The visitors are part of an American Friendship Force group staying in Palmerston North this week with Manawatu Friendship Force Chapter hosts. On Wednesday (8 November) Mayor Grant Smith welcomed the group in the city’s Council Chambers before hosting them at a lunch.
They were able to visit Council's main meeting room, the Missoula Room, and saw gifts from their home city, including a painting that is permanently on display. They also delivered a letter and gift from the Mayor of Missoula to Mayor Smith.
“It was great opportunity for us to be able host the visitors in our city during the 35th anniversary,” says Toni Grace, PNCC International Relations Manager. “It allowed us to reciprocate Missoula’s acknowledgement of our relationship in the New Zealand Day they held in May, which included a rugby match and a screening of Kiwi film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”
During the lunch, the trip organisers and Council staff agreed to plant a tree in Missoula Reserve as a way to mark the anniversary.
The lunch was also attended by members of the US Embassy Public Affairs team, who spoke to the visitors about the special relationship between New Zealand and the United States.
The day before the lunch, US Ambassador Brown and his wife Gail visited Palmerston North to meet with Mayor Grant Smith and the Manawatu Chamber of Commerce. Ambassador Brown had hoped to have attended the lunch but had to change the date of his visit so he could attend the opening of Parliament. The Ambassador had a great day in the Manawatū. Read details of the visit on the Embassy website: Roadie! Ambassador Brown visits the Manawatu
The tree planting is happening at 10am on Tuesday 14 November, at the Missoula Reserve in Kelvin Grove.