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Mayor Cull’s reflections on Edinburgh #SisterCity #Junkets

Edinburgh - New Town Old Town [thathideousman.blogspot.com]

Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 at 11:36 p.m.

Message: I thought it might be of interest that there has been no response from the Mayor, or from anyone else regarding my criticism of the latest round of Sister City tourism as below.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:10:12 +1200
To: Dave Cull, Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Lee Vandervis, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Cc: Tony Avery, Grant McKenzie
Conversation: File – reflections on Edinburgh visit.docx
Subject: Re: File – reflections on Edinburgh visit.docx

Dear Dave,

Thank you sending us your preliminary reflections on visiting Edinburgh, which I know from personal experience to be especially pleasant at this time of year.
Since being elected in 2004 I have read many similar reflections on Sister City visits all of them similarly generic.
I note that your statement “So most of our time in Edinburgh was devoted to meetings with Edinburgh arts and cultural organizations, people or institutions.” is a fair definition of tourism, unless you are heavily into sports which might not necessarily be caught by the words ‘cultural organizations’.
Your claim that you went to “reinvigorate the sister city relationship” is untenable since there never has been any vigour in the relationship, as anyone who has done years on the Edinburgh Sister City Committee will confirm. The previously overused but safer ‘breath new life into the relationship’ would also fail as it is not possible to breathe new life into a corpse.
Ditto Otaru.
I take it that Dunedin will now be hosting some official reciprocal Scottish tourists by return when the Scottish winter bites.

At least Harland pretended to come back with a viable Scottish wind power design.

Kind regards,
Lee

On 6/08/14 4:26 AM, “Quickoffice” wrote:

Hi Colleagues, Attached a preliminary report on the Edinburgh experience. Dave

Colleagues,
The following is a preliminary report/reflection on our recently completed trip to Edinburgh while it is still fresh. There is considerable detail and learnings yet to be brought together from our various meetings.

This Sister City visit to Edinburgh was timed to coincide with the opening of the NZ in Edinburgh Programme. That included a national kapa haka group being a central part of the tattoo, an exhibition by Commonwealth artists partly curated by Aaron Kriesler of DPAG and many more performances/exhibits. NZ was the country of honor at the umbrella Edinburgh Festival. Our Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae was a guest of honor with the 2nd Lord of the Admiralty at the Tattoo opening night.
Dunedin received invitations to Edinburgh from the the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Creative Scotland and the British Council.
The visit was timed to coincide because one of the objectives of going was to reinvigorate the sister city relationship, potentially through the medium of arts and culture. This was timely as Dunedin is currently developing an Arts and Culture Strategy, our Economic Development Strategy recognises the important potential of the whole creative sector and we are awaiting confirmation of UNESCO City of Literature status. The two cities obviously already have many cultural connections, going back to Dunedin’s founding and naming by Scots.
So most of our time in Edinburgh was devoted to meetings with Edinburgh arts and cultural organizations, people or institutions. They include Creative Scotland (equivalent of Creative NZ), Edinburgh University (2 depts), Councillor convener of arts and future committee, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh City of Literature, British Council, Institute of Scottish Studies, and Centre for the Book Edinburgh Napier University. We also met with the Lord Provost, attended the Tattoo and the opening of Aaron’s exhibition.
We are still processing what we learned, but a number of things made us very positive about the potential opportunity Edinburgh, and our relationship with her, could offer Dundin. First everyone, without exception, has been welcoming and has gone out of their way to engage, spend time with us and provide any information we asked for. Several organizations have express a desire to collaborate with Dunedin. One or two came to meetings with specific proposals! We have even had an approach from the Edinburgh suburb Corstorphine asking about partnering with Corstorphine, Dunedin. The bigger picture is that Edinburgh has essentially reinvented itself as a cultural/festival city. Certainly after World War II Edinburgh’s economy diminished drastically. Edinburgh was the first UNESCO City of Literature. Now festivals of various cultural complexions bring hundreds of millions of pounds into the city. Edinburgh views and defines itself as a creative, literary artistic city. So if nothing else Dunedin can learn an
enormous amount from Edinburgh’s experience across a range of initiatives. In addition there is considerable potential for collaboration and exchange between Dunedin and Edinburgh institutions, to their mutual benefit. There was emphatic interest in Dunedin performers performing in both Edinburgh and Glasgow at major events. Indeed Neville and Cara saw the Chills in Glasgow on Saturday night.
So while we have yet to fully de-brief and weigh up what we learned, it is clear that there is huge potential culturally, economically and academically for Dunedin in refreshing and developing our relationship with Edinburgh specifically and Scotland in general.

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