'Sausagegate' began at the Remarkables Town Centre yesterday afternoon as Prime Minister John Key dispensed free sausages about 100m away from two Wakatipu High School pupils selling the same product, trying to raise money for a school trip.

Madi Taylor and Jasmine Sowerby, both 15, stood outside The Warehouse trying to sell one sausage for $3 or two for $5, but business was slow.

That was because the leader of the country - in Queenstown for the Mainland Conference 2014, a gathering of National MPs and candidates from across New Zealand - tried to snag voters by handing out sausages with Clutha-Southland National Party candidate Todd Barclay, cooked for them by Flaming Good Food.

The teenagers told the Otago Daily Times they each had to raise $8200 for World Challenge Nepal in December next year.


The pupils would celebrate their 17th birthdays and Christmas in Nepal, where they would be based for a month, going trekking and volunteering at orphanages.

While the concept was not new to New Zealand, it was the first time pupils from Wakatipu High School had joined the programme.

However, their fundraising efforts took a dive when Mr Key and other National Party members, supporters and curious members of the public turned up just after 12.30pm, and the party's free sausage stand was set up near Mitre10.

Mr Key, however, was made aware of the unfortunate double-up by a man who encountered the teenagers first and then visited the National stand.

''He [Mr Key] turned up [and] he just said 'We stole some of your business' and then he apologised and gave us a donation,'' Madi said.

Mr Key donated $60 to the cause, and the girls made about $60 profit each for their trip.