News, Events and Culture


Centennial Celebrations; the population reaches 50,000 and another royal visit.

Palmerston North City Bus Centre, Church Street

Palmerston North City Bus Centre, Church Street



William Henry Brown elected as MP for Palmerston North


New Zealand Rugby Museum founded, in Palmerston North


The Clockwork Orange discotheque closes for financial reasons after seven months operation


One Way traffic flow around The Square abandoned


20 May

Monro Memorial opens at Massey University to honour the man who introduced rugby union to New Zealand and a prominent early settler in Palmerston North


26 June

Natural gas is first piped into Palmerston North from Taranaki


30 Aug

Palmerston North's 12 months of Centennial Celebrations commenced



Population 51,893


Brian George Conway Elwood elected Mayor


Centenary of Industry and Commerce held - part of City's Centenary Celebrations


27 April

Architectural competition to design new Civic complex for the old railway land won by Wellington architects Maurice and John Patience



YWCA closes its hostel due to overwhelming maintenance requirements


27 Nov

City Council resolves to build new civic complex


15 June

Part of Bulls bridge collapses into Rangitikei River



Work commences on the Civic Centre


St. Joseph's Convent High School closes


St. Patrick's Parish School closes


Marist Brothers High School closes (Catholic)


22 Jan

Centrepoint Theatre holds first production (City's first professional theatre company)


18 Aug

St Peter's College officially opens - a new Catholic secondary school


13 Dec

Approval given to construct a $1.3m Fire Station in Cook Street



Atawhai childcare centre set up by the YWCA for the children of families under stress


Two 4500m 3 low level water supply storage tanks are built 3km downstream from the water treatment plant


26 May

City Council and Feilding Borough Council agree to establish a joint forestry venture in Scott's Road (Gordon Kear Forest)


8 Jun

Museum officially opens in Church Street



Work starts on Post Office telephone exchange (Telecom Tower) on Main Street



Manawatu side wins Ranfurly Shield from Auckland


29 - 30 Jun

Flooding of the Manawatu and Oroua rivers requires evacuation of some Palmerston North and Feilding residents, 24 hour rainfall records in Feilding and Palmerston North are exceeded


1 Dec

Awatapu College officially opens (fifth secondary school for City)



Royal visit by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to City


Opening of New Zealand Rugby Museum, Grey Street


10 Jan

Bus Station opens in Church Street for City and rural bus services


15 May

Cattle Pavilion at Showgrounds destroyed due to arson


3 Jul

Art Gallery officially opens in purpose built building in Main Street


13 Jul

Andrews Furnishers premises destroyed due to arson


13 Aug

Centennial Celebrations of Palmerston North City Council - 100 years of municipal local government


7 Nov

New Zealand Motor Bodies factory in Keith Street officially opens


12 Nov

New Fire Station officially opens in Cook Street



Joseph Albert Walding elected as MP for Palmerston North


31 Jul

Toyota National Parts Distribution Centre officially opens on Roberts Line


14 Nov

National Mutual building officially opens on the corner of The Square and Fitzherbert Avenue - at 10 storeys high it is the tallest building in the City at the time



Sam Mihaere dies having served as a Councillor continuously since his election in 1962


The Public Library introduces a computerised circulation system


Milson Airport terminal extensions completed, Airport runway is resealed


18 Dec

Special Council meeting held in new Council Chambers to celebrate the completion of the Civic Complex - the new Council building on The Square, sometimes referred to as 'Elwood's Battleship', marks the completion of the 'Civic Complex', later Civic Centre', later 'Civic Administration Building' (CAB)



Most dates are taken from tertiary sources and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Researchers are strongly advised to check specific dates in other sources to confirm accuracy to their own satisfaction. All corrections or additional information and dates gratefully considered - please contact the Ian Matheson City Archives.