City group to build garden in Dunedin
A NEW Zealand mayor signed a deal yesterday with a Shanghai construction group to build a replica of a famous Suzhou garden in his city in tribute to its Chinese immigrants. "We will build an authentic classic Chinese garden in our city to commemorate the contributions Chinese people have made to New Zealand," said Peter Chin, mayor of Dunedin and chairman of the Dunedin Chinese Garden Trust, at a ceremony in Yuyuan Garden. The Shanghai Construction and Decoration Group will build a copy of the Master of the Nets Garden in Suzhou in neighboring Jiangsu Province at a cost of about 35 million yuan (US$4.37 million), officials said. The garden will cover about 3,000 square meters in the center of Dunedin, which is twinned with Shanghai. "It is near the railway station," said Allison Rudd, deputy chief reporter at the Otago Daily Times. "Some Chinese trees and flowers will also be planted in the garden." The Shanghai Museum and Shanghai Construction and Decoration Group co-designed the garden. The group also provided free construction service. "We feel glad that the signing ceremony is being held in Yuyuan Garden," Chin said. "We hope to borrow the essence of the Chinese garden in Dunedin." Chin is on a visit to Shanghai this week as part of celebrations for the first direct flight between Shanghai and Aukland. According to the plan, the garden will be completed in 2008. Dunedin is the forth biggest city in New Zealand on the Otago Peninsula.