A Kiwi rugby fan living in London had a longstanding accommodation booking for Saturday night's test cancelled at the last minute by the provider.

Stephen Green has accused the company he booked with of trying to re-sell his year-old booking at an inflated price and, with Auckland accommodation at sky-high prices, had to turn to Tourism Minister Paula Bennett's office for help.

Green, who is originally from Taumarunui but has been living in London for the past 12 years, had been planning the "trip of a lifetime" for four years, bringing five friends over to see his home country for the Lions tour.

He had been carefully planning everything early, locking in accommodation at the Waterfront Suites in the Heart of Auckland for Saturday's test match a year ago.


The group was to pay $1400 for six people to stay in the suites for two nights, but weeks out from the stay Green received an email saying there was a problem processing a small pre-payment with his credit card.

He was warned if he didn't fix the issue within 24 hours his booking would be lost.

Green quickly called the Waterfront Suites and discovered the security number on the back of his credit card had been entered incorrectly.

He corrected the number with a staff member over the phone and then online, and the change was acknowledged in an email sent to Green by third party online booking service, booking.com.

However his credit card records show the company which manages Waterfront Suites, Pelican Stay, never tried to process the payment after the correction was made.

Green was so worried about losing the booking he sent his father, who is in his 80s, to the Waterfront Suites on Auckland's viaduct to pay in person.

But his father was told payments could not be made in person, only online and sent him away.

"Half an hour later they called and told him the booking had been cancelled."

When Green called to try and re-book he was told there were no rooms available.

"[I believe] they cancelled my reservation because they could get a better price for the accommodation over those nights," he said.

With the city full of Lions fans, the price for similar accommodation at the last minute was now in the realm of $5000 to $6000 - nearly four times the original price the group budgeted for.

"It's not something where we're awash with cash and can throw money at the problem," Green said.

Waterfront Suites' parent company Pelican Stay did not respond to questions from the Herald despite numerous calls and emails.

Green was so frustrated he contacted Tourism Minister Paula Bennett's office.

The group are now booked to stay at the Grand Mercure in Auckland's CBD at the same price they were booked in for originally.

"They're doing us a massive, massive, massive favour," Green said.

Bennett told the Herald she was "disappointed to see people visiting our country treated so poorly", which was why she intervened.

While this was the only case of its kind Bennett said she had heard of, it was still unacceptable, she said.

"I hope the only other disappointment they have is watching the All Blacks win."