Celebrating 35 Years

Last night, the Hutt City Council and Hutt Sister City Foundation co-hosted a function at The Dowse in Lower Hutt to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the signing of the sister city agreement between Lower Hutt and Tempe.  

About 100 people attended the event - a lot of those were  past and present students, parents and teachers as well as our guests from Tempe - David Carrera and David Birdsell and his daughter Kelly.

It was very special to have the first three students to visit Tempe in 1985 there.   A poignant moment was seeing them show a photo album of their trip to the 2016/17 students. 

Mayor Ray Wallace kicked off proceedings by going through the history of our relationship with our sister city, Tempe.  Marie-Louise Blockley was a guest speaker who explained how she was involved in getting Tempe to agree to become a sister city.  

Paul Duffin, President of the HSCF spoke and revealed a new logo for the Hutt Sister City Foundation with the help of David Carrera, Tempe/Lower Hutt Student Co-ordinator.

After speeches and presentation of gifts to the Tempe guests, a cake was cut and supper was served.  Kiralee Cooke, a 2016/17 student delegate along with fellow dancers from Step by Step  gave a dance performance in the Atrium.

It was a fun evening for all those who attended - reliving memories and celebrating the strong connection that our two cities have had for 35 years.


Experience of a Lifetime

Hearing Lower Hutt students, Taylor Snow, Krishna McQueen and Ariana Randall, enthusiastically talking about their recent trip to Tempe as part of their five-week student exchange will hopefully spark a desire in current Year 11 and 12 students to participate in this fun and exciting adventure.

Hutt Sister Cities held an Information Night on Thursday, 25 August 2016 regarding their teacher and student exchanges to Tempe, Arizona, and there was a good turnout from students and their families to hear about what is involved and how they can apply. 

Taylor, Krishna, and Ariana joined their American families in July and spent time with them before student delegates from Tempe’s sister cities all around the world joined them.  The group of 60 students then travelled to the Grand Canyon where they spent a couple of nights camping.  They also visited California and spent time at Disneyland where they were there from opening to closing – an epic day!

A highlight was attending an American Prom – the girls were taken to a dress shop where they were able to choose a formal dress for free.  After a memorable night, they were allowed to keep the dress.

The parents of the students also spoke from their perspective – emphasising that the fundraising part is hard work, but that they themselves have gained a New Zealand family as well as an American family.

For the students themselves, even though they had an awesome time in Tempe, the biggest thing that they came away with is “Friendship”.  Not only have they gained an American brother/sister and family, they have also made connections with other teenagers from all over the world.

So if you want to participate in an experience of a life-time, then apply now!  Applications close Friday, 9 September 2016 at 4pm.  More information regarding the student exchange and the application form can be found elsewhere on this website.


Student Exchange

Tempe students Carmela Guiglianone, Mariah Porritt, and David Ewen have just returned home after spending five weeks in New Zealand on the first part of the student exchange between Lower Hutt and Tempe students.

They were welcomed at the airport on 29 May by the Lower Hutt host families and Paul and Suzi Duffin from the HSCF Board.  A waiata (song) greeted them in the airport foyer and then everyone gathered for a brunch before going to their own homes.

A comprehensive itinerary had been planned for them while they were staying in Lower Hutt as they did not attend school during this time.  Some of the highlights were visiting Te Papa, Zealandia, Adrenaline Forest in Porirua, a day trip to Picton on the Interislander, Weta Workshop, horse-riding, and a visit to Matiau/Somes Island.

There was also a visit with Lower Hutt Mayoress Linda Goss-Wallace to the US Embassy, and with James Lamb from the Hutt City Council who took them on an adrenaline filled day mountain-biking, doing the Butt Buster course, and kayaking in Wainuiomata. 

Among other things they also attended the Mayoral Reception for a powhiri (welcome), and the girls attended the Wainuiomata School Ball.

There was also lots of family time and a highlight of this was a trip to Rotorua, Taupo, and Ohakune where they did jetboating, sky swinging, and bungee jumping.

The students and families formed close friendships whilst they were here.   The Lower Hutt students, Taylor Snow, Krishna McQueen, and Ariana Randall have now left New Zealand to continue the next part of the exchange where they will spend five weeks in Tempe, Arizona. 

Lower Hutt Mayoral Reception

On Wednesday, 29 June 2016, the Lower Hutt Mayoral Reception was held to welcome the Tempe teacher, Cassie Lobert, and students Carmela Guaglianone, Mariah Porritt, and David Ewen. 

The Tempe exchange teacher and students, Board members from the Hutt Sister Cities Foundation, and the host families were met by Kaumatua Binny Andrews and Rea Arona who explained the purpose of the powhiri and joined us in making our way to the Hutt City Council Chambers where we were welcomed by a karanga (welcoming call) from Nanny June Jackson on behalf of the local iwi Te Atiawa and Hutt City Council.

Assembled in the Hutt City Council Chambers were Mayor Ray Wallace and Mayoress Linda Goss-Wallace, Peter Jackson (Kaikorero), City Councillors Margaret Cousins, Max Shierlaw and Tui Lewis,  Rob Tate from the US Embassy, Hiromi Morris, President of Sister Cities New Zealand, and the HCC Staff Kapa Haka Roopu (group).

There were speeches and waiatia from both groups and the Mayor presented gifts to the Tempe teacher and students.  The Tempe teacher, Cassie Lobert also presented a gift to Mayor Ray Wallace.

A highlight of the reception was when Hiromi Morris presented certificates to Mayor Ray Wallace and to Cassie Lobert that congratulated the Mayors and citizens of Lower Hutt and Tempe for their significant achievement of attaining 35 years as sister cities.