The Council is involved in developing and strengthening Christchurch’s networks with cities around the globe.

We are closely involved in building relationships through our Sister Cities programme. The Council works closely with other cities to foster links between communities, organisations and business. These links enhance Christchurch’s cultural, environmental well-being and economic prosperity.

These relationships reflect both New Zealand’s traditional ties to England and Australia, and the growing importance of the Pacific Rim region to the future of Christchurch and New Zealand. The Sister Cities programmes foster communications across borders – a mutual exchange of ideas, people and materials in cultural, educational, youth, sports, municipal, professional and technical projects.

The Sister Cities relationships rely on a network of dedicated volunteers from the community to create and strengthen international partnerships, Promoting and driving educational exchanges, visits, celebrations and other important initiatives.

Adelaide, Australia

Christchurch and Adelaide officially became Sister Cities in 1972 – the relationship is based on cultural and educational exchanges and tourism.

Adelaide, AustraliaFounded in 1836, Adelaide is the capital and largest city in the state of South Australia. Residents of Adelaide live in a city of beautiful parklands and pleasant squares with a warm Mediterranean climate. Average temperatures in summer (January and February) are around 30 degrees Celsius, and in winter (June and July) around eight degrees Celsius.

Adelaide is known as the wine capital of Australia and also often referred to as ‘The Festival City’. Adelaide’s many festivals and sporting events, combined with its exquisite food and long beachfronts make it a very liveable city. In fact Adeaide was listed in the Top 10 of The Economist's World's Most Liveable Cities index (2010).

View Adelaide Council's sister city page(external link).

Christchurch, UK

Christchurch NZ and Christchurch UK officially became Sister Cities in 1972. The relationship is based on tourism, cultural and educational exchanges.

Christchurch Priory bell tower, UKThe shared name between Christchurch NZ and Christchurch UK is coincidental – Christchurch NZ was named after Christ Church College at Oxford University. Both Christchurch cities also have an Avon River, but again the names have separate origins. Founded in the seventh century, Christchurch UK is both a borough and town in the county of Dorset on the south coast of England.

Residents of Christchurch UK live in a town of tiny cottages and traditional pubs, excellent restaurants and speciality shops. The town has a temperate climate with sandy beaches and a dramatic coastline. About 1.5 million people visit Christchurch UK every year to enjoy the harbour, beaches, festivals, nature reserves and historically important buildings.

Gansu Province, China

The friendly relationship between Christchurch and the Gansu Province is reflected in the areas of education, culture and economic development.

Gansu Province, ChinaIn 1927, a Cantabrian named Rewi Alley moved to China. Rewi Alley spent most of his life helping the Chinese people improve their standard of living. This was the beginning of a friendship between the cities. At the request of Rewi Alley in 1984 a formal relationship was cemented between Christchurch and the Gansu province.

Gansu is a province in the north-west of the People’s Republic of China. The province generally has a semi-arid to arid continental climate. Most inhabitants of Gansu speak dialects of Northern Mandarin Chinese, Tu, Amdo Tibetan, Mongolian, and the Kazakh language.

The landscape in Gansu is very mountainous in the south and flat in the north. The Yellow River passes through the southern part of Gansu Province and through the province's capital and largest city, Lanzhou.

The Christchurch-China Sister Cities Committee runs a Facebook page(external link) where you can stay up to date with all upcoming events and any other relevant information.

Kurashiki, Japan

Christchurch and Kurashiki became Sister Cities in 1973.

Kurashiki, JapanFounded on 1 April 1928, the modern city of Kurashiki is on the eastern side of Honshu, the largest of the four main islands of Japan. The city is 650 kilometres south-west of Tokyo and is part of the Okayama prefecture. Kurashiki is home to Ohara Museum of Art – Japan's first museum for Western art.

Kurashiki has one public university, Kurashiki City College, and seven private universities:

  • Kurashiki University of Sciences and the Arts
  • Kurashiki Sakuyo University
  • Kawasaki College of Allied Health Professions
  • Okayama College
  • Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare
  • Kawasaki Medical School
  • Kawasaki Medical University. 

More information about the relationship is available on the Kurashiki City Hall(external link) website.

Canterbury Japan Day(external link) is held in Christchurch each year.

Seattle, USA

Christchurch and Seattle have enjoyed a formal link since 1981. This aims to promote and develop trade, tourism, commerce, sport, education and science on a people-to-people basis.

Seattle, USA skyline with the space needleSeattle is the home to several famous businesses. Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks coffee all began in Seattle. The city is also known for its music history, including both Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain.

Seattle is in Washington State on the Pacific north-west coast of the United States of America. Known as 'The Emerald City', Seattle’s climate is best described as oceanic or temperate marine.

Surrounded by water with Lake Washington on one side and Puget Sound on the other, Seattle’s beautiful surroundings and mild climate mean that residents enjoy a huge range of outdoor activities from sailing and salmon fishing to skiing and hiking.

Seattle is one of America’s most culturally dynamic cities with a symphony orchestra, ballet company, opera troupe and 80 theatre groups. The Space Needle, dating from the 1962 Century 21 Exposition, is Seattle’s most recognisable landmark.

More information about the relationship with Christchurch is available on the City of Seattle(external link) website.

Songpa-Gu, Korea

Christchurch and Songpa-Gu boast the first sister cities relationship between NZ and Korea.

Skyline of Songpa-Gu, Korea2015 celebrates the 20th anniversary of the relationship, during which time numerous exchanges have taken place including education and cultural groups, artists,  sportsmen, civic and friendship groups.

Songpa-gu, meaning 'a hill of pine trees', is one of 25 autonomous ‘gu’ or districts of Seoul, South Korea. Located in south-east Seoul, Songpa is Seoul’s most popular 'gu' with a population of 649,888 within it’s 33km2.  Songpa is generally referred to as a part of Greater Gangnam Area(external link).

One third of Songpa is green zone.  Songpa  is proud of its 140 parks, the highest number among Seoul's district.   Each park has its own theme like a flower or a plant. Songpa was the centre of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.  The World Peace Gate at the entrance to Olympic Park, the largest park in Songpa, is a permanent reminder of the games.

Lotte World Tower  is a 123-floor, 556-metre supertall skyscraper currently under construction in Songpa which is expected to create Asia’s largest commercial zone with 624,642m2 floor space.  On completion it will be the tallest building on the Korean peninsula and 6th tallest building in the world.

Lotte World is a major recreation complex consisting of the world's largest indoor theme park, an outdoor amusement park called "Magic Island", an artificial island inside a lake linked by monorail, shopping malls. a luxury hotel, a Korean folk museum, sports facilities, including a large indoor ice rink, and movie theaters.

Songpa annually celebrates the time 2000 years ago, when for 500 years it was the head of the Baekje Dynasty with the Hanseong Baekje Festival, a national festival over four days around the end of September, which attracts around 50,000 people.

In 2009 Songpa-gu won the United Nations Environment Program's (UNEP) LivCom Award for the 'Most Liveable City' and is also one of the world’s safest cities according to the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO).  In 2011 Songpa won the Globe Sustainable City award recognising Songpa’s excellence in sustainable, urban development.   Large-scale urban development projects, which account for more than 30% of the total area in Songpa-gu, are currently underway.

Wuhan, China

A Friendship City Agreement was signed between the Mayors of Wuhan and Christchurch on Tuesday 4 April 2006.

Bridge in Wuhan, ChinaConnections are maintained on cultural and educational levels with The Canterbury Development Corporation (external link)involved in managing the economic relationship between Wuhan and Christchurch.

As well, each year thousands of Christchurch residents gather to celebrate the Chinese Lantern Festival(external link).

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, is one of the most ancient cities in the People’s Republic of China. Residents of Wuhan enjoy a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons.  Temperatures fall to eight degrees Celsius in January and rise to 30 degrees Celsius in July on average.

Han opera, the local opera of Wuhan, is one of the oldest and most popular operas in China.  Wuhan is often referred to as 'A River City' because it boasts plenty of rivers and also 'The Chicago of China' because it plays a key role in domestic transport.

The Christchurch-China Sister Cities Committee runs a Facebook page(external link), and you can stay up to date with all upcoming events for this committee by visiting the What's On page.