Reach­ing to­wards smart, vi­brant po­ten­tial

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS - DUN­CAN MCCANN, PNCC COUN­CIL­LOR

Over the sum­mer months the city has been ab­so­lutely hum­ming. We’ve had more re­gional largescale events than any time I can re­mem­ber.

From the Christ­mas and New Year con­certs in The Square, to the NZ Su­per­stock Cham­pi­onships, Ni­tro Cir­cus, Voda­fone Warriors, the Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures and the NZ Grand Prix, to the Royal New Zealand Air Force Tat­too, the Hilux New Zealand Ru­ral Games, the Cen­tral District Field Days, and the Nor­wood Gold Cup Fes­ti­val. And we still have the Win­ter Fes­ti­val and Lions Tour to come.

Then there’s been Te Man­awa’s hugely suc­cess­ful Frida Kahlo and Di­nosaur ex­hi­bi­tions, and the sup­port­ing pro­mo­tions from the lo­cal arts com­mu­nity, have added a unique vi­brancy.

All th­ese events are great for our city, draw­ing in crowds from across the re­gion and giv­ing our econ­omy a real shot in the arm. But it’s not just the large-scale events mak­ing waves. We’re see­ing a raft of smaller events and ac­tiv­i­ties tak­ing place around the city.

The com­mu­nity or­gan­ised mar­kets in George St, the Cen­tral Li­brary, Square Edge, and Hokowhitu are hugely pop­u­lar. Com­mu­nity driven free events and ini­tia­tives such as Reach Roslyn Wacky Wa­ter Day, Pass­port to Play Palmy, and Palmy Rocks are real hits. There’s been plenty of mu­sic too, with the Sounds of Sum­mer Sun­days in The Es­planade, Lunchtime Con­certs in The Square, and gigs ga­lore at The Stom­ach, Snails, and the Re­gent Ar­cade.

Our Cen­tral and Com­mu­nity Li­braries and our Com­mu­nity Ser­vices team are also busy on a daily ba­sis, pro­vid­ing a huge range of com­mu­nity-fo­cused events through­out the city.

Our new Palmy Un­leashed and Place­mak­ing teams have been tri­al­ing events in The Square in­clud­ing the Food Trucks, free film screen­ings, and big screen gam­ing. Palmy Un­leashed Co­or­di­na­tor Sam Ker­shaw is here to make it easy for ev­ery­one to get in­volved and host an event. She can help you with the things like find­ing a venue and get­ting coun­cil ap­provals.

Else­where in the city, we’ve had open days at The Es­planade and Lin­klater, Waitoe­toe, and Me­mo­rial Parks, which have helped us col­lect public feed­back and guide var­i­ous stages of our de­vel­op­ment plans.

Around the Es­planade we’ve al­ready seen the ad­di­tion of out­door hy­dro slides and wa­ter play at­trac­tions at the Lido Aquatic Cen­tre, and we now have three more ex­cit­ing projects in the pipe­line: the Ju­nior Road Safety Park, Cen­tral En­ergy Trust Wild­base Re­cov­ery Cen­tre, and the He Ara Ko­tahi shared path­way and cy­cle and pedes­trian bridge across the Manawatu River. Th­ese projects are be­ing achieved pru­dently through part­ner­ships and have at­tracted about $9 mil­lion in ex­ter­nal fund­ing, en­sur­ing our ratepay­ers get the best bang for their buck.

When we com­bine all th­ese things they make a huge im­pact and I re­ally be­lieve we’re start­ing to reach our po­ten­tial as a smart and vi­brant place to live.

It’s go­ing to be a great year for Palmer­ston North.

HAVE YOUR SAY

The Tri­bune wel­comes let­ters. They should not ex­ceed 250 words and must carry a gen­uine name, home ad­dress and day­time phone num­ber. Let­ters may be edited, abridged or omit­ted with­out ex­pla­na­tion. They can be emailed to tri­bune@msl.co.nz or posted to PO Box 3, Palmer­ston North to be re­ceived by 4pm on the Thurs­day prior to pub­li­ca­tion.

PHOTO: MURRAY WIL­SON/ FAIRFAX NZ

The Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures is just one of many events in the city over the past few months.

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