Kick-start spring by joining the Fresh Air Challenge

Featured news Local

If you’ve ever thought you should leave the car at home and walk or cycle more, now is your chance with registration’s for NPDC’s Fresh Air Challenge now open.


The annual four-week challenge kicks off Friday 1 September, a chance for schools, whānau, businesses and individuals to use alternative forms of transport and setting themselves a goal of the most trips, distance or trying something new.


“A lot of people will choose the traditional modes like cycling, walking or taking the bus to work or school. Over the years we have seen more ways that people challenge themselves, for example people on e-bikes, e-scooters, carpooling and attending virtual meetings,” says NPDC’s Let’s Go Advisor, Anna Davies.


“What we have found is that more people are using the Challenge to kickstart healthier and environmentally friendly habits, which is not only great for their wellbeing, it saves money, as well as reducing carbon emissions and congestion on the roads.”


The 2022 events attracted 420 participants and saw a jump in the number of carpool trips jump from 862 in 2021 to 1175 in 2022 and more people having virtual meetings rather than driving to the office during the challenge, a reflection of different ways of working.  

Anna said as well as setting personal goals participants can be in to win some great prizes and enjoy a bit of friendly competition by pitting their progress against others.


VBW Chartered Accountants was among those businesses/individuals who took part in the challenge last year and tracked a total of 248 trips.


We love the competitive spirit that is fostered in the workplace with a promotion like this. And of course, the benefits of staff getting more exercise in their day makes for a happier and healthier work environment, says Kirsten Adam from VBW.


NPDC’s Let’s Go works closely with workplaces and schools throughout the challenge to continuously encourage logging trips over the month with some cool prizes and awards up for grabs.


Go to our website to register.


Fast facts

  • Last year’s Fresh Air Challenge participants took 7764 trips covering 47,000km and saving 10.09 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • 420 individuals and 43 workplaces signed up for the challenge.
  • NPDC’s Let’s Go school travel programme is recognised as one of the best in New Zealand by Waka Kotahi, which provides 51 per cent of its funding.
  • It offers a range of programmes aimed at increasing opportunities for active and shared travel to schools and workplaces.