The Mayor of Wellington
Celia Wade-Brown conforms to only a handful of New Zealand stereotypes. And one of those attributes is her friendliness. Born in London, the third female Mayor of Wellington has an odd accent (British with twangs of Kiwi) - but she's so polite, excitable and enjoying her role. “The very fact that somebody who's born from elsewhere is mayor of the capital,” she says, “is an example that people are welcoming of those who have moved there.”
It's comforting to know that, for a politician, she's as chummy as you'd expect your average New Zealander to be - yet she shows surprising insight into the complexities of an intercultural city like Hong Kong. She says 'we all benefit from such a variety of people'.
At the top of her list for visiting the SAR is to witness New Zealand's part in The Hong Kong International Arts Festival. The World of WearableArt is a fashion show and more - “it's not just like a parade, one after the other, of different costumes; there's choreography, there's performance, there's dance.” Wade-Brown proudly comments on how the show is a 'wonderful' showcase of its headline Wellington version. Envisioning further collaborations, the hopes WOW's visit to Hong Kong will inspire fashion designers here to submit more entries in this year's competition in Wellington - as well as inspiring more Hongkongers to visit the event in NZ.
Wade-Brown tells Time Out that the Symphony of Lights is one of the highlights of the visit. Butwhat does she find most interesting about Hong Kong culture? She pauses pensively before saying: “I think it's the adaptability of Hong Kong culture. And if you think about the huge changes from the 19th century to today, the crises that Hongkongers have gone through, whether it's SARS or the Asian Ffinancial crisis… there is this resilience built into this psyche of Hong Kong - so I think that's one thing that's very special.” We agree, for sure. We'd welcome her back any time.