Key’s reasoning for not calling a halt to the business case study for an international convention centre was that he had already decided it was a good idea. Therefore, there was no need for a business case to determine whether it was a good idea.
What is this? Faith-based government?
The truth is, the international convention centre is a dog and the number of international conventions is falling. New Zealand has spare capacity. It would be pretty sad if the only way to grow the country was an international convention centre to leech more money from gambling addicts, anyway.
It’s all reminiscent of their determination to sell assets despite their business case being a “not our best guess; it’s just a guess“, in English’s own words.
And, as with asset sales, it’s all about using government powers to give favours to National’s mates.
If we learned that a minister had intervened to give special favours to a mate, we would expect them to resign. That’s what Nick Smith did. And it’s what John Key should do.
He intervened to ensure that the international convention centre – a pet project of the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development, then headed by Key’s mentor Jim McLay before Key made him our representative at the UN – would be built without a proper business case.
He gave special priority to the bid from SkyCity (including approaching them to make a bid and offering them legislative changes so they wouldn’t depend on public money), the same SkyCity where National hosts all its Auckland parties and conventions. His government has failed to review SkyCity’s problem gambling strategy and Key won’t strengthen the rules to stop problem gambling = more profits for National ally SkyCity.
It’s an abuse of power and a conflict of interest.
Key should go.
He won’t. He doesn’t have the principles. But I hear the factions are making a lot of phone calls right now.