Some politicians knocking off booze for Feb

File photo / Herald on Sunday
File photo / Herald on Sunday

MPs of different stripes are getting on the wagon next month to raise money for charity.

The Drug Foundation is running the FebFast fundraiser, with people sponsored to stop drinking alcohol for the month to raise money for at risk young people.

National Party list MP Dr Jackie Blue said the challenge won't be hard for her given she stopped drinking about a year ago to lose some weight.

"I don't think I will go back to drinking as I feel better, sleep better and I'm even more productive," she said.

"In my line of work as an MP I attend many functions and alcohol is easily accessible. The alcohol culture is a potential trap. By signing up and abstaining for a month, people will realise they can have a great time without it."

Labour Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway is leading the Labour Party team of Carol Beaumont, Brendon Burns, Lianne Dalziel, Sue Moroney and Carmel Sepuloni, along with Labour staff members Sonny Thomas and Jen Toogood.

Mr Lees-Galloway said the funds raised would help provide early intervention and support for young people at risk and with drug and alcohol problems is absolutely vital.

"We need to make sure these organisations have all the resources they need so they can help people realise their potential."

Actor/writer Pinky Agnew, singer/songwriter Maisey Rika and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker are among others taking up the challenge.

FebFast coordinator Catherine Milburn said the challenge had run several years in Australia but this was the first time it has been done here. Since 2008 more than 10,700 FebFasters have raised over $1.7 million for Australia's youth and drug services.

She said FebFast wasn't about giving up drinking forever.

"It's about giving our bodies a short break after the festive season and raising much-needed funds for charities working with young people much less fortunate than ourselves," she says.

- NZPA

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