Local MP welcomes funding for Marlborough schools to boost sister school ties with China

Kaikoura news
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Local MP Stuart Smith welcomes the announcement made by Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce that Marlborough schools will receive funding to build sister school relationships with China.

Marlborough Girls’ College and Marlborough Boys’ College will receive funding of $5000 to develop a sister school partnership in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, one of China’s leading wine-producing regions.

“This is fantastic news for our young people and for our region. Initiatives like this will enable our younger generations to develop skills that will equip them for a world that is increasingly focused on the Asia-Pacific region.

“China is one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world, and is one of New Zealand’s top trading partners.  This funding will be greatly beneficial for our young people, fostering learning opportunities and greater cross-cultural understanding,” says Mr Smith.

The colleges are also working with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology to encourage Chinese student enrolments into courses relevant to New Zealand’s wine industry.

“International education is an industry full of potential for our region. Nationally, it is the country’s fifth-largest export industry, contributing $2.85 billion to the New Zealand economy annually, and supporting more than 30,000 jobs,” says Mr Smith.

The China-New Zealand Sister School Fund has a total of $50,000 in funding available to schools, and was announced during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand in November 2014.