News, Events and Culture


The Victoria Esplanade and Caccia Birch are planned and developed; also a sewerage system and public hospital.

Palmerston North Hospital, Ruahine Street

Palmerston North Hospital, Ruahine Street


  • The Public Library Collection is handed over to the Palmerston North Working Men's Club where it is only available to Club Members
  • Longburn Freezing Works opens
  • Sewerage system constructed, sewerage is discharged directly into the Manawatū River
  • Volunteer Fire Brigade builds a small substation in Terrace End
  • 361 acres next to the Manawatū River are set aside for a park and botanic gardens (this later becomes the Victoria Esplanade)
  • Sir James Glenny Wilson elected MP for the newly created Palmerston North electorate
  • Central School moves to Campbell Street 
  • 'Craiglockhart', home of Charles Monro, was constructed at Fitzherbert for ₤1054


  • Population 4,303 (excludes Māori)
  • Railway completed through Manawatū Gorge to Napier
  • Mr Kenneth Wilson's private High School opens


  • Caccia Birch House constructed for £900 by Jacob Nannestad
  • Robert Edwards (35) elected Mayor, the youngest Mayor elected to the City at that time
  • Craven School opens
  • First Railway Hotel built on the corner of Main and David Streets (replaced 1904)


  • Frederick Pirani elected as MP for Palmerston North
  • Rangitāne Iwi sells the Hokowhitu block
  • Public Hospital opens in a wooden building on what is now Ruahine Street, thanks to significant fundraising
  • Primary School opens in Kelvin Grove
  • College Street Primary School opens
  • William Park elected Mayor
  • Carow Ladies College opens (Mrs Von Blaramberg)


  • The Public Library book collection is removed from the Palmerston North Working Men's Club and handed over 'in trust' to the Palmerston North Volunteer Fire Brigade which had just opened its members library to public subscribers
  • Palmerston North Working Men's Club premises destroyed by fire, Club moves to Cuba Street
  • Leila Adair, an internationally renowned balloonist, ascends to around 3000 feet from The Square and then parachutes back to earth


  • William Thomas Wood elected Mayor
  • Manawatū Sports Association Ltd, a private company, is formed and is responsible for the first sports ground on Fitzherbert Avenue
  • Theatre Royal burns down
  • Keeling and Mundy Printers established on Rangitīkei Street (later K&M Print)


  • Population 5,910 (excludes Māori) 
  • Robert Edwards, City councillor, introduces rating system based on unimproved value of land, the first borough in the colony to do so (this may have been 1897)


  • Eleanor Tasker, the first registered nurse in New Zealand and the first nurse at the Palmerston North Hospital, leaves to get married
  • Victoria Esplanade is named


  • Repairs are made to the Fitzherbert Bridge after two major floods in 5 years


  • Population 6,200
  • Local men volunteer to participate in the Boer War in South Africa
  • Henry Haydon elected Mayor
  11 October
  • Boer war begins

Most dates are taken from tertiary sources and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Researchers are strongly advised to check specific dates in other sources to confirm accuracy to their own satisfaction. All corrections or additional information and dates gratefully considered - please contact the Ian Matheson City Archives.