23 May 2012

15 MPs accepted RWC tickets from SkyCity

9:01 pm on 23 May 2012

Labour Party members, including leader David Shearer, accepted Rugby World Cup tickets from SkyCity, despite strongly criticising a proposed deal between the Government and the casino operator.

Prime Minister John Key says he is surprised that Mr Shearer accepted tickets for the New Zealand- hosted tournament in 2011 from SkyCity, given Labour's vehement opposition to the proposed convention centre.

The Government is negotiating with SkyCity to build the convention centre in central Auckland in return for more gambling machines.

Eight Labour MPs accepted the tickets, including the then-party leaders Phil Goff and Annette King.

But Labour says being hosted by the company has not influenced them, given its opposition to the deal.

Seven National MPs accepted World Cup tickets from Sky City, but that did not include Mr Key or Steven Joyce who are involved in the convention centre negotiations.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples also accepted a ticket from SkyCity.