All Blacks should 'go away and stop trying to take our money' that should go to getting kids active – Exercise Association

The Exercise Association says the All Blacks should "go away and stop trying to take our money" because elite sport receives the lion's share of Government funding compared with more popular physical activities.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen last month told media he had spoken to Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about funding when they toured the changing rooms after a match at Eden Park.

Hansen said he told the pair "they should be our biggest sponsors, because we're their biggest brand", asking Ms Ardern if she could "find some money to help us compete against the likes of England and France so we can keep our players".

“If you think about the All Blacks and the brand, it’s important that we represent New Zealand really well, and she leads our country.” Source: 1 NEWS

Richard Beddie of the New Zealand Exercise Association, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, said he disagreed with the call for more cash.

"The Government should say to the All Blacks go away and stop trying to take our money," he said, because getting more people active, especially children, should be the priority for that funding pool.

"We're not well-represented in activity or obesity levels worldwide," Mr Beddie said.

"We're now number three in obesity ... 50 per cent don't do enough [exercise] ... the WHO (World Health Organisation) says 30 minutes five times per week of moderate intensity.

"The cost of obesity and type two diabetes alone - it's going to cripple most Western health systems in the next 20 years."

Mr Beddie said he realised it would be controversial to suggest it, but said the All Blacks should be happy with what they get.

"To be blunt, in New Zealand, elite sport gets way too much money when you compare it with participation," he said.

"We've got a problem that sport gets most of the funding, when in fact sport is declining in participation levels, whereas recreation activities such as going to the gym or dancing or yoga actually gets a very small percentage - less than ten per cent of that pot.

"But in fact, that's where people are choosing to spend their time these days.

"I love the All Blacks, I want the All Blacks to win, but the problem is when they are trying to compete with the same pot of money to trying to get more kids active.

"If we look at children - we have the biggest problem with children and activity levels, because less than 10 per cent do enough ... that's where the real problem lies.

"That is really about our future."

Richard Beddie of the Exercise Association of New Zealand says elite sport is currently over-funded. Source: Breakfast

South Auckland charity The Aunties takes home top Women of Influence Award

The founder of a South Auckland charity group dubbed The Aunties has won the top honour at the Women of Influence Awards.

Jackie Clark set up the not-for-profit organisation six years ago to help vulnerable women and children who've experienced domestic violence.

The group's primary aim is to provide material needs to those they support.

"The Aunties believe everyone has the right to be safe, to have shelter, to be fed, to be loved, to dream, to read, to write, to have their say, and to be heard," the group proclaims on its Givealittle page. "Where any of those things are missing, the Aunties mission is to help provide them - the practical things, and also in terms of advocacy and pastoral care."

The group says it believes in manaakitanga - protecting the mana of the people they help so that they can find their way towards living independently, and with dignity and joy.

"Jackie and her fellow Aunties give without seeking anything in return and without judgement," said Westpac NZ chief executive David McLean, whose company co-sponsors the Women of Influence Awards. "She, and her core of other Aunties, ask vulnerable women what they need and then set about making it happen, in a completely selfless way.

"They have made an enormous contribution to our local communities at grassroots level."

The award ceremony was held last night at SkyCity in Auckland.

Here's the full list of winners:
Supreme Winner: Jackie Clark
Lifetime Achievement: Theresa Gattung
Arts and Culture: Miranda Harcourt
Board and Management: Dr Farah Palmer
Business and Enterprise: Angie Judge
Rural: Rebecca Keoghan
Public Policy: Charlotte Korte
Community/Not for Profit: Jackie Clark
Innovation and Science: Professor Wendy Larner
Diversity: Sarah Lang
Global: Sarah Vrede
Young Leader: Maddison McQueen-Davies

Jackie Clark set up the non-for-profit six years ago, which aims to help vulnerable women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Source: Breakfast



Eleven Glenorchy homes still without power 48 hours after early spring snowfall

Some resident in Central Otago's Glenorchy are still without power 48 hours after a spring snowfall caused major disruptions in the deep south.

Eleven properties remains with power this morning.

Aurora Energy is hoping to have power restored to the area by this evening.

Around 360 households in the central Otago town are affected, with Aurora Energy hoping to have electricity back on by this evening. Source: Breakfast

In many places power was cut, schools were closed and flights cancelled. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Artist uses pyramid in central Auckland to spread some joy around town

A Kiwi artist are architect is using a pyramid in central Auckland to spread some joy.

Matt Liggins has made it his mission to ask people what makes them smile, but instead of rolling up to you on the street he's built a pyramid to help lighten people's moods.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp's Lucas de Jong went along to take a look and share a laugh in the video above.

Matt Liggins has made it his mission to ask Kiwis what makes them smile. Source: Seven Sharp

Meet the transgender Wellington school caretaker brightening up kids' days

A transgender caretaker at a Wellington school has been using her musical talents to brighten up the kids' days.

Molly Mason was born as Michael, but soon discovered she was a female born in a man's body.

"I believe I'm a woman, and I associate as a woman, so I live my life as a woman," Molly told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

Molly has a love of music that began when she was just six.

Now, in her role as caretaker at a Wellington school, she uses her talent to good effect by beat boxing with the kids at lunchtime.

"When I realised that beat boxing and making sounds was something I couldn't live without, that was it, nothing else mattered."

However, to be this woman - that little boy Michael, had a fight on his hands.

"I got bullied from primary school right through until the day I left college and left Blenheim."

Molly is now proud to be transgender and says the stage is her safe place. She performs as her drag alter ego called Bette Noir.

"Anything that makes me sad, makes me worried, makes me scared, anything that I find stressful, it's not there, it's gone." 

Seven Sharp’s Arrun Soma spoke with Molly Mason. Source: Seven Sharp