Fickle Canberra turns its affections to Wellington


ANDREW Barr says that as the start of direct flights between Canberra, Wellington and Singapore draws nearer, Canberra’s ties with Wellington are also getting closer with progress to establish a new Sister City agreement between the two capitals.

“Today I will seek the Assembly’s agreement to strengthen our relationship with the New Zealand capital, following the Wellington City Council’s in-principle agreement to adopt a Canberra-Wellington Sister City relationship in May,” Andrew said.

“There are significant benefits to establishing stronger connections with Wellington. With the operation of direct international flights to begin later this year, there are opportunities for Canberra businesses to expand their services or provide their products directly to new markets in New Zealand.

“Already we are witnessing the strengthening of ties between the two cities. We have agreed to potential areas for cooperation between our two cities, including business partnerships, tourism, education, cultural exchanges with national institutions, capital civic programs, biodiversity initiatives, smart city technologies, affordable housing solutions and sport.

“In April I was pleased to host Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and an accompanying delegation of senior Council officials in Canberra for two days.

“The visit by the Mayor was highly successful and gave us a chance to discuss opportunities for economic and cultural exchange between our two cities, following the announcement of the “Capital Express” between Canberra, Wellington and Singapore, commencing in September.

“Wellington and Canberra share much in common and there are great opportunities to work together to continue to grow both our economies, support our respective business communities and further enhance the cultural and social fabric of Wellington and Canberra.

“Canberra currently has Sister City arrangements with Nara in Japan and Beijing in China; a Friendship City agreement with Dili (Timor Leste); and a Memorandum of Understanding with Shenzhen, China.

“I have scheduled a Ministerial visit to Wellington in July 2016 and intend to discuss formalising our Sister City relationship as part of that delegation.”

[Photo by Bill Harrison, attribution licence]


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