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May 4 2006 - Collins Comments

Judith Collins Clevedon MP
4 May 2006

Special K Women’s Duathlon

I am looking forward to participating in this event this coming Sunday, 7 May at Ambury Farm Park, Manukau City.

I was a presenter of prizes at last year's Special K Women's Triathlon and was so inspired by the 5,000 women taking part in Auckland, that I declared that I would take part this year. Fortunately, the event is now a duathlon. This is a really good way to highlight the need for us all to exercise. I know it is easier said than done and when we are busy it is very hard to make time for ourselves.

National has two teams entered with Jackie Blue MP, Jo Goodhew MP, Sandra Goudie MP and two volunteers Gabbie O’Brien and Robyn Gutherie lining up to take on this challenge. The event has a 3.5 kilometre run, a 10 km bike ride and another run of 1.5kms. I am intending to walk. I'm not keen to add to the hip and knee surgery waiting lists!

This Duathalon is open to all women and is a great opportunity to get together and have a bit of fun while getting a message out there that we should take whatever steps we can to promote our health.

This week I attended the official launch of the Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Brash.

The Trust was established to promote and encourage education of women, both in the sphere of research and professional development, and in artistic or creative activities.

Annual awards are made to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents for foundation, undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate study at any of the University of Auckland, the Albany campus of Massey University, Auckland University of Technology, Manukau Institute of Technology and Unitec.

The Trust distributed over $200,000 awards in 2005, in its first year of operation. It is a great success story that is worth telling. The Trust is funded from the proceeds of graduation gowns and hats hired out each year by the NZ Federation of Graduate Women. After years of repairing gowns, hiring them out and helping students become graduates, these women have salted away enough money for an extremely useful trust. They deserve congratulations and thanks.

The Government is facing further embarrassment over the leaking of confidential cabinet papers relating to the unbundling of the loop, to Telecom. The Government was clearly holding fire until the budget to give itself a "good news" story after the debacle of Michael Cullen's "chewing gum" budget last year. It certainly looks like there is at least one leaker amongst the Cabinet or its senior staff. It will be interesting to find out if that leaker's identity is known to Telecom and what other confidential information has found its way from Cabinet to Telecom's offices.

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