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Air Link Moves With US City


To: Chief Reporter / Council Reporter

From: David Gee - Journalist

Media statement 20 October 1999

AIR LINK MOVES WITH US CITY

Moves are being made to get a Christchurch-Seattle air link to help sister-city contacts.

The chairman of the Christchurch City Council's Christchurch-Seattle Sister City Committee, Tim Nicholls, says that it has been suggested that a link could be made between the cities, with a stop in Brisbane.

Efforts to get a link were being made by the Mayor of Seattle and by a member of the 16-member Christchurch delegation that has just returned from the American city.

Mr Nicholls said the trip was highly successful and would be repeated next year when Christchurch's Mayor, Garry Moore, would lead the delegation.

A children's art show would be coming to Christchurch as a result of the visit and a photographic exhibition by Frank Kazukaitus, a former Operation Deep Freeze photographer now living in Christchurch, would be sent to Seattle.

A sculptor from Seattle would come to Christchurch for its sculpture-in-the-park event.

Strong links were also forged with the University of Washington State which was interested in joint projects with Christchurch universities and other educational institutions, her said.

"Connections have been made in many business ways, too," he said at a debriefing of the delegation.

"A wonderful range of contacts were made ready for next year's visit."

A study mission would arrive in Christchurch from Seattle early next year, he said. "It is now an on-going connection," Mr Nicholls said.

The chief executive of the Canterbury Development Corporation, Chris Pickrell, and its technical development advisor, Larry Podmore, were part of the delegation and said yesterday that Seattle offered many valuable lessons for Canterbury.

They said Washington State University was keen to develop relations with the University of Canterbury and the corporation would work to explore the opportunity. "An agreement with the Washington State would give us access to research partnerships, such as the development of Internet 2," Mr Podmore said.

He said Seattle could be a "smart partner" of Christchurch and offered the most immediate benefits for trade and investment off all the sister cities.

The corporation would be pursing opportunities actively, he said.

Mr Nicholls said a university member told him that connections between the cities were about activators not contemplators. "We will now, I know, always have an on-going connections with Seattle," he said.

Further information:

Dave Adamson, International Relations Co-ordinator: 371 1775.


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