web analytics
The Standard

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!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Steven Joyce takes the scalpel to medical students
    This November access to the Student Loan scheme will be cut off at seven years seriously harming medical students. Studying to become a doctor takes years of hard work, dedication and intense study and it’s a blunt tool and… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 day ago
  • Tolley must assure safety of vulnerable clients
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley must guarantee the safety of Relationships Aotearoa’s thousands of Māori clients – some of whom are very vulnerable – following the closure of the nationwide counselling service, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. Relationships… ...
    2 days ago
  • ANZ has moral obligation to fully compensate farmers
      The ANZ Bank has a moral obligation to fully compensate farmers after the High Court today declared it breached the Fair Trading Act by misleadingly representing interest rate swap loans, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. The Commerce… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fairfax can’t use restructure to cut terms and conditions
    The restructure and upheavals at Fairfax should not be used as an opportunity to cut journalists’ terms and conditions, Labour spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Businesses have to adapt to new technologies and consumer demands and there is… ...
    2 days ago
  • McCully excuses unravel in Saudi sheep scandal
    Murray McCully has misled New Zealanders, Parliament and his Cabinet colleagues on the real reasons for paying millions of dollars in the Saudi sheep scandal – it’s time for him to clean, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats break health and education spending promises
    National has outstanding promises of almost $1 billion to be spent on health, education and agriculture from the Future Investment Fund but has only $536 million left in the fund, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “John Key and Bill… ...
    2 days ago
  • Manurewa youth leaders acknowledged
    The depth and breadth of leadership of youth throughout Manurewa, which has been recognized at the Youth Week Award ceremony held at Parliament this week, should make the community extremely proud, Manurewa Labour MP Louisa Wall says. “The 'Limitless Youth… ...
    3 days ago
  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 days ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    3 days ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    3 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    3 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    3 days ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    3 days ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    3 days ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    3 days ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    4 days ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    4 days ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    4 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    4 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    4 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    4 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    4 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    5 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    5 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    6 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    1 week ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere