Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Running Man mania takes hold in the Bay

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A television celebrity, a Member of Parliament, one of Tauranga's largest employers and children young and old have taken on the international Running Man Challenge craze.

Tauranga police detective and Police Ten 7 host Rob Lemoto is one of the latest to showcase his dancing exploits, complete with caterpillar manoeuvre, with his daughter and friends.

The Running Man Challenge is an internet dance fad that began in the United States but escalated last week when New Zealand Police recruitment took it on and challenged other police forces from around the world to do likewise, which they did.

Read more: Tauranga nurses turn hospital into dancefloor

The people running the Police Ten 7 Facebook page put a wager out promising to feature Mr Lemoto's Running Man antics if the post got 1000 likes.

On Thursday the page shared a video of Mr Lemoto taking on the challenge while appearing to pick his daughter and friends up from school.

Mr Lemoto's efforts join several others from Tauranga, including Trustpower who got staff dancing in the office, by the coffee machine, down at the Hairy Maclary sculptures and the newly installed Dance-o-mat.

Trustpower's community relations manager Graeme Purches said the company's take on the challenge was a popular idea initially brought up by some of the marketing team.

"It just spread like fury and so we said 'right, 2pm, let's get down there and do it'," Mr Purches said. "They all rocked up and we put it together."

Read more: Phil Rudd: 'I've stopped all the crazy stuff'

Tauranga Primary also put together a Running Man video this week, issuing a challenge to other schools which was accepted by Pillans Point School and Omokoroa Preschool yesterday.

Omokoroa Preschool's Denise Furey said the school really wanted to be the first early childhood education centre in Tauranga to take on the challenge.

Ms Furey said they now set the challenge to all Tauranga preschools.

The string of challenges comes after Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell began last weekend with his online challenge to his Maori Party co-leader and to United States President Barack Obama.

Mr Flavell appears to be preparing dinner for friends and family when music begins and he boogies up to the camera, throwing aside a tea towel and throwing down the wero [challenge].

"It seemed like a fun thing for the family to do," Mr Flavell said.

"I challenged Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox and she responded by giving it a go in Parliament with a few MPs from the other parties. I'm still waiting to hear back from Barack though."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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