News, Events and Culture

1980s

Rainbow Statium and Square Edge open; the Springbok tour; fire at the showgrounds and opening of The Plaza.

Square Edge: Creative Centre

Square Edge: Creative Centre

1980

 
 
  • Marae established at College of Education
May
  • $5 million Post Office telephone exchange (Telecom Tower) opened on Main Street
28-Sep
  • Convention Centre 3rd and final stage opened

1981

 
 
  • Population 60,105
 
  • Trevor Albert de Cleene elected as MP for Palmerston North
 
  • Square Edge community arts centre opens in the restored Council administration buildings on corner of The Square & Church Street
2-Apr
  • Sports Stadium ('Rainbow Stadium') opened at Showgrounds by HRH Prince Charles
1-Aug
  • Springboks versus Manawatū rugby game played, 15 minute stand off with protesters in Cuba Street ends peacefully & the game goes ahead; City Council fails to stop the match with a court injunction; 1000 police are brought to the City - 20% of the nations forces

1982

 
 
  • Globe Theatre opens
 
  • Marae established at St Michaels Anglican Church

1983

 
 
  • Caccia Birch House gifted to PNCC by the Government
 
  • Palmerston North Technical School becomes the Manawatū Polytechnic
12-Apr
  • 83 year old Showgrounds grandstand destroyed by fire
16-Apr
  • John Boldt Indoor Swimming Pool ($1.2m) opened at the Lido by Mayor Brian Elwood
26-Jul
  • State Insurance building opens on Rangitīkei Street, tallest building in the City at the time

1984

 
   

1985

 
 
  • Paul Warren Reiger elected Mayor
 
  • Work starts on the Downtown shopping mall and cinema complex on Broadway Avenue
 
  • First Foodtown supermarket opens in City

1986

 
 
  • Population 60,503
 
  • An artesian bore is sunk on Roberts Line to supplement the water supply for the Kelvin Grove suburb
 
  • Around this time K&M Print moves to Andrew Young Street
21-Apr
  • PDC Plaza shopping centre opened by PM David Lange
7-Nov
  • New Showgrounds Grandstand opened by the Governor General Sir Paul Reeves
6-9 November
  • A&P Association (Local Branch) celebrates their Centenary and hosts the Royal Show

1987

 
 
  • Longburn Freezing Works closes after a long running industrial dispute with the loss of 100s of jobs
 
  • Third Fitzherbert Bridge over Manawatū River opened, this is the bridge in use today
29-Aug
  • Whānau Resource Centre opened in Highbury
20-Oct
  • Sharemarket Crash

1988

 
 
  • School of Maori Studies starts at Massey University
23-Mar
  • New Zealand Insurance (NZI) building opens on The Square
24-27 July
  • Flooding causes a state of emergency to be declared after 24 hours rain, 1200 evacuated from SW area of City, $2-3 million in damages
31-Aug
  • PDC Consumers Co-Op is wound up after going into receivership in February

1989

 
 
  • Original 1889 Post Office building moved to the Victoria Esplanade where it is now used as a Café (2008)
 
  • LATEs (Local Authority Trading Enterprises) established by Council to carry out bus, gas and electricity services
 
  • Palmerston North Cosmopolitan Club moves to new premises in Pitt Street, women first become members
 
  • Trust Board formed for Caccia Birch House and renovation begins
 
  • 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment relocates from Singapore to Linton Camp
20-Apr
  • Glaxo pharmaceutical factory opens on Botanical Road
Disclaimer

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.