5 April 2018
Thirty years of social, cultural, sporting and educational links will be celebrated between sister cities, Whanganui and Nagaizumi in August.
Mayor Hamish McDouall will visit the Japanese city from 3 August for the 30th anniversary ceremony, which coincides with Nagaizumi’s annual Waku Waku Festival.
Whanganui District Council is a member of Sister Cities New Zealand, a national body which fosters international understanding and friendship and encourages and promotes exchanges and tourism and trade for economic growth.
Nagaizumi in Shizuoka was chosen as a sister city, because of its demographic similarities to Whanganui, its rural nature and the opportunity for mutual opportunities.
“This significant celebration allows us to be positive ambassadors for Whanganui, to promote our district and to recognise the relationship’s cultural, educational and economic benefits and investment,” Mayor McDouall says.
“I would encourage others to join me on this trip to celebrate the significant historical ties between our two cities.”
Mayor McDouall honoured and acknowledged the contribution of all those who have supported the relationship in the past 30 years, including the late Tomonobu Nakamura OBE, a Nagaizumi businessman and Rotarian, who encouraged honey exports and funded many exchanges over several years.
Each decade the relationship has been marked with an official visit. A Whanganui delegation attended the 10th anniversary celebrations in Nagaizumi in 1998 and a smaller group visited Japan in 2008 to mark the 20th anniversary. A 50-strong group from Nagaizumi is expected to attend next February’s 30th anniversary of the New Zealand Masters Games in Whanganui.
School parties from both cities have also regularly participated in exchange visits. Last year a group of Nagaizumi students was hosted in Whanganui by Rutherford Intermediate School. The students attended class, visited marae, experienced a hangi and also visited tourist attractions.
An opportunity to join Mayor McDouall, on a self-funded basis, will be available. If you would like to attend the celebrations you can register your interest at www.whanganui.govt.nz/sister-cities before Thursday 26 April.
The visit to Japan, from 2-7 August, will include the official celebration, town tours and meetings with Nagaizumi officials.
For more information, contact Council Principal Advisor (Corporate) Marianne Cavanagh at: firstname.lastname@example.org