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PM's chief of staff on holiday with lobbyists

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 6 NZPA - The Prime Minister's chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson has been hitting the casinos of Los Vegas with lobbyists.

The Herald on Sunday reported Mr Eagleson had spent the past week with NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche, and Saunders Unsworth lobbyists Mark Unsworth and Roger Sowry -- a former National Party deputy leader.

The newspaper reported that Mr Key has discouraged his ministers from publicly fraternising with lobbyists.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister's office said Mr Eagleson was a long-time friend of the other men.

"This leave was approved by the PM and this private holiday was funded by Mr Eagleson," she said.

A source close to senior National Party figures expressed surprise that Mr Key would allow such a trip, saying he had always told his ministers not to be seen with lobbyists.

Mr Unsworth revealed details of the trip on his Facebook page saying the party engaged in "serious betting" on casino blackjack tables before hitting a bar famous for bartop-dancing waitresses.

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