Sister city junkets

The Press reports:

China, Australia and England may be on the itinerary of Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel this year.

Councillors are being asked to approve ratepayer-funded visits by the mayor and elected members to each of Christchurch’s six once every three-year term, including three trips this year.

This isn’t a criticism of Dalziel, who inherited them, but I’m sceptical about most sister city relationships. the major benefits seems to be regular junkets for Councillors.

Where there is a strong trading relationship, I think there can be benefits. But mostly, they’re of no benefit.

I live in Wellington. I don’t know off hand who are sister cities are. I doubt most businesses know. The only people who know will be the Councillors who get to travel there.

Here’s the total number of sister cities, NZ cities and districts have:

  • Australia – 26
  • Belgium – 1
  • Canada – 2
  • China – 33
  • Denmark – 1
  • Fiji – 1
  • France – 4
  • Germany – 1
  • Greece – 1
  • Ireland – 2
  • Italy – 1
  • Japan – 44
  • Netherlands – 1
  • Pacific Islands – 3
  • South Korea – 3
  • UK- 9
  • US – 21

Imagine all the junkets as each city gets at least one visit a turn.

And which NZ Councils have the most sister cities. The top 14 are:

  1. Auckland – 19
  2. Christchurch – 7
  3. Gisborne – 6
  4. Wellington – 6
  5. Rotorua – 5
  6. Taupo – 5
  7. Hutt City – 4
  8. Matamata-Piako – 4
  9. Ashburton – 4
  10. Dunedin – 4
  11. Napier – 4
  12. Porirua – 4
  13. Thams/Coromandel/Whitianga – 4
  14. Timaru – 4

Maybe have a limit of 2 per city!

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