New Zealand China Mayoral Forum 2020


18 May 2020

Starting: Monday 18 May 2020 12:00:00 AM

Finishing: Monday 18 May 2020 12:00:00 AM

The third New Zealand China Mayoral Forum will be held in China on 18 May 2020.

This mechanism, launched on 21 November 2014, provides a platform for peer-to-peer exchanges for New Zealand and China mayors to discuss issues of mutual interests strengthen practical cooperation and enhance friendship.

The 2020 forum theme will build on the success from the first two forums held in Xiamen, China in 2015 and Wellington, New Zealand in 2017 which produced tangible outcomes for the mayors that attended from both countries.

The New Zealand China relationship is important.  The trade relationship has nearly tripled over the past decade, with two-way trade rising from $8.2 billion in the year ended June 2007 to $23 billion in the June 2016 year. The mayoral forums provide a new sub-national engagement to further enhance and develop political and trade relations for the future.

New Zealand China Mayoral Forum 2020

The 2020 New Zealand China Mayoral Forum will be hosted by the city of Chengdu in China on 18 May 2020.


Chengdu, China

This commitment from China represents an honouring of the Wellington declaration that was signed by all participating mayors at the 2017 Forum.

It provides New Zealand with an important opportunity to further deepen our ties with our largest trading partner.

LGNZ has proactively supported this mechanism of engagement to build on the investment members have already made in Sister city relationships with a focus on increasing economic development opportunities for New Zealand regions. A recent report from NZIER confirmed the fundamental and paramount importance of regular face-to-face contact and communication to maintain Trust. The research confirms that without a commitment to face-to-face engagement the relationships needed to maintain the business connections needed for economic opportunities would not develop. Mayoral visits strengthen the commitment between Sister Cities by showing the relationship is still valued. MFAT have  confirmed that this is an important time to double down on this work at the  sub-national level.


Signing of the declaration, Wellington 2017

Since its launch, the New Zealand China Mayoral Forum mechanism has brought Thirty eight New Zealand and twenty China Mayors together to exchange trade opportunities in tourism, education and primary industries.  The two fora have been held in Xiamen, China, on 7 September 2015 and in Wellington, New Zealand, on 4 December 2017. Our member surveys show that the majority of councils that invest in Forum participation and attendance get a very good return.

Chengdu city sits within the Sichuan province, which is already producing strong economic outcomes for New Zealand. New Zealand has a long history with Sichuan that includes established trading relationships in Chengdu city. New Zealand opened a Consulate General in Chengdu in mid-2014, one of five diplomatic posts in China.  Chengdu is a sister city of Hamilton city and Consul-General Stephen Wong  is a graduate of Waikato University.  Two NZTE business development managers who assist NZTE customers in market support him.


It has been agreed that the theme for the next Forum will include the topics of climate change and Belt and Road. Early feedback from LGNZ members has identified this as an opportunity to share New Zealand local government’s approach to climate change issues with an influential Chinese audience and to better understand China’s position.  Belt and Road provides a framework for further expanding the trade conversation and LGNZ is exploring a partnership with the New Zealand China Council to help shape that part of the programme.

LGNZ will be working with CPAFFC to finalise the agenda, which we anticipate will be finalised in early 2020.  As with previous forums, a small delegation of officials from LGNZ will travel to China in early December to complete a series of meetings and site inspections to finalise arrangements for the Forum. Planning has begun and, to assist us, we would like to receive registrations from councils interested in participating in the Forum.

Registration of Interest

To complete your council's registration of interest click here.



Philip Shackleton
Principal Policy Advisor
Local Government New Zealand
DDI 04 924 1205  M 021 924 505