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Our Town

Palmerston North is a thriving, vibrant City with a growing population and buoyant economy. The lifestyle is easy and the people have opportunities to enjoy a wide range of activities within a safe, caring community and a sustainable environment.


Palmerston North is the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand. According to the 2008 estimate by New Zealand Statistics, Palmerston North is an inland city with a population of approximately 80,000 people, which makes it the eleventh largest city in New Zealand.

A large proportion of its population consists of students attending Massey University or Universal College of Learning (UCOL) during the student year. Over half of the city's population is under the age of twenty-five and as a result, the city has been marketed as 'Student City'.

Locals are known as Palmerstonians and affectionately refer to the city simply as "Palmy".


Palmerston North Airport has domestic services to all of major cities as well as numerous provincial centres. It also has the record for being open the most days of any New Zealand airport. All of this means that the City and the Region have major advantages as visitor destinations and for national distribution industries. The urban area of the City is a service base for a large rural area, some of which is within the City boundary.


The tertiary education sector provides a massive $1 billion dollars to the economy every year through direct and indirect spending. The total number of direct and downstream jobs generated by the tertiary sector is over 4,300 (or 13% of all jobs in Palmerston North).

Palmerston North also has economic strengths in research (especially the bio-industry sector, smart business, entrepreneurial, innovative, highly skilled and technologically advanced businesses), defence and distribution.

The Manawatu-Wanganui region experienced the third strongest economic growth in New Zealand for the 2005/06 year, with a 3.3% increase.


The City boasts a wide range of educational facilities, including a leading university, polytechnic, wananga, multicultural language school and a number of other specialised tertiary education institutes. With its great reputation, the City is able to attract both staff and students from throughout the world. Forty percent of the people in the City either work at or attend an educational institution.


Shopping in Palmerston North has all the fashion-ista options. Whether you enjoy the hype of the malls, discovering hidden treasures in the clothing boutiques, one-off designer garments, bargain hunting or pre-loved clothing - you’ll find it in Palmy.

Centred around a beautiful inner city park featuring colourful gardens, sculptures, a butterfly lake and large areas of lawn, shopping in Palmerston North is a pleasure. Parking, public toilets, and i-SITE Palmerston North Visitor Centre are also located in the heart of the CBD, making shopping easy and convenient.

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