I know the Mythbusters proved that you can polish a turd, but there is no way you can polish a turd the size of Palmerston North.
Ok Palmy, let’s just get it over with.
Let’s put behind us the shame of John Cleese and his “thoroughly bloody miserable time”, and the pride at Jeremy Clarkson’s assertion that if God had got it right then “Jesus would have been from Palmerston North”.
Let’s forget about Lord Palmerston, the man who gave you that great name and let’s move on. To Manawatu City.
Yes, you heard correctly, the city at the heart of the Manawatu wants to name itself after the province. Well, at least the deputy mayor does. Again.
In 1998, Jim Jefferies, who was not yet a city councillor, suggested as a millennium present to itself, the city should change it’s name to better reflect its identity. He put forward Manawatu City and has restarted the debate, as deputy mayor, this year.
Jefferies told the Sunday Star-Times that Lord Palmerston had never even made it to our shores, and therefore we shouldn’t feel any loyalty to him.
“I feel no particular affinity to Lord Palmerston. There was no emotional or physical justification for the decision. I’ve lived here since 1982 but the name of this city has never endeared itself to me.”
Manawatu, he said, means the heart stands still. And it fits better.
“It’s a flavour more akin to the Kiwi way, than the colonial way.”