Cooperation between Lower Hutt and Minoh
The activities outlined on this page have been actively developed with many community organisations and schools collaborating across both cities.
focal point of MInoh House
Hutt Minoh Friendship House (“Minoh House”) in Normandale opened in May 1999, with financial support from Minoh, and acts as a regional Japanese cultural centre with an active support membership and around 500 people directly involved in its activities each year.
LANGUAGE + CULTURAL CLASSES
- JKaiwa conversation and introductory level classes - run by Active Wellington
- Childrens calligraphy classes
- Toddlers and parents group
- Omotesenke Tea Ceremony Club meetings
Student CULTURAL EXCHANGE
Lower Hutt schools make regular visits to Minoh and Japan including:
- Tui Glen Primary School,
- Wainuiomata High School,
- Hutt Intermediate School,
- St Bernard’s College and
- Hutt Valley High School.
Lower Hutt and Minoh have three permanent Skype connections, with opportunities to connect the cities every day, between four schools and the War Memorial Library and the Minoh Multicultural Centre. This allows students to be virtual classmates and to connect with peers across the world learning about each other’s cultures. Language classes have also begun at the Library and four teachers from Minoh were recently hosted in Lower Hutt as a direct result of this programme. Sts Peter and Pauls School has connected with Minoh Assumption School in 2017.
Hutt Art Society and the Minoh Art Association (MAA) have exchanged exhibitions featuring in both cities. Hutt Art will host a delegation from MAA in May 2017 to open a reciprocal exhibition of their work in Lower Hutt after Hutt Art gifted 30 works to MAA to show in 2016. Future tutor exchanges and cooperation is planned.
Friendship & REGULAR VISITS
We share friendship with our counterparts in the Minoh-Hutt Friendship Club in Minoh City who have been regular visitors to Lower Hutt.
Minoh Art Association members will visit in 2017. Minoh City Mayor Kurata visited Lower Hutt in 2012 and most recently again in 2015 with 21 representatives from Minoh to celebrate the 20 year anniversary and to further develop programmes and connections.
Our Trustee Sarah Knowles recently visited in 2017 to continue conversations about more links between schools in the two cities and the opportunities for studying in Lower Hutt.
We hope the regular link between Minoh High School and Hutt Valley High School will be reignited soon. Other visits have included the Minoh-based Japanese Minister of Defence visited, teachers have visited local schools and friendship club members come regularly too.
Doing Business together
This is a new area for the relationship. Discussions are underway about the mutual opportunities of a business relationship with the world’s fourth largest economy and the value of an introduction in this business culture via Minoh and Osaka - Japan's third largest city.
Ian Kennedy, Chairman of the Japan New Zealand Business Council who recently spoke to the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce says that our no.8 wire attitude is increasingly appreciated – “especially when you match our inherent problem solving skills with the Japanese ability to deliver top-notch precision and quality.”
As Lower Hutt grows to be one of New Zealand’s centres of science and technology, with a focus on innovation, Japan becomes increasingly relevant, given their own international reputation as a leading high-tech manufacturer and innovator. Some of Lower Hutt ‘s leading exporters such as HTS-110 Ltd, Imagination Technologies NZ Ltd, Tekron international, Solid State Equipment Ltd, Callaghan Innovation Research Limited, Macaulay Metals, Trinity Bioactives and many others are already doing business in Japan.
LEARNING "How to be an all black"
Each year between 2007 to 2014 dozens of Japanese High School representatives come to Lower Hutt for a rugby camp which is organised by the Japan New Zealand Centre based in neighbouring Osaka. In 2014, 75 students and coaches attended bringing $90,000 worth of expenditure to our city.
Cooperation SINCe 1995
2017 is the 22nd anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Minoh and Lower Hutt City. The relationship was formalised on 16 July 1995 with the signing of a International Co-operating Cities Agreement.
In those early years from 1996 - 2007, an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) exchange programme, in a similar contract agreement as the national JET program, but between the two cities of Lower Hutt and Minoh-shi existed. It was greatly supported by the former mayor Takashi Hashimoto. Over 10 Lower Hutt residents were selected by the Hutt City Council and employed by the Minoh city office to work in the local schools during this time and lived there for many years.
- Ariana Smith 1996-1997
- Leigh Ward 1996 - 2000
- Angela Cole 1997 - 2007
- Roimata Rimene 1998 - 2006
- Pyong Mun Yun 1996 - 2006
- Pyong Hwang Yun 2001 - 2003
- Seuga Frost 1998 - 2005
- Lealofi Nanai 1999-2001
- Waiarani Eruera 2000-2007
- Amber Walters 2001 - 2004
This programme was disestablished in 2006 and Minoh City office returned to the national JET programme for employing the ALTs.
In 2016, five Lower Hutt residents were selected for the JET programme and went to live and teach in Minoh.