Poppy Places recognises seven more sites in Palmerston North

Published on 13 November 2018

Another seven Palmerston North streets and locations have had the red poppy added to their street signs.

The addition of the poppies is part of the Places of Remembrance project run by the New Zealand Poppy Places Trust. The trust has identified places in New Zealand that have a link to our military involvement in a conflict or operational service overseas. Twenty-one streets in Palmerston North have already been recognised as a Poppy Place.

The following seven 'sites of significance' have now been named as Poppy Places. They were announced at a ceremony following the Armistice Day civic service on Sunday.

Soldiers' Club Building, Cuba Street

Also known as the Returned Servicemen's Club Rooms and Anzac Club, this building is a piece of Palmerston North architectural history. Manawatū Patriotic Society and the Palmerston North Borough Council erected the building dedicated to soldiers in 1917. It was part of a plan to accommodate and entertain troops training in Awapuni to be deployed overseas.

The Awapuni Medical Corps Memorial has been recognised as a category 1 historic place, listed with Heritage New Zealand. The memorial is the only known monument in New Zealand dedicated solely to commemorating military medics. A significant rejuvenation project was completed in 2016 with help from the New Zealand Army, which restored the memorial to its original condition.

Awatea Terrace

A Māori term meaning bright pathway. The terrace was named after TSS Awatea, which ran between New Zealand and Australia as part of the Union Steam Ship Company. The ship was taken over for military purposes during World War Two and was sunk by German bombers in the Mediterranean.

Leander Place

The HMNZS Leander was the mainstay of a class of light cruisers which were created by the British Navy to protect commercial shipping. Leander was involved in many actions throughout her service in the Mediterranean, Indian and Pacific Ocean theatres during WWII.

Māori Battalion Hall, Cuba Street

The Māori Battalion Hall, named 'Te Rau o te Aroha' (emblem of gratitude), was erected in Palmerston North as a memorial to the men who served with 28th Māori Battalion. Originally planned to serve as accommodation for Māori who had to come to Palmerston North Hospital, the hall later served as a community facility for the people of Ngāti Raukawa, Rangitāne and Maūapoko.

Memorial Park

Originally used as a ballast pit for the New Zealand Railway Department, the area was converted into a large park in two phases by the city council from 1936 until its official opening on 20 October 1952. The park was renamed Memorial Park in 1954 when a memorial was unveiled, dedicated to those who died in the two World Wars.

McGregor Street

Originally named McKenzie Road, the road was closed and renamed in the 1960s to make way for the airport's expansion. Born in Mangamako near Hunterville, Malcolm Charles McGregor became one of the most famous New Zealand aces during WWI. McGregor, a Palmerston North local, had a hand in the establishment of some of New Zealand's first commercial airlines before a fatal plane crash in Wellington in 1936.