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Latest Sister Cities visit to North Asia

7 March 2013

Latest Sister Cities visit to North Asia

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker departs on Sunday 10 March for Asia, where he will spend a week attending a series of meetings in Malaysia and Christchurch’s Sister Cities in Korea and Japan.

The first leg of the tour coincides with Malaysia’s New Zealand Week, and will see Mayor Parker attend talks on disaster management and encourage South Island tourism and investment into Christchurch’s rebuild. Mayor Parker is a guest of the New Zealand Week in Malaysia organising committee, who will meet his travel and accommodation costs.

“My presence in Kuala Lumpur for New Zealand Week is a perfect opportunity to showcase Christchurch to the vital and lucrative Malaysian market, who are already a huge trading partner of ours,” Mayor Parker says.

While in the region, Mayor Parker will then visit South Korea’s Songpa-gu, a Sister City since 1995. As well as its civic significance and opportunity to share best practice around the Christchurch rebuild, the visit will allow Mayor Parker to develop Christchurch’s international education business – which took a hit after the February 2011 earthquakes.

“Christchurch’s Korean community is large and vibrant – Korean is the fourth most-common language spoken in Christchurch, and our local Korean population is 4000-strong,” Mayor Parker says. “We’ll be looking at ways to encourage Korean students to return to Christchurch and get those student numbers back up to pre-earthquake figures.”

The final leg of the tour has Mayor Parker visiting Kurashiki, Japan. The visit has a civic significance and a people-to-people focus.

“This timely visit marks the 40th anniversary of our Sister City relationship with Kurashiki,” Mayor Parker says. “There’s no better time for me to thank to citizens of Kurashiki for their astonishing $300,000 contribution to Christchurch’s earthquake recovery.”

Mayor Parker is travelling economy class, with the total cost of his travel coming to $3300. Mayoress Jo Nicholls-Parker will join the Mayor at her own expense.

Sunday 10 March
• Travel to Kuala Lumpur.

Monday 11 March
• New Zealand Week in Malaysia.
• Investment Breakfast – highlighting investment opportunities in the Christchurch rebuild.
• New Zealand Week in Malaysia Gala Opening.

Tuesday 12 March
• New Zealand Week in Malaysia.
• Disaster Management Seminar – key note address on the Christchurch earthquakes, their impacts and the city’s future.
• South Island Tourism Promotion.
• Fonterra Function.
• Travel to Seoul.

Wednesday 13 March
• Sister City visit to Songpa-gu.
• Visit Hangang River Renaissance Project (best practice).
• Visit Seogchon Lake Kia Ora Sculpture (civic).
• Seonglae-stream cycling tour. Safety Education Centre visit (best practice).
• Visit LED Lighting centre (best practice).
• Visit Natural Circulation Garden (best practice).
• Welcome reception with Songpa-gu Deputy Mayor Kim Chan-gon.

Thursday 14 March
• Sister City visit to Songpa-Gu.
• Visit to Munhyeon High School, proposed Sister City school to Cashmere High School, of which Mayor Parker is a former pupil (educational).
• Call on Songapa-gu Mayor Park Choon Hee (civic).
• Call on Education Cooperation Division (business development).
• Visit Pangyo Clean Tower (best practice).
• Visit Lotte World Tower (best practice).
• Korean education agents workshop (business development).
• New Zealand Education Reception – ‘Celebrating Christchurch Education’ (business development).

Friday 15 March
• Call on Korean Air (business development).
• Call on Ministry of Knowledge Economy (business development).
• Travel to Kurashiki.

Saturday 16 March
• Sister City visit to Kurashiki.
• Visit Bikan Historical Area and Ohara Art Museum (people to people).
• Civic lunch with civic leaders and individuals who raised money for Christchurch post-earthquake.
• Mizushima Industrial Area and Kojima (best practice).
• Jeans Street and Sake Distillery (iconic Kurashiki business showcase).
• Call on Kurashiki Mayor Kaori Ito.

Sunday 17 January
• Return to New Zealand.

ENDS

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