City welcomes its new residents

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 05/07/2012
Palmerston North new residents
DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ
NEWEST RESIDENTS: Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor said last night was "an opportunity to welcome people and make them feel a part of the place".

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Palmerston North's newest residents were given a tour of the city last night after the boundary change with neighbouring Manawatu District came into effect.

About 2500 people were moved from the Manawatu District to Palmerston North City on July 1 as part of a realignment of the boundary between the two councils.

Last night several dozen of those residents met their new mayor, councillors and council staff at a function at Palmerston North City Library. They were then given a tour of the facility, the nearby council offices and Te Manawa.

Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor said last night was "an opportunity to welcome people and make them feel a part of the place".

While Palmerston North had been their nearest city and they were likely familiar with what the city had to offer, last night was a chance for the new residents to learn more.

The boundary line debate had been contentious at times, with the original decision unsuccessfully appealed and Mr Naylor said there were "mixed views" among the new city dwellers. "Some are looking forward to it, some are waiting to see what's going to be different for them."

Among those at the event was businessman Phil Gordon who still lives in Manawatu District, though he is about 300 metres from the boundary.

His business, the Longburn Shingle Company, is now part of Palmerston North and Mr Gordon attended the welcome to learn more about what that would mean for him. "I'm also new to the region, I've only lived here for six months, I'm just trying to understand what it's about, how it'll impact us. As a business owner I'm interested to learn about how it will impact on the business."

Mr Naylor said in most people would notice little change as they would have access to same services they already did.

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- Manawatu Standard

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