Prime Minister John Key has had to defend his appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman two years ago after TV3 claimed the PM paid for the guest spot.
Mr Key, who is also Minister of Tourism, appeared on the late night show to promote this country while he was visiting the US.
Last night, TV3 reported that Mr Key was invited only because Tourism New Zealand paid a $10,000 retainer to raise New Zealand’s profile.
But the PM refute the claims, saying the company was on a permanent retainer.
“There was no payment to Letterman. Tourism New Zealand have a public relations company, they’re on a retainer, they pay them every month, irrelevant of what I do,” he said.
“Apparently the Letterman show was one of the projects they worked on. We were invited on the show. Obviously people pushed for that, that’s how it works.
“As Minister of Tourism, it was a good thing to do. In my view it promoted New Zealand.
“But there wasn’t a payment made to Letterman, there wasn’t a payment made to get us on the show.”
Mr Key also confirmed that he was paid $250 to appear on the show. He donated the fee to a US charity.
“We didn’t pay, the only person that got paid to go on
the show was me. The reason I was paid by Letterman is that everyone is
required under the Actors Guild to be paid.”