Sister Cities New Zealand - Promoting people to people exchanges

Canoes for hire, Wellington.

Wellington is partnered with Beijing, Hania, Harrogate, Sakai-shi, Sydney and Xiamen

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What is a sister city?

“Sister Cities” happen when one city decides to join with another in a different country to learn more about one another and develop friendly exchanges at a local level (this can be through young people, sports, education, business and arts and culture). When this relationship is formalised, it is officially known as a “Sister City” relationship. In some areas, such as Europe it is termed twin city and also “brother city”. You can learn more about sister cities on the Sister Cities International website.

In New Zealand, sister city relationships happen through local councils and their communities. You can find out if your city or district has a sister city here.

If you don’t have a sister city at the moment, there are still opportunities for you to be involved.

What is Sister Cities New Zealand?

Sister Cities New Zealand Inc. is the national association that links and works with councils and communities, their sister cities and a a range of organisations that involve people-to-people links. We help to create opportunities for anyone to become involved in international relations at the local level.

How are young people involved?

Young people’s involvement in Sister Cities include school and sports exchanges, participation in national conferences and forums, and contributions to Sister City events and activities.

Involvement in Sister Cities provides young people with opportunities to develop friendships and increase their cultural understanding, as well as contribute to and participate in international relations.

Each sister city link involves its young people in different ways. Below are links to different examples of activities:

Secondary Schools Ultimate Challenge
An example of how the young people of Hastings celebrated the 10 year Anniversary of their Sister City relationship with Guilin, China.

Opportunities for involvement

  • Contact your local Council to learn about opportunities for young people. You can find contact details for councils with sister city links here: here
  • If you don’t currently have a sister city, ask other young people, teachers, family and city leaders to work with you to find a sister city or sister school for your community.
  • Participate in the Annual Sister Cities Conference.
  • Collaborate with others on a project for the Air New Zealand Awards
  • Become involved in youth programmes and events organised by Sister Cities International. A great event that can be done locally is their Young Artists Showcase.
  • Sister Cities New Zealand Inc. is currently exploring ways to further engage young people in the organisation and its decision-making processes. If you would like to be involved please contact us.