Wellington Scoop

Celia wants more Chinese students, Jo wants Chinese investment

News from WCC
Promoting New Zealand and opening the door for New Zealand and Wellington-based businesses will be on the agenda for Mayor Celia Wade-Brown when she attends the inaugural New Zealand-China Mayoral Forum in the Capital sister city of Xiamen next week.

For the first time 12 Mayors from across New Zealand have joined together as the single largest local authority delegation to visit China where they will promote awareness of tourism, education and primary industry opportunities.

“We are taking sister city relationships to another level and building on friendships established over many years to promote our cities, New Zealand, and what we have to offer,” Mayor Wade-Brown says..

“Xiamen is our long standing sister city and we have been steadily building our relationship over the past 28 years,” she says.

Mayor Wade-Brown will focus on promoting Wellington as a great choice for international students wishing to study in New Zealand.

“We have educational organisations that are among the best in the world and a city that is compact, safe and lively with plenty of outdoor and cultural experiences for Chinese students wishing to come here,” she says.

Cr Jo Coughlan, Chair of the Economic Growth and Arts Committee, will lead a Wellington business delegation which also includes representatives of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency. Cr Coughlan says the visit provides a wide range of opportunities to promote investment opportunities in Wellington and create long term business relationships.

“We will be discussing opportunities including significant infrastructure projects for Wellington which include a covered concert arena, a convention centre, and the proposed extension to the Wellington International Airport runway,” she says.

The Wellington group will visit a New Zealand food section at Seashine Supermarket in Xiamen which includes honey wine from the Bemrose Estate in the Wellington region and travel to Xi’an where the Mayor will meet with Mojo Director Steve Gianoutsos and open a new Mojo coffee outlet.

Mayor Wade-Brown and the delegation will also meet the Mayor of Beijing and advance the Wellington Chinese garden project.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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  1. Maria van der Meel, 5. September 2015, 18:29

    Wellington wants a Chinese Mayor?

  2. Polly, 6. September 2015, 8:32

    I would hope that the Mayor and Cr Coughlan will have the Town Hall strengthening and upgrading of the Basin Museum stand on their agendas, not only the Council’s grandiose plans for a “convention centre, covered concert arena and proposed extension to the Wellington International Airport Runway”.

  3. Peter, 6. September 2015, 8:46

    Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Councillor Jo Coughlan should save ratepayers the cost of their latest vanity trip to China and leave it for business to do what it claims to do best – business. The time and energy of the Mayor and her sidekick would be better spent doing what they were elected to do – ensure the city’s planning, essential services and infrastructure (water sewerage roads etc.) are in accord with the expectations of the people who elected them. At the same time, they could attempt to rein in some of the costs of an administration that spends far too much on facilitating the aspirations of land and property speculators.
    The tourist industry is of national value, so is the province of central government and the entrepreneurial players of the industry, not WCC. Besides, there is not much point in the Council selling hotel nights on behalf of the industry. Most of the income and profit that is generated goes off-shore to overseas companies and tax havens, while creating mainly low income hospitality jobs for young people, many of whom have degrees and shrinking employment prospects.
    China and Asia already know about educational opportunities in NZ. It is a great place to send second and third tier students to ‘buy a degree’. Meanwhile, NZ universities struggle to finance high research standards and maintain international rankings while having to accommodate high need overseas students in many courses.
    Why should ratepayers meet the cost of sending two touts to China to talk up loss making enterprises such as a covered concert arena and a convention centre, along with the proposed extension to the Wellington International Airport runway which has as yet, no proven benefits? Aren’t these projects the ‘business of business’ which public bodies are said to be notoriously poor at doing?
    If we had a smart thinking Employer’s Chamber of Commerce, it would mount its own charm offensive in China to obtain finance and world leading expertise to develop one thing that would benefit the region – a high speed rail link to at least Paraparaumu Airport. That would free up WIAL land and do away with the Mayor’s crusade for an airport extension, with as yet, no proven value. It would also make it viable to move Massey and Victoria Universities to new less expensive campuses outside of the city centre, unleashing a large portfolio of buildings to accommodate high value commerce – at no cost to the ratepayers.
    Now for a few salient questions: is it the business of ratepayers to finance the Mayor’s trip to China to meet Mojo Director Steve Gianoutsos and open a new Mojo coffee outlet? Also, should she be shaking a begging bowl in Beijing to hustle for finance for a Chinese garden that was apparently proposed and was to be financed by the local Chinese community many years ago?

  4. southcoaster, 9. September 2015, 17:07

    These are some very pertinent comments, especially from Peter. Also – do we really think Chinese investors are going to invest in anything we can’t show a business case for? I wish the Council would sort out our storm water issues and do something to prepare us for sea level rises. Oh – and isn’t it time someone sorted out our transport mire? Totally agree with a high speed link to a safer airport up the coast. The land this airport sits on is worth about $1b, and each of the surrounding property values would massively increase if this blight was removed and more South Coast relevant development was put there. It would also be better to have an airport that isn’t sitting on a fault line, in a tsunami path and only a meter above sea level when storm surges and waves are already lapping on it.