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Business in Manawatū is Going Gangbusters


When relocating in 2014 from Auckland to Palmerston North to take on the Chief Executive role at Palmerston North Airport, Palmerston North - raised David thought he had a bit of an idea what he would be in for. What he found when he touched down was something completely different.
"I thought I was coming back to Manawatū for the short commutes - that small town New Zealand work/life balance. What I actually found was that the Manawatū region was going gangbusters, and a whole community of people who really wanted to make it easy to do business here."

With an $8 billion investment pipeline; the Manawatū economy is growing faster than the national average. At the logistical centre of this growth, Palmerston North Airport holds a key role in bringing opportunities to life for people and business.

"Coming back after just over twenty years I felt a bit of an outsider, I needed to build relationships quickly to get things moving for the Airport. In other cities I have lived and worked, breaking into business networks can be a challenge. In Manawatū, I have been able to do that in a much faster way, with people in similar roles to mine, and it's that attitude - growth through connection - from the business community that has been the key to our success."
Palmerston North Airport distribution and logistics
As a key node within Te Utanganui, the central New Zealand distribution hub, Palmmerston North Airport is working collectively with other key stakeholders to position the region as a unique multi-model distribution hub servicing the lower North Island, consisting of road, rail, air and sea connections. With KiwiRail setting up their central hub just north of the airport, Palmerston North's role as one of the only three national logistic centres means that there has been more than enough opportunity for David to forge his own path. 

"I've been in the role now for just over eight years, and alongside the day-to-day operations of the airport. I primarily am involved with the refresh of the airport's Master Plan, ongoing development of Ruapehu Business Park plans, the airport's commercial precinct, and the airports role within Te Utanganui. Palmerston North Airport is highly focused on income diversification, this aspect of the role has been both rewarding and challenging and has added to my knowledge and skills gained from 25 years in the aviation industry."

David says that doing business in Manawatū means much more than a short commute. "It gets in your blood Manawatū I mean. In many ways this place is an unsung hero of New Zealand. We definitely punch above our weight in terms of economic activity and resilience, but the key difference is the people. It's a bit of an old-school way of business, but those relationships; both personal and professional; open doors that you just can't in other places. Here, people genuinely want to see you succeed and recognize the importance of working together."

World class & Well connected

Palmerston North and Manawatū is the home to some of the brightest minds in Aotearoa, world-class research and educational institutions and an established business ecosystem that is connected to the world. 


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