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Fake Lions tour merchandise investigated

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/06/2017

Lions fans celebrate victory during the match against the Crusaders. © David Rogers/Getty Images Lions fans celebrate victory during the match against the Crusaders. A small number of people are being investigated for selling unauthorised merchandise during the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.

The three to four people had allegedly been selling the goods in Christchurch and Dunedin before recent Lions series games in the cities, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says.

"MBIE, with the support of police, has seized goods from these individuals in both locations," the Ministry's general manager for Tourism, Sectors, Regions and Cities Iain Cossar says.

"We are currently investigating these incidents."

Under the Major Events Management Act 2007, the Lions series has been declared a major event.

This prohibits the sale of unauthorised merchandise, ticket scalping and ambush marketing or advertising in areas within direct proximity to match venues, which are declared "clean zones".

The Act is designed to allow New Zealand's economy to gain maximum benefit from major events like the Lions series, the MBIE said.

The Ministry expects the Lions series to generate similar economic returns to the last time they toured New Zealand in 2005.

On that occasion, the tour brought in about 20,000 international visitors, generating 431,000 stays in local accommodation and a $135 million boost to the gross domestic product.

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