International Relations is involved in developing and strengthening Christchurch's networks with cities around the globe.
They are closely involved in building these relationships through their Sister Cities programme and work closely with other cities to foster links between communities, organisations and business enhancing Christchurch's cultural, environmental well-being and economic prosperity.
These relationships reflect both New Zealand's traditional ties to England and Australia, and the growing importance of the Pacific Rim region to the future of Christchurch and New Zealand.
The Sister Cities programmes foster communications across borders – a mutual exchange of ideas, people and materials in cultural, educational, youth, sports, municipal, professional and technical projects.
The Sister City programme aims to:
- Benefit and enhance both the partnering communities.
- Promote relationships of friendship and goodwill between people of different countries and cultures.
- Seek opportunities for and encourage involvement in sporting, cultural and educational exchanges as well as trade and tourism development.
- Create and encourage an exchange of ideas, people and materials in cultural, educational, youth, sports, municipal, professional and technical projects.
Christchurch has formal relationships with:
- Adelaide in Australia
- Christchurch in England
- Gansu Province in China
- Kurashiki in Japan
- Seattle in the USA
- Songpa-Gu in South Korea
- Wuhan in China
These Sister City relationships rely on a network of dedicated volunteers from the community to create and strengthen international partnerships. These volunteers form Sister City Committees that help to promote and drive educational exchanges, visits, celebrations and other important initiatives.