Nelson MP Nick Smith and Bishop Steve Maina have been running 10km every day for a week to raise money for Red Cross. Photo: Jonty Dine.

MP loses bet to Bishop


Nelson MP Nick Smith was never going to keep his $100. On Monday, Nelson’s Bishop Steve Maina and Nick successfully completed the Red Cross “Stick to your Bubble – but not your couch” fundraising challenge by running 71 kilometres over the last week.

“The runs have pushed me to my limit and the Bishop left me in his dust, averaging 45 minutes per 10 per km to my 60 minutes,” says Nick.

“I asked the Bishop for a piggyback for the last 11 kilometres so I could stay closer to his pace, but he rightly declined saying it would breach Level 3 two metre social distancing rules.  He kindly let me win the last 11 kilometre run by the required two metre social distance.”

The ‘loser’ of the bet was required to donate an extra $100 to the Red Cross.

Bishop Steve says it has been wonderful to combine his love of running with this good cause.

“Nelson has so many good tracks and the Autumn sunsets have been beautiful. I have appreciated the friendly rivalry with Nick and as a consolation, I note he burnt up more than a thousand calories more than I on our smart phone run trackers. I’ve also enjoyed praying for our city while running and I’m hopeful of the future as we recover from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.”

Bishop Steve and Nick are very grateful for the $1000 sponsorship from New Zealand King Salmon who have long been strong supporters of Red Cross.

“They are a great local company that generously support so many causes, most recently donating salmon to Nelson’s essential workers,” Nick says.

New Zealand Red Cross Nelson based Community Fundraising Coordinator Rachel Lake congratulated two for completing the challenge.

“I am encouraging others to take up their challenge for their own health and to support a good cause. These funds will help our programmes delivering medication, food and clothing parcels throughout New Zealand. Our work in New Zealand and overseas supporting people in times of crisis or disaster is currently more relevant than ever.”