Palmerston North

From Academic Kids

Palmerston North
Missing image

Urban Area Population 72,600
Extent north to

Kairanga Bunnythorpe Rd
& Ashhurst; south to
military camp, SH 57

Name Palmerston North City
Population 77,600
Extent north to Cloverlea,

airport & Ashhurst; south

to Linton, Tararua Ranges
See also Manawatu District
Name Manawatu-Wanganui

Palmerston North is a city in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand.

The original name of the city was "Palmerston", bestowed in honour of the Third Viscount Palmerston, Henry John Temple, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain. The suffix "North” was added in 1871 to distinguish the settlement from Palmerston in the South Island. Locals frequently refer to the city simply as "Palmy".



The city is situated about 140 kilometres north of the capital, Wellington, in the centre of the Manawatu Plains, and close to the northern banks of the Manawatu River. It is 35 kilometres from the river's mouth and 12 kilometres from the start of the Manawatu Gorge. Template:Coor d

The city is a major road and rail junction. State Highways 56 and 57 both meet State Highway 3 close to the city, with these highways providing the main four streets of the city.

At Palmerston North the North Island Main Trunk railway is joined by the line that runs through the Manawatu Gorge to Woodville, then branches to serve most of Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay. The railway was originally routed through the central Square of the town, but was diverted to the north in 1964-66.


Palmerston North's average mean daily maximum temperatures range from 12°C in winter to 22°C in summer. Average annual rainfall is 960mm. There is a lot of wind, especially in spring, and there are plans to extend the several large electricity generating wind farms on the nearby ranges.

The city

Missing image
The Square, Palmerston North

The city's main streets are arranged in a grid around The Square, a small park at the centre of the city. This park contains the city's war memorial, a clock tower, and some of the unusual public statues for which the city is known.

State Highway 3 enters the city from the northwest as Rangitikei Street before turning to the northeast to become Main Street East. On the opposite sides of The Square to these two roads are Main Street West (in the southwest) and Fitzherbert Avenue (to the southeast). These two roads become State Highways 56 and 57 respectively. Many of the city's main public buildings are located close to the square and to Main Street West.

Fitzherbert Avenue extends south, crossing Fitzherbert Bridge - the one bridge over the Manawatu River close to the city - to reach Massey University. The university, practically the only part of the city to the south of the river - is almost a separate urban area in its own right.

The city's suburbs extend away from the square. These include (clockwise from the north): Papaioea, Milson, Kelvin Grove, Brightwater, Hokowhitu, Te Awe Awe, West End, Awapuni, Highbury, Takaro, and Cloverlea. The city's airport is located to the north of the city at Milson.


The official limits of the city also take in rural areas to the south and northeast of the main urban area, extending to the Tararua Ranges and including the town of Ashhurst at the mouth of the Manawatu Gorge. This area is a rich and fertile agricultural area. The city as a whole covers some 350 km2.


The original subdivision of Palmerston North was made in 1866, in a natural clearing in the Papaioea Forest. As the settlement grew, the forest diminished to make way for farms, and today virtually no remnants of it survive.

The first settlers were largely Scandinavian, and by 1877 the town had a population of around 1200. The arrival of the railway in 1886 saw an increase in the speed of growth, and by 1900 the population was 6000. By this time the town was at the centre of a lucrative agricultural district.

In 1930 the population reached the 20,000 threshold and Palmerston North was officially proclaimed a city. Development was slow at this period in the city’s history, however, due to the great depression and World War II. An airport was established at Milson in 1936. After the war growth was rapid, with the population rising to over 50,000 by the mid-1970s.

In 1989 New Zealand local government authorities were reorganised, and the Palmerston North City boundaries were extended to include Ashhurst, Linton and their surrounding areas.

External links

Template:Territorial Authorities of New Zealand


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