NEW ZEALANDERS travelling to London for the Olympics have been reassured by the New Zealand Olympic Committee after British tabloid the Daily Mirror was able to illegally buy tickets meant for Kiwis.
The reporter paid £380 for two tickets issued to the NZOC to see the athletics finals on August 3.
They were on sale in a conference room at a London hotel hired by American operator CartanTours, which acts for New Zealand and 39 other countries and sold tickets to more than 3500 New Zealanders.
The journalist first posed as a Caribbean national with no ID and gained access to the ATR’s premises.
He then purchased a ticket from the official New Zealand allocation with assistance from a Mexican national.
“The NZOC is concerned to hear reports overnight that an English journalist from the Mirror was able to illegally purchase a ticket from the authorised ticket reseller Cartan Tours,” an NZOC statement said.
“Cartan Tours confirmed this morning a breakdown in their verification process had occurred yesterday and significant steps are now in place to tighten the system. The individual involved no longer works with Cartan. Only registered clients can purchase tickets through Cartan Global going forward.”
NZOC secretary general Kereyn Smith reassured New Zealanders travelling to London for the Games.
“The issue is isolated and while disappointing has been quickly and openly addressed by Cartan. Cartan Tours has been able to successfully provide tickets to more than 3500 New Zealanders for the London Olympic Games and there are no issues with the ongoing supply of pre-purchased tickets for New Zealanders,” Smith told Fairfax NZ.
“We will continue to liaise with Cartan Tours on this during the day and will be in touch with LOCOG to ensure they are happy with the response.”
The Mirror reporter said when he attempted to buy the tickets as a British national, a Cartan official suggested he ask someone else to buy the tickets for me.
“Two Mexican football fans were happy to help but when we reached the front of the queue, we were given our pick of tickets without being asked for any identification.”
The cover price was £300 ($NZ590) but, under IOC rules, resellers are allowed to charge an extra 20 per cent, but The Mirror found they charged a mark-up of up to 40 percent.