China trip for Masterton crew

By Don Farmer don.farmer@age.co.nz -
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Masterton District Council chief executive Pim Borren, left, and Masterton District Council Maori liaison officer Hoani Paku. PHOTO/FILE
Masterton District Council chief executive Pim Borren, left, and Masterton District Council Maori liaison officer Hoani Paku. PHOTO/FILE

It won't be on a slow boat but a mayoral delegation to China in May is now likely to include Masterton District Council chief executive Pim Borren and Maori liaison advisor Hoani Paku.

Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson has asked both men to accompany her as part of a delegation to the town's sister city, Changchun.

The council will need to rubber stamp the idea and approve the travel costs, which will come from an existing budget of around $6000.

Mr Borren said Mr Paku would be supporting the mayor from a "cultural perspective" and he would be supporting the Masterton district "from an economic development perspective".

"Given that both tourism and international education are priorities for the Wairarapa Regional Economic Development Agency, they will be my focus," Mr Borren said.

He said several people attached to industries in Masterton have also been invited.

Mr Borren said the latest Infometrics report had highlighted the success of Masterton district's economic performance in the 2014-15 year ending March 31, compared to the rest of New Zealand.

He intends to give a full report on that at the next meeting of the council's Economic Development Task Group.

"It is very pleasing that our economy has begun to show positive signs in terms of economic growth, population growth and job growth," Mr Borren said.

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