Gore sings Tamworth's praises

TERRI RUSSELL
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013
Tracy Hicks
TERRI RUSSELL/Fairfax NZ

BUILDING RELATIONS: Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks will present this montage of famous Gore images to the Tamworth Regional Council next week.

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Gore and Australian sister city Tamworth will strengthen their ties next week when the Gore district mayor visits during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The two locations signed their bond 21 years ago and, as part of the arrangement, it is customary for a council delegate to visit every second year during the festival.

Delegates build close relationships with local government representatives, exchange ideas and guide one another on local government practice.

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said it was a great opportunity to further develop the sister city relationship.

"I think it's pretty important and we've learnt a lot from our friends in Tamworth, and I'm sure the reverse applies."

The connection had started to go beyond country music and into culture and sports, he said.

New relationships would be built, with an equestrian organisation and staff at a mining operation near Tamworth, Mr Hicks said.

He will speak with residents living near the large-scale coalmining operation and staff to see how it has impacted on the area.

It was not yet known if the information could be transferred to Solid Energy's briquette plant in Mataura, but it would be useful to understand the challenges that came with the development, he said.

A montage of famous Gore images will be presented to the Tamworth Regional Council as a gift.

Mr Hicks, a country music fan, said he was looking forward to seeing some of the festival acts.

"It's a wonderful event. The first time I experienced it, it blew me away."

Tamworth Regional Mayor Col Murray said while Tamworth had various other sister cities, Gore was by far the strongest relationship.

"Geographically and culturally we are more aligned."

The relationship was really important to diversify culture and add value to local government, Mr Murray said.

He was looking forward to attending the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards in Gore, but was not sure if he would make it for this year's event, he said.

"I really love Gore, I think it's a beautiful place and I love trout fishing."

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