Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

MPs lapped up RWC tickets from corporates

Fifty MPs got free tickets to Rugby World Cup games and some took up to six. Photo / Andrew Warner
Fifty MPs got free tickets to Rugby World Cup games and some took up to six. Photo / Andrew Warner

Labour has been left red-faced after the latest disclosure of MPs' financial interests revealed eight Labour MPs took free tickets and hospitality from SkyCity casino during the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby World Cup tickets were the most commonly listed gift in this year's register of MPs' financial interests, in which MPs must list all gifts worth more than $500.

Fifty MPs got free tickets to Rugby World Cup games and some took up to six.

Sixteen MPs enjoyed the hospitality of SkyCity - of which eight were Labour MPs, including former leader Phil Goff and current leader David Shearer, who had strongly criticised both SkyCity and Prime Minister John Key for negotiations over a new convention centre in exchange for more pokie machines.

Yesterday Mr Shearer said he accepted the SkyCity ticket before he knew about the convention centre deal. He also said his later criticism of pokie machines proved he was not influenced by the free tickets.

He defended taking free tickets to six games, the highest of any MP, saying he was the local MP for Eden Park.

Other regular corporate hosts of MPs were Fonterra, Telecom and Vector.

Yesterday Trevor Mallard said he believed his tickets were in recognition of the work he had done in getting the Rugby World Cup to New Zealand from his time as Sports Minister under Labour. He believed several Government ministers had not disclosed tickets to games, saying he had seen Prime Minister John Key, Finance Minister Bill English, and Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully at games but they had not disclosed free tickets.

Mr Mallard said the Government itself did not host the games - that was done through the Rugby World Cup Ltd and the IRB, so they should have been declared.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said he did not accept any RWC tickets as gifts.

"When the Prime Minister attended RWC games, he attended in his official capacity as Prime Minister, not as the guest of any corporate. When he attended RWC games in a private capacity, he purchased his own ticket."

The register also revealed that Act leader John Banks is entitled to a pension, but has opted out of receiving it.

A spokeswoman said he wanted to lead by example and did not take it because he did not need it. Mr Banks' gift of a hamper from Kim Dotcom was not in the main register because he had not declared it by the 31 January deadline. However, it was included in additions to the register.

Mr Key's gifts included a framed and signed All Blacks Rugby World Cup jersey, an All Blacks Tri-Nations jersey, and a match ball from the NZ vs France pool game from the IRB.

Mr Key also declared a replica Lord of the Rings sword made by Weta Workshop which was a gift from US President Barack Obama, and wine and a Wallabies rugby jersey from Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

National's Hekia Parata, who was the Minister of Energy and Resources at the time, had free tickets to pool games from NZ Petroleum and Minerals, NZ Oil and Gas and went to a quarter-final courtesy of the oil and gas company OMV.

Maurice Williamson, the Minister of Building and Construction, was a guest of Fletcher Construction for the final and Mainzeal for a semifinal.

Vodafone also paid for flights, accommodation and tickets for National's Sam Lotu-Iiga to fly over to Australia for the NRL final featuring the NZ Warriors.

Guests at the Games - Who hosted which MPs:

NATIONAL:

Amy Adams: 2 tickets to a pool game (Telecom).

Shane Ardern: quarter-final (Fonterra).

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi: quarter-final (Russell McVeagh).

Paula Bennett: closing ceremony (Sky TV).

Chester Borrows: 3 tickets to a quarter-final (ANZ).

Simon Bridges: 2 pool games (NZRU and Telecom), final (Vector).

Cam Calder: final (Sky TV).

David Carter: quarter-final (Westpac), semi-final (KPMG) and final (Fonterra).

Jonathan Coleman: tickets from Commonwealth Bank and Emirates Airlines.

Judith Collins: quarter-final (KPMG) and final (Vector).

Craig Foss: 2 tickets to a pool game (Telecom), ticket to a quarter-final (Fonterra), semi-final (Sky TV), semi-final (Huawei).

Jo Goodhew: 2 tickets to quarter-final (ANZ).

Tim Groser: tickets to two games (Fonterra and Emirates).

Nathan Guy: 2 pool games (ANZ and Wellington Airport), semi-final (Fonterra).

John Hayes: quarter-final (Fonterra).

Phil Heatley: quarter final (Westpac).

Tau Henare: 2 tickets to quarter-final (Sky City).

Steven Joyce: one game (Fonterra).

Nikki Kaye: quarter final (NZRU) and Tonga/Samoa game (ANZ).

Sam Lotu-Iiga: tickets from ANZ and Vector, final (Sky City).

Tim Macindoe: quarter-final (Sky City).

Todd McClay: hosted by Sky City.

Hekia Parata: tickets for 2 pool games (NZ Petroleum and Minerals; and NZ Oil and Gas), and for quarter-final (OMV NZ).

Lockwood Smith: tickets to 2 games from NZ Government.

Nick Smith: two pool games (RWC 2011), semifinal (Fonterra).

Lindsay Tisch: quarter-final (Sky City).

Chris Tremain: semi-final (Sky City).

Louise Upston: quarter-final (Sky City)

Kate Wilkinson: quarter-final (Coca-Cola).

Maurice Williamson: semifinal (Mainzeal) and final (Fletcher Construction).

Michael Woodhouse: final (KPMG).

Jonathan Young: pool game (ANZ)

LABOUR:

Jacinda Ardern: tickets to 2 pool games (Telecom and NZ Rugby Union), a semi-final (Vector), final (IRB).

Clayton Cosgrove: ticket and hospitality (Sky City).

David Cunliffe: tickets and hospitality (Fonterra and Vector).

Ruth Dyson: pool game (Westpac).

Kris Faafoi: pool game (Telecom), quarter-final (Sky City).

Phil Goff: 2 pool games (Rugby NZ and Sky City), quarter-final (Rugby NZ), semi-final (Vector), final (Rugby NZ).

Chris Hipkins: pool game (Westpac), quarter-final (NZRU) and final (Sky TV).

Annette King: 2 pool games (ANZ and Sky City), final (NZ Government).

Moana Mackey: tickets from Sky City.

Nanaia Mahuta: ticket to the bronze medal game (Fonterra).

Trevor Mallard: tickets and hospitality from NZRU, IRB, Rugby World Cup 2011, Sky City, plus a gift of a signed All Blacks jersey from RWC2011 Ltd.

Damien O'Connor: tickets from Fonterra and Sky TV.

David Parker: tickets to the Opening Ceremony (Telecom), pool game ( Sky TV) and semi-final (Vector).

Grant Robertson: hospitality (Sky City).

David Shearer: opening (Telecom), pool games (Eden Park Trust, Sky City, NZRFU, Vector). Final (Sky TV).

Maryan Street: 2 tickets to 2 games (RWC2011 via Nelson City Council).

Other:

United Future leader Peter Dunne: quarter-final (Fonterra), semi-final (Sky TV), semi-final (Huawei).

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples: opening (Sky City), quarter-final (Vodafone), semi-final (Mainzeal), final (Maori TV).

Other Gifts:

Sam Lotu-Iiga: flights, accommodation and tickets to NRL Warriors Grand Final in Australia (Vodafone).

Gerry Brownlee: a framed All Blacks jersey and Hoglund Artglass from Rugby World Cup 2011.

Murray McCully: framed, signed All Blacks jersey and commemmorative picture (NZRU).

Tickets to Australian Womens' Open, paid by Victoria State Government, during joint Cabinet meeting between Australia and New Zealand: Judith Collins, Bill English, Steven Joyce, Hekia Parata.

Tickets from Telecom to a Tony Blair speech (standard ticket cost was $1,000 but was halved before the event): Nikki Kaye and Simon Bridges.

Golf membership: Simon Bridges and Todd McClay.

John Key: gifts included replica sword - 'Sting' from Lord of the Rings, made by Weta Workshop as a gift from US President Barack Obama. Others included: bottled water, an elephant sculpture from India Commerce Minister, grain-fed beef, wine and a Wallabies jersey from Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Also got a match ball from Rugby World Cup pool game between France and New Zealand and a framed, signed All Blacks jersey, tickets to Australian Women's Open and a signed cricket bat to commemmorate 2015 Cricket World Cup.

- NZ Herald

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