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A-G reveals details of Nats’ dirty deal with SkyCity

Written By: - Date published: 3:07 pm, February 19th, 2013 - 129 comments
Categories: corruption - Tags: , ,

The Auditor-General’s report catalogues a dirty deal hatched between Key’s office and SkyCity execs to give SkyCity more pokies ‘in return for’ a convention centre. It shows the bidding process was a farce and reveals that the whole ‘trade-off’ is a con. SkyCity wants to do the convention centre anyway but it wants to look like it’s giving something to get more pokies.

The Auditor-General concludes that the final decision to choose SkyCity’s bid is sound when weighed against the other bids, but it could hardly be any other way. None of the other bidders had the inside running with all the government assistance they needed. Here’s some of the quotes:

“Ministry officials were aware that SkyCity had expressed an interest in extending its existing convention centre across Federal Street or developing a new centre on land it owned in Hobson Street. This awareness arose from communications between Auckland-based Ministry offi cials and SkyCity during April and May 2009.”

“The Ministry issued the EOI document, Request for Expressions of Interest for growing New Zealand’s share of the International Business Events Market and Strengthening the National Network of Convention Venues, on 19 May 2010 [ie. a year after SkyCity started talking to the government about building a convention centre]”

“from the start of the evaluation process, the contact with one proposer was of a wholly different nature from the contact with others”

“we were surprised to find that there was no documented analysis or advice on the process that needed to be followed from a procurement perspective, or any systematic consideration of the relevant principles and obligations that should guide the steps taken”

“In our view, the steps that were taken were not consistent with good practice principles of transparency and fairness”

“we found a range of deficiencies in the advice that the Ministry provided and the steps that officials and Ministers took”

It’s clear that the who process was a farce. The convention centre, more pokies idea came from SkyCity to the government, which adopted it enthusitatically, put on the charade of pretending it was the one looking for people to build a convention centre, went through a fake bidding process.

The Nats then entered into talks with SkyCity as if SkyCity is giving the government something it wants (a convention centre) in return for something SkyCity wants (more pokies), when both are something that SkyCity wants. National and SkyCity are merely pretending that SkyCity is giving us something in return for more pokies.

If SkyCity wants a convention centre, they should just build it but they’re trying to get two bites of the apple by framing it as a gift to the nation in return for pokies, and National’s helping them.

But there’s a deeper issue.

How can it be that a convention centre is a cornerstone of this government’s economic agenda? It’s a fucken convention centre. There’s already a surplus of the bloody things because so many other cities and governments have been conned into subsidising them and the international convention market is shrinking, not growing. Even if covention centres were good investments, it’s incredibly small beer for National to be investing so much money and political capital in it.

There’s something very sick at the heart of National’s agenda when giving SkyCity a convention centre and more pokies is one of their big ideas.

129 comments on “A-G reveals details of Nats’ dirty deal with SkyCity”

  1. Who are voting for these clowns ???

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      In countries with checks and balances, people go to jail for this.

      But how do you convict an elected dictator whose opposition is powerless?

      • handle 1.1.1

        You make an opposition that isn’t.

        • AmaKiwi 1.1.1.1

          Does that mean you have to change the political system? You got any other ideas?

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            An Opposition Party which can call for a general strike and have a quarter million workers respond. An Opposition Party which has access to it’s own mass media channels through which it can conduct clear and vibrant debate. An Opposition Party with levers of influence sourced far beyond the beltway machinery of Wellington.

            Sorta like Labour of the 1920′s and 1930′s.

            • AmaKiwi 1.1.1.1.1.1

              A good vision.

              As the economy falls into a black hole it might happen.

            • blue leopard 1.1.1.1.1.2

              +1 yes a good vision and what we need.

            • Tom Gould 1.1.1.1.1.3

              A general strike? You’re kidding, right? Your own ‘mass media’? The ILO? No wonder the hard left is completely irrelevant to the process.

              • Colonial Viper

                Hey Tom, I agree, irrelevant in most places of the world, for the moment. But wait a while, this will transform into an issue beyond old fashioned Left versus Right.

              • Colonial Viper

                I also note that you did not declare the influence of capital, capitalists and banks irrelevant to the process. Rather of course, over the last 50 years, they have run more and more of the game.

                • Tom Gould

                  They own the process. Take a look at the SkyCity deal if you have any doubt. These Tories have managed to convince the brain dead idiots in the media that because the officials didn’t know what the PM and his own staff were saying to SkyCity at secret meetings, it is their fault. And we even have one of the big Tory chooks tweeting criticism of the Greens for using the AG to ‘score points’? We are truly through the looking glass now.

    • Roy 1.2

      Those who benefit from their policies, and those who mistakenly think they benefit from their policies.

  2. Kevin Welsh 2

    Just like The Hobbit, but without the threats.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      I don’t think there were any threats around the Hobbit either, Kevin. Just the PM and Peter Jackson telling porkies.

  3. James 3

    What about the bit that says

    “The inquiry has considered both the adequacy of the process followed and whether anything substantively wrong has taken place. The main question underlying this inquiry was whether the Government’s decision to negotiate with SkyCity had been influenced by inappropriate considerations, such as connections between political and business leaders.

    **** We have seen no evidence to suggest that the final decision to negotiate with SkyCity was influenced by any inappropriate considerations.” ****

    • alwyn 3.1

      Probably a good thing that Charles announced he was quitting today.
      The MSM can spend the evening news talking about him and ignore the spectacular fail by the Greens and Labour on this.
      Incidentally, does anyone know when the report on Shane Jones and Bill Lui is due?

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        he was reinstated after the report. Not sure if it was an exoneration or simply like this “we haven’t caught them” report.

        • alwyn 3.1.1.1

          Now I have found what has happened to it. All the MSM reported on 14th Feb that a draft report has been sent to those involved. They then waffle about how it is expected to clear Jones. That is obviously spin from Jones, as you would expect.
          That’s about where the SkyCity was before Christmas I suppose when Key said he wasn’t losing any sleep over it.
          I guess that means the final Liu/Jones report will probably be late March.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            I daresay quite a few people will be examining the hell out of that one when it is released, too :)

    • McFlock 3.2

      That’s the difference between being transparently innocent and simply not being caught. The public sector needs to be transparent.

      The entire question of whether an EOI would (or should) ever have been considered is unknown. To put it bluntly, the venue company that the governing party likes to hold conventions at and which is a prominent political donor was looking to expand, and purely coincidentally the government decided to fund a convention centre. Tories don’t even try to maintain the appearance of ethical standards these days, do they?

      • swan 3.2.1

        “and purely coincidentally the government decided to fund a convention centre”

        Except they aren’t – Skycity is footing the bill. Hoorah!

        • felixviper 3.2.1.1

          Wow, “footing the bill” to build their own conference centre.

          How very generous. The CEO ought to be knighted immediately.

          • swan 3.2.1.1.1

            So, whats the big deal then???

            Oh Skycity will be paying for the pokie machines too you know.

            • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1.1.1.1

              “Oh Skycity will be paying for the pokie machines too you know.”

              Have the Tui people been in touch yet?

            • felixviper 3.2.1.1.1.2

              “whats the big deal then???”

              The big deal is that the govt wrote and passed special legislation just for Sky City to allow them to massively increase the number of pokies they can have, reversing years of work to get reduce the number of these toxic bloodsucking machines.

              And to explain to the public why they were writing this special law, they said Sky City would build us a convention centre if we let them have some more machines.

              And now it turns out that that was a blatant lie as Sky City were going to build it anyway.

              Of course if you like having govts that write special laws for their special friends, and then lie to you about it, and you think we need more pokie machines, then it’s no big deal at all.

            • McFlock 3.2.1.1.1.3

              Nope. Sky will be profiting from them.
              We’ll be paying for them.

        • McFlock 3.2.1.2

          “and purely coincidentally the government decided to fund a convention centre”

          Except they aren’t – Skycity is footing the bill. Hoorah!

          While we pay for the prison stays of more problem gamblers.

          While we fund social services for more children left in the carpark.

          If you think the convention centre comes to New Zealand for no cost, you’re dreaming.

    • KhandallaViper 3.3

      …….”We have not seen evidence to suggest….inappropriate consideration”

      That is very different from:

      “we were satisfied that there was no inappropriate consideration”

      The report smells a RAT but cannot call it out.

      • AmaKiwi 3.3.1

        “We have not seen evidence to suggest….inappropriate consideration” . . . . . . because it has all been shredded.

  4. tracey 4

    Oh gosh, another memory fade for the pm

  5. tracey 5

    James… It found they were treated differentky following intervention by the pm. This means it wasnt an entirely even playing field. The pm conveniently cant recall the details of a meeting… There’s more to integrity and leadership than the lowest standard of behaviour set by the law.

  6. tracey 6

    Alwyn, if you are happy with the final two lines of the opening post thread then the standards and values you expect of our leaders are sadly very low. I hope your personal ethics are higher, especially if you are a parent

    • alwyn 6.1

      I don’t have to approve of casinos. However we let the cat out of the bag in that regard many years ago and a 20%, or whatever it is, increase in pokies (what a lovely Australian abbreviation) doesn’t seem to me to be much of a change. It does seem to be about the only way we were goung to get a Convention Centre though.
      I admit I’ve never been in a Casino so I don’t really know what the atmosphere in one is like. The nearest I ever got was a week long convention I went to in Melbourne about 1992. We were about 50 metres from the Casino and none of us could be bothered even looking in the door.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        It does seem to be about the only way we were goung to get a Convention Centre though.

        We’ve already git one (owned by SkyCity) and we don’t need a bigger one due to the collapsing market.

      • felixviper 6.1.2

        “It does seem to be about the only way we were goung to get a Convention Centre though.”

        Except that no, it wasn’t. Sky City were going to build one anyway.

        Sheesh, do you even read the posts?

        • alwyn 6.1.2.1

          Can you give me a reference to that. I mean one in the MSM or suchlike, not an unsupported claim in a blog.

  7. Yorick 7

    Let me put it this way for you guys.

    You are living in a country that is one big earthquake away from being the
    New Haiti of the South Pacific

    It is not the New Taiwan some in the Young Nationals
    have dreamed of, which might solve our underpopulation problem -
    higher tax base, and all that ..

    Instead we can fleece the heavy rollers from Macau, HK, Shanghai ..
    and become serfs in our own land.

    Be grateful ! The sun is shining through the clouds of pumice dust
    settling around us.

    Just don’t tell Shearer. He might pen another treatise explaining why
    mercenaries are a fact of warfare.

    • McFlock 7.1

      random

      • Yorick 7.1.1

        Origin: 1275–1325; Middle English raundon, random < Old French randon, derivative of randir to gallop < Germanic

        • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1.1

          :) :) :)

        • McFlock 7.1.1.2

          trivial

          • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1.2.1

            No Fun

            • McFlock 7.1.1.2.1.1

              thought it would be funny to get the origins back :)

              • Rogue Trooper

                you are certainly an “original” one outta the gate my friend (i would keep up, but you know, no IT in the cell and all that; btw, thanks for everything, so far, i think) :)

              • Yorick

                Origins: Synonyms: agent, ancestor, ancestry, antecedent, author, base, causality, causation, connection, creator, derivation, determinant, egg, element, embryo, fountain, generator, germ, horse’s mouth, impulse, inception, inducement, influence, inspiration, mainspring, motive, nucleus, occasion, parent, parentage, principle, producer, progenitor, provenance, provenience, root, roots, seed, source, spring, stock, well, wellspring

                .. which one do you mean ?

                [with apologies to Will ..]

                • Rogue Trooper

                  alas. we know them well (gotta go and watch the NEWS now) larffs hysterically as he cycles off down the road, “riding along…singing their song…side by side…

  8. xtasy 8

    Quoted from the A G report:

    “Given this complexity, we were surprised to find that there was no documented analysis or advice on the process that needed to be followed from a procurement perspective, or any systematic consideration of the relevant principles and obligations that should guide the steps taken. In our view, those involved had a strong focus on the need to manage the difficult relationship between the commercial issues and the policy and political decisions that were needed, but too little focus on the disciplines that should govern commercial decision-making in the public sector.”

    “The first example concerns the lack of overall planning. A specific weakness was that there is no evidence that any consideration was given to whether the Mandatory Rules on Procurement were relevant.”

    “Although decisions were made on the merits of the different proposals, we do not consider that the evaluation process was transparent or even-handed. The evaluation process lasted for more than a year. The meetings and discussion between the Government representatives and SkyCity were materially different in quantity and kind from those between the Government and the other parties that responded.”

    And finally the summary:
    “Process should not stand in the way of such innovation. However, the underlying principles that established processes aim to protect do still need to be respected. New ways of working in the public sector still need to be able to show that public resources are being appropriately managed and spent. We will continue to discuss such developments with relevant officials and update our good practice publications from time to time to reflect latest developments.”

    Reading stuff like this, I can only get total confirmation, that I should not and cannot trust this government in anything they do, in whatever area of government, administration and policy introduction and implementation. I am sure many feel similarly shocked.

    After reading this and the rest, I am astonished about the final conclusions that A G office made in this investigation. It sounds sadly like some responses one gets from increasingly “weak” and under-resourced offices or institutions like the Office of Ombudsmen, Privacy Commissioner and so forth.

    In short: What was done was shoddy, unprofessional, wrong and unacceptable, but we are sure they will learn out of their mistakes. Yeah right, another Tui Board message can be erected.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      And this gloriously ambiguous last line in the stuff report from this morning, which has been retained in the update:

      “A senior government source said there had been a difference of opinion inside the auditor-general’s office about the final conclusion.”

      Decode that and tell me what the hell.

      Worth noting that “senior government source” is usually cabinet level politician, in distinction from ‘an official’ which is staff.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        With “staff” being bureaucrat rather than political aide of some sort.

      • marsman 8.1.2

        Yes Pb I noticed that too. That says it all really and of course John Key’s ‘we have been vindicated’ is, as usual, a crock of shit.

        • SukieDamson 8.1.2.1

          Thanks guys. It’s these heart-of-the-matter nuggets, amongst all the other flotsam & jestsam on here, that really count.

  9. tracey 9

    Yorick, if only what you wrote meant we dont get left with the social problems to pay for.

    Alwyn, why do we need this new centre… We have aotea, vector arena, tge new venue at north wharf. If you genuinely believe tgat once something is in place you just expand it even if it causes social ill, how can you suppirt, say national standards? Once the previous system was broken, by your logic we just let it continue or make it worse, cos tge cat is out of the bag. In any event you and yorick and otgers are avoiding the point. Yet again our mp forgets something important thus remving some evidence to judge decision making and tge report doesnt say he or his ministers or ministries acted properly or even beyond reproach.

    • Yorick 9.1

      tracey: I wrote it with my tongue wedged firmly in my root canal (don’t ask).
      But yes, that’s how it looks.

      xtacy: well done. I think I’ve seen that quoted in the media somewhere.
      It sounds like someone grimly observing Westminster-derived public
      service protocol, but letting show his fury at Hawai’ian cowboys
      (apologies to the National Farmers Federation) and others
      who stand to benefit from the SkyTower Casino.

  10. tracey 10

    Sorry alwyn, in my post above i meant the last two lines of the opening thread quote.

  11. tracey 11

    Xtsy. ?. No documents not trail of bad behaviour, the govt is already making history for their obstruction of oia and transparency… The later repeated ad infinitum by our current pm in 2008… And then he was elected

    • xtasy 11.1

      tracey: Re OIA requests, it is abhorrent what goes on now, yes scandalous.

      I have contacts waiting for specified info for many months, and 3 deadlines were in an importanct case not met by MSD (despite of repeated letters and assurances). The last time they promised a response was on its way, but they never even bothered to reply at all, and that is nearly a month back now.

      So a complaint then goes to dear Beverley Wakem – the Chief Ombudsman, who has over the years also become less of a force to rely on. Their office is underresourced and overworked. And now the person who launched the request can wait for weeks, maybe months, to get a decision from the Ombudsman, which may just force MSD to deliver only a tiny selection of info, withholding much else, for various excuses or reasons allowed under the Act.

      Then the next complaint may go to the Ombudsman, arguing those reasons to withhold, and maybe, half a year, or a year later, the whole circus starts again from scratch.

      That is NOT transparency, it is covering up stuff that is known in particular cases as “dodgey admin decisions” – and worse.

      My faith in the NZ system has long been LOST.

  12. Rob 12

    So you finished?

    We might now be able to build the thing and create some employment and material sales.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Why would we build it? It’s not financially worth it and the social damage that will accrue from the extra pokies will come out of everyone’s taxes so as to make a few people richer.

    • Strategos 12.2

      Very short-term, Rob. It would be competing with the Sydney Convention Centre, among others,
      and once it is up the only “employment and material sales” will be casino related.

      What sort of “material sales” are there in a casino ? The employment will be hardly professional – unless you refer to hi-tempo music, sugared and caffeinated drinks available freely on demand, and women dressed in a way designed to raise testosterone levels among young male gamblers.

      Check out Atlantic City or the N.Y. casinos some time.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.2.1

        I guess he was talking about the construction materials.

      • Rob 12.2.2

        Strategos, we compete against things and events in Sydney on a daily basis. Just because they have one is no reason to think we can’t and that sort of thinking is terminal for this country. There is also a much better convention centre in Melbourne as part of the crown casino anyway.

        Of course the material sales are building materials and a good 2 year construction programme would do very well for the built environment sector in Auckland, especially if the Fonterra head office job comes on as well.

        Conference centres , especially the real big ones in Germany are massive employers of all sorts of trades and skills , not just your low level food & bev examples.

        This is a good thing for NZ and it is a tangible job creator, maybe if we actually witnessed some ideas from Labour rather than empty statements about being hands on you might get some more support.

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.1

          Convention venues are common commodities in the world market. Just another iron in the tourism iron.

          Let’s get some real high tech, high skill jobs going, not more minimum wage service jobs serving meals, making beds, laundering linen, and cleaning bathrooms.

          • Rob 12.2.2.1.1

            Major convention centres holding international trade shows are a very big deal. The levels of display and technology that displaying companies use is on a scale that is not seen in NZ.

            If (and this is a big if) we got our shit togther and had an asset capable of hosting 12 international trade shows of a major scale a year, and we were successful in wining those show, that would be a real and tangible boost to this nation.

            At Stutgartt the biggest businesses there are Mercedes Benz, Porsche and the Messe convention centre.

            • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.1.1.1

              OMG. You’re actually talking about winning the heavy metal tradeshows of the latest technology, machine tools, automotive vehicles, high tech consumer products or the like.

              Bringing a Computex, CES or LA Motor Show to Auckland every month.

              Not worth the effort of even trying.

              What NZ enterprises need to be doing is creating the global technologies, products and companies which exhibit at these very same shows across the world.

              That’s where we need to be focussing. Completely different emphasis and mindset.

              Be a valued exhibitor at these trade shows, not serve the drinks.

              • Rob

                “OMG” are you 12.

                Anyway you are trying to make it a binary call. Your slightly strange point is that for us to develop a convention industry in NZ would inhibit us from being innovative and developing hi tech industries. Would you ever dare to dream that we could have both perhaps?

                The most deserving aspect is your comment “Not worth the effort of even trying”. So what do you suggest, follow your example and sit inside all day contributing nothing but bitching and whining at a computer monitor.

                • Colonial Viper

                  follow your example and sit inside all day contributing nothing but bitching and whining at a computer monitor.

                  lol I heard that one before from Wellington. Wait a sec, I didn’t mean to say “LOL”, I meant “laugh out loud”.

                  Get with the internet age my friend, it’s both the dawn and the dusk of a new era.

                  Anyway you are trying to make it a binary call.

                  Very good point. However, it’s a call I’m making based on the very limited time and resources available to this nation. And trying to win over (or recreate) a CES, Computex or LA Motor Show in Auckland is a fools errand justification for a Sky Elephant. Shit, even trying to get a 30,000 people from downtown Auckland to the RWC opening was an abortion.

    • marsman 12.3

      And if the thing does not make enough profit for Sky City the taxpayer gives them a top-up. Nice when you are spending other peoples’ money John Key.

  13. Rogue Trooper 13

    TV ONE: “excessive bouts of gambling go unreported” (according to The Spirits in The SKY) oh well, a fool and his money…

  14. Treetop 14

    I want to know what the max bet value of each additional machine will be?

  15. Strategos 15

    good question ..

  16. geoff 16

    Hay butt wait PM said the report wuz all good. im confoozed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHFdYYIaEIc

  17. AmaKiwi 17

    OK, Captain Mumblefucks and Team ABC.

    It’s been handed to you on a silver platter.

    Rip the PM to shreds.

  18. DH 18

    I’m still mulling the report over but I thought the AO did a reasonable job there, pity they didn’t cover the financial side though.

    There’s been a queue of dunderheads claiming we get a ‘free’ convention centre out of this deal and in the AO we finally have someone who recognises that the gaming concessions are worth a lot of money. They note that the Govt got a valuation on them, to quote;

    “The analyst estimated a dollar value, in terms of benefit to SkyCity, of the various
    gambling concessions that SkyCity sought. The analyst advised the Ministry on
    the value of this benefi t relative to the estimated cost to SkyCity of building a new
    large-scale convention centre. The advice also considered whether any gambling
    harm minimisation measures would be necessary to balance the value of the
    concessions sought and the cost of building the centre.”

    Curiously the AO fails to follow that up. The Govt is giving away significant monetary value in the concessions but not receiving any physical assets in return. We won’t own the convention centre, Sky City will, so what exactly do we get for our money?

    The AO also don’t delve into the untendered aspect of the concessions when earlier in the report make they a big deal about how these types of transactions should always be subject to competitive tender. How do we know we’re getting value for money?

    (It should be noted that a licence for 500 pokies has a market value in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s a licence to print money)

    • bad12 18.1

      Yes TV1 news are ‘selling’ the convention center as Auckland rate-payers not having to put in a cent, the only thing that can be said about such a twisting of the truth by the States broadcaster is a lament of no mention of ‘the great leader says’,

      It is obvious to all but the most dull that the Slippery little Shyster was involved in the process of allowing Sky-City the right to build this convention center right up to His arm-pits,

      The fact that the Audit Office cannot find evidence of this shows not honesty from this National Government more it simply highlights institutionalized rat cunning being at the heart of the decision and the ‘process’ around how that decision was reached,

      The fact that Ministers and officials talked with Sky-City extensively on a number of occasions BEFOR calling for expressions of interests from other parties simply leads to the conclusion that this was a ‘done deal’ well befor those expressions of interest were called for…

      • DH 18.1.1

        Yeah I think so too. The AO needed to follow the money more in my view, we need to see this analysts figures. To give an idea on values….

        A high gambling area like Henderson generated an average of $20,586 per machine from 162 gaming machines in the last quarter (Manukau City was close behind at $19,358 from 207 machines) That’s $82,344 in gaming proceeds per year. If we go with the known figure of 37.5% as profit (what they give to charity) that’s a minimum profit of $30,879 per machine. 500 machines would thus generate annual profits of at least $15.43 million per year. Put that on the sharemaket as a business and at an overly generous 8% return on capital you’ve got a market value of $193million.

        In reality SkyCity would likely make near double those profits which would double the market value of the pokies licences. It’s seriously big money and I’m finding it hard to understand why the Govt is giving that much away to SkyCity on this deal.

        • bad12 18.1.1.1

          You would probably have to crack open every blind trust and nominee company in the whole wide world to find the answer to that one…

        • swan 18.1.1.2

          DH, totally agree with you. So you would support the auctioning of pokie machine and casino licences in order to maximise government return?

          Because it is not like the government is currently hold the $200m. It doesnt exist except if they make it happen.

      • Treetop 18.1.2

        Fast forward two or three years down the track. Key will be spouting an increase in pokie addicts when he is in opposition.

        I reckon it will take a new government three years to sort out the pile of crap which the current government is piling up and the stench is already over powering.

  19. tracey 19

    Rob, take some time and revisit the aotea centre debate and its glaring inability to make money and ended up with outsourcing

  20. tracey 20

    Dh, stop confusing the matter with fact and analyis

  21. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 21

    it could be that more gambling opportunities spark real initiative amongst the bolder or more desperate gamblers. that will probably be aimed at tourists though as in the recent raid by a highwayman on mt eden, i think. not a good look for our tourism minister.

  22. ropata 22

    500 pokie machines for their mates or few dozen state houses for non voting beneficiaries?
    It’s a no brainer for this crony capitalist government

  23. millsy 23

    Nothing is stopping SkyCity from building a convention centre right now. It seems to me that this government is actively trying to destroy high wage unionised jobs (Exhibit A: Hillside), and replace them with low wage short term insecure jobs (Hobbit, etc)

  24. Coronial Typer 24

    I can totally get that gambling isn’t the industry we want.

    But I want to check up on the view on government interventionism here.
    This is a government that does deals. It’s “Hands on” government.
    That’s what Labour is campaigning on.

    Were Labour in power, would we not want a Prime Minister to cut deals?
    Isn’t this the stuff that politics is all about?

    This is certainly what I see from big city mayors.
    SkyCity is a mall; an air conditioned internal panopticon of hypnotic pleasure.
    It also rebuilt a whole block, and Auckland City in reviving Federal Street into shared space is fully complicit. Labour legalised prostitution, so over the road the Chow Brothers get to build another pleasure palace to support Sky City.

    The spatial intervention is massive. It’s in full synch with central government.
    The Convention Centre redevelops another, massive block that needs it.

    Key is keeping the interventionist crown in our politics.
    Shearer won’t get it back, not until he convinces New Zealand that the industries he wants to “hands on” with are superior.

    • millsy 24.1

      A truly interventionist government would have built the convention centre itself, and run it as an SOE.

      Rather like the Holland government (whom I consider the Key government to be the most like), in the 1950′s they saw tourism as a growth industry, but there was a lack of decent accomodation. So they created the Tourist Hotel Corporation, which raised the standards of hotel/motel and tourist facilities, and trained skilled hospitality staff (that earned very high wages).

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        Correct.

        The ‘hands on Government’ moniker is an extremely misleading one. Thatcher had a very hands-on Government. So did Douglas. And Richardson. And Bush.

      • Coronial Typer 24.1.2

        I like that precedent too, but that level of interventionism is not coming back in the foreseeable future. Sutch is dead, as is his legacy.

        Presuming that a fresh 2014 Labour government would do pretty much the same degree of interventionism, what industries would it choose? Would it rule out joint share holdings? PPPs? Have ethical limits like the NZSuper fund? Shearer has more envy in his anger than righteousness.

        Where is its alternative? And does it somehow propose being cleaner? In politics you can’t be hands on commercially and keep them clean as well.

        • Colonial Viper 24.1.2.1

          In politics you can’t be hands on commercially and keep them clean as well.

          Sure. Look at the insider dealing, nepotism and corruption that Lee Kuan Yew brought to Singapore.

          Of course, he also managed to transform the country from a backward third world swamp made up of fishing villages to a world leading centre of finance, science, logistics and entrepreneurship over a span of 40 years.

          • Coronial Typer 24.1.2.1.1

            But inside all of New Zealand central government’s most transformative deals, are kickbacks and trades, some subtler than others. That’s why they are deals: because both sides pay in, and both sides gain. Labour has already indicated it will go equally neck-deep into state procurement, and there are only small steps from there to concessions, informal partnerships, patrilineage, and well-wrinsed kickbacks.

            Selling out regulations was bad. Granted.

            But the rest? Mere politics. The politics of getting it done.
            Labour doesn’t have a policy alternative, and after 4 years out of power, it leaves them supporting no specific industry at all, and so with little high moral ground to stand right now.

            • Colonial Viper 24.1.2.1.1.1

              Well you hit the nail on the head there. We’re realists and realpolitik is about getting things done and getting the support necessary to do that. But it’s the strong policy alternatives, the substantive what which is missing. By all means, cut the deals that are needed, but deals to achieve what exactly? for NZ.

              • Coronial Typer

                Bruce Jesson mapped out the web in Behind the Mirror Glass. All the great families, all the great company names. Conspiracy, con-spiratio, simply means “breathing together”.

                BTW, first one to convince the electorate of “this is what’s good for New Zealand”, wins the next 2 terms. The Vision Thing.

    • felixviper 24.2

      Were Labour in power, would we not want a Prime Minister to cut deals?

      This is a good deal for Sky City and a shit deal for us. To put it bluntly, Key is not sitting on our side of the negotiating table.

    • Murray Olsen 24.3

      We would want a government that decided what the country needed and then put out tenders. Instead we have a government that asks Sky City what they can do to help them and then offers twice as much. As felixviper says, they’re on the other side of the negotiating table, which also seems to be their position on asset sales, charter schools, holiday highways and anything else they do.
      I can’t wait for some journalist to ask Shearer if there would be room in his caucus for someone who auctioned off the workers at the expense of social problems and unionised award wage jobs. Just in case someone has his ear, the answer to this one should be the same as to the homophobe question, a resounding no. The favour with which Shane Jones is looked on makes me wonder if he’d get this one right either.

      • Coronial Typer 24.3.1

        That really is the core point: there is nothing we have seen in Shearer or his leadership team to suggest he would be any more moral, any cleaner, any clearer in policy goals, anything different as a politician, than John Key or his cabinet.

        • Strategos 24.3.1.1

          That’s why he is there. This is largely about Auckland. Joseph Conrad once described it as “the hell-hole of the South Pacific”. It has also been called “the Chicago of the South Pacific” but .. whoops .. that’s where Obama is from. Shearer is Goff’s protege’ and a product of the Auckland Labour party machine .. not to mention Soros’s International Crisis Group.

          QED.

      • blue leopard 24.3.2

        So true Felixviper & Murray Olsen

      • DH 24.3.3

        Well said Murray & Felix.

        One of the biggest chumps in this deal is the Auck Chamber of Commerce who seem a little short on critical thinking

        It seems to have been missed by these fools that whoever runs the Convention Centre takes the bookings. That’s a position of immense power & influence. SkyCity run a vertically integrated operation and it goes without saying that SkyCity plan on seeing convention goers stay at SkyCity hotels, eat at SkyCity restaurants, be entertained at SkyCity complex etc etc etc….

        Even if it did bring a boost in spending to Auckland, the Auck businesess community would only see a beggars share of it. They’ll be lining up for the crumbs and paying kickbacks to get them. Mugs.

        • Colonial Viper 24.3.3.1

          Oh don’t be so negative, the Chinese brothels across the road will do fine.

          • DH 24.3.3.1.1

            Yeah they’ll do ok, been trying to think of a pithy comment with the word shagging in it but the sense of humour seems to be on holiday at the mo’

  25. Having read this and viewed coverage on it I just cannot believe the level of support this sham of a government continues to receive.
    Having watched the coverage on on TV1, I conclude that this report clearly shows that the people running this government at present absolutely don’t care for NZers, or our society. They absolutely don’t care.

    The issue received the framing of: “but a convention centre will bring in these benefits”
    There need be no argument over the benefits of a convention centre.
    The issue is not over whether we have a convention centre or not
    It is over involving pokies in the scum-deal.

    This way of distracting from the real cause of concern is the mechanism for how our issues get warped and stupid destructive things are enabled to get through.

    The problem is not about whether to have a convention centre or not.
    It is about involving pokies in the deal.

    This was completely unnecessary and a rort.
    Gee I’ll bet some people are really cracking open the champers tonight.

    • Coronial Typer 25.1

      Agreed. In all procurement, Cash is cleaner.
      Regulations for vice should not be simply sold.

      • blue leopard 25.1.1

        Yes, its pretty simple really.
        Doesn’t need to be confusing.

        And its pretty clear today, that these creatures “governing” us confuse the issues in order to get something through simply for profit and to hell with the negative effects that it causes.
        It is simply disgusting.

    • Colonial Viper 25.2

      Having read this and viewed coverage on it I just cannot believe the level of support this sham of a government continues to receive.

      I can’t believe it either, given the outstanding Government-In-Waiting that all New Zealanders have as a choice right now.

  26. One Tāne Huna 26

    How much extra laundered drug money will the National Party take in bribes as a result?

  27. Afewknowthetruth 27

    Easter Islanders progressively cleared the forest that covered Rapa Nui when they arrived, and used the last of their resources constructing statues. When they had chopped down the last tree and could not build a canoe to go fishing and had impoverished the soil so little would grow most of them starved to death via civil war and cannibalism.

    We live in an Easter Island culture./ The last of our resources -especially cheap fossil fuels- are being consumed to construct infrastructure and facilities that will have NO utility in the near future.

    However, what we are witnessing is part of the international trend towards expansion of casino economics, prior to it all collapsing some time over the next couple of years. By printing money the Federal Reserve has managed to pump the Dow to over 14,000 -which is nearly what it was in 2007. All the fundamentals of the US economy are rotten to the core, of course, as is the case with Europe and Japan (and NZ). I see 1701 people applied for 8 positions at a coffee shop in Britain: that clearly shows where things are at.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      the Federal Reserve has managed to pump the Dow to over 14,000 -which is nearly what it was in 2007.

      This is the fascinating thing – ‘nearly what the Dow was in 2007′ is a nominal comparison. If you take into account real inflation over the last 6 years, not only has the Dow not met it’s previous nominal high, it is actually sitting roughly 40% below it, adjusted for inflation.

      Also if I were to put my “gold bug” hat on, since 2007 the price of gold has gone up 2.5x, while the price of shares (priced in depreciating printed dollars) has nominally not even reached 1.0x what it was in 2007.

      Conclusion: despite all the QE and other underhanded shenanigans, this financial system is already fucked, and real value is disappearing well faster than they can print money.

  28. Treetop 28

    There is no way that the government would include a clause which states that the pokie machine numbers have to return to pre convention centre numbers once the convention centre is paid for.

  29. gnomic 29

    Isn’t this a case of the smirking weasel saying “I am not a weasel”? Older readers may recall Richard Nixon’s notorious claim that he was not a crook. Earlier someone asked what the inside of a casino is like. Having walked through the gaming hall of Sky City in Auckland once, it seemed like a vision of Hell to me. Evidently some unhappy souls must enjoy it.

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    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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