ICC heads unaware of China swap offer

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 16/07/2014

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An Invercargill City Council staffer could be winging their way to China for a year - but the mayor doubts there will be much competition for the spot.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt said as part of the sister-city agreement, the council would look at swapping a staff member for a year, possibly in the parks or building consents department.

But despite the paid gig, Shadbolt said he did not think the line of council staff members wanting a year-long stint in the Chinese city would be long.

"I certainly don't think there will be a swarm rushing to line up."

Shadbolt returned 10 days ago from Suqian with several ideas, but the staff swap was one he hoped to action soon.

The city council had sent a parks department staffer to Kumagaya in Japan years ago and it had been successful, Shadbolt said.

However, department heads said they were unaware of the offer.

Building consents manager Simon Tonkin said he had not heard of the arrangement and was unsure whether the council's building code and China's would have much in common.

His staff would consider the proposal if it was formally offered, he said.

Parks department manager Robin Pagan echoed his sentiment and said it was the first he had heard of the idea.

His department always welcomed the opportunity to learn knew techniques but Pagan said the gardening and conditions were likely to be different.

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- The Southland Times

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