Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, October 23rd, 2013 - 14 comments
It raised a few eyebrows when the Catholic Church appeared to back the SkyCity deal. Seamus Donegan appeared before the select committee for the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, saying they couldn’t find a link between pokies and problem gambling. Turns out that Donegan’s submission was the opposite of the Commission’s real position, and he’s National MP Sam Lotu-Iiga’s electorate chair.
Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, October 18th, 2013 - 97 comments
Imagine if cigarette makers gave out free packs to target groups to get them hooked and if you were trying to quit smoking and you had a ‘loyalty’ card with your cigarette maker then, when they noticed you had stopped making purchases, they sent you a free pack. That’s what casinos do. Freebies are used to hook people into gambling and keep them hooked. The Greens will stop them.
Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, October 15th, 2013 - 36 comments
Yesterday, the Greens illustrated the size of the gambling concessions in the SkyCity deal with a to-scale cardboard display in Aotea Square. The visually striking move got extensive coverage on Breakfast yesterday and a rather, odd, story in the Herald, which chose to focus on the cost of the protest. What was that, presumably, outrageous cost? $3,000.
Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, September 5th, 2013 - 23 comments
If Key and Joyce aren’t simply corrupt, then they are some of the most stupid business people I’ve ever seen. But most likely they’re just politicians trying to cover their arses for making a stupid mistake. It looks to me like they have gutted TVNZ to give a bare land deal to SkyCity, ignoring the value of the building on top or the profitable business that they will destroy in the process.
Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, August 31st, 2013 - 27 comments
The Greens have got hold of an official report that National has had for 2 years showing that the SkyCity deal will add just 18 jobs to the economy as a whole. Joyce in his ‘defence’ says the report looks at the wider economic impact on Auckland city, rather than the number of workers needed at the convention centre. Uh, huh. Everyone thought they were promising 800 extra jobs for the country, when the real number is 18.
Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 14th, 2013 - 5 comments
The SkyCity deal still needs some urgent attention from members of the public interested in getting a submission to the select committee. They close on Thursday 22 August next week. The politically corrupting influence of the gaming industry means that members of the public will have to push the politicians to stop them giving SkyCity these extraordinarily lucrative and destructive concessions for a economic pittance.
Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, July 18th, 2013 - 58 comments
Yesterday, National released hundreds of pages of documents on the SkyCity deal. They paint the picture of a government that locked itself politically into getting a deal and locked in SkyCity as the only option then was surprised when SkyCIty screwed them for everything it could get. Even the far from bleeding hearts at Treasury said it wasn’t worth the cost.
Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, June 14th, 2013 - 214 comments
While it was stupid of Labour MPs to muddy the waters, the real scandal goes unremarked.
Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, May 15th, 2013 - 39 comments
National’s trying to do something unprecendented – they want to give a private company a 35 year indemnity against costs arising from law changes. No-one else gets this. You don’t get money from the government when they make a law that costs you. Nor does any other business. Just SkyCity as part of their dirty deal with Key. Sign the petition to stop it here.
Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, May 13th, 2013 - 15 comments
Who was missing from the Mighty River and SkyCity launches? Being seen at the front of positive government stories is a big part of the PM’s job, unless concerns over protecting Brand Key override that. The fact Key has been a no-show at these two announcements of central planks of National’s agenda tells you a lot about what the Nats’ polling says about them.
Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, February 26th, 2013 - 8 comments
The reaction to the Auditor General’s report on Key’s Sky City deal is lingering in the headlines much longer than Key would like. “Corrupted process”. “Stench”. “No way to run a country”. Key badly misjudged this one.
Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, February 21st, 2013 - 71 comments
Breaking news, but it certainly looks like John Key has (1) made up nonsense about Sky City, and (2) lied to Parliament.
Update: Key is publicly backing down. Looks like an apology and explanation to Parliament will be needed.
Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, February 21st, 2013 - 15 comments
A year ago, I wrote that SkyCity was pursuing the dirty practice of ‘subvention’ – where owners of white elephant infrastructure extort governments for subsidies – for the convention centre. The msm has caught up and is reporting on it now. MED denies there will be any subvention; but Joyce says it’s all on the table. And what about the $10m+ in operating subsidies the centre would need?
Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, February 21st, 2013 - 21 comments
As John Armstrong puts it the AG’s report on the Sky City bid was “deeply disturbing” and “verging on banana republic kind of stuff without the bananas”. One of the competing bidders is talking about a refund of costs “wasted on a bid that was never seriously considered”. And why wouldn’t they?
Written By: - Date published: 3:07 pm, February 19th, 2013 - 129 comments
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’ of pokies for convention centre is a con hatched by SkyCity and the Nats. And there’s a deeper issue.
Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, December 13th, 2012 - 16 comments
A typical Auditor-General report takes 3 months. “Larger and more complex” ones take 6. Metiria Turei’s complaint about the way SkyCity was chosen for an international convention centre in a ‘pokies-for-convention-centre’ deal has been going 8 months. Clearly, what they’ve found has non-trivial implications for the government and they’re making sure all their ‘t’s are crossed and ‘i’s dotted.
Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, November 16th, 2012 - 12 comments
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. It’s the warped priorities that gets me: the Nats are bending over backwards for SkyCity while insisting that they won’t ‘pick winners’ to save manufacturing jobs.
Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, August 17th, 2012 - 3 comments
The Greens’ successful call for an Auditor General’s probe into the Government’s pokies-for-convention-centre deal with SkyCity has stalled the negiotations – despite the Nats’ claims it wouldn’t derail their attempt to sell our gambling law. No meetings have been held since the A-G’s investigation began two months ago. With any luck, it’ll push out the legislative timeline past the 2014 election.
Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, June 5th, 2012 - 46 comments
Remember when John Key promised 4,000 new jobs from the cycleway and, in fact, a few hundred, short-term, part-time positions were created? Remember when John Key promised 170,000 new jobs and unemployment went up instead? Looks like Key’s being making it up on the pokies-for-convention centre deal too, which would create only a fraction of the jobs promised.
Written By: - Date published: 8:40 pm, May 23rd, 2012 - 32 comments
So Key is ‘surprised’ that David Shearer, the local member for Eden Park, accepted tickets to a local game, and doesn’t feel beholden to corporate interests? He can accept hospitality and still criticise a company is somehow shocking? I think this tells us more about John, than it surprises the rest of us about David…
Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, May 9th, 2012 - 15 comments
The Government’s ‘sinking lid’ on homicides means that John Key can personally garotte 3-5 enemies and the overall number of killings will still decrease, a smiling Prime Minister told journalists today. “On current trends, the number of murders is dropping by half a dozen a year. Which means no-one should mind if I bump off a few annoying arseholes” said Mr Key
Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, April 26th, 2012 - 11 comments
The Herald’s revealed that, in 2001, Judith Collins, as chair of the Casino Control Authority, rubber-stamped a ‘pokies for convention centre’ deal with SkyCity. This triggered the then Labour Government limit the number of pokies by statute. Now, the Nats are doing another dirty deal with the cancer in Auckland’s heart but, thanks to Labour, they can’t do it on the quiet.
Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, April 24th, 2012 - 27 comments
Since 2004, the government has collected a problem gambling levy from all types of licenced gambling. The levy on SkyCity’s casinos is half what it is on pokies in pubs. In 2010, officials recommended a rebalancing – more on TAB, Lotto, and casinos, less on pub pokies. The Nats picked up the recommendations with one exception – SkyCity’s levy didn’t increase.
Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, April 23rd, 2012 - 8 comments
Very interesting article on Stuff yesterday, about ex cop Martin Legge and the information that he has on the practices of the gaming industry in NZ. Someone is trying to sweep this case under the carpet. They shouldn’t get away with it.
Written By: - Date published: 12:06 am, April 22nd, 2012 - 46 comments
Key’s selling our gambling law to SkyCity in return for a convention centre with no government capital contribution. But, MED says, we would be subsidising that convention centre with $10m for starters. Plus marketing costs. And, then, ongoing subsidies both if convention numbers fall short and as a kickback when it does host conventions.
Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, April 21st, 2012 - 111 comments
A sad story in the Herald today of a man who got hooked on pokies. It has destroyed his family and relationships. He’s started ripping off clients at work. All to put money in the machines that SkyCity profits from. SkyCity has so many
addicts customers it says it needs more machines. SkyCity is a cancer. We shouldn’t just stop its expansion. We should excise it.
Written By: - Date published: 3:25 pm, April 20th, 2012 - 11 comments
Scott organises a guest column from JK about the fabulous deal with award winning entertainment venue Sky City.
Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, April 20th, 2012 - 62 comments
It’s a bit rich for Key to claim that there were no credible alternatives to the back-room deal with SkyCity when he shut down one alternative proposal and ignored four others. But now the facts are coming out. Key has “advised himself” into his worst public relations fiasco yet.
Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, April 19th, 2012 - 25 comments
When it comes to doing dirty deals with a casino, selling our law so that it gets a convention centre and more profits from gambling addicts, National’s willing to die in a ditch. But when there was an opportunity to save and expand our high-tech, high-skill manufacturing at Hillside simply by requiring government bodies to consider the costs and benefits of their actions on the whole country, not their narrow corporate interests, National did nothing.