MPs on Mandela trip rub shoulders with stars

ANDREA VANCE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Last updated 07:48 12/12/2013

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Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples has a very special reason to remember Nelson Mandela's lying in state: Naomi Campbell.

The Maori party co-leader ended up "sandwiched" between the supermodel and Irish rock star Bono on a VIP bus back from the sombre event.

"Ah that was a highlight. I've got to admit that was a buzz," he said.

Sharples was at the back of the bus when the stars got on.

"I called out 'a lot of room down here' and they came down. Someone suggested that Naomi would sit on my knee."

The English model didn't oblige but sat down beside him.

"I had a talk to Naomi about her life ... she is very gorgeous and her voice is . . . ooh. It's husky kind of, very slow and deliberate. Ah, gee, yes that was interesting."

He chatted with Bono, 53, about One Tree Hill, the title of their 1988 song.

Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader David Cunliffe also chatted with the U2 front man about New Zealand.

Cunliffe said Bono was great company.

"He knows a lot about New Zealand," he said.

"I think the first rock concert I ever went to was U2. I'm a big fan, we had quite a chat.

"He was a bit disappointed to find out he was older than I am."

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