UPDATE: 10.20am - Trevor Mallard has obviously never heard of the old saying "When you're in a hole, stop digging"; the Dom-Post is now reporting:
Labour MP Trevor Mallard says he didn't know how to set a "buy now" option on Trade Me - despite being a member since 2005 and on-selling tickets to Homegrown and the Wellington Sevens in the past.
Under fire for ticket scalping after selling four tickets to the sold-out Homegrown festival at a $276 profit, Mr Mallard told Radio Live this morning that he hadn't been aware he could put a "buy now" price on the auction.
However, his TradeMe account shows he has been a member of the online auction site since 2005, and has sold plenty of tickets in the past.
These include a Wellington Sevens ticket in 2009, two Homegrown tickets in 2009, four Homegrown tickets last year, and a ticket to the Canada vs USA ice hockey match in Christchurch last year.
Now Trevor Mallard isn't exactly a novice on technical matters. He is one of the lead authors on Labour's blog, and tweets with great regularity, often from his seat in the House where he is seen with his laptop. His story about not knowing there was a buy now option on TradeMe simply doesn't ring true.
And as we've been adding this bit, the same thought has occurred to DPF, who dismisses Trevor Mallard's statement with a graphic.
And all we can say to Trevor is this; sell your spade before you dig yourself a hole that you can't get out of!
Oh dear; Trevor Mallard has been caught making a buck on the side; The Dom-Post reports:
Labour MP Trevor Mallard has been accused of scalping tickets to a Wellington music festival.
The tickets to Saturday's sold-out Homegrown festival have a face value of $95 each.
Whitireia music student Laura Signal, 19, and her three friends were desperate to attend so they bid for four tickets on Trade Me, paying a final price of $656.
Miss Signal was surprised when the trader turned out to be the Hutt South MP, who used his parliamentary email address for the auction.
She and her friends went to Mr Mallard's Naenae office to collect the tickets from him in person.
"He came out and gave us the package really quickly and he kept saying: 'It's not what it looks like; it's not what it looks like,' to random passers-by."
The students said they asked Mr Mallard about a "buy now" price during the auction, but he replied that he would let the auction run.
But here comes the real kicker; read on:
In November 2006, Mr Mallard initiated legislation – now the Major Events Management Act 2007 – to protect event sponsors from people making money out of major events with which they had no formal association.
He said at the time: "When there is bulk-buying of tickets to such events simply for the purpose of profiteering, scalping is a ripoff that could deny many people the opportunity to see an event."
Homegrown is not covered by the legislation and there is nothing illegal in on-selling tickets. Homegrown director Mark Wright said was up to Mr Mallard to decide whether he believed it was "appropriate behaviour".
These allegations against Trevor Mallard should be acutely embarassing for the long-time Labour MP. We stress that he has done nothing illegal, but whether or not his behaviour has been ethical is a completely different issue. And he's crying foul and playing the victim card, whilst denying any wrongdoing (our emphasis added):
Mr Mallard told The Dominion Post yesterday that the sale was neither scalping nor dodgy. He bought the tickets last year but now had another engagement.
"I'm slightly surprised if promoters with whom I spend several hundred dollars a year on tickets complain when I sell some I can't use to someone who wants them using a Kiwi-based online auction."
He listed the tickets at face value, but let the auction run above $500 because he "knew that they were worth more".
He believed the students had breached his privacy by revealing him as the ticket trader.
Readers can judge Trevor Mallard's actions and motives for themselves. But are MP's so poorly paid that they need to make a $276 profit at the expense of both the new purchasers and the Homegrown organisers? We think not. So if you see a red-faced duck today, you'll understand why!