In praise of Palmer­ston North

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - THE HOW MAN, DAVE GAYNOR

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.

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