R: Pam Murphy, chair, Gisborne District Sister Cities; Raymon Jeffs, Director, Lions Gisborne Host; Mark Ma, chair, Sino New Zealand Multimedia Association; Charlotte Hohepa, Lions Gisborne Host; Mayor Meng Foon

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

N E W S L E T T E R October 2016

2016 Sister Cities New Zealand Award for a School Cultural Project: Winners By Penny O’Connell, International Student Director We were thrilled to win this award! The Air New Zealand travel prize was used to include as many of our students as possible. The school cultural leaders ran a cultural awareness competition for our students. The topic was to suggest new ways to welcome students from abroad to our school. The ten winners and two staff flew to Wellington for a varied fun cultural day.

does, saw Korean art and watched an interesting video about Korea. Our school has several Korean students so it was great to learn more about their home country. We also saw how beautiful the Wellington Harbour is from way up high.

We had a very special time at Parliament, including a fish and chip and salad lunch with Ruth Dyson.

At Te Papa we visited the impressive Gallipoli Exhibition. It was lovely to meet and chat to Hiromi Morris, SCNZ President. She encouraged us to become Sister Cities Youth Ambassadors as well as International ambassadors.

After a windy walk we were guests at the Korean Embassy. We were honoured to be hosted by Sang Jin Kim (Second Secretary and Consul ) and Youngjoo Kim (Researcher Economics) Here we heard about the work the embassy

A huge thank you to Sister Cities New Zealand and to Air New Zealand for providing a most culturally enriching experience for our school and adding to our ongoing cultural awareness and global outreach.

N E W S L E T T E R October 2016

Selwyn District - Indonesian trip By Allanah Jarman A trip by Selwyn residents to their sister city of North Toraja has opened up connections to build a closer relationship between New Zealand and Indonesia. Nine participants, including Selwyn Mayor Kelvin Coe, farmers, and Sister City Committee Chair Allison Rosanowski visited the North Toraja Regency for a week in August 2016. The trip was the first sister city exchange between the two areas since a Sister City agreement was signed between North Toraja and Selwyn in 2014. Selwyn is the only New Zealand district to have a sister city in Indonesia. This agreement added to a relationship which had been developing for over a decade between a group of Canterbury farmers, and coffee growers in North Toraja Regency. North Toraja is a Christian area in the highlands of South Sulawesi Province. The New Zealand farmers have been providing support and advice to the North Torajan coffee growers on the production, marketing and selling of their coffee as well as forming a farming cooperative. Indonesia has an estimated population of over 260 million people and is the world’s fourth most populous country. North Toraja’s population is around 215,000. During the visit, the Selwyn delegation had the opportunity to visit a number of local schools, most of which are run by the Council, speak with the local Council about their role and the challenges they face, and visit the North Toraja area. “We received a very warm welcome during our visit,” says Allison Rosanowski. “The schools were very different to New Zealand schools and were on small, crowded sites. The pressure for places meant some schools operated two sessions a day, six days a week. Teachers taught both sessions. Classes were typically over 30 students and all students wore uniforms. The primary school we visited required students to have five different uniforms which were worn on specific days of the week,” she says. All of the schools visited were interested in forming closer relationships with schools in Selwyn using social media and student or teacher exchanges. In Selwyn, Rolleston College, Rolleston Primary and Clearview School have also indicated they would like to

explore a relationship with a school in North Toraja to help their staff and students learn about a different culture. The delegation also met with a number of organisations involved in the project with North Toraja coffee growers, and visited the coffee growing cooperative established by local farmers which the New Zealand Toraja Rural Development Society has been assisting. The Cooperative now has over 1,700 farmers as members and produces 383 tonnes of coffee – up from 298 tonnes in 2014. “The group were able to observe coffee plantations in the hills grown under forest canopy trees. The picked red cherries are peeled to produce parchment covered beans which are dried in the sun before the brown parchment is peeled off. The final process before packing for sale is hand grading and quality control,” says Mrs Rosanowski. The delegation suggested that the cooperative may want to consider sending samples of the coffee to New Zealand as a possible future export market, with support from the New Zealand Toraja Rural Development Society. One of the objectives of the coffee cooperative project was to provide extra income for households to allow local girls to attend senior secondary school. In most local schools girls now have a slighter higher enrolment rate than boys. On planted land, rice is grown in flooded paddies. “Fish live in these paddies. Harvesting and cultivation of the rice is done by hand, often in waist high water,” says Mrs Rosanowski. Funerals are a distinctive cultural feature in North Toraja. “Bodies are embalmed and kept until the family can afford a funeral which requires the purchase of many buffalo or pigs. The meat is given to funeral guests over several days. Burial takes place in manmade rock holes or separate tombs. Bodies are removed after three years and redressed,” says Mrs Rosanowski. Trip participants paid for their own travel and accommodation. An invitation for a return sister city visit to Selwyn in November 2016 by North Toraja residents was discussed with visits to local schools, farms and facilities on the itinerary.

N E W S L E T T E R October 2016

Opening of the Nelson Garden in sister city Huangshi By Ferry van Mansum Nelson City Council was invited by their sister city Huangshi in Hubei Province, China to attend the opening of the Garden & Mineral Expo on 26th September. A small delegation with Bill Findlater from Nelson Regional Development Agency representing the council along with Ferry van Mansum, president of the Nelson branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society, the organisation that looks after the sister city relationship and Jordan Lankshear, a Nelson Youth Councillor, travelled to China. Jordan was selected to attend this special event by the Nelson NZCFS Branch who covered some travel costs using the Air NZ voucher awarded for a youth art project at the SCNZ conference. This resulted in Jordan’s introduction to China. About 600 local and international guests were invited to celebrate this showcase of the wider Huangshi area. In the 63 ha park are 40 gardens representing the districts, businesses, educational institutes and indeed also the sister cities. The gardens are very impressive ranging from classical Chinese design to very modern, lining the lake that only last November was just mud! As the gardens age they will

develop a lot of character and this park will be a feature for the city in years to come. We are already looking forward to visit the park again in a few years time. The second part of the expo finds its origin in the 3000 year old copper mining that made Huangshi, meaning yellow stone, the birthplace of Chinese bronze culture. An enormous complex has been developed to house the exhibition and sales departments of every kind of mineral and even dinosaurs are displayed. The organisation of these events is always impressive - from the moment the plane lands you are looked after and welcomed by people like Mr. Zhou Xianwang, chairman of Huangshi Municipal People’s Congress, Mr. Dong Weimin, the mayor of Huangshi, and other dignitaries. You are treated to banquets, housed in the best hotel that has more stars than an average night sky in Nelson and well cared for. This made us appreciate the bond between the two cities and especially for Jordan this highlighted the future and showed him how younger Nelsonians can contribute to the sister city idea. The most important part for Bill and Ferry is always to reconnect as often as possible with old and new friends because to know each other is to respect one another. The final conclusion is certainly that this was a short but successful trip for everyone.

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N E W S L E T T E R October 2016

SCNZ Youth Subcommittee and Youth Ambassadors meet in Wellington By Bing Lou Members of the SCNZ Youth Subcommittee and SCNZ Youth Ambassadors had a great meet and greet in Wellington on October 15th. This was the first opportunity the youth committee and ambassadors had to get together.

Thank you to Japan Local Government Centre Sydney for coming along as well. We have a number of set tasks ahead and are pumped to get more young people involved in the sister city community.

Back row: Christy Lim, Byron Sanders, Elisha Hsiao, Keari Harvey, Cassandra Shih, CLAIR representatives Front row: Caroline Pope, Aaron Liew, Bing Lou

Wellington Japan Festival 2016 (18 Nov – 4 Dec) By Aiko Collins, International Relations Advisor, Wellington City Council The Wellington Japan Festival 2016 in November celebrates the relationship between New Zealand and Japan by bringing Japanese culture and businesses to Wellington for a series of activities and events. The Japan Festival Wellington is brought to you by the Embassy of Japan, Asia New Zealand Foundation and Wellington City Council, with support from community groups. The programme includes: Festival Day, Festival Show, a Japanese car display, the Sister Cities photo exhibition, a children’s art exhibition, a calligraphy exhibition and the Japan New Zealand Business Council Conference. The Conference is organized by the Japan New Zealand Business Council New Zealand Committee. There will be more than 180 business and government representatives from Japan and New Zealand to attend the

three-day conference. The Festival Day itself will be held on November 26th at the TSB Arena and will build on the success of four previous Japan Festivals. The last festival, in 2014, was attended by more than 30,000 visitors. There will be variety of entertainment including martial arts, taiko drumming, a tea ceremony, origami and calligraphy. Members of the Japanese community will join visiting international performers on the stage to showcase Japanese culture. As always, stalls selling delicious Japanese food will add even more flavour to the festival. Stage entertainment will include performances by a ventriloquist, SHOWKO, Australia`s Got Talent semifinalist in 2016, Kendama performers, Zoomadanke and a Cosplay fashion competition sponsored by Overload.

N E W S L E T T E R October 2016

Fukuoka Start-Up Pitch Contest 2016 By Auckland Council

As part of the Fukuoka-Auckland 30th Sister City Anniversary celebrations in October 2017 Fukuoka City together with Auckland Council and Strategy and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development held a Start-Up Pitch Contest 2016 at GridAKL in the Wynyard Quarter. The contest saw local innovative tech startups Haptly, Though-Wired, ODocs, Vigour and PreviewMe vie for an impressive prize package of a return trip to Fukuoka, subsidies for office space and accommodation in Fukuoka, assistance with visa applications and introductions to business connections. The start-ups pitched to five judges that included Fukuoka Mayor Takashima, Ken Erskine and Greg Sitters of Auckland business 88 Kiwis, and Mr Haruyama – CEO of Sefuri Inc with Mayor Len Brown also in attendance. Local start up business Haptly took out the prize. Fukuoka, Japan has been recently zoned as an ‘official start-up hub’ for foreign businesses entering the Asian market. This competition, being the first of its kind between the two cities, provides a meaningful platform for cooperation between our two start-up hubs. Through Auckland’s longstanding relationship with Fukuoka, Auckland tech businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the assistance that Fukuoka can offer for successful entry into the Asian market. The broader Fukuoka-Auckland 30th Anniversary celebrations included a visit from a large delegation of Fukuoka officials and councillors and a very successful Fukuoka Day at the Town Hall which highlighted the role of Japanese culture in Auckland.

Upcoming event

N E W S L E T T E R October 2016

US Expo By Bing Lou SCNZ took part in the annual US University Expo in Wellington in early September. It was a great way to connect with young people looking for exchange opportunities in the United States, as well as to promote global connections through sister cities. At present, New Zealand has 20 sister cities in America across 10 states.

the various options to study abroad in America. It was a great way to foster closer ties with the education sector, and share a few laughs with volunteers and staff from the US Embassy New Zealand.

A number of young people from a cross section of high schools in Wellington attended the expo to learn about

A huge thanks to the US Embassy New Zealand for inviting us along to the evening!

Many of our sister city relationships have been fostered through school exchange opportunities and educational links, and it is core aspect of sister cities.

The Economics of Sister City relationships By Simon Appleton In August this year I travelled to China and South Korea on behalf of a group of local government clients. The purpose of this ‘facts finding mission’ was to identify ways Councils can utilise their sister city relationships to promote economic development opportunities. Below is a brief overview of my findings: Chinese and Korean Councils are open for business but it must be a two-way relationship. All eight local authorities identified investment attraction, export education, trade and tourism as desired economic drivers. However, there are a series of barriers which local government organisations need to overcome to promote greater economic cooperation. Eastern Bridge has found that few authorities have a clearly defined strategy for their international engagements. Without a guiding document it is difficult to get council mandate to support international economic development initiatives. Once a strategy is in place the Councils can take measures to support their desired goals.

Key measures will include the development of suitable content in the appropriate language. The type of content will vary based on what the Council is wanting to achieve from their relationship. It is important also to identify key people in the business community as well as corresponding council and work at fostering relationships with them. Other considerations include training, marketing, the importance of due-diligence and measurement systems.

Contact Simon at for more information about the work Eastern Bridge is doing supporting local authorities to commercialise their international relationships – or visit our website at

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