Palmerston North facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Te Papaioea (Māori)
Clockwise from top: The Square, Central Business District, All Saints Church, City Library, The Square Clock Tower
Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat Let him who has earned it, bear the reward
|Territorial authority||Palmerston North City Council|
|• Territorial||395 km2 (153 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||760 m (2,490 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|• Density||218.5/km2 (565.9/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+12 (NZST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+13 (NZDT)|
4410, 4412, 4414, 4471, 4472, 4475, 4810, 4820
|Local iwi||Ngāti Rangitāne|
Palmerston North (// PAH-mər-stən-NORTH) (Māori: Te Papaioea or transliterated Māori: Pamutana), commonly referred to by locals as Palmerston, or colloquially Palmy, is the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand.
Palmerston North is located inland, in the eastern Manawatu Plains, near the north bank of the Manawatu River. The city is 35 km (22 mi) from the river's mouth and 12 km (7 mi) from the end of the Manawatu Gorge. It is about 140 km (87 mi) north of the capital, Wellington.
The official limits of the city take in rural areas to the south, north-east, north-west and west of the main urban area, extending to the Tararua Ranges; including the town of Ashhurst at the mouth of the Manawatu Gorge, the villages of Bunnythorpe and Longburn in the north and west respectively. The city covers a land area of 395 square kilometres (98,000 acres).
The city's location was once little more than a clearing in a forest and occupied by small communities of indigenous Māori, who called it Papaioea, believed to mean "How beautiful it is". In the mid 19th century, it was discovered and settled by Europeans (mostly of British and Scandinavian origin). On foundation, the settlement was bestowed the name Palmerston, in honour of Viscount Palmerston, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain. The suffix "North" was added in 1871 by the Post Office to distinguish the settlement from Palmerston in the South Island. The Māori transliteration of Palmerston North, is Pamutana (Nota). However, Te Papaioea is the preferred Māori name.
Palmerston North is the country's seventh-largest city and eighth largest urban area, with an urban population of 84,300 (June 2016).
- Physical environment
- City facilities and attractions
- Sister Cities
- Named after the city
- Images for kids
Ngāti Rangitāne were the local Māori iwi (tangata whenua) living in the area known as Te Ahu-ā-Tūranga, when a trader, Jack Duff, became the earliest known European to explore the area c.1830. He came on a whaling ship and explored possibly as far inland as the site of Woodville. He reported his discovery on arrival back to Porirua. Colonel Wakefield heard of the potential that the Manawatu had for development and visited in 1840. In 1846 Stephen Charles Hartley, another trader, heard from tangata whenua of a clearing in the Papaioea forest and he proceeded through the dense bush and forest and discovered it for Europeans.
In 1858, the Government began negotiations with local iwi to purchase land in Manawatu. There was a dispute at the time between rival iwi Ngāti Rangitāne and Ngāti Raukawa as to who has the right to sell. The dispute is resolved in favour of Rangitāne.
On a visit in 1859, John Tiffin Stewart, an employee of the Wellington Provincial Council, was shown the Papaioea clearing by Rangitāne chief, Te Hirawanu, and noted its suitability for a "good site for a township".
In 1864, Te Ahu-a-Turanga Block was sold by Rangitāne to the Government for £12,000, in an effort to open the Manawatu to settlement.
Stewart returned in 1866 on behalf of the Wellington Provincial Council (under whose jurisdiction the new purchase fell) and made the original survey and subdivision in the Papaioea forest clearing. The settlement, named Palmerston to commemorate the recently deceased Prime Minister of Great Britain, was laid out according to Stewart's plan consisting of a series of wide and straight streets in a rectangular pattern. The focal point was an open space of 17 acres (7 ha) subsequently known as The Square. On 3 October 1866, Palmerston was formally endorsed after Isaac Earl Featherston (Wellington Provincial Superintendent) signed a proclamation defining the boundaries of the settlement. The first sections were sold after.
Among the first settlers included Scandinavians, who arrived in 1871. They established settlements at Awapuni and Whakarongo/Stoney Creek.
Later the same year, the suffix 'North' was added to distinguish the settlement of the same name in the South Island. In 1872 a petition was launched to change the name of the settlement. A public meeting in 1873 ends with no clear decision on the name.
The railway line was laid through the Square in 1875. The foundation stone for the original All Saints Church was laid by Louisa Snelson on 29 September 1875.
In 1876, Palmerston North became a Local Board District, within the Wellington Provincial Council. This existed until the abolition of the provinces later the same year.
Also in the same year, the council set aside land north of the Manawatu River for the purposes of a reserve. In 1890, this land was again set aside and would become in 1897, the Victoria Esplanade.
By 1877, when the Borough Council came into existence, Palmerston North was an isolated village in the midst of the native forest that covered inland Manawatu. By 1878, the population was approximately 800 people and sawmilling was the main industry of the district. As the settlement grew, the forest diminished to make way for farms and housing, and today virtually no remnant of it survives.
The arrival of the railway in 1886 saw an increase in the speed of growth and the town was at the centre of a lucrative agricultural district. The opening of the nearby Longburn Freezing Works provided employment, while the Borough Council instigated more infrastructural schemes such as the sewerage system. The Railway through the Manawatu Gorge to Napier was completed in 1891.
In 1893, Rangitāne sold the Hokowhitu block, increasing the area of land available for settlement. In the same year, the Public Hospital opened in a wooden building on Terrace Street (now Ruahine Street). The hospital required significant fundraising. At the end of the decade, the Boer War broke out in South Africa and men from Palmerston North were among the volunteers.
By 1900 the population had reached 6,000.
In the 1910s Palmerston North's growth was steady. The population in 1911 about 10,991 (excluding Māori). The city was affected by World War I, with Awapuni Racecourse being used as an army training camp in 1914. During the course of the war, the Borough Council renamed all German-sounding and foreign street names. When the war finished in 1918, celebrations were delayed due to the Influenza epidemic.
In 1930, the population reached the 20,000 threshold and Palmerston North was officially proclaimed a city, the 7th in New Zealand. Development was slow due to the great depression and World War II. An airport was established at Milson in 1936, which is now Palmerston North Airport.
From 1938, the first Labour government (1935–1949) initiated state housing programmes in West End (Savage Crescent precinct) and Roslyn.
In 1940 the Māori Battalion was formed in Palmerston North and trained at the Showgrounds (now Arena Manawatu).
In 1941, the Manawatu River flooded again, having last flooded in 1902. Large parts of Hokowhitu and Awapuni were underwater, with residents evacuating to higher ground (peaked at 5.8m).
In 1942, Linton Army Camp was established. After the war, the city'so growth was rapid. By 1950, the city'so boundaries had extended to include Milson and Kelvin Grove. In 1953, the boundaries would further extend to include Awapuni, which in the same year, was again flooded by the Manawatu River, along with Hokowhitu. It was the largest flood since 1902.
Although work had started in 1926, it was not until 1959 the Milson Deviation of the North Island Main Trunk was opened. This meant future trains would pass to the north of the city, instead of through the Square. Later in 1963, the railway station at Tremaine Avenue opens. The last trains passed through the Square in 1964.
In 1961, the Highbury was added to the council area. In 1963, Massey University College of Manawatu was formed by the amalgamation of the Massey Agricultural College with the Palmerston North University College. In 1964, it becomes Massey University of Manawatu, an autonomous tertiary learning institution with the power to grant its own degrees.
In 1967, city boundaries were again extended to include land in Aokautere, Kelvin Grove, Milson, Amberley (Westbrook) and Awapuni as part of future growth for the next 25 years.
In 1970, the Rugby Museum was established and a tribute to the founding father of rugby in New Zealand, Charles Munro, was opened at Massey University.
In 1971, a competition to design a civic building for the vacant railway land at the Square, is won by Wellington architects, Maurice and John Patience. The resulting building was finished in 1979. In 1976, the Manawatu and Oroua rivers flood, 24-hour rainfall records in Feilding and Palmerston North are exceeded and some residents from both locations are evacuated.
In 1977, Palmerston North City Council celebrated its Centenary of Municipal government. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are among visitors to Palmerston North.
On 1 November 1989, New Zealand local government authorities were reorganised. Palmerston North City boundaries were extended to include Ashhurst, Linton and Turitea through amalgamation of parts of the former Kairanga County, Oroua County and Ashhurst Town Council.
On 1 July 2012, Bunnythorpe, Longburn, part of the area around Kairanga and an area around Ashhurst were joined to Palmerston North City Council area.
Although the land Palmerston North is situated on is bounded by the lofty Ruahine and Tararua ranges in the east and south respectively, the city has a predominantly flat appearance. The occasional rise in elevation occurs further away from the river and is especially pronounced in the north and northeast, and also on the south side of the river. The typical urban area elevation ranges between 20–40 metres (65–130 ft) above sea level.
The highest point is 760 metres (2,493 ft) above sea level. This is in the Tararua ranges, south-east of Scotts Road.
The lowest Point is 10 metres (33 ft) above sea level. This is at the river bank near Te Puna Road. Incidentally, both these locations are in the south-west of the city, by Linton.
There are 5.54 square kilometres (1,369 acres) dedicated to public reserves.
The length of the Manawatu river within the city boundary is 29.9 kilometres (18.6 mi) and its tributary at Ashhurst, the Pohangina, is 2.6 kilometres (1.6 mi).
Palmerston North's climate is temperate with maximum daytime temperatures averaging 22 °C (72 °F) in summer and 12 °C (54 °F) in winter. On average temperatures rise above 25 °C (77 °F) on 20 days of the year. Annual rainfall is approximately 960 mm (37.8 in) with rain occurring approximately 5% of the time. There are on average 200 rain-free days each year.
In the ranges that flank the city there is often sustained wind, especially in spring. Much of this land is within the city boundaries and these ranges have the reputation of providing the most consistent wind in the country.
Close to the city is the largest electricity-generating series of wind farms in the southern hemisphere, with 286 turbines in the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges providing power for approximately 50,000 homes.
|Climate data for Palmerston North (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||23.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||17.8
|Average low °C (°F)||12.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||55.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||7.1||6.9||7.7||8.2||9.9||12.2||11.6||13.0||11.9||11.8||10.3||11.1||121.7|
|Source: NIWA Climate Data|
At the 2006 census, Palmerston North had a population of 75,543, an increase of 3,507 people (4.9%) since the 2006 census. There were 29,892 occupied dwellings, 1,914 unoccupied dwellings, and 99 dwellings under construction. In the last census in 2013 the population had risen to 80,079, an increase of 3.0%.
Palmerston North's ethnicity was made up of (national figure in brackets): 78.9% European (74.0%), 16.5% Māori (14.9%), 9.7% Asian (11.8%), 4.5% Pacific Islanders (7.4%), 1.3% Middle Eastern/Latin American/African (1.2%), 2.0% 'New Zealanders' (1.6%), and 2.1% Other (1.7%).
Of the population, 38,391 (47.9%) were male and 41,688 (52.1%) female.
The city had a median age of 33.8 years, 4.2 years below the national median age of 38.0 years. People aged 65 years and over made up 13.3% of the population, compared to 14.3% nationally, and people under 15 years made up 20.0% of the population, compared to 20.4% nationally. Due to Palmerston North being a university city, approximately 36% of the population is aged between 15.0 and 24.9 years.
The median annual income of all people 15 years and over was $27,000, compared with $28,500 nationally. Of those, 39.9% earned under $20,000, compared with 38.2% nationally, while 24.1% earned over $50,000, compared to 26.7% nationally.
Palmerston North City had an unemployment rate of 7.5% of people 15 years and over, compared to 7.1% nationally.
Palmerston North has a number of religious institutions and a high percentage of worship against the national average
Palmerston North is a cathedral city, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Palmerston North. The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Palmerston North is its cathedral. The Bishop of Palmerston North is Charles Drennan.
In the Anglican Communion, Palmerston North is under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Wellington, whose Bishop is Justin Duckworth.
Palmerston North also is in the Anglican Hui Amorangi of (Te Pīhopatanga o) Te Ūpoko o Te Ika. The current Pīhopa is Rev. Muru Walters.
There are also many other churches with denominations such as Adventist (Mosaic Community Church and Palmerston North Seventh Day Adventist Church), Apostolic, Assembly of God (AOG), Baptist, Brethren, Christian Scientist, Church of Christ, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian and Religious Society of Friends.
There are Sikh gurdwara near the CBD and in Awapuni.
There is an Islamic centre in West End and an Islamic prayer centre at Massey University.
City facilities and attractions
Palmerston North has a number of facilities and attractions. It is also the gateway to attractions in other parts of the region, such as Tongariro National Park, Ruahine and Tararua Ranges. When Palmerston North Airport serviced international flights, the city was also an international gateway to Hawke's Bay, Wanganui and Taranaki.
The Plaza is the largest shopping centre in the Manawatu-Wanganui region and a key shopping centre in the lower North Island, boasting over 100 stores. It was built in about the 1980s and then upgraded again in around the late 2000s to what it is now.
Downtown on Broadway combines retail and boutique shopping and Downtown Cinemas.
Originally part of the Papaioea clearing, The Square is a seven-hectare park of lawn, trees, lakes, fountains, and gardens in the centre of the city. It is the city's original park and also the centrepoint from whence the city's main streets are arranged.
The Square contains the city's war memorial and a memorial dedicated to Te Peeti Te Awe Awe, the Rangitāne chief instrumental in the sale of Palmerston North district to the government in 1865. Near the centre of the park is the Clock Tower with its illuminated cross and coloured lights. Also here is the city's iSite, the Civic Building (seat of the City Council), the City Library, Square Edge and the commercial heart of Palmerston North's CBD. Retail stores (including the Plaza) and eateries line the road surrounding the park.
In around 1878, a Māori contingent, including Te Awe Awe, gathered together to choose a Māori name for The Square. They chose Te Marae o Hine, meaning "The Courtyard of the Daughter of Peace". This name reflected their hope all people of all races would live together in enduring peace.
Parks and recreational facilities
Palmerston North and its surrounding are features roughly 100 parks and reserves. The most popular of which is Victoria Esplanade. The Victoria Esplanade are located along the northern bank of the Manawatu River, west of Fitzherbert Avenue. The esplanade gardens include serene native bush surrounding family-friendly facilities, an aviary, a café, a duck pond, the Palmerston North Esplanade Scenic Railway featuring a 2.2 km track through native bush, the Peter Black Conservatory and walking tracks within the bush. The Dugald McKenzie Rose Garden is attached to the esplanade gardens. The Gardens were opened to commemorate the 60th Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign (1897). A wildlife centre is set to be built here in the near future.
Nearby the Esplanade are the multi-sport playing fields of Ongley and Manawaroa Parks, the twin turf hockey fields and Fitzherbert Park, the premier cricket ground. Elsewhere in the city are parks for sports like rugby, such as Coronation Park, Bill Brown Park and Colquhoun Park (also used for softball/baseball); and football: Skoglund Park (home of the Central Football Federation) and Celaeno Park. Memorial Park has a football pitch, and also has family-friendly facilities. The Hokowhitu Lagoon is also located nearby the Esplanade and is a popular site for recreational kayaking and canoeing.
The Lido Aquatic Centre is Palmerston North's largest aquatic centre. It provides outdoor facilities including a family leisure pool, a 50 m pool for competitive swimming and a dive pool. Indoor facilities include a second family lesiure pool, spa pool, heated pool and cafe. Freyberg Community Pool is an all-year indoor swimming pool complex located next to Freyberg High School in Roslyn.
Palmerston North has a main public library with five branches and one mobile library. The central Palmerston North Library is located in the Square and houses the main collections. The other four are located in Ashhurst, Awapuni, Linton, Roslyn and Te Pātikitiki (Highbury).
Near the Square is the Youth Space, opened in September 2011 as a dedicated place for Palmerston North's many young people to congregate in a safe environment. Youth space is free to all, and provides table-tennis, gaming consoles, musical instruments, library books, iPads, a kitchen, and other services.
Te Manawa is the cultural museum of art, science and history. Attached to Te Manawa is the New Zealand Rugby Museum. There are many small independent galleries. Many of New Zealand's best-known artists came from or live in Palmerston North. The list includes Rita Angus, John Bevan Ford, Shane Cotton, Paul Dibble, Pat Hanly, Brent Harris, Bob Jahnke, John Panting, Carl Sydow and Tim Wilson.
Palmerston North houses multiple theatres which regularly host musical performances, theatrical plays and formal events. These theatres include
- Regent on Broadway Theatre is a 1393-seat multipurpose performing arts facility.
- Centrepoint Theatre is a prominent professional theatre and the only one outside the main centres of New Zealand.
- Globe Theatre is a small community theatre of about 100 seats, built in about 1984. It is currently undergoing redevelopment, with the addition of another 100 seat auditorium.
Top comics including John Clarke, Jon Bridges, Jeremy Corbett, Tom Scott all come from Palmerston North as do stage, television and film performers Paul Barrett, Shane Cortese, Kate Louise Elliott, Simon Ferry, Greg Johnson, Jeff Kingsford-Brown and Alison Quigan.
Palmerston North is reputed to have the highest number of restaurants, eateries and café bars per capita in New Zealand. There is a vast selection of ethnic food options including Thai, French, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Cambodian, Mongolian, Italian, Irish, American, Pacific rim and New Zealand cuisines.
Palmerston North has a thriving musical scene with many national and international acts touring through the town, and many local acts performing regularly.
Local groups include the Manawatu Sinfonia and Manawatu Youth Orchestra (MYO) who perform throughout the year. The Manawatu Youth Orchestra celebrated its 50th year in September 2011.
- February: Esplanade Day
- February–March: Summer Shakespeare
- March: Festival of Cultures
- March: Women's Lifestyle Expo
- June: Manawatu Wedding Expo
- September: International Spring Festival
- September: Swampfest
- November: Tour de Manawatu Charity Cycle Challenge
Participation in sport is an important and popular pastime in Palmerston North. Representation at a national level is predominantly provincial based, meaning most sports teams representing Palmerston North also draw their players from other towns from around Manawatu.
The premier multi-sports venue in Palmerston North is Arena Manawatu (previously known as Palmerston North Showgrounds). For sponsorship purposes is known as Central Energy Trust Arena. The main stadium (Arena One) is the home of the Manawatu Turbos rugby union team and the Robertson Holden International Speedway. There are indoor venues at Arena Manawatu where netball, basketball, volleyball and Badminton are played.
Other important venues include Memorial Park, Fitzherbert Park, Celaeno Park, Manawaroa/Ongley Park, Skoglund Park, Vautier Park and Massey University sports fields.
|Manawatu Turbos||Rugby Union||Mitre 10 Cup||CET Arena|
|Manawatu Cyclones||Rugby Union||Farah Palmer Cup||CET Arena|
|Hurricanes||Rugby Union||Super Rugby||CET Arena #|
|Manawatu Matadors (Current Champions)||Hockey||Central Hockey League||Endeavour Trust Twin Turfs|
|Central Pulse||Netball||ANZ Championship||CET Arena 2#|
|Central Districts||Cricket||Plunket Shield, Ford Trophy, T20||Fitzherbert Park#|
- # : not based in Manawatu, however, home ground when playing in Manawatu.
Palmerston North is a significant road and rail junction. As such, it is an important distribution hub for the Central and lower North Island, with many freight distribution centres based here.
The city's main roads are all in dual carriageway format and arranged in a grid pattern, with four streets of significance radiating from The Square in the CBD. They are:
Palmerston North is served by four State Highways:
- State Highway 3 runs northwest–southeast from SH 1 at Sanson through central Palmerston North to SH 2 at Woodville. The section from Sanson forms the main route from the upper North Island, Taranaki and Whanganui into Palmerston North, while the section from Woodville forms the main route from the Hawke's Bay into Palmerston North.
- State Highway 57 runs southwest–northeast from SH 1 at Ohau, south of Levin, through the southern outskirts of Palmerston North to SH 3 east of Ashhurst. It forms the main route from Wellington to southern and eastern Palmerston North.
- State Highway 56 runs southwest–northeast from SH 57 at Makeura, northeast of Shannon, New Zealand, to the intersection of Pioneer Highway and Maxwells Line in the suburb of Awapuni. It forms the main route from Wellington to northern and western Palmerston North.
- State Highway 54 runs north-south from SH 1 at Vinegar Hill, north of Hunterville, through Feilding to SH 3 at Newbury, on the northern Palmerston North border. It provides an alternative route from the Upper North island into Palmerston North
Palmerston North is perceived as being better for cycling than most New Zealand cities, with 2001 figures putting it a close second only to Blenheim in terms of bicycle modal share. The Manawatu River Pathway is great for family or beginners riders, as it is all flat to mildly contoured, with some limestone sections, as well as wide cement paths. The track has many access points to this trail, which runs for over 9 km between Maxwells Line in the West to Riverside Drive in the East. A new 3 km section has been added between Ashhurst and Raukawa Road, with plans to link this to the existing path over the next two years, making over 22 km of scenic tracks to explore alongside the river.
Palmerston North has a fairly comprehensive 65 km on-road bicycle lane network, particularly in high traffic areas, to make it safer for people to get around the city by bike.
Criticism The cycle lane network has been criticised for a number of reasons. Motor traffic is often too fast, and there is no physical barrier between bicyclists and motorists. Most bicycle lanes in the city are marked out with parking spaces for motorist parking, making those lanes 'pointless' and raising the risk of motorists opening car doors into the path of passing bicyclists.
Rebecca Oaten, the so-called 'Helmet Lady' who campaigned nationwide in the late 1980s for a New Zealand bicycle helmet law, is from Palmerston North.
Urban Services are coordinated by Horizons Regional Council, through Masterton-based bus company, Tranzit.
Seven urban buses leave the terminal in Main Street East (in front of Palmerston North Courthouse) at least every half-hour. The buses are assigned to loop routes servicing different parts of the city.
Buses are provided for students of Massey University and IPU.
Daily services run to the nearby towns of Linton, Ashhurst, Feilding (via Airport) and Marton.
Across the North Island Inter-regional routes are operated by Intercity, Tranzit and Nakedbus. Intercity's routes run south (to Wellington), north (towards Auckland, via Wanganui, Rotorua and Taupo, or Napier) and east (to Masterton) from the bus terminal in The Square, Palmerston North. Naked Bus runs from outside thePalmerston North City i-SITE in the Square.
Palmerston North Airport is located in the suburb of Milson, on the outskirts of the city. It is approximately 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) from the central business district and is a regional gateway to the central North Island region. The airport has regular services to domestic destinations including Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton, Nelson and Wellington. Flights are currently served by Air New Zealand Link, Jetstar and Originair.
The airport is presently the operational base of the Massey University School of Aviation. The airport is also an freight hub for Parcelair.
Palmerston North is an important passenger and freight stop on the North Island Main Trunk Railway. There are only two passenger trains run by KiwiRail: the weekday-only Capital Connection commuter train once a day to and from Wellington, and is a stop for the Northern Explorer to and from Auckland and Wellington.
Until 1964, the railway ran through the city centre, with Palmerston North Railway Station in The Square. The station was moved and the track diverted 2.5 km (2 mi) to the north by the Milson Deviation in 1959–1963; work on the deviation had started in 1926.
Near the current railway station, the North Island Main Trunk railway is joined by the Palmerston North - Gisborne Line, which runs through the Manawatu Gorge to Woodville and Hawke's Bay. A connection to the Wairarapa Line is at Woodville.
Palmerston North has two sister cities:
- Grant Robertson, Labour MP; born in Palmerston North. Current MP for Wellington Central.
- Shane Cortese, actor
- Joseph Nathan, founder of Glaxo
- Alan Loveday, violinist
- Ross Taylor – current New Zealand Black Caps captain and Central Districts batsman (cricket)
Named after the city
- An NAC Vickers Viscount (ZK-NAI) was named "City of Palmerston North". This aircraft was withdrawn from NAC service in 1975.
- An Ansett New Zealand de Havilland Canada Dash 8 (ZK-NES) was also named "City of Palmerston North", staying in service until the airline's demise.
Images for kids
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