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Another dirty deal with SkyCity

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, November 16th, 2012 - 12 comments
Categories: corruption, im/migration - Tags:

It now appears that the Government’s controversial plan to allow wealthy frequent flyers on state-owned China Southern Airlines to skip visa requirements was done to help SkyCity get more high-rolling Chinese gamblers visiting.

The Nats have really been sprung on this one.

While insisting that they won’t ‘pick winners’ to save manufacturing jobs and take advantage of green growth opportunities, they’re creating a huge hole in our immigration system that officials warn is ripe for criminals to exploit so that a gambling company can make more money.

Why is National so obsessed with doing favours to SkyCity? What did they get in return?

12 comments on “Another dirty deal with SkyCity”

  1. Tracey 1

    Well, we don’t yet have proof they did. HOwever, if it is proven it merely openly displays this government’s overall attitude…

    IF you have lots of money you are abetter class of citizen (or visitor) than anyone else because everyone is not equal or the same (as they trumpet over treaty issues).

  2. One Tāne Huna 2

    Is it time to consider the possibility that the National Party is owned by the People’s Central Committee?

    It’s been obvious for a long time that they accept money in exchange for policy settings. Sooner or later someone was always going to buy them: lock stock and barrel.

  3. Freedom 3

    The beauty of this for national is they never had to discuss this with skycity as the airline is the perfect middleman.

  4. King Kong 4

    This makes me quite cross. I have no problem with Government assistance in helping grow export revenue streams for business but despise policy targeted for the benefit of a single company.

    • One Tāne Huna 4.1

      How do you feel about money laundering?

      How do you feel about spin?

      In many cases, law enforcement agencies have used the evidence of big spending – such as an unemployed person spending large amounts of money at the casino – to prove serious criminal offending, such as drug supply, rather than charge them with money laundering.

      Gambling at casinos is recognised internationally as a money-laundering technique, but is at odds with comments by SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison last week.

      He said claims that more poker machines, as part of a deal with the Government to build a $350 million convention centre, would lead to more money laundering had “no substance”.

      He said none of the criminals referred to were convicted of money laundering at SkyCity.

      My bold.

      • Phil 4.1.1

        There are a few things we need to be very aware of here.
        Point one. No Chinese business man is coming here to play the pokies.
        Point 2. The pokies are NOT gambling, they are entertainment machines (supposedly), that is what the manufacturers and developers identify them as.

        Funding international high rollers by placing more entertainment machines in casinos should be seen for what it is, fraudulent. Taking money from those less likely to have assets in this way is a con of the highest order.
        The pokies are to gambling what WWF is to the sport of wresting. Pokies should be considered Gamble – tertainment in the same way WWF is sports entertainment.
        One way to eliminate the casino power base is to have all pokies removed from casinos (as they are not gambling they have no place in a gambling venue).

        Linking the easing of border restrictions to an increase in pokies is spurious.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    This deal for the 1% stitched together by a National Government what a surprise.Mean while Sky City get to expand their business what a total disgrace.

  6. framu 6

    supposedly (and i cant be sure) this all went down roughly the same time as the conference center meetings. If true it makes things even dodgier

  7. Policy Parrot 7

    So is SkyCity a subsidiary of the National Party or vice-versa?

    Lets look at the evidence:
    – Sweetheart deal proposed for the New Zealand Convention Centre, in exchange for more pokies.
    – National Party election night events being held at SkyCity since the start of Key’s leadership. Say what you want about Labour, but they’d never hold election night events at a casino.
    – And now the Chinese Southern Airways visa deal.

  8. lefty 8

    Casinos and corruption go together.

    They always have and they always will.

    SkyCity spreads a lot of money around on political funding.

    The only way to stop them buying favours, money laundering, feeding the misery of problem gamblers and their families, harbouring criminals, encouraging people to gamble with stolen money, exploiting workers and generally being parasites that spread a trail of poison and heartbreak through society is to close them down.

    When is one of our political parties going to set the ball rolling by promising to do this?

  9. SpaceMonkey 9

    Maybe, by assisting with Sky City’s profitability, National sees itself as helping all NZ by way of ACC and NZ Super Fund investments?

    ACC and New Zealand Superannuation Fund Nominees Ltd are the 4th and 8th largest investors in SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd respectively.


  10. Lou 10

    Erm, there is absolutely no evidence that Sky City were involved in the deal (forgive me if I dont regard anything Winston says under Parliamentary privilege as ‘evidence’), and today in the Herald there is an article saying that the Government is expanding the visa streamlining arrangement to include Air NZ and any other interested airline. Sky City happen to be one of a number of NZ companies with interests in China who are keen to make it easier to bring Chinese visitors here, and one of a number of NZ companies who have been vocal about hoping that some changes can be made. Whats the problem?

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