Palmerston North

Plant & Food Research’s Palmerston North site has approximately 150 staff on site plus casuals and summer students.

Our site and facilities

The Research Centre is located on a large campus that is also the home to other research organisations, including AgResearch and Fonterra.  The main Plant & Food Research building is known as the Food Industry Science Centre (FISC building).  FISC has its own cafeteria, which provides the normal tea and coffee facilities, and also sells food. You can pre-order your lunch in the morning.  There is an active social club on site which organises monthly social events. 

The Palmerston North site is near a river and bush, and there are many walkways available nearby.  Also on the research campus is a swimming pool, a motel, on-site hostel and a child care centre.  The child care centre currently has a waiting list however there is another child care facility available for staff at the nearby Massey University campus. 


You can reach the site by private car and there is a regular bus service nearby.  Energetic types can walk or cycle to the site and the town centre is a 30 minute walk.  The city is relatively flat and there is a significant cycle lane network providing safety to cyclists.  Some staff travel from Wellington by commuter train as well as from Hawkes Bay, Wanganui, Levin and Fielding.  The Palmerston North International Airport is approximately a 25 minute drive from the Research Centre.

The area

The proximity to Massey University is an advantage as staff discounts are offered at some of the university facilities, including the university gym.  The university campus is in easy walking distance and restaurants, gardens, a bookshop, chemist, bank and eftpos facilities are all available on campus.

Other amenities nearby include a rose garden, an esplanade walkway, sports fields, cafe and girls high school.  It is a 5-10 minute drive to the nearest shopping complex.

Palmerston North is located north of Wellington, south of Taupo, west of Hawke’s Bay and east of Taranaki.  The climate is temperate and the city sits on the Manawatu River plains and is an important service centre for the North Island as a whole.  The city has a population of approximately 80,000 and there is a large student population as a result of Massey University and other tertiary institutes.  Palmerston North’s current slogan is “Young heart, easy living” and refers to the city’s young population and youthful attitude. 

The city offers a wide range of schools, sporting clubs, leisure groups and community services which means it is easy to get to know people.  There is one professional and two amateur theatre companies in the city for those interested in theatre.  Housing is relatively cheap compared with some of New Zealand’s other cities.  Museums, gardens and arts and crafts abound.

The region

Palmerston North is part of the larger Manawatu-Whanganui Region, with Whanganui (or Wanganui) being another significant city only an hour’s drive away.  The dominance of agriculture in the region gives the general lifestyle a rural flavour.

Further information

For more information on Palmerston North and the Manawatu please visit:

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