The shipment has now arrived in New Zealand and is expected in the city any day. The distribution of the masks will be managed by the Palmerston North Emergency Operations Centre. They will be used where there is an identified need for frontline workers or people in the city requiring protection.
“We appreciate the generosity of the donation of masks and the spirit in which they were sent,” said Palmerston North City Emergency Operations Centre Controller Tom Williams. “We’re not sure how long we will require protection due to Covid-19, so it is comforting to know we have this supply on-hand to meet our future needs.”
In a letter to Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith, Guiyang Mayor Chen Yan said, “The epidemic respects no boundaries and is the common challenge for all humankind. We will overcome difficulties and donate some medical supplies to Palmerston North within our power, to express our support.”
Guiyang is the capital city of Guizhou Province in southwest China and has been Palmerston North’s sister city since 1992. The relationship between the cities stemmed from agricultural science cooperation between Massey University and Guizhou University since 1982, with ongoing environmental and agricultural academic collaboration continuing between our regions over the decades.
“This generous gesture from Guiyang demonstrates the enduring friendship between our cities and the value of Palmerston North maintaining strong global relationships” says PNCC International Relations Manager, Toni Grace.
In February, Mayor Smith sent a letter of support to Mayor Chen Yan and a video message of support to the people of Guiyang during the height of their lockdown. Youth volunteers from the Palmy Global Ambassador programme helped to make lanterns with sister city messages of support for Guiyang to be part of Palmerston North’s Festival of Cultures lantern parade.