Chengdu, China

Hamilton and Chengdu became sister cities on 6 May 2015.

The sister city relationship was established to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between New Zealand and Chinese peoples. It consolidates and builds on the friendly and economic cooperation between the two cities, established in a 2014 Memorandum of Understanding.

Hamilton’s relationship with Chengdu started in the mid-1990s, based on mutual interests in agri-business and education, and has since evolved to include a wider range of mutually-beneficial interests in trade, education and culture. 

Sacramento, USA

Our sister city connection with Sacramento was established on 25 May 1988.

This sister city relationship fosters friendship, cultural exchange, and economic connection between the two cities.

Although we’re located on opposite ends of the Pacific region, Hamilton and Sacramento have much in common. Both are located in river valleys, have agriculturally-based economies, and share the key industries of biotechnology and tourism. Like Hamilton, Sacramento also loves its rugby.

Saitama, Japan

Our oldest sister city relationship was formalised on 14 May 1984.

Each year, more than 60 students from junior high schools in Saitama are hosted by Melville Intermediate School. They live with local families, take part in school life, and visit Council and tourist spots in Hamilton and the Waikato.

Wuxi, China

Wuxi has contributed much to Hamilton’s Chinese Scholars’ Garden.

Wuxi has played an important role in creating the Chinese Scholars’ Garden at Hamilton Gardens. Work officially started with the planting of a magnolia called 'The Friendship Tree' in the Blossom Court by the Mayor of Wuxi in 1986. 

Wuxi gifted the tiles, turtle, table, seats and rock to the garden. The rock comes from Lake Taihu, next to Wuxi, and was presented by the President of the Wuxi Municipal People's Association for Friendship in 1991. The Ting Pavilion – 'Leaning-against-river-pavilion' – is a replica of one in Wuxi. 

The garden was formally opened by the mayors of Wuxi and Hamilton in 1992.

In 1998 a Wuxi delegation presented the Celestial Yuan of Taihu (bronze turtle), a figure from Wuxi legend sent by the Dragon King to save the people of Wuxi. It symbolically protects the garden from floods from the Waikato River.

The NZ Chinese Association (Waikato Branch) and the New Zealand China Friendship Society (Hamilton Branch) were also involved in developing the Chinese Scholars’ Garden. 

Ypres, Belgium

Hamilton’s formal relationship with Ypres was formalised in February 2013.

Ypres was a strategic landmark for the British army in World War I as it blocked the German army’s route along the Belgian and French coast.

The city of Ypres showed care to New Zealand soldiers during this time, and a strong connection between Hamilton and Ypres began.

In 2014, Hamilton’s Ypres Memorial Garden in Memorial Park was built to acknowledge those who fought and died in World War I.

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Last updated 15 June 2022