I mean the alcohol kind, not the political kind, even though the two are linked.
I have to confess that I was an invitee to the Saunders Unsworth function, which was most enjoyable. Somewhat amused by the number of people whom after telling me something said, “Don’t mention it was me who told you in your blog”.
I was not invited to the Chen & Palmer function (an accident on their part I am sure), but was pressured by a couple of Labour MPs and staff to gate crash it after the Tamihere book launch. Discretion won out over valour.
I’m not sure how usual it is to have PR firms use parliamentary facilities (I can recall another firm having used Bowen House facilities for several years), but it certainly is helpful for many MPs as they can attend without needing the Whips permission to leave Parliament grounds.
Another popular use of the Grand Hall and Legislative Council Chamber is for weddings of staff members. A beautiful venue.
The general rule as far as I know, is that as long as an MP will sponsor your function, almost any group or person can use it.