Japanese visit provides economic benefit for Matamata-Piako

Early last month a delegation from Matamata-Piako District Council were hosted in Kitakami following and invitation from the city’s Mayor, Mr Takahashi­­.

The relationship between the two districts stems from the successful World Challenge Day last May.

The invitation was furthered at the end of last year when Mr Michio Shito, Sports Coordinator for Kitakami City visited our district and discussed an opportunity for scholarships for our youth to visit Kitakami.

“The benefits of this relationship has significant potential to boost Matamata-Piako District’s tourism numbers as well as bring in international students to our area,” says Mayor Jan.

Opportunities for exchange students to visit through sports tournaments held throughout our district is currently being arranged, in conjunction with Sport Waikato, for students to come and play a variety of sports and to learn English. A delegation from Japan will visit next year to formalise the sports packages, and to organise sending our students to Japan through their sports organisation FOLDA.

“The Japanese sports organisation has already visited our district to visit the schools and have a look at how we run our sports programmes here in NZ. I’m pleased to say our schools pleased them tremendously,” said Mayor Jan.

Kitakami and the Iwate prefecture in Japan are applying for government funding from the Japanese government to be able to provide scholarships for our Matamata-Piako students to go over there for sports exchanges as well. Sport Waikato has also agreed to help in hosting students.

Two staff and a cultural liaison joined Mayor Jan and Matthew Cooper, CEO Sport Waikato on a six day tour of the Kitakami district. During the tour it was announced that our district is to be one highlighted and advertised in Japan during the Rugby World Cup to be held later this year.

“The planned advertising will bring a large amount of tourist dollars to our district,” said Mayor Jan. “With our quality brand being projected to the overseas market will help to give us an increased priority for the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

“The visit is just a start in the journey, we will continue to discuss our plans over the next few months. The first cab off the rank is getting the advertising created and ready for the Rugby World Cup so we can really show the world we have so much more to offer than just rugby.”

Photo (top to bottom)

  1. Kitakami delegation with Matamata-Piako District Councillors November 2018
  2. Matamata-Piako delegation with Mayor Takahashi of Kitakami
  3. Mayor Jan with Mayor of Kamaishi, Japan

Kitakami delegation with councillors web

Japan delegation with Mayor Takahashi web

Mayor Jan and Mayor of Kamaishi Japan web