The tech scene in Palmerston North


Christian Hermansen is the Brand Manager for Frogparking, a Palmerston North-based startup that uses data and modern technology to design parking solutions fit for the 21st century.
 
As Brand Manager, Christian is in charge of internal and external communications, monitoring them to make sure they fit the company’s message and purpose. We asked him a few questions about his role and life in Palmerston North.
 
Was it the job or the city that drew you to Palmerston North?
It was a mix of both, really. I had heard of Frogparking before (through my previous job) and knew that they had a great product, some good customers both here, in the US, and Australia, and were on the way up, so it was a good time to get onboard.
 
What do you like about living and working there?
The thing I like best about working here in Palmy is that everything is easier because it’s not a big city. No annoying traffic jams, long commutes, or anything like that. Plus, we have some awesome cafes with great coffee too!
 
What is unique to Palmerston North?
 
For me, Palmy is home. I was born and raised here, so I was always going to end up back here. A lot of my family and childhood friends are here too, so it’s great to be back closer to all of them. We’re lucky here to have heaps to do - walking tracks, cycle trails, mountain bike tracks, etc.
 
It’s also super easy to get away for a weekend to Taupo or the Hawkes Bay. It’s well documented too, but, the cost of living in the regions is a lot better than in bigger cities. I’m really into motorsport as well, I race speedway and karts, and the Manawatu is kind of the home of motorsport in New Zealand, so that helps too!
 
What do you like about working for Frog Parking? Do you think you could do your job elsewhere too?
 
There’s a lot of cool things about Frogparking, but probably the best thing about working for Frog is that it’s an international company, with offices in the USA, Australia, and here in Palmy (where it all started), but we’ve still managed to maintain this great kiwi-can-do culture, even among our international team.
 
Another cool part is that the parking industry is traditionally pretty low-tech. Frog is seen as a bit of a young, startup, that’s disrupting the market with high-tech products and solutions. Weaving that into our marketing and communications is fun sometimes!
 
How do you find the social scene in Palmerston North, is there plenty to do in your time off?
 
For sure! Like I said, there are great cafes, restaurants and bars here in Palmy, so there’s always plenty going on. There are also some pretty fantastic walks in the area which are great when the weather is nice.
 
Finally, do you find your professional needs are satisfied in Palmerston North in terms of a good pool of contacts, colleagues, mentors and the like?
 
There’s a decent network of Young Professionals here in Palmerston North. There’s a really good culture of business locally and, actually, there’s some really exciting business-stuff that goes on here. Tech companies like us, logistics companies, agriculture/farming tech, education, and many others are all thriving here at the moment, with a lot of exporters, so there’s a good range of diverse companies as well.