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.