Council & City

Missoula, Montana, United States of America

Missoula and Palmerston North were established as sister cities in 1982, resulting from exchanges between geography staff at Massey University and the University of Montana.

Photo shows people whitewater rafting on Missoula's river.

Like Palmerston North, Missoula is a riverside university city and home to many outdoor enthusiasts.

Situated in Western Montana, Missoula has a city population of approximately 72,000. It also vibrant city centre for dining, shopping, events. and the arts.

Nicknamed the Garden City, Missoula is located in a deep valley near the Clark Fork River, the Bitterroot River, the Blackfoot River and the Rattlesnake Wilderness area.
Many official delegations, trade visits and cultural events have occurred over the years, resulting in people-to-people links that exist today between the cities. Missoula celebrates New Zealand Day each year to celebrate the sister city relationship with Palmerston North.

In 2017 a visiting group from the Missoula Friendship Force visited Palmerston North and planted a tree with Mayor Grant Smith in Kelvin Grove's Missoula Reserve, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the sister city relationship.

In 2018, Mayor Grant Smith is leading a delegation to Missoula including Massey University and Rangitāne representatives to revitalise sister city cooperation, indigenous connections and student mobility.

Common interests with Palmerston North


A university town like Palmerston North, Missoula is home to the University of Montana, which continues to have an exchange relationship with Massey University.


Hunting and fishing are popular recreational activities in Missoula, and NZ is a popular destination for many tourists & outdoor enthusiasts.

Arts & creativity

Both Missoula and Palmerston North are recognised nationally for their vibrant arts and creative scenes.

Environmental sustainability

The City of Missoula has a long history of conservation and climate action-related commitments, planning and work, in which Palmerston North City Council shares a similar interest.

Tangata whenua

Wiremu and Trieste Te Awe Awe, representing Rangitāne iwi, have travelled to Missoula to form relationships with Native American tribes in the Missoula area.