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Sky City redux – the house still wins

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, May 27th, 2015 - 101 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, corruption, john key, national, Politics, Public Private Partnerships, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags:

Sky city

I have followed this issue for a while.

Originally this Government decided to grant valuable gambling concessions in consideration of which Sky City would build a new convention centre.  Simple really.  Let Government sacrifice its sovereign right to legislate for the public good by giving a private corporation an income stream in consideration of which Auckland gets a shiny new building.

Let me break this down even more.  Allowing a corporation to increase the incidence of gambling with all of the attendant misery is worth something to it, so lets give it power to increase gambling in consideration of which Auckland gets an extra convention centre and John Key gets a ribbon cutting event.

The Government has thrown a lot of PR at it.  Yesterday it and Sky announced:

  • A new design with a slightly smaller centre will be built without any construction costs being met by the Crown.
  • SkyCity has increased its contribution from $402 million to at least $430 million, possibly as high as $450 million to $470 million.
  • No changes will be made to Government’s regulatory concessions.
  • The amended design is said to look similar to a beached ship.
  • It is estimated that 33,000 convention delegates will visit the convention centre.  The original proposal required an average of 3,500 attendees per conference to maximise economic output and stated there would need to be 35 of them, 25 which needed to be international conferences.  Someone needs to check my maths because this suggests that 122,500 convention delegates were required which is nearly four times what Joyce’s press statement indicates.  The economic benefit will be pretty puny if my maths is correct.
  • Joyce is claiming that the economic benefit will be the same.  Something definitely does not add up.  He says that the increase in GDP will be $49 million per annum.  The original feasibility study anticipated an increase in tourism related expenditure of $84.5 m.  Joyce’s numbers are rubbery to put it mildly.

Sky City previously tried to get Government to pick up more of the tab.  The estimate of the value of regulatory benefits varies but one estimate is that the cost of the original convention centre could be paid by three years of the anticipated increased earnings.  This was the deal of the century where the Government sold increased misery so Sky City could build a shiny new building.  And going back and seeking further contributions from Government showed an utter disdain for political sensitivities not to mention a complete lack of moral standards.

This is not a “win win”.  Sky City had a contractual obligation to build a big enough convention centre so that a certain amount of economic activity was going to be generated.  It is now building a smaller centre so that less economic activity is going to be generated but it still gets the same regulatory concessions.  The Government should pull the pin on this deal even if it does rob John Key of a ribbon cutting opportunity.

The Sky City Convention Centre will be this government’s single largest economic development project in its 7 years.   It will also be the single largest building in the country, and stand as John Key’s great political monument.

It won the job in 2011 with a $350m construction bid. By 2013 that cost was $402m and government had to agree to gambling concessions worth $527m, and valuable TVNZ land was thrown in as a sweetener.

With the massive design, cost, capacity and legislative alterations required for this job, those original losing bidders, The Edge, Ngati Whatua, Infratil and ASB Showgrounds, now know the extent of this corrupted process.  It is a shame they did not judicially review the award process.  If they had the results would have been interesting if not potentially damaging for the Government.

This is clear when you think of the history of the matter.  In May 2013 this government announced that the centre would cater for 3,500 delegates, attract 33,000 more of them to Auckland, and generate 1,000 construction jobs.  The latest announcement shows that its specification and benefits have been scaled back faster than a Treasury GDP forecast.

Andrew Little’s quote that “it’s not a Convention Centre, it’s a Concessions Centre” seems very apt.

When it opens, will this be what we should have spent $527 million – and Parliament’s independence – on?

Update:  it looks like some sleight of hand is going on.  A supplemental agreement has been entered into by the parties.  Under the supplementary agreement entered into by the parties there is a change of contractual terms applying to “future development unit” land and under clause 4.2 a Sky City acknowledges that it has “derived additional value from the redefinition of the land and Future Development Unit”.  Presumably now it has more land that it can deal with in which ever way it wants to.  So the Government has in essence kicked extra money Sky City’s way by reducing Sky City’s contractual obligations.

101 comments on “Sky City redux – the house still wins ”

  1. les 1

    look for SKC in the gainers column today.

  2. tinfoilhat 2

    How do the gambling concessions work MS ?

    Does the taxpayer really end up spending half a billion on this white elephant…if so what an incredible waste of money.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    The opposition must make it very very clear that future parliaments will not be bound by John Key’s unethical manipulations.

    • infused 3.1

      Good luck with that.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        Thanks.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        Well they aren’t. Parliament is sovereign (at least till the TPP is signed), so future parliaments are not bound by John Key’s unethical manipulations. Future parliaments are in fact, not bound by anything.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1

          Not even the rule of law, apparently.

        • mickysavage 3.1.2.2

          While this is the case Sky City has a contract which says it is paid penalties if the Crown changes the regulatory concessions. Of course an act of Parliament changing the terms of the agreement would conceivably change things.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.2.1

            That contract has as much validity as a John Banks election return.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.2.2

            It’s actually SkyCity that has broken the contract and should be up for millions in penalties.

            • Tracey 3.1.2.2.2.1

              but the aggrieved party has elected not to cancel or seek damages for that breach and continued the contract, so that breach would no longer be actionable

          • Tracey 3.1.2.2.3

            SkyCity is exactly the sort of organisation that I suspect wouldn’t hesitate to bring in the lawyers if a future government removes the concessions… and even without the TPP it would try its hand on breach of contract? Bear in mind that Sky has probably breached the contract BUT the Government has not actioned it so it cannot be revisited in the future as a defence or counter argument.

        • infused 3.1.2.3

          Yes, just like Labour will roll back the 90 day trial (nope).

          • Lanthanide 3.1.2.3.1

            What Labour will or won’t do is rather immaterial to the sovereignty of Parliament, which you seem to doubt.

        • Tracey 3.1.2.4

          And that is a potential problem with TPP investor clause. SkyCity is exactly the sort of organisation that I suspect wouldn’t hesitate to bring in the lawyers if a future government removes the concessions…

          Mind you, it would allow a legal light to shine on the original deal and what was delivered (hence the supplementary paper – imo).

          • Clemgeopin 3.1.2.4.1

            “SkyCity is exactly the sort of organisation that I suspect wouldn’t hesitate to bring in the lawyers if a future government removes the concessions”

            What is to stop a future government to make some other laws such as…(say)
            (1) Making pokie gambling illegal in NZ.
            (2) Taxing Gambling joints at 80% above a certain threshold.
            (3) Restricting opening hours to 8 hours max, say from 10 am to 6 pm.
            (4) Making alcohol/smoking consumption anywhere in the premises illegal.
            (5) Workers to be on collective employment contract.
            (6) ?

            Surely, there are other direst and indirect ways for parliament to deal with the general huge evils of gambling rather than by blunt ‘removal of concessions’ to this particular crooked pro Sky BS deal?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.5

          The TPP doesn’t affect sovereignty. It introduces the concept of compensation for acts of Parliament that cause material losses.

          All we need to do is adopt it universally to apply to citizens and businesses alike, and make it retrospective by thirty-one years.

          • Tracey 3.1.2.5.1

            yes it does, which in turn could mean that something stops at Bill level due to threats of legal action and damages which would be damaging to the nation… it could mean a repeal of a Law in response to a case. That means the sovereignty of Parliament is compromised.

  4. adam 4

    If you look up the gambling – you see the words venture, hazard, speculation as it’s synonyms. These same words which underpin all the media and popular propaganda around modern capitalism. It’s a game to them – their economic model, is basically a game of chance.

    Morally speaking – because let us face the facts – gambling is a problem – and the so called market can’t check it – because the so called market, is in on the racket. The damage of gambling is passed onto the consumer, which ultimately means – the families of gamblers.

    So essentially, we have government who is happy to spread misery – by getting into bed with the peddlers to our base desires.

    Welcome to modern capitalism folks – I hope you like being a plaything for the capitalist of the 21st century.

  5. T Chris 5

    The alternative was tax payers stumping up 500 million

    • mickysavage 5.1

      The alternative was not building the centre in the first place. The economic benefits are illusory at best.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        +1

        There’s no possibility that the Auckland convention centre will produce the economic returns promised but it will produce the misery that will be detrimental to our society and our economy.

      • Molly 5.1.2

        +1 In more than a few of the Auckland Council public meetings that I attended, the requirement for a convention centre is accepted as a given. Very little dissent is expressed, but the economic and social costs of this for NZ are very high and real, while the benefits are supposed.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.3

        WE have a convention center in Aotea Sq, the ratepayer owned Aotea Centre.

        Skycity has a convention center as well, for which they received extra pokies , thanks to Judith Collins and the then Casino Control Commisiion ( laugh) in about 2000.

        Wait till the ratepayers find out we have to support Skycitys running costs as well, once this so called convention is built.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      Can you walk me through that T Chris? Are people in Auckland crying out for a convention centre? Crowds out on the streets chanting “Whaddawewan…”?

      Nope.

      Once upon a time, T Chris, there was a milkmaid, and her name was Judith…

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        It’s like Chris has blotted the Aotea Centre from his mind… as have too many Aucklander’s. That was the last convention centre built to be a boon to our local economy. Which wasn’t. Which was a white elephant. For all the same reasons Ttreasury provided Joyce and Key.

      • Clemgeopin 5.2.2

        “Once upon a time, T Chris, there was a milkmaid, and her name was Judith…”

        OAB,

        Link doesn’t take us anywhere! No milk!

    • Tracey 5.3

      That is ridiculous, the alternative was

      1. not having one
      2. taking Treasury’s advice regarding the lack of economics behind relying on a convention centre
      3. Getting what was contracted
      4. having more savvy economic and business manager’s negotiating on behalf of the Crown rather than Joyce and Key.

  6. OMBE 6

    I can only hope Andy Little can keep this story alive for as long as possible….this is a real vote winner, and game changer for Labour…..

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Well, you’re either naive enough to believe that, or naive enough to think that anyone here will take it seriously.

      Which is it?

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        You didn’t acknowledge his/her genuine concern

      • Old Mickey 6.1.2

        Apology for attempt at sarcasm.
        Following some interesting debate, I thought the key for labour would be to try and be more relevant on the things that matter. This issue, I suspect, is not going to make a jot of positive difference for Labour, when the Nats can make the “you bunch of hypocrites call” wrt to Labour MP’s enjoying Sky City hospitality…..Maybe just highlights that labour is short of ideas and good policy.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.2.1

          So short of ideas and good policy, in fact, that the National Party keeps passing watered down versions of it.

        • Tracey 6.1.2.2

          matthew hooton is one of the loudest naysayers. pretty sure he isnt Labour

        • mickysavage 6.1.2.3

          This hurts National. Their focus groups say so. This is why they backed away at a million miles an hour from the idea of providing further government money.

          This current arrangement provides increased value to Sky in such a way that the Government can deny doing so.

  7. Ad 7

    For that amount of damaging public concessions from gambling, I would have hoped the Government would have required Sky City as part of the deal to deliver x number of conferences per year, to be sure the economic balance from the social wreckage of gambling.

    At minimum a publicly-published schedule of each conference, with its economic benefits, from Sky City, for all to see and critique.

    Right now I see no public accountability from either Sky City or the government for this immense degree of social damage within the $500m+ gambling concessions. There should be.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Thanks Ad. I just had a read of the supplemental agreement and the Government made further concessions to Sky City by way of giving them greater freedom to deal with some of the land. The house truly always wins …

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Especially when the house owns the government as well.

      • Tracey 7.1.2

        Have you heard any mutterings regarding the Youth Town land/property in Auckland City, lead poisoning from unregulated use of basement for firearms practice and SkyCity getting to purchase without public tender?

        • mickysavage 7.1.2.1

          No look forward to seeing the details …

          • Tracey 7.1.2.1.1

            It’s abit murky. All I have is the version of a former employee and partner.

            They assert that at some stage (before this employee was employed by Youthtown Inc – which is an “end-user trust”) the basement was leased to a gunclub. However the gunclub used lead based bullets. Over the years the dust etc permeated the building (apparently Auckland City doesn’t know) making it a hazard. When this employee was hired one part of the role was Health and Safety.

            They assert that the Youthtown Trustees/Board realised too late the problem and felt they had an unsaleable and unusable building. SkyCity at some point became involved and offered to buy the site. Notwithstanding Auckland’s hot property market the property was not put to the market but sold to SkyCity.

            I have looked over the website and googled. The last financial statement recorded on their website is for 2012. However on the Charities website they are up to date in their filing. Their 2014 return shows

            Land 9,660,000
            Buildings 1,840,000

            I guess the next return will reveal if there was a sale and how much they got. SkyCity will also disclose in its report in 2015?

            “Firefighters have contained a blaze at an empty central Auckland recreational centre.
            Thirteen fire service units have been at the centre on Nelson St since 5:10pm today after a transformer caught fire in the three-level building’s basement.
            There have been no reports of injury and the extent of the damage is not clear yet.
            The building has been empty for some time, and has not operated as a recreational centre for over a year.”
            11 May 2015
            http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/aucklands-youthtown-on-fire-2015051119#ixzz3bNb22lfY

            No more lead problem???

            Oh did I mention the youthtown building is on 68 Nelson Street where the new SkyCity hotel is planned? And SkyCity has only referred to its purchase of TVNZ land as accommodating the hotel BUT that purchase was about a year ago and the YouthTown building has been vacant for about 12 months.

            http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/skycity-reveals-plans-new-auckland-hotel-laneway-6055096

  8. Ron 8

    One further gain that Sky City have is that in getting the TVNZ land in Hobson Street it left TVNZ who have a server room underneath the land with no choice but to relocate. I doubt if there is room to move the server farms back into the main building server room but even if you did it would remove part of the plan to have parts of the network equipment separated. I understand that they are now looking at building (duplicating) the system in Wellington newsroom in Lambton Quay which of course as a DR site is pretty useless when you consider Wellingtons earthquake risk
    There was a perfectly good backup in Avalon but that was sold so TVNZ could make a gift to Government.
    Whatever the outcome TVNZ have been forced to hire building space from Telecom for several years whilst their building is refurbished the only winner seems to be SkyCity

  9. Matthew Hooton 9

    MS: Because you are all socialists who don’t believe in free markets and the price mechanism, you are underestimating how dodgy this deal is.
    This was my take on it some months ago in Metro:
    http://www.metromag.co.nz/city-life/columnists/market-force/

    • Tracey 9.1

      You could have written that without the churlish labelling…

      • Yes, but this is The Standard and I want to fit in to the generally accepted tone and style here …

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          Churlishness is reserved for people who have done something to warrant it:
          * Whatever stupid thing the government, or minister, has done this time
          * Whatever stupid thing a commenter has said that makes no sense

          In this case you’re replying to the original post, rather than a comment, and your subject is “socialists” rather than someone who has demonstrably done something dumb. So you’re a bit out of line.

          I guess you don’t understand the culture here.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9.1.1.1.1

            The tone here is appalling. It didn’t used to be. Back when Labour was in power, there was much good natured bantering back and forward. Now, it’s all just so nasty.

            • b waghorn 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I would imagine being governed by a bunch arrogant arse holes who believe that anything goes in the pursuit of power might have something to do with it .

              • Clean_power

                @b waghorn: Sorry to hear that. Will it be more of the same over the next five years?

                • b waghorn

                  I think the nats are beatable it got a lot closer at the last election then some are willing to admit .

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, I think the Right’s attacks on Helen Clark’s marriage demonstrated your character so clearly that people are taking a while to get rid of the sense of contempt and disgust.

              Or maybe it’s your hostility to the rule of law.

            • te reo putake 9.1.1.1.1.3

              Surely you jest, Gormless? Though I do miss Robinsod’s ‘good natured bantering’, the early days of TS were pretty much unmoderated and tended to be tolerant of abuse. The pendulum swung the other way for a while and there may have been too much moderation. I reckon the balance is pretty good now, with most commenters showing respect for the forum and those that don’t get it have moved on or been moved on.

              The quality of the discourse has improved greatly over the years, which is reflected in the improved reader numbers. Like a lot of blogs, TS is still overly macho and not a particularly welcoming place for women with opinions. So, still some work to do.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                The ‘sod was cutting but always funny and willing to take the piss out of himself when the situation demanded.

            • Tracey 9.1.1.1.1.4

              Interesting observation thanks. I notice at some other forums it doesn’t matter who is in power, the tone is always laced with a nasty superior undertone.

            • lprent 9.1.1.1.1.5

              Back when Labour was in power, there was much good natured bantering back and forward. Now, it’s all just so nasty.

              *sigh*. Not the way that I remember it. I’d say that you have a very very selective memory (not that is anything unusual).

              It might have been a little like that in 2007. But it certainly wasn’t in 2008. What we had then was some of the most atrocious organised trolling by right wing idiots.

              What we used to get then was organised bully gangs coming in from Whaleoil and Kiwiblog and crapping all over the site and the people writing here. They’d all say roughly the same things, essentially the Crosby Textor line of the day. Probably the fools organised to do it were too stupid to think of anything different. They’d attack any left commenter who disagreed with their PR driven thesis. The crap to content factor rose alarmingly.

              Eventually it got so bad at the start of 2008, that my idealistic fellow authors let Irish, Tane and I to start to deal with it.

              But unlike your idealized fantasy, the reality isn’t hard to find. Just go back to the archives for early 2008, pick a post with a large number of comments and read them. Boring as hell with ‘Hulun’, ‘Helengard’, and the most ridiculous moron lines seen in NZ politics. It wasn’t until late in 2009, that we finally got rid of the dickheads who used slogans to think with.

              These days when I see fuckwits trying that kind of 2008 stupidity, we just ban them. After all this site is for people of the left to discuss. People writing here tend to be a bit short with stupidity simply because they have gotten used to a better standard of discussion than you long for.

              I’m (as you’re aware) very short with it because I have seen rather too much of the stupid tactics over the years. I’ve seen how they play out, and I’m perfectly happy to cut them off with extreme prejudice. In my view, this enhances the site.

              Evidently readers agree. In election month 2008, we had about 100k page views. In 2009 we had less than a million page views in total. In election month 2011 we had 524 thousand page views. This month, a pretty normal month, we are going to have about 540-550k pages. In election month last year we had 868k page views.

              There is a trend there and that is that we’re striking a good balance in terns of what people want to read, both in the posts and in the comments. But if you want to comment on how we run our site, then please feel free to continue. You know our policy on it…

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Yeah. Pretty good example, actually. Your point could have been made without the repeated digs at me.

                • lprent

                  The “digs” express my contempt for your blue tinged nostalgia and inability to see how the same thing looks different to others. You haven’t expressed an opinion why we should restrict them. In particular after I provided some explicit information about the site growth despite everyone making “digs” at everyone else.

                  What you appear to be saying is that people aren’t allowed to express their opinions about the idiocies of others? At least not when you think that they shouldn’t.

                  But in my opinion, you “dig” at others just like that all of the time. That you probably don’t view it that way is rather irrelevant. It is in the eye of the beholder that matters.

                  Should we put in a hypocrisy based ‘gormless’ rule and start banning those complaining about ‘tone’ of others for them then dropping the “tone” themselves (in the view of the moderators)?

                  Admittedly it’d make banning the unthinking pompous gits easier – they usually have too much ego obscuring their awareness of how they look to others. But I’m pretty sure that it’d also depress the comments and readership as well. That is because judging it will be completely arbitrary and depend almost entirely on the cultural milieu of the moderator.

                  We moderate on behaviour rather than the kind of beholder based subjective judgements like you are proposing, and it is done for exactly the reasons that you are trying not to look at too closely.

                  But hey, you’re a critic rather than someone who has to run the ruddy place eh?

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    Unthinking pompous gits, indeed.

        • Tracey 9.1.1.2

          Oh don’t worry Matthew you set the tone on every occasion you post…

        • Skinny 9.1.1.3

          I saw the artists impression of the convention centre in the NZH. It looked better suited to be erected down on the port where it would have blended in with the containers.

    • mickysavage 9.2

      Thanks Matthew. Obviously your right wing deeper appreciation of the power of greed means that you can analyse this more fully. This comment of yours in your article deserves repeating:

      “The most valuable part of the deal to SkyCity was the extension of its Auckland casino monopoly from 2021 to 2048, more than a quarter century longer. The government legislated away its right to auction this licence later this decade. It’s of enormous value to SkyCity, and its competitors would also have entered the bidding, if only to drive up SkyCity’s ultimate price.”

      Interested on your take on the share price movement. There was a clear spike the last time the Government made an announcement. This time things appear to be much more muted.

      • Yep, that’s the key paragraph, and you seem to get it much better than the daily media!

        On the share price, I think the market has been expecting this outcome.

  10. T Chris 10

    Just my opinion, but

    I would rather have a few more pokie machines in a controlled place which people actually have to have the cash to get to than hundreds of pokey rooms in every second pub with vulnerable people chucking all their cash in

      • Clean_power 10.1.1

        No, Tracey. Normal people who want to have a bit of fun, who are not addicted to machines, who want some entertainment. Normal people.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1

          Money launderers, for example. Sorry, not money launderers, major donors. Forget I said anything about money launderers.

          • T Chris 10.1.1.1.1

            What does this have to do with a few extra pokies?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1.1.1

              The attendant vice, misery and corruption. That’s what it has to do with them.

              • T Chris

                Ohh

                So with out these new machines there wouldn’t be any?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Is that what you think would happen? Tying your own shoelaces too I see.

                • Tracey

                  so if misery exists you don’t mind increasing it, cos it was there to start with…

                  SkyCity “gives away” exactly the percentage proscribed by the Act. No more. They get to choose who they give to.

                  • T Chris

                    And they are all monitored and in one place people have to travel to.

                    • Tracey

                      you probably need to understand that only a small minority of problem gamblers get trespass orders on themselves from skycity. Those are the gamblers skycity watch. the majority of problem gamblers dont do such self actualising things and skycity does bugger all to address them.

        • Tracey 10.1.1.2

          Chris’ implication was that this casino was a safe and more nurturing place… I just wanted to show that it is not entirely nurturing and safe

          • T Chris 10.1.1.2.1

            I’m not saying that at all.

            I’m just saying they are better than the hundreds in pubs

            • Tracey 10.1.1.2.1.1

              kind of like grievous bodily harm is better than murder you mean?

        • Tracey 10.1.1.3

          By normal do you mean like you?

      • T Chris 10.1.2

        No

    • grumpystilskin 10.2

      I’d rather have no pokie machines.

      • Clean_power 10.2.1

        Fortunately we live in a society where we can exercise our free will to choose what and what not to do.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.1.1

          Well, not quite everything.

        • te reo putake 10.2.1.2

          To quote Devo, what we have is freedom from choice. We only have the illusion of freedom, but when it conflicts with the needs of capitalism, brutality rules. Ask fans of Campbell Live.

        • Tracey 10.2.1.3

          yes but with a JSM rider that many who make your statement conveniently omit.

        • dukeofurl 10.2.1.4

          Does he even realise there was a time when we didnt have pokie machines at all.
          Breweries and club owners changed that with a lot of help from poky machine manufactuers.

    • Maui 10.3

      It’s a good thing that poor people don’t know how to drive to central Auckland. If they do make it they’ll be looked after by a responsible host who will kick them out or get them help with their problem at the first sign of gambling addiction..

      • Sacha 10.3.1

        My, you have been guzzling the kool aid.

      • dukeofurl 10.3.2

        help with their problem of gambling addiction– all platitudes.

        Zero surveillance of gambling problems but very high surveillance of staff to see that all that lovely cash isnt being pocketed. Pit bosses would never refuse a customer to continue gambling. The pokie ‘battery hens’ only get attention when there is a large payout.

        The looking after gamblers myth at Skycity is similar to Fonterra saying dairy polluters get turned away- in reality it has never happened.

  11. Penny Bright 11

    Who is looking HARD at the fact that Sky City have effectively been allowed, in my considered opinion, to set up a ‘money-laundering factory’ in the heart of Auckland City?

    Gosh – wonder what THAT’$ worth?

    TITO – Tickets In – Tickets Out technology – where you can launder dirty money and transform it into clean money?

    How convenient ….

    How come, there was effectively no ‘due diligence’ done on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the Sky City ‘deal’ – then the subsequent legislation to entrench the deal?

    New Zealand – purported to be the SECOND ‘least corrupt country in the world’ ?

    (Transparency International’s 2014 ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – based upon the subjective opinions of anonymous Businesspeople?)

    Please be reminded that Auditor-General Lyn Provost failed to disclose that she had a shareholding in Sky City at the time she declined to conduct an inquiry that I requested into a matter relating to Sky City.

    And who is the principal ‘sponsor’ of Transparency International New Zealand?

    Oh – that’s right.

    The Office of the Auditor-General.

    Join the dots ……

    What a crooked line they make – in my considered opinion as a proven anti- corruption / pro-transparency campaigner.

    Penny Bright

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    • T Chris 11.1

      It has been a money laundering factory for 15 odd years. A few more pokie machines is hardly going to change this

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        That’s right. Aggressively taking compensation for all the harm they do is a far better alternative, along with immediate cancellation of all licences. Policy to make investors feel lucky to escape without seeing the inside of a jail cell.

  12. Atiawa 12

    I’ve always found it harder to part with my hard earned when the folding stuff is in my hip pocket. The cunning plan of a cashless society makes it easier for the mugs to swipe the plastic fantastic for the instant gratification gambling provides.
    Gamblers tend to forget how much they’ve lost chasing the big jackpot, until that is, the credit card bill arrives in the post.

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  • Bill introduced to support workers with 10 days sick leave
    The Government is delivering on a key commitment by introducing a Bill to Parliament to expand sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “COVID-19 has shown how important it is to stay at home when people are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Progress on pay equity for DHB staff
    Today’s initial agreement between DHBs and the PSA on pay equity for clerical and administration staff is an important step toward better, fairer pay for this crucial and largely female workforce, Health Minister Andrew Little says. If ratified, the agreement between the Public Service Association and the country’s 20 District ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Iconic Milford Track officially reopens
    One of New Zealand’s premier hikes and a cornerstone of the Te Anau community, the Milford Track has officially reopened, “From today, hikers booked on the popular Great Walk will be able to complete the walk end-to-end for the first time since early February,” Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Support for farmers beefed up ahead of La Niña
    Further funding for feed support services and new animal welfare coordinators will help farmers who continue to feel the effects of an extended drought, says Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor. “In March this year, I classified the drought in the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chathams ...
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    2 days ago
  • Next steps for Christchurch Hospital campus redevelopment
    Canterbury DHB will be better placed to respond to future demand for services and continue to deliver high quality care, with the next stage of the campus redevelopment programme confirmed, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Government has approved $154 million in funding for the construction of a third tower ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers’ Joint Statement
    The Defence Ministers from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom reaffirmed their nations’ continued commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), and commended the achievements over the past 49 years as the FPDA moves towards its 50th Anniversary in 2021.  The Ministers recognised the FPDA’s significant role ...
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    3 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding protects health of Hawke’s Bay waterways
    A joint Government and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project will invest $4.2 million to protect local waterways, enhance biodiversity and employ local people, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   Over two years, the Hāpara Takatū Jobs for Nature project will fence 195km of private land to exclude stock from vulnerable ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Year border exception for seasonal workers in the horticulture and wine industries
    2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week while in isolation From January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government increases support for New Zealanders to work in seasonal jobs
    The Government is offering further financial support for unemployed New Zealanders to take on seasonal work. These new incentives include: Up to $200 per week for accommodation costs $1000 incentive payment for workers who complete jobs of six weeks or longer increasing wet weather payments when people can’t work to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government receives Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mos...
    Minister for Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti has today received the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, and will table it in Parliament on Tuesday December 8. “I know this will have been a challenging process for whānau, survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Government to declare a climate emergency
    The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today.                                       “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Call for urgent action on Pacific conservation
    A declaration on the urgency of the global biodiversity crisis and the need for immediate, transformative action in the Pacific was agreed at a pan-Pacific conference today. The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is taking place this week across the Pacific.  Minister of Conservation Kiritapu ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech from the throne
    E aku hoa i te ara o te whai, Kia kotahi tā tātou takahi i te kō, ko tōku whiwhi kei tō koutou tautoko mai. Ko tāku ki a koutou, hei whakapiki manawa mōku. He horomata rangatira te mahi, e rite ai te whiwhinga a te ringatuku, me te ringakape ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keynote address to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference
    Speech to the CAANZ conference - November 19, 2020 Thank you, Greg, (Greg Haddon, MC) for the welcome. I’d like to acknowledge John Cuthbertson from CAANZ, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, former fellow MP and former Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, other guest speakers and CAANZ members. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expert independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting
    A panel of seven experts are adding their support to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has announced today. “Today I will meet with some of the most experienced Māori broadcasters, commentators and practitioners in the field. They have practical insights on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to review housing settings
    New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus is on improving access to the housing market for first home buyers and ensuring house price growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Govt’s careful economic management
    The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance before gains and losses, or OBEGAL, was in deficit. However that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Community launch marks next step in addressing racism in education
    The launch of Te Hurihanganui in Porirua today is another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. Budget 2019 included $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to consider recommendations on DNA use in criminal investigations
    The Minister of Justice has received the Law Commission’s recommending changes to the law governing the way DNA is used in criminal investigations. The report, called The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations – Te Whahamahi I te Ira Tangata I ngā Mātai Taihara, recommends new legislation to address how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Wakatū Nelson regional hui on trade
    First, I want to express my thanks to Te Taumata for this hui and for all the fantastic work you are doing for Māori in the trade space. In the short time that you’ve been operating you’ve already contributed an enormous amount to the conversation, and developed impressive networks.  I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Primary Industries Summit
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the significant contribution the food and fibres sector makes to New Zealand and how this Government is supporting that effort. I’d like to start by acknowledging our co-Chairs, Terry Copeland and Mavis Mullins, my colleague, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building
    The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process. “It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Papakāinga provides critically needed homes in Hastings
    A papakāinga opened today by the Minister for Māori Development the Hon Willie Jackson will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes in Hastings. The four home papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place Based’ initiative. This initiative is a Government, Hastings ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While this isn’t an in-person meeting, it will be one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Revival of Māori Horticulturists
    The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Congratulating finalists at the Awards, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said growing large-scale māra kai is part of Māori DNA. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders
    From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies
    Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This is the second round of the Sustainability Contestable Fund, and work will begin immediately. The first round announced in April ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northl...
    Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today. It’s part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “Investments like this gives the construction industry certainty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor
      Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor.  “Rudy dedicated his life to the betterment of Māori, and his strong approach was always from the ground up, grassroots, sincere and unfaltering”  “Over the past few ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow. “In a world where we cannot travel due to COVID-19, continuing close collaboration with our regional partners is key to accelerating New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said. “There is wide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
    Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. This is a critical time for New Zealand as we respond to the damage wreaked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that investment in our economic recovery is well thought through, and makes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Huge investment in new and upgraded classrooms to boost construction jobs
    Around 7,500 students are set to benefit from the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “The election delivered a clear mandate to accelerate our economic recovery and build back better. That’s why we are prioritising construction projects in schools so more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Keeping Pike River Mine promises 10 years on
    Ten years after the Pike River Mine tragedy in which 29 men lost their lives while at work, a commemorative service at Parliament has honoured them and their legacy of ensuring all New Zealand workplaces are safe. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the event, along with representatives of the Pike ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional testing to strengthen border and increase safety of workers
    New testing measures are being put in place to increase the safety of border workers and further strengthen New Zealand’s barriers against COVID-19, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These strengthened rules – to apply to all international airports and ports – build on the mandatory testing orders we’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
    The Government’s investment in public housing is delivering more warm, dry homes with today’s official opening of 82 new apartments in New Lynn by the Housing Minister Megan Woods. The Thom Street development replaces 16 houses built in the 1940s, with brand new fit-for-purpose public housing that is in high ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
    The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. “This agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
    Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through ...
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    2 weeks ago