Article Title:McKellen function not taxpayer-funded
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:5th December 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2154
Text:Allegations that the New Zealand taxpayer footed the bill for a gay community function hosting Sir Ian "Gandalf" McKellen at Premier House in Wellington last Friday have been dismissed by the Prime Minister's office. PM press secretary Alan Maclean says any costs relating to the use of Premier House are paid for by the organisation who has hired the venue. It is the Prime Minister's sole responsibility to grant permission for use of Premier House. Labour MP Tim Barnett, who organised the cocktail evening, says the event was entirely self-financing and above board, covered by a $10 admission charge for all who attended. The allegations came in the form of a tirade from Radio Pacific host Mark Bennett on Tuesday afternoon, when he expressed outrage at gays and lesbians having their “hands in the back pocket” of the taxpayer, and homosexuality taking over Premier House.    
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