Northland MP Matt King is well versed in the art of leaping to his feet in the course of a debate, but the other day he made a leap of a much more dramatic nature.

And he didn't hesitate.

"It was an honour to help out with a fundraising promo for Alzheimers Northland," he said, adding, somewhat superfluously, that he had survived a 6000-metre, 85-second free fall tandem jump with "true professional" Andrew Macmillan, from Bay of Islands Skydive, who in the process added to his tally of more than 14,000 jumps.

Alzheimers Northland was grateful to Mr King for his support, and challenged others to go to Bay of Islands Skydive and get in on the Dare to Dive fundraiser (#daretodivenorthland), or call Hannah Hunter on (021) 174-9760).


As for Mr King, the adrenaline rush began even before he and the plane parted company.

"At 20,000 feet it felt like we were in orbit. We had to use special oxygen masks to get up that high," he said. And, as a subtle acknowledgement that he had been a little out of his comfort zone, he particularly recommended the experience to anyone who might be prone to constipation.

He was fizzing after he landed safely though.

"Everyone should do this, especially when it's raising money for a good cause," he said.

"I'd do it again in a heartbeat. If 80-year-old grannies can do it, 52-year-old middle-aged men can do it.

"I'm honoured to help out Alzheimers Northland, which does great work supporting more than 600 families in Northland," he added.

"They provide 100 hours a week of respite care to caregivers, working directly with families of people with dementia, offering support, guidance and expertise.

"I encourage anyone brave enough to take on the challenge and sign up now on the Alzheimers Northland website.


"I also want to thank Skydive Bay of Islands for supporting this programme," he said.

Terrifying but immensely satisfying — that's how Northland MP Matt King describes jumping out of a plane at 6000 metres.

Meanwhile, the good news for anyone who raises at least $600 for the organisation will get a free tandem jump with Skydive Bay of Islands on July 20. Mr King is encouraging workplaces to sign up.

That way workmates could share the fundraising and nominate a team member — or, better still, their boss — to do the jump.

"It's a really, really cool experience," he said, "but it scared the hell out of me.

"You have put your faith in a bit of material and a guy who claims to know what he's doing."

Those who find themselves plummeting earthwards will leap from a mere 3600m (the height of Mt Cook), which will give them 45 seconds' freefall.