Masterton will soon be the proud owner of a genuine Chinese pavilion, complete with beautiful traditional roof tiles, thanks to the efforts of the New Zealand China Friendship Society’s Wairarapa Branch, the Masterton community, and the Foreign Affairs Office of their sister city, Changchun, capital of Jilin Province. The two cities wanted to celebrate their 30 years partnership in a way that would be memorable for years to come, at the same time providing a delightful addition to the city.
The original design was supplied by the Changchun Gardening Bureau and is designed along traditional lines, at the same time making sure that the final design meets with NZ Building Consent requirements. A small park at Kuripuni shopping centre just south of the main CBD will be its home and the pavilion will compliment the cherry trees which students from Hatsukaichi (Masterton’s Japanese sister city) planted some time ago. Another tree was planted by a group of Changchun Citizens that visited NZ following a Masterton citizen’s visit to Changchun a number of years ago, so that the park is becoming an International Relationship garden.
Two teachers who are still current members of NZCFS and well-known to many are Donald and Lorna Simpson who went to China in the late 70s to teach at Jilin University. Gradually over the years, due to this liaison, other teacher and educational contacts were expanded and the Sister City agreement was signed, providing opportunities for citizens from both cities to enjoy the culture and people of the other.
Masterton’s community has jumped to the task, as this is to be a ‘community build’ with a number of local companies and contractors offering their help and expertise. The plan is to build a 6-sided pavilion, 1800mm between each pillar, open-sided and designed for seats to be placed beneath. It will be approximately 5 metres high. The roof will comprise yellow tiles sent from Changchun in 174 boxes.
Funding is currently being sought, with so far the Masterton District Council and three local Trusts agreeing to sponsor the project. The total cost will be approx. $70,000, and another funding application has just been lodged with a further one in July 2016. As soon as the funding is in place, building will begin.
Once the building is completed, the current ambassador, who is also from Jilin Province, friends from Changchun and the NZCFS National President will be invited to the opening of the new pavilion. The New Zealand China Friendship Society wishes everyone well in their efforts and, when built, NZCFS members and other members of the public, when passing through Masterton, will no doubt call in to see the beautiful new pavilion.