News & Events

Deputy Mayor in China to talk education and ‘big data’

Monday May 27 2019

This year marks the 27th anniversary for sister cities Palmerston North and Guiyang, in southwest China.

Photo shows deputy mayor talking to group of people at the China International Big Data Expo.

Palmerston North's presence at the China International Big Data Expo may open doors for the city's priority sectors, including distribution, logistics, and agritech.

Palmerston North Deputy Mayor Tangi Utikere is travelling to China at Guiyang’s invitation. He will join an education delegation from Manawatū and attend the 2019 China International Big Data Expo.

The delegation includes representatives from the New Zealand Consulate (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), Central Economic Development Agency, Massey University, IPU New Zealand, St Peter’s College, Awatapu College, Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Palmerston North Girls’ High School, and Freyberg High School.

Back in 2017 Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith headed a city business delegation to Guiyang as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, which included signing an international education letter of intent.

“The letter of intent has created a valuable platform for Palmerston North education providers to travel to Guiyang, meet with the Education Bureau, visit prospective partner schools, and form relationships with education recruitment agencies,” says Deputy Mayor Utikere.

“The 2019 education visit will also include a Palmerston North education information event for prospective international students and their parents.”
Guiyang is a picturesque city in Guizhou province. In recent years it’s blossomed into a mecca of ingenuity, playing host to some of the world's foremost tech agencies. Think Microsoft, Hyundai, and Alibaba.

Before the education delegation visit, the Deputy Mayor will attend the 2019 China International Big Data Expo (26 to 29 May), along with Stephen Wong, New Zealand Consul General responsible for Southwest China (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and Dr Sunil Lal, a lecturer in Computer Science at Massey University’s Manawatū campus.

“The China International Big Data Expo is one of the highest-profile national events held in Guiyang, a city that is fast becoming a leading hub for big data in China,” says the Deputy Mayor.

"Palmerston North's presence at the event may open potential cooperation opportunities for our own priority sectors, including distribution, logistics, and agritech.”

During his visit, Deputy Mayor Utikere will also meet his counterpart in Guiyang, Vice Mayor Sun Zhiming, and the Guiyang Education Bureau.

Palmerston North's international relations efforts won national recognition in 2018, taking out the "best commercially focused project” at the 2018 Sister Cities New Zealand Awards. The prize included an Air New Zealand Travel voucher which has enabled the Deputy Mayor’s current trip to China.