A Tale of Two Cities

North Shore City has several sister city relationships. One of those is Qingdao in China.

Mayor Williams, the Clown of Campbell’s Bay was feted there just a year ago in August 2008.

Last Saturday, just prior to the opening of the Sailing Olympics, in the presence of the NZ Governor-General Hon. Anand Satyanand, the Mayor signed a Sister City agreement with his counterpart in Qingdao – making North Shore City the 14th international city to become a sister city of Qingdao, alongside other coastal cities such as Southhampton, Long Beach, Miami, Odessa and Montevideo. Following these formalities, the North Shore City delegation, along with 800 guests, attended a welcome banquet to launch the Olympic Sailing Regatta, and they then travelled to the Olympic Sailing Centre for the official opening ceremony.

Visits for the North Shore delegation have taken place to the Ocean University of China and the Qingdao Tourism School and meetings with local representatives of the marine industry and sailing associations.

” Qingdao and North Shore have a great deal in common, both the sailing capitals of each country” said Mayor Andrew Williams. “There will be many opportunities for our respective companies, clubs and educational institutions to have bi-lateral co-operation. Qingdao is the home for the Chinese northern naval fleet and North Shore is home for the Royal New Zealand Navy. “This signing of the Sister City relationship with the Olympic sailing host city offers significant benefits, particularly maximising the potential of the free trade agreement now signed between New Zealand and China.” says Mayor Williams.

?These visits are of huge importance for the Chinese and Korean communities in our city, and of course it was great to see so many Kiwis doing business in Korea and China and further strengthening our trading, sporting, cultural and educational ties with such important countries in Asia.

So you can see that the Mad Mayor enjoyed himself immensely at the expense of the good city of Qingdao. You may also recall that this is the same trip that the Mad Mayor blamed for causing him to drink himself paralytic, fall into unconsciousness and punch an ambulance staff member trying to revive him.

I wonder then why the Mad Mayor didn’t have the time to spend with the delegation from Qingdao on their recent 3 week visit to the fair soon to be non-existent city of North Shore. The good folk from Qingdao were utterly perplexed that not once in their three week stay did they meet the Mental Mayor.

It did please them greatly though that the cab driver who took them to the airport was a long time friend of theirs as he had negotiated the Sister City agreement that the Clown of Campbells Bay took all the credit for. they shared many memories and also shared their disappointment of not meeting the new Mayor during their 3 week stay. The cab driver was of course George Wood the former mayor of North Shore.

What perplexes this blogger though is what has happened to the relationship between the two cities to deteriorate so badly in the space of a year that Andrew Williams refused tomeet the delegation even once?