Margaret May: Civic Award winner 2016

Published on 22 September 2016

Photo of 2016 Civic Award winner Margaret May

Margaret May is passionate about the social and cultural wellbeing of Palmerston North. “I believe we’re all responsible for creating a better, more equitable city for everyone.”

Margaret May has dedicated much of her adult life to making Palmerston North a better place for everyone. For her this means two things in particular: supporting the arts and addressing the issue of homelessness.

Supporting the arts

A huge lover of the theatre, she has dedicated many hours of her time to the Globe Theatre Trust Board and is currently serving as secretary. Her work has spanned marketing and promotions, website design, fundraising for operational and capital programmes, and supporting human resources during the recent reorganisation. 

She also spent seven years on the Community Arts Board where she guided the financial management of the society and established a robust financial platform to support them into the future.

One of her fonder memories of helping out in the arts community was her involvement in the book chain when the Palmerston North Library relocated.

“The young and the elderly were all out there helping to move the library books across The Square in a big human chain.”

Community work

But Margaret believes her biggest contribution to the city has been through Across Social Services and the Manawatū Community Housing Trust.

As chair of the Trust, she plays a pivotal role in providing housing for people who may otherwise be out on the streets. The 16 flats run by the Trust were in poor shape when they acquired them back in 2010, and since then she has given endless hours to turning them into warm, safe homes for up to 50 people.

“The people we support simply haven’t had the same opportunities as the rest of us, and what inspires me is knowing we’ve made a little contribution to providing them with safe and secure housing.”

Margaret was also one of the founders of Across Social Services, which provides social work, counselling, and foster care services to families across the city. She remained on the board for many years where she made a significant contribution to the ongoing success of the organisation.


Globe Theatre Trust Board

  • 2011-present: Board member
  • Currently serving as Secretary

Cathedral of Holy Spirit

  • Longstanding member of the Parish

Community Arts Palmerston North

  • 2007-2014: Board member

Manawatū Community Housing Trust

  • 2010 - present: Chairperson

Across Social Services

  • Founding Director and Board member

Margaret has also served on the Central Energy Trust and Eastern and Central Community Trust