In praise of Palmerston North
I’m a big fan of Palmerston North. I moved here in 1977 and have never had the inclination to leave. The city often gets a bad rap from comedians, Jafas and assorted columnists .
but the switched-on people who live here know its many attractions and reap the benefits. Here’s what I love about it. It’s small enough to have the feel of a village community but big enough to have the first class facilities of much larger cities. We have a fantastic stadium, the Regent on Broadway and Globe theatres, nine cinemas, the only professional provincial theatre left in the country, a vibrant museum/art gallery/ science centre in Te Manawa, the Lido Aquatic Centre, and countless worldclass eateries.
It’s half an hour’s drive to the coast, two hours to the mountains and anywhere in the city in 10 minutes max and, in most cases, get a park outside.
We have excellent schools and enjoy the seasonal ebb and flow of four tertiary institutions constantly introducing fresh students and staff into the community with their youth, vitality and diversity.
We are spoilt for beautiful green spaces in and around the city – The Square, Esplanade, Memorial Park, the river walkway, the lagoon, countless neighbourhood parks and playgrounds making it a wonderful (and cheap) place to have fun with your children and dogs.
Once they outgrow the playgrounds, our children can afford to buy the houses here!
Our economy is strong with more distribution businesses moving here for the central location; government money flooding into the tertiary sector, Crown Institutes and military bases at Linton and Ohakea, and an active business community. Palmerston North is a great place for start-ups because the overheads are so low.
And the weather’s great these days. In recent years, our climate has improved beyond measure. The ‘‘weather bombs’’ seem to miss us and we enjoy a lot of sun. I don’t think this is my imagination.
The quality of life per dollar here is the best in New Zealand. I feel sorry for people who live anywhere else.
So the next time someone takes a poke at good old Palmy, just nod your head and smile. The joke’s on them.