News & Events

On duty to guide your Palmy summer

Monday December 20 2021

City Ambassadors are hitting the streets today to help guide residents and visitors to their best Palmy summer.

About the City Ambassador programme

Palmerston North City Council’s City Ambassadors, Māngai Atawhai, programme is in its fifth year. During the summer months, the ambassadors are out and about in the central city as points of contact and engaging with Palmy residents and visitors. They’ve got you covered with information on city events and attractions, will help answer your Palmy questions, give parking advice and hang out with you at our Unbox pop-up play activities. You’ll also see them at our summer events.

With the programme running from 20 December until the end of February, ambassadors will be in Te Marae o Hine – The Square and surrounding streets from 9am to 5.30pm every day of the week, recognisable in their orange #PalmySafe shirts.

This year there are seven City Ambassadors bringing a range of personal, cultural and skill-based experience to their roles. We welcome back three from last year, Elliot Pepper, David Patullo and Sally Pearce, and introduce new ambassadors Leona Revell, George Shiels, Janice Fai and Aareta Mohi.

Group Manager Community Services Anton Carter says the City Ambassadors programme is about making connections between people and the city.

An evaluation of City Ambassadors carried out this year showed the clear value and strong support for the programme. The report to Council said it had been successful in contributing to the city’s vibrancy during the summer months and had also enhanced the perception of safety in the central city. Business community feedback was positive too, with 73 per cent of retailers supporting the programme.

“It embraces Council’s vision of a welcoming, inviting and accessible city. It’s about sharing information, helping people find their way, and being culturally and environmentally vibrant. Our ambassadors are like walking and talking signposts that help people reconnect with their city or discover that it does not fit the ‘boring’ label some people put on it,” Carter says.

The City Ambassadors programme links with the work of the Palmerston North Safety Advisory Board in maintaining Palmerston North’s Safe City Accreditation. The advisory board is a voluntary group that works with Council, the community and agencies.

Safety Advisory Board Chairman Councillor Pat Handcock says the City Ambassadors programme builds positive impressions of Palmy for residents and visitors.

“We love our Palmy, it’s such as a great place to live play and work. Our ambassadors champion this to those who already call the city home and to those visitors who might call it home in the future,” Handcock says.

Police Area Prevention Manager Inspector Ross Grantham, who is on the board, says the Police support the City Ambassadors programme. “It works to promote safety in a guardianship way, it’s about people looking after people,” Grantham says.

Find out more about the Safety Advisory Board, and Safe City Accreditation.

About this summer’s City Ambassadors

This year’s ambassadors are Elliot Pepper, David Patullo, Sally Pearce, Leona Revell, George Shiels, Janice Fai and Aareta Mohi.

The City Ambassadors are back for their fifth summer in Central Palmy. From left are Safety Advisory Board Chairman Councillor Pat Handcock, Sally Pearce, Elliot Pepper, Leona Revell, Aareta Mohi, George Shiels, Police Area Prevention Manager Inspector Ross Grantham, Community Development Advisor Danu Sefton, and David Patullo. (Absent Janice Fai).

Aareta, born and bred in Te Ao Māori, is a second-year student at Massey University. She is studying a BA in Education and Māori studies under Te Aho Tātairangi, which specialises in teaching in total Māori immersion schools.

Tēnā tātau e te hāpori o Māwatū, tēnei tētahi uri whakaheke o Ngāti-Awa, o Te Atihaunui-ā-Apaparangi, o Rangitāne ki Manawatū, ko Aareta Mohi tōku ingoa.

Elliot is a UCOL nursing student and caregiver, with creative pursuits in writing and illustrating. David is passionate about the Palmy community. He has 25 years in the entertainment industry and is working with Centrepoint – he’ll bring his juggling skills to teach at the unbox pop-up play. Sally is again looking forward to connecting children with play in our city activities. Her focus has been on building greater community connectedness and resilience, having worked for our City Library and the Environment Network Manawatū.

Leona is the creative director of Palmy Improv troupe SpontaneoUS and is developing her talent as a makeup artist. She has a background working with youth and in the mental health and addictions field. Janice is community orientated with a warm and friendly personality. George is a friendly bloke who likes gardening, building and helping out where he can. He used to drive the trains at the Palmerston North Esplanade Scenic Railway and loved the joy it brought to big and small.

Unbox pop-up play activities

Come along and join in these fun and free activities led by our ambassadors every day until the end of February.

Monday

  • 10am: Karakia Waiata
  • 11am: Kōrero Māori with Aareta, Beginner – Conversational
  • 12pm: Compost advice and seed planting with Sally
  • 3pm: Connect 4 competition. Beat Aareta!

Tuesday

  • 10am: Karakia Waiata
  • 11am: Talanoa with Janice
  • 12pm: Compost advice and seed planting with Sally
  • 3pm: Juggling with David

Wednesday

  • 10am: Karakia Waiata
  • 11am: Kōrero Māori with Aareta Beginner – Conversational
  • 12pm: Balloon Animals with Leona
  • 3pm: Board games and card games

Thursday

  • 10am: Karakia Waiata
  • 11am: Arts and Crafts with Elliot
  • 12pm: Story time with Mama Lele
  • 3pm: Juggling with David

Friday

  • 10am: Karakia Waiata
  • 11am: Kōrero Māori with Aareta Beginner – Conversational
  • 12pm: Puppet time with George
  • 3pm: Obstacle course with Leona

Saturday

  • 10am: Karakia Waiata
  • 11am: Talanoa with Janice
  • 12pm: Story time with Mama Lele

Sunday

  • 10am: Karakia Waiata
  • 3pm: Juggling with David