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SkyCity enquiry

Written By: - Date published: 1:56 pm, June 13th, 2012 - 13 comments
Categories: accountability, john key - Tags: , , ,

Can this year get any worse for Key? I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy. In latest news:

Auditor-General to probe Sky City deal

The Government’s controversial deal with SkyCity casinos for a $350m national convention centre will be investigated by the auditor-general’s office.

The announcement comes as yet another blow to the Government, which in the last five days has backtracked on its plans for teachers and started a clean out of the under-fire senior management of ACC. …

Deputy Auditor-General Phillippa Smith said the inquiry would consider the process for seeking and assessing proposals for the convention centre, the adequacy of the assessment of the likely costs and benefits of each and any other matters deemed of interest. …

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei, who requested the investigation, said the Government could ”not possibly proceed with the SkyCity deal” while the inquiry was going ahead, because its terms of reference ”cut to the heart of the decision to award the contract to SkyCity in the first place”.

“I raised concerns about the fairness and adequacy of the process, especially given SkyCity was offered a law change that gave it more pokies in exchange for building the centre, and the deal didn’t appear to consider the huge social and financial costs of increased gambling.”

Questions were raised about the deal’s fairness after it emerged Prime Minister John Key discussed the idea with SkyCity bosses in a private dinner meeting in November 2009, before the field was opened to expressions of interest from other possible bidders in March 2010.

The late Infratil founder Lloyd Morrison personally wrote to Key urging a proposal for a Public Private Partnership for the centre – similar to one his company had set up in Melbourne – but was ignored. …

Key had touted the deal as providing a $90m boost to the economy and generating 1000 jobs during its construction and 800 jobs to run the centre. However, those figures were last week challenged by the public release of a feasibility study done by hospitality and travel consultants Horwath, which showed the centre could provide as little as 319 long-term jobs.

Further coverage on ONE News:

ONE News Political Editor Corin Dann said the move was another “big set back” for the Government, following last week’s back down on cuts to the education sector.

“It’s a set back for the Prime Minister as well because it’s his ‘pet project’ really. “He’s always been up front about the fact that he thought SkyCity was the only operator that could do this in a way that wouldn’t cost the Government money.”

The enquiry is well justified. Key’s actions have the smell of law for sale. Metiria Turei is correct, the deal should now be put on hold while the enquiry goes ahead.

13 comments on “SkyCity enquiry”

  1. And the avalanche of bad news continues.  Makes you almost feel sorry for National and for Key.  Almost …

  2. mike e 2

    How many shares do the National front bench own in sky city.
    Kick backs Key

  3. Kotahi Tane Huna 3

    Is the little money trader about to discover that there are higher standards of oversight than he’s used to?

  4. tc 4

    ‘I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy’ don’t worry his expanded share porfolio that he knows nothing about will cheer him up.

    ‘Magic City’ set in Miami 1959 has the law enforcement label gambling as the number 1 biggest threat in terms of social decline and criminal activity….not much’s changed really and key want’s more of it.

  5. ad 5

    Hard to see the dwindling local investment community looking at New Zealand’s government and going:

    “I can do deals with these guys, because I am confident that my deal has more merit and outcompetes the other bids being put up.”

    Surprising how much of that investment community is now public: ACC, EQC, NZSuper, Kiwisaver, Kiwibank, state sector pensions. Because they are under high public scrutiny already with public funds, they have to be exceedingly transparent in the decision-making processes. Otherwise they get audited to hell.

    And for those final remaining loyal companies, like Infratil, who put bids in, the idea of a comparable B/C across everyone just went out the window. Who would you put money here with that corruption of process?

    Key’s move overstepped public sector probity. Probably fine if you were Richard Seddon or Robert Muldoon, but not now. It was the kind of move that would easily get the attention of the global anti-corruption indices.

  6. http://www.mynational.org.nz/MainMenu

    “The President and Board of the New Zealand National Party are delighted to invite you to the 76th Annual General Meeting and Conference. This year the conference is being held in the Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland and will officially commence at 8:00am on Saturday 21 July, concluding following the Prime Ministers speech at midday on Sunday 22nd July.

    Friday 20th July 2012

    Candidates College: The first meeting of the Class of 2014 is scheduled for 8:30am to 12:30pm followed by lunch from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Marlborough Rooms 1&2 on Level 5 of the Convention Centre.

    Electorate Chairs: This annual meeting commences with lunch at 12:30pm and the meeting starting at 1:30pm in Marlborough Rooms 1&2 on Level 5 of the Conference Centre. (These times are approximate and subject to change)

    Online registrations will be available from the 12th June or print off the registration form below.

    Registrations are restricted to 2012 members only, so please ensure you have renewed your membership.”

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.sfo.govt.nz/bribery-and-corruption

    “The Serious Fraud Office (SFO), together with the Police, has joint responsibility for investigating a range of bribery and corruption matters that can include secret commissions, ‘kickbacks’ and other forms of unlawful payments. The payment of these types of bribes is not only illegal under New Zealand law – it is also a crime to pay bribes to public officials in other countries.

    While the SFO is the primary referral agency for cases of bribery or corruption, we jointly assess such matters with the Police. The cases we investigate are typically matters that involve complex financial trails or public officials. Other cases will usually be dealt with by the Police.
    Corruption indicators

    Any or all of the following may be indicative of corrupt or unlawful payments:

    Abnormal cash payments

    Pressure exerted for payments to be made urgently or ahead of schedule

    Payments made through a third party country (i.e. goods or services supplied to country A with payment to a shell company in country B)

    Payments made to a third party with no apparent connection with a commercial transaction

    Payments made to a private account or private address

    Abnormally high commission percentage paid to an agency (this may be split into two accounts for the same agent, often in different jurisdictions)

    Private meetings with public contractors or companies tendering for contracts

    Lavish gifts or other forms of hospitality

    Individuals who never take time off, even if ill, or insist on dealing with specific contractors themselves

    Unexpected or illogical decisions in accepting projects or contracts

    Unusually smooth process of cases where individuals do not have the expected level of knowledge or expertise

    Ignoring normal decision-making processes or delegated powers in specific cases

    Agreeing to contracts that aren’t favourable to the organisation

    Unexplained preference for certain contractors during a tendering period

    Avoidance of independent checks on tendering or contracting processes

    Bypassing normal tendering/contractors procedures

    Agreeing to invoices in excess of a contract without reasonable cause

    Missing documents or records of meetings or decisions ”

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/auditor-general-investigate-sky-city-deal-ca-121109

    ” Mr Joyce says the government is “confident the expressions of interest process was transparent and each application was assessed on its merit”.

    hmmmmm…………………………………..

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • mike e 6.1

      penny his and shonkeys body language tell a different story.
      Joyce was looking side ways while giving his interview.
      Today Key Uturns again and says they will wait till the AG does the Audit.
      Why would that be given they were Confident yesterday.

    • Bob 6.2

      Penny, read this http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10812899 then, as ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’ start chasing Shane Jones and the Labour party over the ‘Cash for Citizenship’ corruption.

      The Labour party (and The Standard’s for that matter) bleating over this whole process really is turning into a stunning own goal. It has shown Labour up as being an entirely idealist based party with no experience in real world business (Tender processes especially).

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Best to chase the corporate corruption in power as a matter of priority, don’t you think?

  7. Bob 7

    Read the article I linked too, no corruption in power so move on to REAL corruption. Cash for citizenship, how much worse can you get!

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  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    18 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    19 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    19 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    23 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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