No one wants Key’s convention center

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, June 28th, 2013 - 71 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, Social issues - Tags: , , ,

Key’s grubby little deal on the Sky City convention center is about as popular as halitosis. The people don’t want it:

Support disappears for convention deal

Survey finds 61 per cent of people against SkyCity deal with Government which will give it more poker machines

Public opinion has turned against the Government’s SkyCity international convention centre deal just days before it is due to be signed off, allowing for 230 extra poker machines at the downtown Auckland casino.

The latest Herald-DigiPoll survey shows 61.5 per cent of those polled disapprove of the deal while 33.8 per cent approve.

That’s a sharp turnaround from a year ago when a similar poll found 40.3 per cent disapproved and 57.3 supported it.

(There are valid methodological quibbles with the comparison with the earlier survey, but 61% opposed is still a strong finding.)

The Auckland City Council doesn’t want it:

Council opposes convention centre deal

The Auckland Council has come out against the Government’s deal for a convention centre to built in return for laws allowing increased casino gambling.

Casino operator SkyCity has agreed to build the $400 million centre, in return for Government concessions that include an extended licence, an extra 230 gaming machines and up to 60 gaming tables.

Thursday’s vote does not affect the deal between the Government and SkyCity and is largely a symbolic gesture against the concessions. But the council is also demanding more measures to curb problem gambling and the release of a report on the social impacts of the deal.

Councillor Cathy Casey proposed the vote, which sparked lengthy debate before being passed by 10 votes to 7, and said it reflects anger that the Government has not consulted with Auckland over the deal. …

Key will carry on regardless of course, because he’s tied himself too closely to this deal, he thinks there are benefits and doesn’t care about the costs, and because he is much too arrogant to back down.

71 comments on “No one wants Key’s convention center”

  1. Peter 1

    Not too many people will want Key’s share offerings either, considering the downward spiral of the MRP share price. But then none of this is about what people want is it?

  2. BM 2

    What costs?
    Are there currently queues behind pokie machines at the moment?, is sky city fill of desperate gamblers fighting to have a go on the pokies?
    This create extra problem gamblers argument is a load of horse shit, moving pokies out of the pubs where they really cause social issues and centralizing them back in casinos will probably cause a decrease in problem gambling.

    Free convention center providing jobs for many for a couple of extra pokie machines, I can’t understand why people are against this, is it just to spite John Key and National.? or is it just people don’t think particularity clearly and get all emotive when the words “pokie machine” is used.

  3. ropata 3

    construction industry priorities

    build convention centre in Auckland
    build convention centre in Christchurch
    build rugby stadium in Christchurch
    build city rail loop in Auckland
    .
    .
    .
    build houses

    no wonder house prices are insane in this country

    • Rogue Trooper 3.1

      a two-bedroom, Duplex, 80m2, no parking, handkerchief of land, CV 570K in Ponsonby was discussed on Breakfast; sold for 945K.

      • erentz 3.1.1

        945K for 80m2!?!?

        That’s pure insanity. I’m currently thinking of buying in Seattle because rental stock is so constrained it has become more or less cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent. For that price here I could buy a beautiful 3 brm, 2.5 bath, house, modern or old but with quality refurb, in the range of about 220-250 m2, in one of the trendiest inner city suburbs a few kilometers from the CBD (certainly walking distance for me since I regularly do walk it). Absolutely no one should be buying any houses in New Zealand. Every poor bastard who thinks it’s their dream needs a reality check because houses there in NZ are ridiculously over valued.

        • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1.1

          few people moving to the provinces apparently; that’s the NAct Regional Development strategy. 😉

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Remember the bike trails were first priority when they won power

  4. Winston Smith 4

    But polls dont count remember

  5. Congratulations to Cathy Casey for driving the resolution passed yesterday and for campaigning effectively against the convention centre.

    She was interviewed on Radio NZ this morning and in typical Cathy style said it as she saw it.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2560224/doubt-over-whether-council-will-continue-issuing-consents.asx

  6. tracey 6

    Who wants to bet the new crossing wont have a dedicated bus lane let alone a light rail track.

    there was no talk amongst aucklanders about needing a convention centre before key told us we needed one. Whereas rail comes up at dinner all the time

    • tracey 6.1

      Maybe sky could help fund the rail loop… to assist getting people to their casino… or the crossing…

    • BM 6.2

      You must have a big dinner table.

      • tracey 6.2.1

        I can tell you convention centre never came up. You do see the irony of accusing me of speaking for everyone when you just made your 1 versus 99% comment above?

    • Tom 6.3

      I think that Len Brown’s achievement in getting Key to commit to light rail in Auckland has just firmed up his national leadership options after Shearers vote implodes during the next election.

      • tracey 6.3.1

        I thought brown had one eye on the mayorlty when he waxed lyrical about key and key had two eyes on the polls when he agreed to fund the loop. Doesnt leave much confidence that either of them had nz or aucklands best interests at heart. Prime example of right and left being as bad as each other.

        • Tom 6.3.1.1

          I think that depends where you sit, Tracey. If you are a ‘high net-worth individual’ (in the the local parlance) you are near the top of the pyramid – financially strong but numerically weak. If you are not – struggling to get by like most – you are numerically strong but relatively financially weak.

          Hence the campaigns to sway the masses by those with the dosh and the use of a sympathetic trickster / clown as ruler. God knows what Key is getting out of this – he certainly is not doing it for the salary. Perhaps someone has sold him on the notion of NZ becoming a ‘Southern Ocean Energy Superpower’ if they can find commercially exploitable hydrocarbon resources (ie oil) off West Northland, Hawkes Bay, Southern Wairarapa, and the remnants of the continent of Zelandia somewhere west of Bluff.

          “There’s many a slip
          twixt cup and lip”

          once wrote an experienced corn speculator, tudor propagandist, theatrical entrepreneur, actor, and playwright.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.4

      if rail is included, is it likely to branch off Aotea rather than Britomart then.

  7. Hal I Tosis 7

    I find this post to be very offensive.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    I don’t want the one in CHCH either. Build one in Auckland or Christchurch, not both. There’s no point building massive centres in both of these cities, so that they both sit empty half the time.

  9. Roy 9

    My bet is that when built, the convention centre will be a white elephant that is hopelessly underutilized. We can’t overcome the tyranny of distance that makes New Zealand unattractive to the big conventions and annual meetings.

  10. Yes 10

    ok – this is a dumb decision however I like democracy so will accept the majority.

    Now – so they want the rail loop line – go spend $3B and where are all those commuters from the airport go to go – I know in a loop.

    Guess what – people will go to a casino if they want.

    Cathy casey was not born in NZ – she is from scotland isnt she? Now didnt she vote against alot of things when she was down in wellington.

    • Rogue Trooper 10.1

      well, according to that veteran ‘trainspotter’ Marcus Lush (who ” has never voted for the Tories”), the CRL is a “game-changer”. Certainly a “triumph for Len Brown”.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      What loop?

      The CRL is a link.

      Your entire comment seems to be a homage to your ignorance.

      • Rogue Trooper 10.2.1

        that Ak Transport blogger, Cameron Pitcher, seemed enthused, and, an enthusiastic chappie.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    The Herald digipoll quoted in the post is the same poll – asking the same 750 people – as the one which was so bad for Shearer earlier.

    But this isn’t new. Again, the same poll showed majority support for an inquiry into the GCSB (i.e. the opposition’s stance).

    Polls have consistently shown support for opposition policies on Sky City, NZ Power, asset sales, CGT, charter schools and so on. Sometimes Key responds by making concessions (food in schools, Auckland rail). But mostly he just carries on regardless, knowing that he can’t be hurt.

    Of course, if the opposition leader actually stood up and said “No deal with Sky City, no 35 years, no way” then his own polling might be better. But he doesn’t, so it isn’t.

    The people make their views clear. They’d like a Labour leader who can do the same. Soon, please.

    (Cathy Casey available?)

  12. TightyRighty 12

    using the same argument, fewer people want labour in power than want a convention centre. could almost squeek the greens into that too.

  13. infused 13

    But it doesn’t actually matter because Labour are so in-effective at the moment.

  14. Tim 14

    I imagine all these monuments to National Party egos, once built, could fairly easily be converted for other uses (Lecture theatres maybe, or something similar).
    If these buggers persist in forging ahead with such projects (at the expense of trying to remedy more pressing matters – such as the plight of ChCh residents, amny of whom after 3 frikken YEARS are still living in 3rd world conditions), then it seems to me that an opposition when it comes to power has a mandate to do what it can to ‘make changes’.
    That shady 35 year deal for example …..
    No future gubbamint need be held to the comfy little backroom shaister deals – and even if (legally) there are threats – an opposition with balls can easily introduce measures that would make them think twice about trying it on in future.
    If only we had an opposition with balls.
    One day Roger Fitch!

  15. Wayne (a different one) 15

    Where is self responsiblity – the self discipline of the individual in all of this?

    Why is it societies responsibility to hold the hand of every retard who wants to throw their money down a “pokie machine.”

    Where does it end? – lets ban fast food outlets, alcohol outlets, cigarette outlets – lets also stop kids riding bikes and climbing trees because the might get hurt – ban cars because people get killed.

    For godness sake get a grip of yourselves – do really believe there are people sitting at home waiting for Sky City to put some extra machines in their Casino, just so they can become problem gamblers as soon as they do!!

    Shite, bloody PC do gooders.

    • gobsmacked 15.1

      “Where does it end?”

      With logic?

      Why aren’t there pokies in every hospital ward? Why aren’t you campaigning for them? Do you hate freedom?

  16. Wayne 16

    This whole post, and many of the comments looks rather desperate.

    So today John Key has made a whole lot of transport announcements, all well received. Over the last few days; the funding plan and priorities for Christchurch, all done. Wellington transport; sorted. The Convention Centre, soon to start, (and frankly Cathy Casey is not where the Council is at).

    The economy; doing OK, actually by international standards pretty well. Ironically the buzz in the Auckland property does reflect this confidence.

    To the public, in aggregate it all looks like progress. So it is no surprise the Nats are doing well in the polls.

    But Labour, what are they doing, where is the plan? And I don’t mean a few disjointed (even if mildly popular) policies. Certainly DS doesn’t seem to articulate a plan.

    But I think you know all this, hence the rather desperate post.

    • gobsmacked 16.1

      “Cathy Casey is not where the Council is at”

      She’s a siren who used her feminine wiles to make the Council vote the way they didn’t want to?

      Or are you just a maths dunce?

      PS You righties need better lines than “Wot about Shearer?”. That’s ours.

      • Wayne 16.1.1

        Of course I saw who voted. But I don’t think George Wood is really against the convention centre. In fact that whole vote seems like an odd little diversion, given the following votes. But I guess Cathy is happy.

        Fair point about DS, but I do actually like to see both sides put up their best players so the voters the best choice (not that I necessarily thought that when I was in Govt).

        But I would note that DS was the Opposition spokesman on both my portfolios. You judge if I seemed troubled by that. Surely you would expect that a future leader should have been able to take down a second bench Minister, or at the very least, seriously undermine them.

        • gobsmacked 16.1.1.1

          Nobody thought Shearer had it then, nobody thinks it now – except a handful of hacks who would support a stuffed aubergine if it had the right colour rosette (and every party has those).

          Even those in caucus who promoted him did so only because of who he wasn’t. They hoped they could get away with it. They haven’t. He’s a goner.

          National’s problem is that their re-election prospects depend on Labour keeping Shearer. Once their free pass is gone, they’ll be in trouble.

    • chris73 16.2

      Now thats a burn

    • Colonial Viper 16.3

      “This whole post, and many of the comments looks rather desperate.”

      That’s a curious conclusion. I say this because the construction of the Conference Centre is going to be an anchor around the Government’s neck in mid town Auckland during an election year.

      • Wayne 16.3.1

        Yeah right, Once construction starts attitudes will change.

        • karol 16.3.1.1

          How out of touch with ordinary/every day Aucklanders is the government? I guess there’ll just be maximum media coverage to encourage Aucklanders to care about something that adds nothing to their lives – and in times when life can be quite a struggle for many people.

          I have not heard anyone talk about this as a need for Auckland – improved transport, yes; housing issues, yes; SkyCity? something for the wealthy, not for most middle or low income Aucklanders.

        • Colonial Viper 16.3.1.2

          Yeah right, Once construction starts attitudes will change.

          You couldn’t say something funnier if you tried.

    • infused 16.4

      ^^ And most people know this.

  17. DavidW 17

    Wot Wayne said

  18. Frank 18

    Dear Leader fronted up to Mary Wilson on RNZ this afternoon. Is this the first time? I believe so. What is he up to?

  19. ropata 19

    once constriction starts blocking victoria and hobson streets and ten thousand people are stranded for an hour twice daily , attitudes will indeed change

  20. BLiP 20

    If the convention centre is such a good deal why won’t John Key tell the truth . . .

    – the Sky City deal will provide 1000 construction jobs and 800 casino jobs

    – the Sky City deal doesn’t mean more pokies

    – there was nothing improper about the Sky City deal

    – my office has had no correspondence, no discussions, no involvement with the Sky City deal

    – Sky City will only get “a few more” pokie machines at the margins

    – any changes to gambling regulations will be subject to a full public submission process

    – Sky City has approached TVNZ about the purchase/use of government-owned land

    – I did not mislead the House (8)

    – the Auditor General has fully vindicated National over the Sky City deal

    . . . I mean, if he has nothing to fear he has nothing to hide, right?

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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