A DELEGATION of City of Greater Bendigo representatives will head to southern New Zealand next week to talk events, economy and internet.

Mayor Margaret O’Rourke will lead a team of four headed to Dunedin to discuss the similarities between the two cities and opportunities that may open up for Bendigo.

While Bendigo and Dunedin are vastly different in some areas – climate being one major difference – the two have similar populations, are located regionally and share a rich history of goldmining.

In stark contrast to Bendigo, Dunedin is blessed with the fastest internet in the southern hemisphere – download speeds of up to one gigabit per second and upload speeds of half that – thanks to a partnership with Kiwi fixed-line telco company Chorus.

Dunedin beat out 49 other Kiwi cities to be the first to have the 1gbps capacity, and has actively promoted technology and creative industries.

Councillor O’Rourke will be joined by Cr Matt Emond, council CEO Craig Niemann and regional sustainable development manager Trevor Budge.

The group will attend a series of meetings organised by City of Dunedin mayor and current president of the Local Government New Zealand National Council, Cr David Cull.

Cr O’Rourke said council first contacted the City of Dunedin three years ago.

“Dunedin is a high achieving city,” she said.

“It has developed strong sister city trade relationships with Shanghai, has a highly regarded Economic Development Strategy and successful council-led organisation Enterprise Dunedin, has formed a great partnership with the local university that attracts more than 2,000 international students and delivers innovative community engagement programs.

“Dunedin has widely celebrated tourism products and is great at promoting its creative industries.

“It also enjoys access to the fastest internet speeds of any city in the southern hemisphere.

“This is a great opportunity to learn first-hand about how Dunedin has developed these strengths and consider how we can implement a mutually beneficial relationship.”

The visit to Dunedin will last four days, with the representatives returning on Sunday, February 11.