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Thousands of kids to have access to bikes and helmets.

Nov 27, 2018

Today was the first day back at work for new mum and Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter after taking three months away from Parliament to spend with her new-born son.

Ms Genter was back in Wellington today, with her partner and baby Joaquin in tow, where she hit the ground running with an announcement geared at getting more school children on bikes.

Ms Genter said when she was a child in the 1980s, more than half of all children cycled or walked to school but that number has reduced to less than one third.

An extra 43,000 children will soon have access to bikes, helmets, riding tracks and safety lessons at school thanks to $23 million in funding to further roll out the Bikes in Schools programme.

Approximately 120 schools will benefit, many of them low decile schools.

Titahi Bay School has been running the programme for several years.

Principal Kerry Delaney said she was very proud that every child got a chance to ride a bike - whether they were blind, had learning difficulties or had a phobia of riding one.

"So there's not a child that can't ride a bike that we've had at our school and every child gets a bike.''

Ms Delaney said kids also learned how to fix a puncture or a broken chain.

Ten-year-old Matthew McKenzie has been safely pedalling at school for four years and says his family rides together every weekend.

He said he loved the programme because it taught him to be safe and to get back on again when he fell off.

Ms Genter, who rode her bike to hospital to get induced for birth, said she was excited to be back at work and considered herself fortunate to have a partner willing to be a full-time caregiver.

"Becoming a mother is definitely the hardest thing I've ever done but it's also the most wonderful."

The family will relocate to the capital over the Christmas break with the plan to make Wellington home for most of next year.

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