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Chinese pavilion unites sister cities

Former mayor Garry Daniell, Chinese Embassy representative Wellington Yang Yaxian, Mayor Lyn Patterson, Zhang Hongxing, and Wang Huafeng. Back row left to right: David Borman, Gao Fei, Sun Zhe and Jonathan Hooker. PHOTOS/KAREN COLTMAN

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Eight tonnes of authentic Chinese roof tiles were stored by developer and project manager David Borman for a few years before going on top of the Kuripuni Changchun Pavilion, which was opened on Thursday.

Masterton District Council provided $82,000 for the pavilion, with additional funding coming from Trust House, Wairarapa Trust Lands Trust, and private donations.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was a proud moment for many involved in the project, including former Masterton mayor Garry Daniell.

Changchun is Masterton’s sister city.

Daniell, Jonathan Hooker, Borman, and Silverwood Architects worked on the project, but it was present mayor and supporter Lyn Patterson who officially opened the pavilion with Zhang Hongxing, and Wang Huafeng from the Changchun delegation.

Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson with Zhang Hongxing, left and Wang Huafeng cutting the ribbon to the pavilion.

The Changchun Gardening Bureau provided the roof tiles, along with design plans for the pavilion.

“China has thousands of years’ experience with these sorts of buildings, this is our first,” Patterson said, adding that the extended construction time had been worth it.

“This job was not without its challenges, but it is a testament to those involved that we now have a beautiful space that I believe people will enjoy for years to come,” she said.

Zhang Hongxing addressed the crowd in Chinese at the opening and his colleague translated each paragraph as he went.

The Chinese garden provided a good opportunity for the community to have a better understanding of his hometown and would bring the sister cities closer together, he said.

“Jonathan Hooker’s visit to Changchun Confucius Temple and other classical architecture laid a solid foundation for the construction of the pavilion here,” Hongxing said.

“I am hoping that people here will be drawn closer to the charm of classical Chinese architecture and will feel the harmonious beauty of the coexistence between Chinese culture and nature.”

Mike Kawana of Rangitane o Wairarapa gave the Chinese delegation and Yang Yaxian from the Chinese embassy a traditional Maori welcome.

Students from Masterton Intermediate School sang waiata and performed a haka.


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