Passion for our arts and cycleways
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.
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New Paul Dibble paired huia sculpture perched on Main St.