Former Dunedin Mayor Peter Wing Ho Chin, an Asia New Zealand Foundation trustee, has been honoured by Shanghai for his outstanding contributions to the city.
Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng presented Mr Chin with the Magnolia Gold award in Shanghai on Monday (July 18) following a formal meeting with a delegation from Dunedin, led by current Mayor Dave Cull.
New Zealand Consul-General in Shanghai Michael Swain says it is a very rare event for a New Zealander to be acknowledged with the Magnolia Gold award, which is given to foreigners who make outstanding contributions to Shanghai’s social and economic development.
“This award shows appreciation for Peter Chin's commitment to making the most of Dunedin's sister city relationship with Shanghai. Concrete expressions of this include Dunedin's Chinese Garden, created in partnership with Shanghai, and the Otago Museum's relationship with the Shanghai Museum, culminating this week in the opening of the Te Ao Maori exhibition in the heart of Shanghai.
“The warmth of the Dunedin-Shanghai sister city relationship, and the personal connections developed between the two cities over the years, make a real difference to the New Zealand image here.”
Mr Chin was born in Dunedin to Chinese shopkeeper parents. He graduated in law from Otago University and was a senior partner at one of the city's oldest law firms until he was elected Mayor of Dunedin at the end of 2004. He served two terms as mayor.
He was made in a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 for services to local body and community affairs. He joined the board of the Asia New Zealand Foundation in 2010 and has taken a keen interest in its work, including playing an active role in its education programme in Dunedin.
Asia New Zealand Foundation chairman Philip Burdon says the Foundation is delighted one of its board trustees has been honoured with a prestigious award.
“Peter has been very active in promoting the sister city relationship between Dunedin and Shanghai, which is one of the great metropolitan cities. These connections have been very valuable for Dunedin. Peter’s commitment to the relationship is an example of what can happen with sister city relationships. They help to promote tourism, educational exchanges, business and cultural activities.”
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is making his first official visit to Shanghai with a municipal, business, education and cultural delegation. He will be among the delegation opening Otago Museum’s Te Ao Maori: Maori Treasures exhibition at Shanghai Museum this week. The exhibition runs from 21 July to 6 November 2011.