Grant Smith is back for a second term to lead the Palmerston North City Council.

Mayor Smith was relaxing at home late yesterday watching the country's election results and preparing for the influx of well-wishing visitors.

He said the council had done a good job in the last two years but he would have liked to have had more debates about the real issues in the community during the election.

"We only had three and we could have had a lot more about climate change, transparency, multiculturalism and health care.


"We needed to discuss all of those."

When asked what's ahead in this new term, Mayor Smith said the council had two new committees he will be setting up.

"We've got to be prepared around infrastructure so I'll be setting up a new infrastructure committee which will be a standing committee meeting monthly that will actually progress the work to keep offices and projects on track.

"We will also have a sustainability committee that will look at the environment and climate change."

The council had already been doing a bit of work for 18 months around climate change, he said.

"There are always going to be singular issues but in general I think we improved the lot of all Palmerston over the last three years, whether it be around economics, the environment or social liveability.

"I think we did a reasonably good job and that was reflected in the voter turnout."

He added that were was a great deal of pipeline work coming in, and compared Palmerston North with what he saw recently in Auckland with the "haves and have-nots".


"I'm quite thankful that Palmerston North doesn't have that; we do have a little bit of deprivation but not nearly what I saw in Auckland."

"We are picking people up as we go and there are plenty of jobs.

"In the last couple of years thousands of jobs have come into the city."

Another initiative was the launch of Kiwis Can Do last week where the Kiwi Can Do Trust is working with the Ministry of Social Development and local trades employers to help get 18-25 year old Job Seekers into work.

"It's giving those people the work skills getting more work ready and having employers that are matched to those jobs that need the skills.

"It's a great project and it's worked really well in Auckland and in Lower Hutt and we hope that we can start small but improve on that.

"The jobs are coming in from all sectors and I think that is the beauty of Palmerston North.

"We are not just a one or two-horse economy.

"There are many sectors, whether it's around agribusiness where we are still connected to the land, the New Zealand Defence hub and the big health hub.

"We are encouraging commerce and economics, civil construction railroads air, defence, energy projects ... there's a huge amount going on.

"We're lower North Island and deliver to the south through our logistics and distribution hub.

"Our niche is around our manufacturing and tech so there are jobs happening in all of those sectors."

Smith said the council now has a housing steering group.

"We have our challenges like every other city, but we haven't sold our public and social housing, and we have actually improved.

"In Papaioea Place we increased the amount of housing.

"We are now into stage two and we are replacing about 48 old 1960s houses into fit-for-purpose brand-new 68 brand new homes."

Palmerston North has a lot happening, he said, with around $4 billion of work projects going to happen over the next eight to 10 years.

The city has been a refugee resettlement centre for over 10 years and the community was well versed in looking after people, he said.

"We are a university city, have many different institutions that have international students and there are 130 different ethnic communities and a couple of hundred languages are spoken here.

"We are a welcoming city."