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PM Starts Inaugural Trans-Tasman Sports Race for Charity

John Key with
Harcourts New Zealand Team, Australian team and local school
John Key with Harcourts New Zealand Team, Australian team and local school students

15 OCTOBER 2013

Prime Minister Starts Inaugural Trans-Tasman Sports Race for Charity

Prime Minister John Key triggered the start of the inaugural ANZA Challenge at the steps of Parliament today, sending off teams of sporting celebrities representing New Zealand and Australia on a gruelling 1,300km, six day race around the country for charity.

The national teams were joined by local school children for a run from Parliament, along Lambton Quay to Queens Wharf where the Harcourts New Zealand Team won the first leg - a 160km rowing race.

The ANZA Challenge is a trans-Tasman event where teams of sports stars and celebrities will race for national pride and charity. The teams will run, row, cycle and sail around New Zealand from Tuesday 15 – Sunday 20 October, raising vital funds for charities on both sides of the ditch, including the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation.

The Harcourts New Zealand Team includes: Black Sticks player Gemma Flynn, Paralympian Cyclist Nathan Smith, Olympic gold medal rowing team Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan, Paralympian rower Danny McBride, World Champion Cyclist Alison Shanks, former All Black Marc Ellis, triathlete Cameron Brown, sailor Rick Dodson and sports presenter James McOnie.

Representing Australia is; former rugby league player Laurie Daley, lifeguards and stars of ‘Bondi Rescue’ Andrew Reid and Corey Oliver, former Wallaby Wendell Sailor, Olympic cyclist Shane Kelly, Hockeyroo Kate Hollywood, Olympic sailor Malcolm Page, celebrity chef Jason Roberts, and Olympic champion rower Dan Noonan.

The ANZA Challenge continues in Nelson on Wednesday 16 October with a cycle leg to Christchurch then down to Dunedin, up to Hamilton and culminates in simultaneous public runs in Auckland and Sydney on Sunday 20 October.

Harcourts Team New Zealand member Alison Shanks says “This is a great event for a really good cause. The Kiwi team is 100% behind the work that the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation does to help physically disabled Kiwis get in to sport.”

“It’s going to be a gruelling week for us, but we’ll put everything we have in to raising as much money as possible,” says Shanks.

The celebrity teams will be collecting donations along the race route. Donations can also be made directly to the team members at or text ‘ANZA’ to 2454 to make a $3 donation.

The New Zealand public can join in the race to the finish line by participating in the public runs on Sunday 20 October. There is a 10km Adults and a 5km New Zealand Herald Schools race at the Auckland Domain in Parnell.

All entry fees from the Auckland charity runs will go to the Halberg Disability Sports Foundation – an organisation which assists in enabling physically disabled New Zealanders to participate in sport and recreation. Registrations are now open at

Every participant in the public runs in Auckland and Sydney will be time chipped and these will combined with their celebrity team’s results to determine the inaugural winner of the ANZA Challenge.

For more information, images or interviews please contact:
Bonnie Smail, Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, ph: 022 6929 846, email:
About the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation
The Halberg Disability Sport Foundation (formerly known as the 'Halberg Trust') was founded by Sir Murray Halberg on the belief that all young people, regardless of their ability, should have equal opportunity to enhance their lives through sport. Since 1963, the Foundation has worked tirelessly to make Sir Murray's vision a reality for the country's physically disabled people, their families and communities. From humble beginnings, the Foundation now stands as the lead agency for physical disability sport in New Zealand.

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