Over the decades Palmerston North has been labelled with dozens of identities.
Rose City, Knowledge City, Young Heart Easy Living, Defence Force Capital and City of Cultures are among some of the catchphrases we've been tagged with over the past 50 or-so years.
Of course, a place means different things to different people, and in a city with so many aspects, capturing the defining essence of Palmerston North was never going to be straightforward.
Now we have Small city benefits: Big city ambition - a vision that sums up council's aspirations to balance the lifestyle advantages of a boutique city while meeting expectations for growth, infrastructure, services and amenities.
In time for Palmerston North's 150th birthday celebrations to be held throughout 2021, we've recently adopted 'Palmy' as a city identity to reflect our young, progressive, energetic and growing population.
'Palmy' as a word, means 'flourishing', 'booming', 'bright', 'breezy' and 'prosperous'.
These are all encouraging and positive qualities as we slingshot away from Covid into the hope-filled promise of a new year, and full-on into a decade-long period of unprecedented development and growth.
However, rebranding as Palmy is more than just about reinforcing a consistent, positive, accessible and modern city image.
It is also about promoting Palmerston North as the stand-out go-ahead New Zealand centre for food technology and innovation.
With that in mind, here's yet another identity that can be applied to Palmerston North – 'Food Innovation Capital'.
This 'City of Food' identity aims to establish Palmerston North as the prime industry centre associated with the future of food, nutrition, health and sustainability, and where quality innovative food products and experiences are developed, tested and marketed.
We are already well on the way to becoming New Zealand's food innovation capital.
Manawatū is a major agricultural engine room of the country's economy.
Not only do our numerous agri-producers grow and process premium primary produce, we play a vital role in the national food distribution network as a logistics and transport hub.
The home of Massey University - New Zealand's leading agriculture and applied science university, the city also hosts the largest concentration of food-related science activity in New Zealand.
In a previous Council Matters column I wrote about FoodHQ and the food-innovation cluster associated with Massey U that includes most of New Zealand's leading food science and agri-tech organisations.
Backed by the city and district councils, FoodHQ wants to create a campus hub to pioneer value-added products for our primary producers.
As a region, we already play a practical role in promoting Kiwi food products and agri-tech innovation during events such as the annual NZ Rural Games and Central District Field Days in March, NZ Agrifood Week and its associated Plate of Origin in May, and next October's NZ Food Awards.
City of Food gives us a major point of distinction – one that will differentiate Palmerston North from other New Zealand cities, while continuing to encourage and underpin business, investment and confidence in the wider region's economy.
The Food Capital of NZ is an identity that I'm certain will do Palmy proud.