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Ties strengthened between Dunedin and Hengshui, China

Ties strengthened between Dunedin and Hengshui, China

Strengthening of relationships between the Chinese city of Hengshui and Dunedin is the aim of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed today.

Acting Deputy Mayor of Dunedin David Benson-Pope and Party Secretary of the Hengshui Municipal Government Wang Jingwu signed the MOU in Dunedin to establish co-operative relations between the two cities.

“Dunedin and Hengshui have agreed to carried out exchanges and co-operation regarding government, economy, trade, and education, to promote prosperity. One of the benefits of this MOU will be attracting students to study in Dunedin,” Mr Benson-Pope said.

The visit by the party secretary and his delegation will strengthen an already established sister school relationship between Hengshui Middle School and Bayfield High School, which the delegation visited today, Mr Benson-Pope said.

Mr Jingwu said, as Hengshui was an agricultural city, it was looking for opportunities regarding agriculture and animal product processing. The delegation also visited Orokonui Ecosanctuary as Hengshui was working on habitat and wetland restoration in their area.

Hengshui has a population of 4.5 million.


Hengshui Middle School has been a sister school with Bayfield High School for the past eight years. Hengshui is the third-ranking middle school in China, has 6000 students and is in the Hebei Province, three hours south of Beijing. Two students from Hengshui are currently studying at Bayfield.

Former Hengshui students who have studied at Bayfield have developed their English skills, performed well in NZ national examinations and prepared for university study. They have gone on to gain degrees from NZ, Australian and English universities. It has also enhanced the cultural growth at the school.

There have been reciprocal visits of teachers and principals between the two schools.

Bayfield has sent its teachers to Hengshui to observe classes and promote discussion on different teaching styles. Former Bayfield principal Denis Slowley visited Hengshui to talk to teachers from Hebei province.

Bayfield sent a large group of its performing arts students to Hengshui’s international festival, including its jazz band, kapa haka group and choir.

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