Wellington, Nov 12 NZPA - Labour MP Trevor Mallard will be cheering on the All Blacks at next weekend's rugby test in London, courtesy of the taxpayer.
Mr Mallard announced the trip on his blog, saying it was a work trip to see education contacts. However, he admitted the trip was timed around the test.
"And just to make what is obvious to those who know me well completely transparent -- there are international rugby matches that I will watch," he said.
"I will be a guest of the (New Zealand) Rugby Union at Twickenham, might meet up with the IRB (International Rugby Board) RWC (Rugby World Cup) people, and hope to see one of my kids play.
"I will be travelling alone. And staying with a former flatmate. And using the discount, again."
Mr Mallard left last night.
The trip comes at a time when MPs' travel perks are in the spotlight, including:
* ACT leader Rodney Hide reimbursing thousands of taxpayer dollars spent taking his partner on overseas trips;
* Revenue Minister Peter Dunne spending about $12,000 taking wife, Jennifer Mackrell, to Europe in June and Agriculture Minister David Carter taking wife Heather to Europe in July;
* Police Minister Judith Collins taking husband David Wong-Tung on an official trip to Perth at a cost of $775.65;
* Defence Minister Wayne Mapp spending $3484 for a holiday with wife Denise Henare in the Cook Islands;
* Justice Minister Simon Power claiming $3991 of the $5475 cost of taking wife Lisa to Perth in January;
* Housing Minister Phil Heatley spending $924 taking wife Jenny to the Cook Islands;
* Education Minister Anne Tolley spending $4120 for her and husband Allan to holiday overseas at an undisclosed destination;
* Health Minister Tony Ryall claiming $2560 to travel with wife Kara to the Cook Islands;
* Climate Change Minister Nick Smith taking his wife with him for 2020 emissions target consultations.
* Maori Party MP Hone Harawira missing parliamentary business in Brussels to skip away to see Paris with his wife.