Our international relations strategy
We champion Tāmaki Makaurau’s global presence to ensure the region remains relevant and connected to the international community.
Covid-19 has changed the way we can work with our international partners. We have refreshed our vision and priorities so we can focus on the things that matter during the current global crisis.
Our current focus areas are:
- supporting Auckland Council’s international relations engagement activity by providing sound and independent advice
- sharing Auckland’s expertise in sustainable and resilient city practices
- Promoting international collaboration across the council and the community.
Our international city relationships
International city relationships open doors for decision-makers and business and political leaders to engage in relationships that benefit cities and markets, economically and culturally.
The Tripartite Economic Alliance between Auckland, Guangzhou and Los Angeles is an excellent example of using established partner city relationships that benefit all three cities.
Maintaining relationships in international markets is essential to doing business and is a core part of our global activity.
Our global partner cities and countries
Brisbane and Auckland councils are the largest local governing bodies in Australasia. The cities mark 30 years of partnership in 2018. Our relationship has a strong emphasis on economic activity and growth management, including active collaboration on trade, investment, housing, urban development and infrastructure.
Brisbane City Council
The city of Hamburg and Auckland City Council (now part of Auckland Council) signed a strategic alliance in 2007. In June 2013 we re-signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue the relationship. Hamburg is a global leader in sustainable cities and is currently developing HafenCity, the largest urban development project in Europe.
The two cities exchange best practice ideas in city planning and efficient development of ports and waterfront areas.
The city of Hamburg
Galway City Council and Waitakere City Council (now part of Auckland Council) signed a Friendship Agreement in 2002. Both are coastal cities that share a keen interest in sailing and are regular hosts of the Volvo Ocean Race. Galway had the honour of being the finishing port and closing ceremony location for the race in 2008-2009 and 2011-2012.
Galway was named the European Capital of Culture in 2020.
Galway City Council
The Cook Islands' Memorandum of Cooperation with Auckland was re-signed in 2012 during our mayoral-led trade mission to the Pacific. The memorandum includes a commitment that we will provide technical advice around governance and infrastructure, as well as exchanging knowledge, experience, and cultural understanding with the Cook Islands.
Samoa's Memorandum of Cooperation with Auckland was resigned during our mayoral-led trade mission in 2012. Recent activity includes technical assistance funded under the
PacificTA for the planning development of the Apia waterfront, and for the implementation of a dog control management programme.
Government of Samoa
Auckland’s relationship with the Kingdom of Tonga was established with a Memorandum of Cooperation in 2012. The bilateral relationship includes a commitment from Auckland to provide technical advice in governance and infrastructure development. Tonga and Auckland share a two-way exchange of knowledge, experience, and cultural understanding. Activities to date have focused on urban planning, governance and major-event planning and implementation.
Government of the Kingdom of Tonga
In 2006, North Shore Council (now part of Auckland Council) signed an agreement with Nadi Town Council. Our relationship focuses on cooperation around human resources, assistance to acquire infrastructure equipment and machinery, participation in seminars and the development of public amenities.
Los Angeles, USA
The Auckland-Los Angeles sister city relationship was signed in 1971 to coincide with Air New Zealand's inaugural service to Los Angeles. Since then we have partnered to drive tourism and investment, trade, education, sport, culture and community initiatives.
Auckland's relationship was strengthened in 2014 with the
Tripartite Economic Alliance between Los Angeles, Guangzhou and Auckland. This alliance has resulted in increased trilateral business activity and, more recently, conversations around climate change and emergency preparedness.
City of Los Angeles
Guangzhou is a leading commercial city of China. 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the partner city relationship between Guangzhou and Auckland – Auckland’s longest-standing and most successful sub-national partnership in China. The relationship between the two cities has been significantly strengthened by the Tripartite Economic Alliance between Guangzhou, Auckland and Los Angeles.
Education cooperation is a key feature of the partner city relationship between Ningbo and Auckland, which was signed in 1998. In 2013, the Ningbo-Auckland Educational Association was established to hold annual conferences for students and educators from both cities.
The partner city relationship between Qingdao and Auckland was signed in 2008. The film industry is the key focus of our partnership with Qingdao. More recently there has also been growing cooperation in education with annual Youth Leadership Summits.
The Auckland-Fukuoka sister city agreement was signed in 1986 to encourage cultural understanding and to share ideas about education, culture, tourism and trade.
The current focus of the relationship is on collaboration on innovative business (see Startup Fukuoka for information about 'the fastest growing startup hub in Japan'), (sport) rugby, youth exchange and best practice. Fukuoka is one of the 12 cities that will host the Japan Rugby World Cup 2019.
City of Fukuoka
The Auckland-Tomioka friendship was originally established in 1983 between One Tree Hill Borough Council and Tomioka. Tomioka was severely affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and the town was evacuated due to its proximity to the Fukushima power plant. The reconstruction of the town and the community has been progressing steadily and Tomioka officially reopened in April 2017.
Our friendship city agreement with Shinagawa Ward in Tokyo was signed in 1993. Our relationship began in 1989, when Mt Roskill Borough Council and Shinagawa established a friendship communiqué. Our connection is still strong, with ongoing teacher and student exchanges between Shinagawa's public high schools and Lynfield College.
The Auckland-Kakogawa sister city relationship was formalised in 1992, and in August 2017 Mayor Yasuhiro Okada visited Auckland to celebrate the 25th anniversary. Our partnership with Kakogawa City includes the award-winning Kakogawa students with special needs programme which Auckland has been facilitating annually since 1993.
Forged in 1982, Auckland's sister city relationship with Utsunomiya is one of the longest-running in New Zealand. The friendship has been strengthened through numerous civic and education exchanges, allowing residents of both cities to share and appreciate each other's culture.
Busan, South Korea
Busan has a thriving film sector, and annually hosts the Busan International Film Festival which attracts over 200,000 spectators and industry representatives. Our sister city relationship, signed in 1996, encourages cooperation and best practice exchange in film, trade, marine industry, culture and tourism.
Pohang, South Korea
The Pohang-Auckland Friendship City agreement, signed in 2008, aims to facilitate exchange and co-operation in science, technology, economy, trade and environment. Pohang is home of the headquarters of POSCO, the world's fourth-largest steelmaker.
The Auckland-Taichung Sister City agreement was signed in 1996, and the two cities celebrated the 20th anniversary of the partnership in 2016. The relationship focuses on cooperation in trade, science and technology, culture, education and social development. We also work with Taichung in city planning and enhancing indigenous cooperation.
For more information about our global partnerships, email the International Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.