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Wellington Tops National Sister City Awards

Wellington Tops National Sister City Awards

Sister Cities New Zealand Association announced the top cultural and educational projects for 2004/05 last week at the national conference. Wellington came out on top and won the Air New Zealand sponsored prize for Best Cultural Project against stiff competition from the rest of the country.

The entry by the Wellington Sakai Association, a community based organisation established to support Wellington City’s sister city relationship with the Japanese city of Sakai, was based on the celebrations the Association organised in August 2004 for the 10th anniversary of the Wellington – Sakai sister city relationship.

Notable features of the event were the range of activities including a speech presentation between Sakai and Wellington students with live video conferencing – a first for New Zealand sister city events; a delegation of 50 Sakai citizens attending the celebration including the Mayor of Sakai Mr Kihara; a joint art, Ikebana, photography, pottery exhibition and workshop by Sakai and Wellington artists; and a people to people exchange forum to promote Japan in connection with sister city relationship, and Aichi Expo and JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) programme.

“The event was a huge success and that success is attributable to an estimated 3000 of voluntary hours by members of the Wellington Sakai Association, the generosity of sponsors and the support of Embassy of Japan and the Wellington community,” says President of the Wellington Sakai Association Hiromi Morris.

The Association had raised $29,000 worth of public and private sector sponsorship in order to put on the activities free of charge for the citizens of Wellington.

“The prize also recognises the on-going support and commitment of the Wellington City Council to fostering the sister city relation with Sakai, Japan, and celebrating the cultural diversity of our city.”

The Wellington Sakai Association won a prize of $2,500 worth of free travel with Air New Zealand for the Best Cultural Project from Sister Cities New Zealand Association.

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