Key is in reverse gear about Sky City

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, February 12th, 2015 - 102 comments
Categories: Economy, flip-flop, john key, national, same old national - Tags:

The focus group results are in and John Key is backing off from the Government injecting further money into the SkyCity convention centre. Vern Small in stuff has stated:

Prime Minister John Key has toughened up his opposition to putting taxpayer cash into the planned SkyCity convention centre.

In a further retreat from his earlier stance that a cash top up would be necessary to prevent “an eyesore” being built, Key today said he would take a lot of persuading to top up the $402m SkyCity had pledged.

“We structured the deal in such a way that the taxpayer didn’t have to put in money and that’s what I would prefer to see and I’d need a lot of convincing if any other position was going to be adopted,” he said.

‘In the world we live in … in the perfect world  … we would like to see them build a convention centre for $402m.”

National is somewhere between a rock and a hard place on the issue. It can pull out and burn $10 million of taxpayer’s money and look like it has no idea what to do about economic development. Or it can say no and hope that SkyCity still proceed. Or it can hand over more money and get burned by the public opinion response.

No matter what happens the deal will still stink.

102 comments on “Key is in reverse gear about Sky City”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    I bet this was Skycitys strategy all along.

    The answer is reduce their gambling duty, kaching!

    • Paul 1.1

      Close them down
      Simple

    • ScottGN 1.2

      And the government’s too. Having put out the worst case scenario – $130 million to SkyCity – they will try and frame the inevitable compromise – lets say $30 to $50 million – as a pragmatic deal to get the the centre over the line. We’re being fucked over by both Sky City and our government on this one.

    • McFlock 1.3

      Sky City probably have a fall-back position of another 500 pokies.

      What I wonder is why key loves the idea so much – legacy syndrome (get his name on a building), or do SC donate heavily to that trust the nats use?

      • vto 1.3.1

        If Skycity donates to the National Party then the government is conflicted and must step aside from any involvement in this issue.

        Surely

        Doesn’t it?

        If not then the system is very very broken and open to corruption. Which appears to be what we are seeing.

    • Liberal Realist 1.4

      I bet this was Skycitys & Nationals strategy all along.

      FIFY

      NAct love welfare when it’s of the corporate flavour.

  2. Sacha 2

    “In a further retreat from his earlier stance that a cash top up would be necessary to prevent “an eyesore” being built..,”

    A ‘further’ retreat?
    Contradicting himlself one new cycle ago, more like.

  3. Treetop 3

    SkyCity is interested in erecting a five star hotel on prime real estate land which they have the money for and to build an inferior convention centre. Not enough profit from a convention centre and the government will have to find the running costs for the convention centre.

    Correct me if I am wrong that the hotel and convention centre are two separate builds. If this is the case the hotel will go up pronto and the convention centre will be a go slow full of disputes build like the BNZ build in Wellington on Willis Street over 30 years ago.

    And who ended up owning the bank of NZ?

    Oh the government could sell the convention centre.

  4. wyndham 4

    No one has had anything to say about who will actually “own” the Convention Centre when (if) it is completed. Presumably Skycity will hand it over to the government or to the Auckland City Council ?

    The question of maintenance, renewals and repairs then arises. Have we been told about this and just what these (ever-increasing) costs might be? I don’t believe so.

    • Treetop 4.1

      SkyCity might try and rent the convention centre to the government.

    • felix 4.2

      Skycity is the owner. They keep the profits.

      We pay them subsidies, without which there would be no profits, and in return they… umm…

    • fisiani 4.3

      Sky City will own the convention centre and the hotel. They will spend about $540 million on their investment and the taxpayer will spend not a single cent on its construction. Read it and weep. Honest John Key as always will keep his word.

      • mickysavage 4.3.1

        And they get exclusive use of the assets and they get increased gambling assets. There is a rock solid business case for them. They are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.

      • tricledrown 4.3.2

        Fisanil yeah right!
        Charleton John Key has painted himself into a corner.
        As ACT supporter Mathew Hooter said ConmanKey is spinning it like a Rouette wheel.
        Now Sky City are pushing propaganda out already

      • framu 4.3.3

        This is actually a serious question to you (and any one else) fisiani
        (see i used your proper name cause its a real question – not me being a smart arse)

        so if sky city are building it, and sky city own it, run it and keep the profit – why are we even involved in the first place?

        What was the tender process and PR campaign for if sky city are just doing development for their own pocket? (getting a change to gambling laws and the tvnz land aside)

        What was the whole – “you get it for free” even about if we dont even own the bloody thing?

      • Molly 4.3.4

        Do you consider the discounted land price for the TVNZ buildings of $8 to be largesse by the taxpayer to Skycity or not?

        What about the proposal to deliver customers directly to the doors of Skycity by the proposed CRL, which will be paid for by the general public?

        Finally, the financial cost of dealing with the negative social, mental health and financial issues of those who will be using the extra gambling facilities? Again – this cost is borne by the public.

        The public has already, and will continue to pay for this deal.

      • Lanthanide 4.3.5

        “Honest John Key as always will keep his word.”

        Except he didn’t when he said they would definitely not raise GST.

        That was one of his first, biggest promises and he broke it.

        • fisiani 4.3.5.1

          NO he did not break his word and you well know it it. This hoary old chestnut keeps getting rolled out by the increasingly desperate Far Left trying to pin one on Honest John. You cannot rewrite history. Let’s tell the truth.
          He was asked “Would you raise GST to fund a deficit and he replied NO.”
          It was never raised to FUND A DEFICIT.
          He was never asked . “Will you raise GST?”
          John Key despite mangling the English language from time to time has NEVER lied to New Zealand.

          • Lanthanide 4.3.5.1.1

            1. When he raised GST, NZ was in a deficit.
            2. If he hadn’t raised GST, the tax cuts would have been a deficit on paper, in addition to them being a deficit in reality.

            So yes, he did lie.

            • fisiani 4.3.5.1.1.1

              You really seem to struggle with English. National raised GST thus allowing thousands of low paid people to no longer pay any tax and for thousands more to pay less tax. You cannot point to a single lie from John Key and you know it. Every attempt , such as as the risable attempt by Blip to make such a claim rests on a pedantic and malicious misinterpretation of his actual words.
              For instance if John Key was to say that NZ had a good chance to win the World Cup and they then lost in the final then people here would claim that he had said they would win.
              I despair about the pathetic attempts here to try to smear Honest John Key. It has been tried relentlessly for 7 years now and absolutely nothing has been validated or accepted by the public. Futility is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
              I accept that the tide will turn one day but despite all the huffing and puffing the John Key/National house will not fall down and will register approximately 50% in the next poll and Labour will cannibalise the Green and Winston First vote yet still be sub 32%.

              • McFlock

                blip has a list somewhere…

              • dv

                >> low paid people to no longer pay any tax

                So the low paid don’t eat huh.

              • Lanthanide

                “National raised GST thus allowing thousands of low paid people to no longer pay any tax”

                And you say *I* have problems with English? National raised tax, so that low-paid people wouldn’t have to pay tax any more… Hmm…

                “You cannot point to a single lie from John Key and you know it.”

                No, I don’t “know” that, because I just demonstrated that the GST tax cut was to fund a deficit – an existing budget deficit and to help offset an even larger deficit that would have been created had the GST cut not occurred. You seem to have a problem with logic, though.

                “For instance if John Key was to say that NZ had a good chance to win the World Cup and they then lost in the final then people here would claim that he had said they would win.”

                I seriously doubt that.

                “I despair about the pathetic attempts here to try to smear Honest John Key.”

                I despair about your pathetic understanding of logic, and in reality in general, where you must twist and distort everything to try and claim that John Key has never lied to the public about anything, ever, when we have a lot of evidence that he has lied on many occasions.

                “Futility is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.”

                Yeah, like cutting taxes for the wealthy, putting up taxes on the poor, and expecting the economy to improve as a direct result.

          • BLiP 4.3.5.1.2

            . . . He was asked “Would you raise GST to fund a deficit and he replied NO.” . . .

            fisiani, now you’re a liar too . . . http://youtu.be/4SWwHX0J5bk

      • David H 4.3.6

        “Honest John Key as always will keep his word.”

        Oh Fisi Fisi Fisi

        Can you give us an example of Key keeping his word?? Just one come on anything? Usually he just has no recollection of anything he has said.

      • North 4.3.7

        Fizzy @ 4.3 – hard out training for auditioning – Vaudeville Theatre in the complex – not doing too bad either.

  5. tc 5

    Farking hilarious, if only we had an MSM to make the obvious points about JK’s jelly like position on a deal him and joyce slammed through.

    The biggest bludgers under NACT by far have been big business at everyone elses expense.

    • Sacha 5.1

      I’d say the casino did all the slamming. wouldn’t you? ‘Masters of the universe’ seems about right for Joyce and chums.

      • tc 5.1.1

        Nah Key and Joyce new exactly how this would be played they were rat cunning deceitful corporate dark lords before politics, probably suggested the moves.

        Slammed it through so it was in play just in case they lost the 2014 election with an agreement that allows sky city to plunder the taxpayer, if nothing they are good at this……very good.

        • Sacha 5.1.1.1

          Joyce would love you to think he’s a big business guy but his track record of deal-making in government aint that impressive is it.

      • tc 5.1.2

        Nah Key and Joyce new exactly how this would be played they were rat cunning deceitful corporate dark lords before politics, probably suggested the moves.

        Slammed it through so it was in play just in case they lost the 2014 election with an agreement that allows sky city to plunder the taxpayer, if nothing they are good at this……very good.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    Well I hope the crown has a caveat registered against the land that had TVNZ on it. That should slow down the Sky City building a hotel on it – but hey perhaps we should grab back the land plus hotel as our share for being stuffed around by them

    • Paul 6.1

      Re-appropriate all the stolen land and assets.
      No compensation.

      • RedBaronCV 6.1.1

        and we should raise the gaming taxes on pokie machines. Or did jK pronmise not to do that too.

    • rawshark-yeshe 6.2

      most interesting point — who currently owns the land ? No construction agreement signed … but I read somewhere this week that Sky City retains ‘ownership’ of the TVNZ land even if this deal collapses .. but what is status quo right now I wonder ??

      interesting how it is keeping sabin or whoever it isn”t out of the headlines with a by=election due in about five weeks ?

      and I think key’s blind trust is trustily enabled with braille with its mirror-trust, and no doubt joyce’s as well .. so they will be making oodles of lovely dosh from their rort of good Kiwis. B’stards.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.3

      The caveat on the TVNZ land has been withdrawn.

      Sykycity arent that silly to be caught out without holding all the cards.

      Its the same way Rio Tinto held all the cards over their smelter. there is some bunnies in the game , lets play them

      • rawshark-yeshe 6.3.1

        Yes, I agree about the caveat, but does that mean Sky City holds the title to the TVNZ land already, even before construction agreement is signed?

        omfg .. imagine what these ministerial goons might commit us to in TPPA. ugh.

        • RedBaronCV 6.3.1.1

          Don’t know the answer to that – but I bet they have tried to get it tfered as fast as possible. Anyone here with access to the Linz database ?

          • rawshark-yeshe 6.3.1.1.1

            good idea … have asked your question on open mike this morning Feb 14 .. let’s see what comes …

  7. vto 7

    hee hee. You see the problem is that John Key is absolutely not a businessmanwoman capable of actually creating or doing something tangible. He has never done that. He has failed at that here again.

    This failure shows up John Key’s sole skill – clipping the ticket on the trading of money. That is all. That is it.

    This deal has been an absolute failure – lesson being don’t trust Jphn Key with anything other than clipping the ticket on the trading of money. Such a useful man ….

  8. Neil 8

    I wish Key would hurry up & hand over $130 million, so it will show who Key really is.

  9. music4menz 9

    Of course the situation could be interpreted as Key taking the time to ponder the options, see what the alternatives are, listen to a variety of opinions and in the end making a decision that is going to be in the best interests of the NZ taxpayer.

    Maybe that is not such a bad thing.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      He has had four years to ponder the options and he is the one who created the situation. Surely he should wear this?

      • Neil 9.1.1

        Unfortunately which ever way it goes it will cost the tax payer. If they walk away from the deal & have to pay 10 million to exit the contract, the tax payers still wont be very happy about it & quite possibly be the straw that breaks the camels back. Key has well & truly painted himself into a corner with this one.

        • Jones 9.1.1.1

          National could walk away from this deal and still come out smelling of roses with our MSM. They would paint him as making the tough decisions, standing up to the big guys when it’s necessary. What will be conveniently forgotten is the increase in the number of gambling machines for Sky City and the TVNZ land handed over as part of the deal… call it compensation for mucking Sky City around.

          • tc 9.1.1.1.1

            Nailed it buddy, sky city win both ways, taxpayers cough up either way, key spun as a tough leader by the msm puppets.

      • rawshark-yeshe 9.1.2

        hiding the inconvenient truth of a by-election by any chance ?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      Yeah, the corrupt way he and the National Party exploited the other bidders was always going to expose him as trash, one way or another,

      The take-home lesson for Sky City is that the National Party sells legislation to the highest bidder, and they don’t even stay bought.

      The best way for New Zealand to deal with Sky City is to prosecute the money laundering industry, no matter how many National Party Prime Ministers they buy.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.3

      It could be, I suppose, and we could also be sending our kids to Iraq because we love human rights. And Sabin might just have an impacted wisdom tooth. Anything is possible.

      • rawshark-yeshe 9.3.1

        on the money, murray.

        wondering: do you know if the TVNZ land has actually changed hands to Sky City already ? was it done outside of the convention centre agreement so it is irrevocably gone regardless? what a filthy deal and perhaps so dastardly cunning? the convention centre deal might collapse, but they will have secured the best prime real estate for a profitable new hotel at no-cost by the time the govt pays its $10 million penalty for discontinuing.

        Has the whole thing been a drunken chimera from the get-go, or is this how badly Key and Joyce have been played ? Win win for SC, lose lose for us ? omfg

    • framu 9.4

      shouldnt those options have been pondered and then specified in the initial agreement?

      lets not forget that they made the contract so open ended that this was pretty much always going to happen

      hes taking the time to see how much blowback there might be from the party members and backers – and considering that this is one of those weird situations where the left and right are singing from the same sheet im guessing hes been sent a very loud message

    • North 9.5

      Put away the Christopher Hitchens cant @ 9 music4menz.

      Are you pete george incarnate or something ?

  10. Gruntie 10

    and John Key is the Messiah

  11. Observer (Tokoroa) 11

    @ The National Party

    When Key and English were making a hash of things – offering Sky City staggering amounts of cash, plus a staggering number of additional golden Pokie licences – where was The National Party ?

    The Party must have known that Key and English were out of their depth in negotiating with a couple of gambling executives. Why did the Party not step in and tell John and Bill to stick to opening school fairs and bridges.

    Why also did the Party not step in and tell these two to stop raising the National Debt. Under Key and English, the debt has risen from $10 Billion to a current $100 Billion. It took the two of them just 6yrs to do this!

    Is the party itself in the same la la land as Key? Is the Party scared of Key? Why?

    • Murray Rawshark 11.1

      “Is the Party scared of Key? Why?”

      Yes, they are. They’re scared of being as unpopular again as they were without him. None of them are particularly remarkable people and their primary desire is to be in power. They don’t care about how much of our money gets wasted, as long as their own nests are well feathered.

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        No they are not scared of him…..not at all. They fully agree with what Key, English, Benefit, Joyce, and the rest of the lot does.

        Their livelyhood depends on agreeing. Does anyone think Judith Collins is not as corrupt as is Bennett? Or English for that Matter.

        They are cut from the same cloth, a cloth that covers a great many NZ’lers aswell….see last election.
        They voted against building more houses, they voted against a raise in the minimum wage, they voted against protecting their natural habitat (yes it may be the dolphin that go first but we will follow suit) etc. etc. etc.

        they voted for the selfmade millionaire that grew up in a state house with all the trimmings the social state offered his mothers and him, that went to a free university and then started clipping of money transactions.

        The one question I would still like to have answered after all these years is simple: What has John Key achieved that was good a for all New Zealanders or at least what has he created by himself that did not involve clipping a bonus of a money transaction done with the money of other people.

        Come on all yer lurking National Bots and Beige Citizens….what have Key, English, Bennet, Joyce, Brownlee, Collinst et al done that has benefited someone else besides them.

        • Murray Rawshark 11.1.1.1

          I didn’t phrase my reply too well at all. I think they’re scared of losing him, because without FJK they don’t have the government benches and can’t continue their rape and pillage.

        • ropata:rorschach 11.1.1.2

          +1 great comment Sabine.
          Key has appealed to the stupidest instincts of NZ voters, with his shit-eating grin, blokey babble, “team national” tribalism, and zillionaire lifestyle.

          He has done “good” for his constituents, ie. the moneyed class of Parnell and Merivale, and bad for everyone else, but they vote for him anyway.

    • Sacha 11.2

      Why would you assume the Nat party oppose handing public money to private companies?

  12. grumpystilskin 12

    Kinda funny and sad at the same time, a political party that seems to take pride in it’s business know how f*cked up on such a grand scale..
    How embarrassing, a shakedown by a casino.
    There must a lot of people in the business world saying WTF were you thinking ??!

    • vto 12.1

      Yep exactly, but don’t be too taken in by business wonderboys. Many of them have done well financially by lots of hard work aided by a single dollop of luck – et voila they think they are some kind of supermen of business. It tricks even themselves.

      Only three ways to do well financially – hard work, inheritance and luck. Or combos thereof

  13. Pete George 13

    Key has read the signs and retreated from the Sky scam.

    The power of public opinion can sometimes be effective. Opposition parties played their part but it was a wide, spontaneous and scathing reaction from across the spectrum that made the difference here.

    National seems to have decided that their least preferred option is to be dragged down into the pokie pits this early in their third term. Key would have lost significant support from where he most needs it.

    • tc 13.1

      Agree, Key moves based on farrars polling. He is not concerned about Laws, morality, ethics or due process as he trashes those on a regular basis.

      His treatment of Collins over DP being another recent example, did squat till the polling showed it to be impacting them.

      • Pete George 13.1.1

        His reaction this time was far quicker than he could have got from polling.

        MSM and social media impact along with constituents pressuring National MPs were rapid and effective.

        The lesson here is that a manufactured noise on the left is easily ignored while a genuine middle NZ uproar can swing things.

        It’s difficult to trigger spontaneous reaction but it can be encouraged and emphasised.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1

          🙄

          Yeah, just in case anyone was thinking this was some sort of embarrassing clusterfuck for National, it’s actually a defeat for the Left. Glad you could clear that up for us, Wormtongue.

          • Pete George 13.1.1.1.1

            It’s not a defeat for the left you dope. It’s a win for New Zealand and a major embarrassment for Joyce and Key.

            You get things wrong as usual, unless you think ‘the left’ is somehow exclusive from people power.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, the reference to the “noise” we “manufacture” is just a random phrase that has no meaning. Like “cloying beige drivel”.

              • Pete George

                The noise you manufacture would have to be one of the most stupid and counter productive political strategies there is. But you don’t see the problem.

                Funny that you seem to think you somehow represent ‘we the left’. You and a few like you are one of the left’s biggest problems

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Thanks for your concern.

                • framu

                  The now redundant eyes were returned to their donors with a complimentary display stand (actually, an egg cup with ‘thank you’ painted on it) and a letter that read: “Be proud that you can look yourself in the eye in the knowledge that your eye was once the nation’s eyes and ears”.

            • marty mars 13.1.1.1.1.2

              somehow you turn it into a victory for your pretend middleway uproar – face it, the left ‘manufactured noise’ WAS the voice of the people

          • Skinny 13.1.1.1.2

            Lol ouch! that gave me a hell of a laugh.

            In cricket terms Pete just got hit for a 6 on a no ball. Or bowled out for a golden duck.

            OAB is on to you cobbah lol.

        • Sacha 13.1.1.2

          They poll daily.

          • rawshark-yeshe 13.1.1.2.1

            hourly, I would imagine at this stage !!! and I bet the surveys are including subtle questions about by-election, but hidden under guise of Sky City.

  14. Sabine 14

    JK: ……I’d need a lot of convincing if any other position was going to be adopted,” he said.

    How much more does he think he can squeeze out of them …..lol, bribery is him and his party?

    JK: …..‘In the world we live in … in the perfect world … we would like to see them build a convention centre for $402m.”

    but if its gonna cost $ 530 m or more I am comfortable with that.

    there i translated it for you.

    🙂

  15. Matthew Hooton has let the SkyCity deal (and Key) have it with both barrels in a (non-paywalled) NBR column:
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/skycity-debacle-offers-morbid-fascination

    • mickysavage 15.1

      Utterly fascinating report by Hoots. He has that way of writing coldly about potentially incendiary subjects and this is a very good example.

    • Skinny 15.2

      It comes as no great surprise Hooton joins the cat killer Act Leader and Taxpayer Association in condeming Joyce’s lemon of an idea to chip in our hard earned money for a private venture. In other words its an idealodgical view.

  16. Sacha 16

    Toby Manhire has some novel suggestions if Joyce and Johnboy want to double-down:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11401117

    • rawshark-yeshe 16.1

      usual finesse from Manhire, brilliant.

      A comment below his article asks this —

      “Tell me one thing – if the ‘convention centre’ is abandoned, will SkyCity lose its ‘statutory payment’? No? Thought not.”

      What do we actually know ?

  17. North 17

    If SkyCity keeps the licence regardless that would be a heist worthy of a blockbuster. About a handsome quid pro quo for silence and release, and the ‘insider’ machinations of a bunch of dons. It’s bloody glum-making that we’ve come to this !

    If the licence was empowered by legislation it would need legislation to disempower it surely. More legislation trading then ? It just goes on Fark !

    • rawshark-yeshe 17.1

      Interesting isn’t it, north … nothing was to move until the construction deal was signed, but the legislation was rammed through.

      it is glum-making — what the hell happens now ?

      I wrote elsewhere this morning about Key et al and their braille-enabled blind trusts. Bet they are looting as we speak. Key just wouldn’t be able to stop his corrupt money-trader self. His mirror trusts Aldwych and Shoreditch ? Bloody crook.

  18. Plan B 18

    Sky City must be kicking themselves that they built their casino at the wrong end of town. They did it just prior to the reorientation of the city towards the water front. Oh dear, never mind. They can build what they like, but it will not change the fact that they are in the wrong part of the city.

    • tc 18.1

      As long as there’s no other casino it’s not an issue. They have the bus terminal and will end up with a train station in the CBD loop if that ever happens.

  19. grumpystilskin 19

    So, if it’s no longer a deal what happens to the vacated TVNZ land?
    Seems the external contracting of the maori and pacific depts came at a very helpful time for some. But now what?

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