City to woo China

The Invercargill City Council and its holding company, Holdco, is sending four representatives to join a South Port business delegation to explore trade opportunities in China.

Council chief executive Richard King said two city councillors and two council staff would go on the trip at a cost of about $6000 each.

The city councillors going are Carolyn Dean and Graham Sycamore while the council staffers going are finance director Dean Johnston, who is also the Holdco chief executive, and works and services director Cameron McIntosh.

Mayor Tim Shadbolt would fund the costs of Cr Dean's trip out of his mayoral promotional budget, while Mr McIntosh's trip would be funded out of existing operating budgets, Mr King said.
Holdco, which is looking to expand its markets for log sales in China, will be represented by Cr Sycamore and Mr Johnston. 

Mr King said councillors had been briefed about the intent and purpose of the business trip on Tuesday night.

The trip follows the Free Trade Agreement between China and New Zealand and Prime Minister John Key's launch of the NZ Inc China Strategy, which aims to promote trade between the two countries, he said.

Richard Hay, from the Southland Chamber of Commerce, had also recently approached the council about cementing a political relationship between cities in China in a bid to opening up trade on a city to city, or province to province basis.

The area of interest for the council is the Yangtze River Delta, which is one of the wealthiest areas in China, Mr King said.

The delegation will be away for a week from June 8.

The Southland Times