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District business delegation to visit China

February 24th, 2014
[From TDC press release]

A business delegation representing the Nelson and Tasman area, which will include Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne, will visit strategic business interests in China in April.

The Tasman District Council has approved financial support of $8,000 for the Mayor to take part in a business delegation to China from 10 to 20 April this year.

The business delegation, led by Bill Findlater, Chief Executive of the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency, has two aims:

  1. To strengthen the business relationships between China and the Tasman District and Top of the South
  2. To promote, in particular, our primary products which are experiencing significant growth in the Chinese market.

In addressing the Council the Mayor said he had been asked to join the delegation in light of the very high esteem the role of Mayor is held in China.

"Past invitations from Chinese officials have expressed a desire to establish strong and enduring economic ties with our communities in the top of the South Island. By attending I hope to demonstrate the value Tasman people place on strong enduring business relationships with China."

In addition to helping the delegation the Mayor has identified a number of certain objectives for the trip. These include advocating for doing business with the region on account of it:

  • being business and commerce friendly;
  • having made or planning to make significant investment in roading, water services and other core infrastructure to support the economy and grow private investment;
  • being serviced by a community owned, but independently and efficiently managed, sea port and airport;
  • containing a high quality natural environment that sustains lifestyle and economy;
  • investing in community facilities supporting cultural, social, educational and sporting achievement;
  • having policies and a regulatory framework that assist to ensure environmental quality, product quality and manage risks, including biosecurity risks;
  • containing many successful innovative businesses who trade internationally; and
  • having a strong stable local democracy.

"The Council's support for the delegation raises the profile and credibility for the business leaders and supports them in their endeavours."

The Council has also approved a leave of absence for the Mayor for the period of 28 July to 7 September 2014, during which time the he will be visiting Japan and Europe in a personal and official capacity.

The Mayor will be visiting the sister towns of Fujimi-machi and Kiyosato in Japan. Fujimi-machi has a Friendly Town relationship with Richmond and Kiyosato has a Friendly Town agreement with Motueka.

"The Mayors of Fujimi-machi and Kiyosato have visited our Council and communities and this is my opportunity to return the compliment and visit their communities".

The Mayor will also visit Grootegast in the Netherlands. The explorer Abel Tasman was the first European explorer recorded to visit New Zealand and came from Lutjegast near Grootegast. As a result the Grootegast community has always felt a strong connection with the Tasman District.

"Last year we had the opportunity to help host visitors from Le Quesnoy, a walled town in France with a very strong association with New Zealand following the liberation of their town at the end of World War I by the New Zealand Battalion. I plan to visit Le Quesnoy in August as World War 1 commemorations begin."


Comment by Ann Martin:
[Posted 4 March 2014]

Re the Grootegast Community in the Netherlands, as part of the 350th commemoration of Abel Tasman's visit to Golden Bay, which Queen Beatrix, the Dutch Ambassador and other Dutch dignitaries attended, a mural made by the children of Golden Bay was presented to her. This mural is installed in one of the schools in that community. It would be great if Richard could visit that school to maintain the connection.

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