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.