A friendly city relationship is less formal than a sister city relationship and it generally has a lower profile.
Friendly city signing ceremony in Tianjin
Wellington has two friendly city relationships:
- Sydney, Australia
- Tianjin, China
A friendly city relationship is likely to be long-term, but the level of community support and involvement is not as high as with a full sister city relationship.
A sister city relationship between Wellington and Sydney was originally formed in September 1983. The focus of the relationship has been on trade and business. The relationship was changed to 'friendly city' status in 1996 after a review.
Wellington entered into a partnership with Tianjin as part of the World Bank-supported Megacities Earthquake Mitigation Initiative (EMI) to protect the two cities against earthquake disaster. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to formalise the Wellington-Tianjin partnership by the Mayor of Wellington Mark Blumsky and Vice Mayor of Tianjin Liang Su in Wellington on 22 August 2000.
The partnership has a focus on fostering the sharing of scientific, technical and policy expertise in the handling of the common threat of earthquakes.
The partnership between Tianjin and Wellington remains strong and the cities are now focusing on creating tangible business opportunities from the relationship.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Tianjin Mayor Huang Xingguo signed the agreement to set up a friendship city relationship in Tianjin on 22 July 2011.