Friday, February 17, 2012

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Who's a prize prat then?
MP Trevor Mallard's been busted, selling tickets on TradeMe...for a profit!
He on-sold four tickets to the Homegrown Music Festival for a profit of $276. But wait, he says that's NOT illegal coz the anti-scalping law applies only to major events (like the Rugby World Cup). I'm sure Homegrown director Mark Wright would just love to hear his hard work doesn't rank highly on the 'major events' barometer.
Labour leader David Shearer says he was unwise to sell the tickets for more than their value, but Mallard says it's not hypocritical at all! He was Economic Development Minister in 2006, when he sponsored legislation to outlaw ticket scalping. He says he didn't buy tickets to make a profit, and sees nothing wrong with selling them when he discovered he couldn't use them.
Fair enough: no-one wants to waste money. However unless they sell the tickets for ONLY face value, they're breaking the law! That's not the point though, is it? This smells of "do as I say, not as I do". It's
"one law fits all", Trev. You should know: you championed it!
He sold four tickets to the same festival last year on TradeMe, and two in 2009. He also sold a Wellington Sevens ticket in 2009. But he denies this was scalping: "Scalping is buying tickets for the intention of selling them. I bought them with the intention of going." Ticketek says it's unhappy with him selling the tickets for a profit. He has breached its terms and conditions of sale which say tickets may not, without the prior written consent of Ticketek or the Seller, be resold at a premium and if this happens the ticketholder could be refused entry to an event.
PM John Key laughed when asked about the incident: "I don't know the ins and outs of it, but it sounds untidy.'' Should Mallard face disciplinary action for the sale? "I don't know legally, but it's probably a bit embarrassing."
Meanwhile Trev desperately tried to buy back the tickets from the purchasers, but they turned him down flat. They say they'd like to see the profit from the sale go to charity.
So how about it, Trev: put your money where your mouth is, and publicly donate it to a charity...?
Or would you rather face censure in the House?

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