A seven-person official delegation will travel to Nagaizumi-cho to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a Whanganui sister-city relationship with the Japanese city.

The August visit coincides with Nagaizumi-cho's annual Waku Waku Festival and included an anniversary ceremony and exchange event.

There would also be an opportunity to present information about education opportunities in Whanganui and New Zealand.

It would cost Whanganui District Council up about $15,000 in airfares while Nagaizumi-cho would pay for accommodation, internal travel and food.


The seven making up the official delegation includes mayor Hamish McDouall, council's chief executive Kym Fell, Whanganui & Partners general manager Phillipa Ivory, New Zealand International Pilot Academy chief executive Phillip Bedford, council principal adviser corporate Marianne Cavanagh, councillor Rob Vinsen and former sister cities co-ordinator Malcolm Hunt.

McDouall said it was a significant anniversary and the relationship had benefits for the district including regular visits from Nagaizumi school kids to Whanganui.

"It's exciting in a lot of ways to honour a relationship over 30 years," he said.

"To send a good bulked up delegation with seven council people and 11-12 others - which includes my mum, so I'm not going to be getting into any bad behaviour - is really a great symbol of how we value it."

About 10 other delegates will travel to Japan on a self-funded basis but are invited to attend celebratory events and will travel as part of the wider delegation.

The mayors of Whanganui and Nagaizumi-cho signed a sister cities agreement in 1988.

A Whanganui delegation attended the 10th anniversary celebrations of the sister city relationship in Nagaizumi-cho in 1999 and former deputy mayor Dot McKinnon led a small group visit to Nagaizumi-cho to celebrate the 20th anniversary in 2008.

In 2014 former mayor Annette Main and former chief executive Kevin Ross visited Nagaizumi-cho.


A delegation from Nagaizumi-cho will visit Whanganui in January next year and will send a strong contingent to take part in the February 2019 New Zealand Masters Games to be held in Whanganui.