City of Auckland

12/07/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2023 19:30

Growing connections with our Japanese sister city

An apricot blossom tree has been planted to symbolise the ongoing relationship between Tāmaki Makaurau and its Japanese sister city Fukuoka.

The planting took place in the Fukuoka Friendship Garden at Te Wai Ōrea Western Springs Lakeside Park, and the tree was gifted to the garden by Fukuoka city.

"It was a wonderful celebration of our sister city relationship, and we appreciate delegates from Fukuoka taking the time to visit Auckland and strengthen that relationship," says Waitematā Local Board chair, Genevieve Sage.

"We learnt about their great initiatives involving planting and flowers to beautify their city. It's inspirational."

The Fukuoka delegation shared a meal with the Consul General, Auckland Deputy Mayor, representatives of the Fukuoka Friendship Garden Group, councillors, and Waitematā Local Board members, before celebrating the tree planting the following day.

Delegates also took the time to meet with Auckland Council Chief Executive Phil Wilson during their visit.

The Auckland-Fukuoka sister city agreement was signed in 1986 to encourage cultural understanding and to share ideas about education, culture, tourism and trade. Both cities remain committed to collaborate and cooperate in areas of mutual interest.

The original Fukuoka Friendship Garden was gifted to Auckland in 1989 from Fukuoka in recognition of the relationship, and was located at Auckland Zoo.

With approval from Fukuoka City's Mayor, the garden was relocated to the neighbouring Te Wai Ōrea Park and was officially opened in its current location in July 2017.

The garden is maintained by the Fukuoka Friendship Garden Group with support from Auckland Council.

If you would like to visit the garden, it can be accessed from Auckland Zoo's main carpark, on the edge of Te Wai Ōrea Western Springs Lakeside Park.

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