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Parliament on the move for Push Play Day

1 November 2004 Media Statement

Parliament on the move for Push Play Day

Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard has put his feet where his mouth is, mid-way through a Push Play challenge between Labour MPs and the parliamentary press gallery in the lead-up to Push Play Day.

Trevor Mallard's team of seven Labour MPs is up against seven political journalists representing a range of media organisations, to see who takes the most steps in the week leading up to national Push Play Day on November 5.

Press gallery team member Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB) met up with Trevor Mallard at the bottom of the Beehive stairwell today, mid-way through the week-long challenge, to demonstrate how the competition is progressing.

"It's all part of making New Zealand the most active nation in the world. It’s no good me telling New Zealanders to Push Play for 30 minutes every day if I and my colleagues at Parliament don’t maintain at least a minimum level of physical activity over the day," Trevor Mallard said.

"It's great the press gallery has accepted this challenge, as I know how hard it is for journalists to leave their telephones and desks. Perhaps it will bring new meaning to the expression "chasing a story"," Trevor Mallard said.

"I'd like to encourage other political parties, and workplaces outside Parliament to mount their own Push Play challenges. It doesn't have to be tricky - we can all work some physical activity into our day if we make a bit of effort," Trevor Mallard said.

"Already the rest of Parliament is on the move. Several other offices have committed to do their own Push Play challenges in the lead-up to Push Play Day on Friday. And this week parliamentary staff have been challenged to take the stairs not the lift - for the first 2-3 floors anyway."

The Labour MPs versus press gallery Push Play Challenge kicked off on 28 October, with each challenger using a pedometer to count their steps. The team that has taken the most steps by Push Play Day on November 5 wins the challenge.

" Evidence shows that healthy adults should aim to take at least 10,000 steps a day. Experts also recommend that we do a minimum of 30 minutes moderate-intensity physical activity each day (this may be part of or in addition to the 10,000 steps).

"Some of us may need to make changes to our daily routine to reach the 10,000 step target. I'll be encouraging my fellow MPs to avoid the lift, and where practical, to walk to parliament in the mornings, or around their electorates when they're at home.

"The journalists have their own interesting ideas on how to lift their physical activity levels. And although ulterior motives can be par for the course in politics, for this challenge at least, the MPs are more than willing to trust the journos to play fair. We're not expecting any pedometer tampering."

The Labour team members are Trevor Mallard, Michael Cullen, Steve Maharey, Phil Goff, Chris Carter, Ann Hartley and Damien O'Connor. The press gallery team members are Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB), Leah Haines (Herald on Sunday) Sue Eden (NZPA), Jane Patterson (Radio New Zealand), Corin Dann (Radio New Zealand) Guyon Espiner (TVNZ) and Nick Venter (The Dominion Post).

The government through SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) is investing more than $32 million annually into a range of initiatives to encourage New Zealanders to be more active.

National Push Play Day is a SPARC initiative in association with Regional Sports Trusts. Find out what’s happening in your region on www.pushplay.org.nz

ENDS

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