Invercargill residents are invited to attend the ceremony for the re-signing of the sister city agreement with Kumagaya, to be held in the Civic Theatre on Friday, February 15.
Doors open at 10.30am and the ceremony starts promptly at 11am.
Mayor Tim Shadbolt and Kumagaya Mayor Kiyoshi Tomioka will be guests of honour at the ceremony, along with a delegation of VIPs from our sister city. The newly appointed Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand, His Excellency Mr Yasuaki Nogawa is also expected to attend.
Community leaders, kaumatua, representatives of businesses with links to Kumagaya, schools with long-standing relationships with Kumagaya and members of the Kumagaya Friendship Association will also be present.
Students who are learning Japanese at all Invercargill high schools have been invited to attend with their teachers, senior student representatives and principals.
The Master of Ceremonies will be Invercargill’s Deputy Mayor, Cr Darren Ludlow.
Students from Te Wharekura O Arowhenua will perform the wero (challenge) and be involved in the haka powhiri.
This will be followed by speeches from dignitaries, interspersed with cultural performances from James Hargest College, Southland Boys’ High School and Southland Girls’ High School – all of which have long-standing sister and brother schools in Kumagaya. Jazz Time – which has sent two dance groups to Kumagaya – will also perform.
There will also be a minute’s silence, in memory of those people who played an important part in our sister city relationship over the last 20 years, and who have passed away.
The sister city agreement will be re-signed by both Mayors and an anniversary gift exchange will take place between the two cities.
The ceremony will conclude with a haka, performed by students from Southland Boys’ High School and a piper will lead the Mayors out of the Theatre.