A new gateways project across Manawatū is part of Palmerston North city's overall design.

The new entrances to Ashhurst, Bunnythorpe, Linton and Longburn are designed to welcome visitors and provide a sense of place for village residents.

"The gateway is a capital project looking at making Palmerston North a more welcoming city," urban designer Dave Charnley said.

"Part of the concept of the city gateways was to look at it in three levels, the first level being the villages of Ashhurst, Linton, Longburn and Bunnythorpe. And then we have the city gateways, and then we are thinking about it at another level – regional gateways."

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These communities are part of Palmerston North's wider city boundary but they are unique places in themselves.

"The village gateways were all about community-led design, so we engaged with the community. We ran a series of workshops with each of the communities around what their values were, we took those values sets and worked with our city partners Rangitāne and artist James Molnar to interpret the community values into these lovely panels that sit as part of the gateway."

The panels look similar but are subtly different.

"The large panel is unique to each location. The Ashhurst panel tells the story, at the top of Te Āpiti, or the Manawatū Gorge, and the patterning coming through is water coming out of the gorge."

The smaller panels are the same at all the gateways, the aim being to provide some cohesion across the whole project.

"The feedback coming through is that it's good positive design for the city. It's design that's about us as Palmerston North, us as Ashhurst, us as Linton, us as Longburn, us as Bunnythorpe. It's our place in the Manawatū – and that's our unique identity."

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