I don’t have any opinions or insights into the Trevor Mallard ticket scalping story. I just think it’s funny:
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.”
Mallard must have multiple electorate offices, because we often go out to Petone for lunch in the weekends and he has an office on Jackson Street. Maybe they are all fronts for his vast mercantile empire?
Anyway. back when I worked at IBM in the early 90s, our main center was in Petone, and Jackson Street was something of a wasteland. It’s now a thriving, vaguely bohemian (not irritatingly so) bustling stretch of used book stores, antique stores and excellent cafes, with few – if any – empty shops. Compared with central Wellington – ruinous parking fees, empty shop fronts and international chain stores, mostly empty except for bored tourists – it’s really bustling. But it still seems odd to find myself suggesting, ‘Hey! Let’s go to Petone!’