Monday, September 1, 2008

#458 ... Sister Fireworks

Wellington has three sister city relationships:
Beijing, People's Republic of China
Sakai, Japan
Xiamen, People's Republic of China
A sister city relationship is a formal, long term relationship based on diverse linkages between the two cities - including cultural, educational and business links. The relationship requires a high degree of commitment on both sides, as well as the active involvement of a community committee.
Beijing, China

In 1994 Deng Lin, the daughter of former Chinese President Deng Xiaoping, visited Wellington and 'fell in love with the city.' The Vice Mayor of Beijing then visited Wellington, followed by a reciprocal visit to Beijing by Wellington's Deputy Mayor. A friendly city relationship was then made official.
Based on increased interaction between Wellington and Beijing, the cities agreed to become sister cities. During the Sister Cities New Zealand 25th Anniversary Conference in May 2006, this relationship was formalised. Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and the Deputy Mayor of Beijing, Mr Sun Anmin, signed an official Wellington-Beijing agreement. The Beijing relationship is important as it links Wellington to the capital city of one of the world's giant economies. Beijing is the political, economic, social and cultural centre of mainland China.

There has been a very active link between the two cities, including:
visits by civic and business delegations , xchanges dealing with earthquake technology, mayoral visits, teacher training exchanges, cultural festivals and local government training in Wellington for officials from Beijing.
In February 2005 Wellingtonians were treated to a fireworks display to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The display was a gift from Beijing. It was the longest fireworks display Wellington city has ever seen.

Sakai, Japan
The idea of the Sakai-Wellington sister city relationship was originally promoted by the former Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand, Takeo Iguchi.
In 1993 Fran Wilde, then Mayor of Wellington, visited Sakai and signed an agreement to proceed with the establishment of a sister city relationship. The following year a delegation led by the Mayor of Sakai, Hideo Hataya, visited Wellington to formally sign a sister city agreement.
The Wellington Sakai Association was established in 1995. The mission of the association is to support Wellington City Council in the development of the sister city relationship with Sakai. There is also a Sakai Wellington Association in Japan.
Wellington and Sakai now have a wide variety of exchanges between them, including home stay and educational exchanges, youth sports tournaments, kindergarten picture exchanges, and exhibitions of art, pottery and ikebana.

Xiamen, China
In the early 1980s the Council asked the Chinese Embassy about establishing friendly city links with a city in China, following a trip by Prime Minister David Lange. The Chinese authorities suggested that Xiamen (pronounced sha-min) was a good partner because there are similarities between the two cities and Xiamen had recently become the first Special Economic Zone in China.
In 1987 Wellington and Xiamen officially became sister cities.
In 1998 the Wellington Xiamen Association was established to support and encourage the relationship. The association has been instrumental in developing a healthy and interactive relationship between the two cities

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


Maria Verivaki said...

surely that's wrong - i live in one of Wellington's sister cities - Hania, Crete, Greece.

Hania St is in Mt Victoria where the Greek Orthodox church is, while Hania has its own Wellington St on the outskirts of the main town.

I happen to be posting my own 'sister cities' entry tomorrow!

jbworks said...

YES I think you could be right ... so much for the council bureacracy .. I obtained the information from the City Council's own website ... so all systems normal .. kind regards Jeremy

Sally said...

And much controversy (if only on my blog after researching this topic!) Sydney claims Wellington as a sister, but Welington relegates Sydney to "friendly city" status!

Sydney Daily Photo

USelaine said...

Well, you made a relevant choice of fireworks to indicate the Chinese ties. Nice shot.

Shantaram said...

Jeremy, that's a very nice picture, combining Beijing & Wellington! And the official sites make a pretty hash of the sister-city relationship, if they do mention it at all!!