Saturday was party time in Palmerston's North main square, where cones were cleared away to reveal new pedestrian friendly streets.

"This 'streets for people' project revitalises our CBD," said mayor Grant Smith. "Some of this roading and infrastructure here hasn't been upgraded for decades. So it was much needed."

In this Local Focus video, Smith compared the streets with houses.

"If you think of a footpath like a hallway, we've made [it] into more of a room. So you don't hang around in a hallway, but you'll hang around in a room.

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"And you can just see today, the amount of people that are down here, and we've only been open an hour."

Despite early concerns from shop owners about the disruption the works would cause, the final result received solid support.

"It's wonderful," said Victoria Hume of Paper Plus. "When I came out yesterday, it was the first time I'd seen it without any cones and it just looked wonderful."

Verne Wilson of Coffee Club wanted to thank his customers.

"The support we've got from the Palmerston North people has been very humbling because of the effort they've made to come in under construction and we appreciate that."

"It just feels great," said James Te of the Sushi Shop. "We've got the square back to life now for the people of Palmie. It does feel better.

"It's actually better because I never expected the footpath to be that wide first of all, and I wasn't expecting so much public seating for people to just hang around."

The public were able to enjoy the benefits of the council investment with a street party.

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And although it may be several weeks or months to wait for a move to Covid lockdown level 1 before the council can organise more street parties, locals can still enjoy the new public spaces while staying socially distanced.

Video footage supplied by Palmerston North City Council.
Made with funding from