Prime Minister John Key hands out free sausages at
Remarkables Park Town Centre yesterday with Cody Campbell
(9), of Queenstown, and Clutha-Southland National Party
candidate Todd Barclay. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
''Sausagegate'' began at the Remarkables Town Centre
yesterday afternoon as Prime Minister John Key dispensed free
sausages about 100m away from two Wakatipu High School pupils
selling the same product, trying to raise money for a school
Madi Taylor and Jasmine Sowerby, both 15, stood outside The
Warehouse trying to sell one sausage for $3 or two for $5,
but business was slow.
That was because the leader of the country - in Queenstown
for the Mainland Conference 2014, a gathering of National MPs
and candidates from across New Zealand - tried to snag voters
by handing out sausages with Clutha-Southland National Party
candidate Todd Barclay, cooked for them by Flaming Good Food.
The teenagers told the Otago Daily Times they each had to
raise $8200 for World Challenge Nepal in December next year.
The pupils would celebrate their 17th birthdays and Christmas
in Nepal, where they would be based for a month, going
trekking and volunteering at orphanages.
While the concept was not new to New Zealand, it was the
first time pupils from Wakatipu High School had joined the
However, their fundraising efforts took a dive when Mr Key
and other National Party members, supporters and curious
members of the public turned up just after 12.30pm, and the
party's free sausage stand was set up near Mitre10.
Mr Key, however, was made aware of the unfortunate double-up
by a man who encountered the teenagers first and then visited
the National stand.
''He [Mr Key] turned up [and] he just said 'We stole some of
your business' and then he apologised and gave us a
donation,'' Madi said.
Mr Key donated $60 to the cause, and the girls made about $60
profit each for their trip.