Big business hosted politicians at World Cup

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 15:06 23/05/2012

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Government ministers cashed in at the Rugby World Cup with a host of ticket freebies.

The MPs register of pecuniary interests, released today, has revealed that almost all of the cabinet attended games as guests of Sky TV, Westpac, Fonterra, Vector and other big corporates.

Labour MPs Clayton Cosgrove, Grant Robertson, Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and Kris Faafoi were guests of Sky City.

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Among those who took advantage of the rugby freebies were Paula Bennett, David Carter - who was hosted by Fonterra, KPMG and Westpac - Judith Collins, Peter Dunne, Tim Groser, Nathan Guy, Phil Heatley, Steven Joyce, Nick Smith and Kate Wilkinson.

Labour leader David Shearer received 12 free tickets to various games - two for a pool game came from Sky City. He was a guest of Sky TV at the final and Telecom at the opening ceremony.

Internal affairs minister Chris Tremain was a guest of Sky City at a semi final.  Building minister Maurice Williamson was a guest of both Fletcher Construction and Mainzeal at a final and semi final.

Hekia Parata, then acting energy minister, attended a number of RWC games as the guest of NZ Petroleum and Minerals, NZ Oil and Gas, and oil company OMV Ltd.

Collins, Joyce, Prime Minister John Key and  finance minister Bill English were hosted by the Victoria State government at the Australia Open tennis tournament.

Gerry Brownlee and Rugby World Cup minister Murray McCully were given a RWC framed jersey, value unknown.

Cup final tickets were being sold at $1278 in the days before the game in November.

MPs must provide an annual return of their financial interests and declare any gifts worth more than $500.

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