Trade and education opportunities are starting to emerge from the Far North's sister city relationship with China's Liaoning province.
The opportunities have evolved from council links with the Liaoning Government, as well as an innovative overseas student recruitment programme initiated by Kerikeri High School.
The school initiative, led by its Director of International Students, Grant Berry, and a former Chinese national now living in Kerikeri, Ziyang Liao, has already seen two students from Liaoning enrolling under a joint council and school scholarship.
Now, relationships forged in the education sector are being tested in the commercial arena.
Mr Ziyang has initiated talks about the potential for value-added exports of Northland timber to China.
Far North Mayor Wayne Brown said a trade breakthrough in the forestry sector would more than justify the relationships developed through the Sister City Programme.
"The council's role in both the student recruitment programme and in getting talks going on timber exports has been that of a facilitator. However, neither of these opportunities would have been possible without the contacts and relationships that have evolved from the Sister City programme."