The Un-Informative Mr King

14 Nov

So our Council are doing the China Sister City/Friendship agreement.  Probably done by now.  It seems none of the councillors seem confident to express what’s going on.  One even thought going out to dinner would provide answers.  If a years worth of meetings/junkets/workshops and newspaper articles didn’t I doubt one dinner will provide anything of substance.

Interestingly, when Pottinger asks:

He questioned council chief executive Richard King via email about when the council agreed to becoming sister cities.

Mr King responded that “the issue was raised in the Mayor’s report . . . under the heading of Economic Development. The Mayor stated that The Mayor of Suqian and his delegation would be visiting Invercargill in November this year and it was expected that during this visit a sister city relationship with Suqian will be officially established”.

I agree Mr King, it was raised but the question was when the council had agreed.

China is now our greatest trading partner and I have received advice that the Mayor of Suqian and other top city officials will be visiting Invercargill in November this year.  It is expected that during this visit a Sister City relationship with Suqian will be officially established.

An article in the Southland Times followed:

During a Invercargill City Council meeting this week, chief executive Richard King said the Chinese government had given Suqian officials the necessary approval.

A delegation, including the mayor of Suqian, was scheduled to arrive in Invercargill in November to formally set up the relationship, he said.

Invercargill and Suqian entered a friendly city relationship and agreed to strengthen their trade links when Suqian officials visited in May.

So do we blame Carolyn Dean because she signed the friendship agreement when she visited China?

Council chief executive Richard King tabled a report saying the memorandum of understanding was signed on behalf of the council by Cr Carolyn Dean after the council contingent’s visit to Suqian in June.

The memorandum, which was attached to the report, says both parties would “visit each other and develop friendship so that the sister-city relationship can be established as soon as possible”.

I was at the 17 September 2013 meeting but sadly I zoned out (sister cities don’t interest me).  What did our remunerated elected members say or ask?  They aren’t allowed to ‘zone out’.  I can’t look up the minutes because ICC only circulate them with the next agenda for confirming and because we have had an election that wasn’t done.

Did the Southland Times ask ICC’s stance?  Did the STL ask anything?  That article is a bit of a nothing.  More like a press release from ICC.

Back in June 2012 this was the story though.

If the friendship relationship with Suqian went ahead, with the full council yet to make that decision, Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt would visit the city to formalise the agreement.

Has anyone found the full council decision anywhere?

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One Response to “The Un-Informative Mr King”

  1. Philip.T November 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    maybe there is more to the story than meets the eye. Our present sister city is in Japan.
    China has much more lax entry requirements than Japan for people who have criminal records such as drink driving so perhaps the haste to cement another arrangement is to ensure certain people can travel. Who would want to miss out on the junkets?

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