Chinese ties informal
Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio's efforts to forge formal ties with another Chinese city appear to have stalled, but the region's economic development agency says results are still forthcoming.
A new friendly city accord signed last year by Mr Miccio between Nelson and Yangjiang during his visit to China, but without the city council's approval, was intended to enable the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency to deliver on its role of exploring new economic opportunities.
When in China last September, Mr Miccio and EDA chief executive Bill Findlater met representatives of the port town of Yangjiang, and Mr Miccio signed a memorandum of understanding on behalf of Nelson.
Councillors this week asked what had happened as a result of the signing of the document. Council staff said at the audit, risk, and finance committee meeting that no budget line had been provided and there had been no further contact with the council in relation to the accord.
Mr Miccio, who did not attend the council meeting, said afterwards that Mr Findlater was driving the project, and he believed a delegation of businesspeople was coming to Nelson from China this year. Mr Findlater had also had a "very successful trip to China" recently with a group of Nelson businesses who went to the "new sister city" (Yangjiang) and old sister city Huangshu.
Mr Findlater said the agreement with Yangjiang was a "friendly city" arrangement and not a sister city tie, and he had visited the area again since the signing. It was also likely a group from China would visit Nelson later in the year.
"They're keen to establish relationships and look at what can be shared," Mr Findlater said.
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