Sister city mayor drops in on counterpart

The new mayor of Rotorua's Australian sister city, Lake Macquarie, spent five days in Rotorua recently, popping in to see the mayor during her holiday visit.

Jodie Harrison, her husband, Bruce, and children India, 13, and Phillip, 9, took time out from their family holiday yesterday to stop by Mayor Kevin Winter's office for a chat during lunch.

The Harrison family are in New Zealand for a week, choosing to spend five nights in Rotorua.

She said the family came to Rotorua because they were after something relaxing, but also fun for the children.

"We've enjoyed luge rides, mud baths and soda springs, traditional Maori massage and we're now looking forward to visiting Rotorua Museum.

"Rotorua and Lake Macquarie have got a lot of similarities geographically, with our own lake right in the middle and mountains surrounding the city.

"But it feels like a real holiday here because Rotorua is much less developed around the edges and we don't have the agricultural land that Rotorua has."

Mrs Harrison, who has been mayor of Lake Macquarie City Council for just eight weeks, said the family had an informal discussion on lakes, tourism and general matters with Mayor Winters - a comparatively veteran mayor of eight years.

"I thought that as Rotorua is our sister city it was important that, even though I'm on a family holiday, that I actually stop in and meet the mayor and take the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between Lake Macquarie and Rotorua."

Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters said it was great to catch up with Mrs Harrison and her family and he looked forward to strengthening ties with Lake Macquarie in the future.

The Harrison family head back to Australia tomorrow.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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