Queenstown will reactivate its sister-city relationship with Aspen.
Mayor Clive Geddes, following his unpublicised trip to the upmarket Colorado resort in the United States, says:
“The Aspen sister-city group are very keen to get the relationship between Queenstown and Aspen active again, as it was seven or eight years ago.”
Queenstown Lakes District Council will put “some small resource” into reactivating the Aspen accord, Geddes says.
“This year and next year, there will be a number of exchange programmes focused generally around youth that will be as wide-ranging as skifield [activities], the yacht club, rugby – and then there’ll be the normal between-school exchanges as well.”
The Colorado resort remains Queenstown’s only sister city – and that’s the way his council likes it, Geddes says.
“We get about 10-12 requests at least a year – particularly from Japanese and Chinese cities – to establish relationships but [our] view is that it is very easy to get over-committed in this [sister-city] area and not be able to meet the smallest obligations.
“I’m very comfortable we’ve got one sister-city relationship and that we continue to put a modest resource into keeping that active – I think that’s good for both communities.”
Aspen has just six “sisters” around the world against Shanghai’s 62.
Aspen’s two skifield companies fund its sister-city programme rather than the local council, Geddes notes.
The Geddes trip cost ratepayers almost $4000.