Bill English: Rowing National to victory?

He's known for his 'walk-runs', and now the Prime Minister has offered his rowing technique up to public scrutiny.

After some gentle coaxing from Newshub's Tauranga cameraman, Bill English got on the rowing machine at Tauranga's Adams sports centre with four under-15 rowers.

The young athletes were performing their monthly 2000m erg test, but their coach told Mr English 500m would do.

Wearing jeans and a business shirt, he managed to maintain a smile as his wife Mary and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges watched on.

Asked afterwards how it went, he replied he was "a bit puffed".

National used rowers in its 2014 TV adverts, but was taken to court because the ads used a song which sounded like Eminem's 'Lose Yourself'.

That case is yet to be settled.