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Getting physical at council

October 10, 2005

Getting physical at council

North Shore City Council has appointed a physio and a PhysEd teacher-turned-gym owner to flex its muscles on a get-fit think tank.

Councillors from the sports-mad city didn't have to look beyond their own ranks to find their two representatives.

Community services and parks committee chairwoman, Margaret Miles, and her deputy, Peter White, were fitting candidates to serve on the new North Harbour physical activity strategy steering group.

A former competitive squash player and a keen cyclist, Councillor Miles is a qualified physiotherapist. Twelve years as a part-time physio at Northbridge Retirement Village in Northcote instilled in her the importance of promoting health and wellbeing among older people and, indeed, all sectors of the community.

A Physical Education graduate from Otago University, Councillor White has more than 30 years' experience in the health and fitness sector. He led the PE department of Long Bay College for five years, and has advised elite rugby and league players as a fitness consultant to both the NZRU and NZRL. He has owned the Beachside Health Club in Browns Bay since 1993.

The councillors will join representatives from five other organisations - including neighbours Rodney District Council, Waitemata District Health Board and regional body Harbour Sport - on the steering group. Their role is to act as a sounding board while a strategy is developed to encourage physical activity as a step to good health.

North Shore City's deputy mayor, Dianne Hale, says healthy and active lifestyles are critical to a community's wellbeing.

"We're right behind this Harbour Sport-led project," says Councillor Hale, a regular walker and recreational diver.

"In Margaret and Peter, our community could not wish for a better qualified and more motivated pair of advocates," she says.

It is expected that the draft strategy will be ready for public consultation by the end of the year, and completed by next March.


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