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Kiwis shun Palmerston North

AAP
Friday, June 8, 2012
Palmerston North
Palmerston North

Palmerston North, famously slated by John Cleese as the place to go for people lacking the guts to take their own life, has been given the thumbs down by New Zealanders as a place they'd like to visit one day.

Just 122 Kiwis (0.7 per cent) out of 17,000 surveyed by website Travelbug expressed interest in going to the Manawatu/Wanganui region while Queenstown was favoured as a future domestic destination by 18 per cent.

After his tour of New Zealand in 2005, British comedian Cleese earned the wrath of the Manawatu city when he said: "If you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick".

"We stayed in a little motel, the weather was grotty, the theatre was a nasty shape and the audience was very strange to play to."

Entertainer John Clarke (aka Fred Dagg), originally from Palmerston North, responded that the landfill should be named the "John Cleese Memorial Tip".

And the city followed up in 2007, erecting an official Mt Cleese sign at the tip.

Of those places New Zealanders had visited and enjoyed, Queenstown (16 per cent), led Coromandel (10 per cent) and Northland (nine per cent).

However, a spokesman for regional tourism body, Vision Manawatu, said Palmerston North and Manawatu were experiencing strong growth.

Retail spending had bucked the national trend and overnight visitor numbers compared very well with other centres - higher than some of those listed as a "more desirable destination", he told NZ Newswire.

"What that confirms is that there are different reasons people have for making travel arrangements. Half of all our overnight visitors are here to visit family, and a further third visit for leisure and recreational purposes."

The region had a terrific landscape for recreation and earlier this year, the Manawatu leg of the New Zealand Cycle Trail was opened and attracted cycling enthusiasts from all over the country, he said.

"As long as people have a reason to visit and enjoy themselves here - we will continue to surprise them."

Would you visit Palmerston North? Have your say below.


© NZN 2012
User comments
I love Palmerston North and would probably live there again if I had the chance. It's chilled and has everything you need.
No place for old men ! (or children, or domesticated animals). Best thing to do with the place would be to sell it to the Chinese or James Cameron. Would be a good set for an end of the world movie. Do not market yourself Palmy ! Will only end in tears and more expensive visits to the local therapist or pub. Build a Berin style wall around it and place NZ's prision population there ? Can't think of a more hideous punishment.
Yes, I understand where Cleese is coming from. I worked in PN for some time years ago and liked it. I returned, met someone who lives there and after a bad experience with them stopped just short of killing myself. I'm sure not everyone there is like the person who committed the crime against me, but it sure put me off visiting the place again for years.
Most people who bag Palmerston North are too gutless to bag their own city.John Cleese is a classic example.who needs him anyway. Palmy is a great place to live.
Palmerston North is a great place to be. Great restaurants and shows. Only 2 hours to Hawkes Bay and Wellington, Taupo 3 hours - who wants to go further? Easy to get round, great parks and sports venues.
I think part of the problem is the marketing for Palmerston North. If you Google the Top 10 things to do in Palmy, it lists the Esplanade (1 list mentions this twice!), tells you to walk around town to look at the few sculptures, it says to go to Himatangi, tells you to leave and go to the Mangatainoka Tui Brewery, mentions the Rugby Museum, and one site even lists the clock tower as a destination! Some webpages can't even list 10 things to do! I live in Palmy and am content here, but seriously there is NOTHING fun to do that doesn't cost an arm or a leg (actually, there's not much fun expensive stuff either!). The Manawatu NZ website lists mainly walks - great for people with stamina I guess but how often would you do these? Unless you're into sport, walking for long distances or want to visit museums all day, there really isn't anything to do!
I choose to live in PNth.Is a nice place and plenty places to enjoy life and take both adults and children to.Think lifestyle is alot better than other places in NZ,less stress with traffic and crime and streets safe etc. Heaps of sporting events,overseas authors visit here,business conferences etc.Close to sea,mountains,taupo,and wellington.Housing affordable,Massey,Ucol,Linton,Ohakea etc. Come and visit,you might actually find you like the place!
Amazing how people who have never lived here or even visited can make an informed statement! This city doesn't get the best or the worst weather, it is a great size to have everything you need but still be easy to get around. I think we are probably the best kept secret, so come and find out for yourselves.
love palmerston north went there for swimming nice comunity ,bless them jhon clease is cruel
Hey, Just to clarify when Travelbug put out this survey (and this release) Palmerston North wasn’t mentioned at all. Travelbug asked respondents what location in NZ they would most like to visit. People only got one vote, Manawatu and Wanganui were grouped together, with the Manawatu and Wanganui region scoring the lowest number of votes. What was really interesting is that people that live in regions around the Manawatu and Wanganui regions (like Taranaki, Ruapehu and Wairarapa) were much more likely to choose the region as their location they most want to visit. Clearly the two regions remain a hidden gem to Kiwis. For more info on the Travelbug survey check out blog.travelbug.co.nz

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