City Centre Transformation


Think of every city you’ve visited. The city centre is usually front of mind in almost all memories of visiting or living in a city, right? That’s for a very good reason – and we’ve got a plan to make sure Palmy leaves that lasting impression whether you live here, shop here or are just visiting or passing through.  

Map shows the plan for City Centre Transformation in Palmerston North.

We want you to be proud of our city centre, have our businesses thriving, and for our visitors to be in awe of just how great Palmy is. More than 10,000 people visit our city centre each weekday, and we see far more people in the weekend. Bringing this vision to life involves a number of projects over a long period of time, but will result in our city humming, and our businesses thriving more than they are now.  

All of the projects that form part of our city centre transformation have funding allocated in our long-term plan. 

So what does success look like? 

  • The look and feeling of having lots of people, and seeing daily visitor numbers increase.
  • There is increased demand for floor space for entrepreneurs, creative industries and retailers wanting to be based in the heart of our city. A desire, and competition for space can act as an incentive to strengthen earthquake prone buildings faster than government requirements.
  • More events that draw people into our city centre for fun, but also draw people into the area and support businesses.
  • We want more of a nightlife, with businesses doing well after 5pm rather than closing their doors. We think Broadway is the most natural home for this.
  • Our residents and visitors help become ambassadors for the city through real life experiences by sharing stories, showing off their favourite spots to visitors and sharing experiences or images on social media.
  • Plans for a new Transit Hub (urban bus terminal) are progressed.
  • More one-off short-term activities that provide a unique experience to draw people into the city centre.
  • More people living in the city centre.

City centre transport funding business case

We want our city centre to be a great place to live, work and play any time of the day. Part of that is making sure we can all move around easily and safely – whether it’s in a car, delivery vehicle, as a pedestrian, by bus, or by bike, and making sure it’s accessible for children or people who are disabled. It’s also about supporting our local economy, and getting more foot traffic in front of our awesome shops and other city centre businesses.

In recent years we’ve upgraded Cuba Street and The Square between Church and Main – but Council has paid entirely for this work, and timed it with infrastructure upgrades or replacements. This work is planned to continue over the next decade, including a new bus hub. We’re keen to make sure that we get NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi co-funding like we do for other projects. To access that funding, we need to create a specific business case for them to consider.

We’re getting started on that and will work closely over the coming couple of years with key stakeholders involved in our city centre.

Projects around the city centre