Analysis: Punters 'aren't quite buying' explanation for $24k Japan rugby trip, Benedict Collins says

When Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard and senior National MP Gerry Brownlee flew to Tokyo over the weekend to watch the All Blacks Test match in a trip they described as "sports diplomacy", it was estimated to cost taxpayers $24,000. 

1 NEWS political reporter Benedict Collins goes over why the MPs went on the trip, and the criticism that ensued. 

Mr Mallard has defended the trip, saying with the Labour Party conference on, there was a lack on ministers available to go.

Mr Brownlee said it was not just about the All Blacks - it was also about trade with the CPTPP coming into force soon. 

The two were overseas for about 48 hours, during which time they took in the All Blacks Test. Source: 1 NEWS

However, hundreds of Kiwis have spoken out on the the trip.

"We've been going around today asking people in Wellington and Christchurch what they make of it all," Collins said.

"All of them aren't quite buying the argument that this was about more than the rugby. A lot of them thought it was a bit off," Collins said. 

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Collins goes over why the MPs went on the trip, and the criticism which ensued. Source: 1 NEWS