ACT Leader David Seymour is calling on Speaker Trevor Mallard and National MP Gerry Brownlee to repay the cost of their trip to Japan.

Mallard and Brownlee spent the weekend engaged in ‘sports diplomacy’, including watching the All Blacks beat Japan on Saturday.

“New Zealanders were told the visit was aimed at strengthening our relationship with parliamentary democracies in the Asia-Pacific region.

“If you believe this trip was about diplomacy, you might also believe that Mr Mallard and Mr Brownlee are starting for the All Blacks against England this weekend.

“It was, in fact, a junket at the expense of the taxpayer.

“Engagements with Japanese parliamentarians were simply a pretext for going to the rugby.

“Kiwis will be outraged their tax dollars are being used in this way. Many can’t even afford to see the All Blacks in their own backyard.

“Mr Mallard should tell taxpayers how much was spent on the trip, and he and Mr Brownlee should immediately repay the money.”