Pas­sion for our arts and cy­cle­ways

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS - COUN­CIL­LOR JIM JEF­FERIES

There are many things we can be proud of here in Palmer­ston North. But the two things I be­lieve re­ally set us apart are our hum­ming arts scene and our cy­cle­ways.

I’m ex­tremely pas­sion­ate about both of these things, and com­mit­ted to see­ing them thrive.

Our city is brim­ming with cre­ative peo­ple and we punch well above our weight in the arts. We’re very lucky to have a pro­fes­sional the­atre right in the cen­tre of town that of­fers a line-up of con­sis­tently high cal­i­bre shows, and just across the road, the Dark Room is a great space for ex­per­i­men­tal mu­sic, the­atre and com­edy.

We do a great job of cel­e­brat­ing the arts in our pub­lic spa­ces, par­tic­u­larly through our col­lec­tion of pub­lic sculp­tures.

Just re­cently a new Paul Dib­ble sculp­ture popped up near the coun­cil build­ing in an un­ex­pected act of place­mak­ing by the Zim­mer­man Gallery - ex­actly the kind of ac­tiv­ity we want to see more of in the city.

But, of course, not all of our arts and cul­ture is highly vis­i­ble, and it’s im­por­tant we also ac­knowl­edge and cel­e­brate our dancers, mu­si­cians, fine artists, pho­tog­ra­phers, sculp­tors - the list goes on. These peo­ple and groups all make a huge con­tri­bu­tion to the vi­tal­ity of our city and I thank them for their en­ergy and pas­sion.

Our city is also very lucky to have a net­work of shared path­ways that have opened up new ar­eas to ex­plore and en­joy on foot and by bike.

The river path­way is one of our city’s best as­sets, and is now very well-used by cy­clists, walk­ers and jog­gers at all times of the day. The net­work is yet to be com­plete, and will even­tu­ally link up from Ash­hurst at one end to Maxwells Line at the other end.

The He Ara Ko­tahi shared path­way and pedes­trian and cy­cle bridge will be the cherry on top, link­ing the city to Massey Univer­sity, the sci­ence re­search cen­tres and Lin­ton Mil­i­tary Camp. It’s fan­tas­tic to see the project has the green light with an ex­pected com­ple­tion date of De­cem­ber 2018.

I’d also like to ac­knowl­edge the work of the Manawatu Moun­tain Bike Club at Ara­puke For­est Park.

The moun­tain­bike park is spec­tac­u­lar and will no doubt be­come a real icon for our re­gion and at­tract vis­i­tors from all over the coun­try. There are cur­rently 15km of trails with plans in place to dou­ble this to 30km by 2020, in­clud­ing a na­tional level down­hill trail and a skills area.

Ours re­ally is a city we should all be proud of and I urge you to get out and make the most of what we have on of­fer.

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

New Paul Dib­ble paired huia sculp­ture perched on Main St.

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