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Ministry of Health's Taxi Spending Raises Eyebrows

Ministry says walk's silly, we'd rather take a cab Stuff.co.nz - 27/07/2014

When it comes to walking the talk, it seems Ministry of Health staff would rather just take a cab.

Last year ministry staff took more than 1000 taxi rides for less than $10 - at the same time as officially advocating walking as a way to increase New Zealand's low levels of physical activity.

The ministry has internal advice for staff on nutrition and physical activity that includes walking short trips, and using stairs rather than lifts.

The taxis were an unacceptable use of taxpayer money by a ministry responsible for promoting physical activity, according to the Taxpayers' Union. "It is sadly ironic that while the Ministry of Health spends taxpayer money to promote active living, officials are getting taxis a few hundred metres down the road," said Jordan Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers' Union.

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