What does Palmerston North City Council do?

Every day Council makes decisions that have an impact on you – from the services that make your life easier like rubbish bag collections and recycling, to how Palmy grows and what it will look like in another 30 years. Decisions in some areas, like transport and water, can carry a hefty price tag and have intergenerational impacts.

Our elected members are responsible for setting the strategic direction for the city, which ultimately influences the work and services that the Council delivers. The role of elected members is to represent the views of all of the city’s residents, and make decisions they believe are best for Palmerston North.

Council staff take direction from the elected members and put things into action. From potholes to parks, libraries to drinking water, we're involved with it all. Collecting your rubbish bags and emptying your recycling, keeping your streets lit and with safe footpaths, and providing community centres are all in our large scope of work. If you spot a roaming dog, or perhaps you’re after a building consent, you can give us a call, too.

We’re different to Horizons Regional Council – it manages land, air, and some water resources on behalf of the 250,000 residents who call the wider Manawatū-Whanganui region home. It also looks after Palmy's public bus service and leads the region’s emergency preparation and response.

What Council does affects you every day – whether you are at home, school or work!

Use this interactive map to find out more about the services and facilities we provide or manage.

Our long-term plan guides what we do

The long-term plan outlines all the Council projects, services and priorities over the next decade – and how much they’ll cost. We prepare a new one in consultation with you every 3 years.

Lots of the things in the plan are based around maintaining the services we provide, while also responding to new requirements due to the city's significant growth. 

While the plan is really just that, a planning process, the budgets indicated to do that work help us determine what work to proceed with, how much we need in rates to cover the costs, and what proposed rates increases are likely to be.

In April this year we'll be asking you for your feedback on our proposed plan for the next 10 years.

A lot goes into making decisions

Decisions aren’t pulled out of thin air. There are so many different things that affect how and when decisions are made.

First off, meet the team – your mayor and councillors (also known as elected members). They're the 16 people you've elected to represent your interests. Think of them as your go-to team for all things community. They're real people, just like you, with a passion for making our city tick.

Then we have Council staff, who are here to provide advice to elected members and implement their decisions.

Decisions are made in meetings

Think of Council meetings as kōrero HQ. It's where we make the big decisions. The way we make them is subject to rules and regulations set out in the Local Government Act 2022 and other laws and regulations.

Elected members debate and discuss what's best for our whānau. When all's said and done, it's time to make the call. Councillors cast their votes – yay or nay – and the majority rules. That’s why it’s so important for you to vote in local government elections. The people around the table are making the decisions for you and your community.

We listen to you!

Elected members want to hear from you before they make decisions. That's why we hold consultations or public feedback periods. We want to know what you think about our ideas and projects so we can make the right calls.

We encourage you to reach out to us, share your experiences, tune into our Council and committee meetings, and to stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook and regularly checking our website.

Have your say

Contact elected members

Council meetings


We also listen to experts

While we have smart cookies here, we're not experts in everything. We gather advice from all sorts of whizzes – architects, engineers, environmental experts – you name it. They help us make informed choices so our city keeps on humming.

We get feedback and advice from reference and advisory groups

The Youth Council, Seniors' Reference Group, Pasifika Reference Group and Disability Reference Group are just some of the groups that provide a link between Council and our community, helping us shape a number of our decisions. These groups bring knowledge and extra insight into Council about how the different needs of our communities can be addressed.

Community reference groups

Rules and regulations impact decisions

We've got to play by the government’s rulebook too. Quite often there are government expectations to do certain things and roll out certain initiatives. Government reforms heavily impact us, limiting what we can and can’t do.

Everything has a cost

We can’t have everything that we want. Elected members and Council staff weigh up the cost of everything before making decisions and are constantly prioritising things.

These priorities are set in our long-term plan, which we update every 3 years. We'll be talking to you about this in April and asking you to help us shape Palmy’s path.

Putting plans into action

Once a direction is set and a decision is made, it's all hands on deck to make it happen. Council staff and our community organisations roll up their sleeves to get things sorted. It's a bit like a community working bee – everyone pitches in.

Keeping tabs on things

Our work doesn't stop after the decision. We keep an eye on things to make sure they're panning out as planned. If tweaks are needed, staff will report back to Council.

So, there you have it, a peek behind the curtain of how things work at Palmerston North City Council. It's all about community, democracy, and making Palmy an even better place to call home. 

We are here for you. So please, get in touch with us so you can have your say on how we shape Palmy’s future. And don’t forget! You have an opportunity to vote in the local government elections every 3 years. It’s important for everyone who lives here, homeowners and renters, so please make sure you're enrolled to vote and your contact details are up to date.