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Meka Whaitiri back in Gisborne and training for IronMaori

CABINET Minister Meka Whaitiri is becoming a regular sight at the Olympic Pool and cycling or running around Gisborne.

The Manutuke born-and-bred Minister of Customs has recently moved back to Gisborne from Napier, but has one major Hawke’s Bay commitment remaining.

She is training for the ACC SportSmart IronMaori event consisting of a 2 kilometre swim, a 90km bike road and a 21km run.

The Maori health initiative is being held for the 10th time and is staged in Ahuriri, Napier on Saturday, December 1.

“I’ve done it four times previously,’’ said Ms Whaitiri.

“I was retiring at my fifth, but the election got in the way.

“I’ve decided this year, given it’s the 10th year, that I will go and compete.’”

The IronMaori was a health goal as she had not been living a healthy lifestyle in recent years “to be quite honest’’.

The event attracted about 200 competitors last year. Ms Whaitiri said she was out training at the Olympic Pool or ‘‘on my bike” at 6am.

“But I always wait to see what the weather is like.”