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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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  • Relationship with Malaysia to be elevated to Strategic Partnership
    The relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Malaysia is to be elevated to the status of a Strategic Partnership, to open up opportunities for greater co-operation and connections in areas like regional security and economic development. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met her Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah today during a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Call for New Zealanders to get on-board with rail safety
    With additional trains operating across the network, powered by the Government’s investment in rail, there is need for a renewed focus on rail safety, Transport Minister Michael Wood emphasised at the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022. “Over the last five years the Government has invested significantly to improve level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
    The Foreign Minister has wrapped up a series of meetings with Indo-Pacific partners in Cambodia which reinforced the need for the region to work collectively to deal with security and economic challenges. Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Phnom Penh for a bilateral meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and Aotearoa New Zealand, ...
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    1 day ago
  • The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians
    Extension of Aotearoa Touring Programme supporting domestic musicians The Programme has supported more than 1,700 shows and over 250 artists New Zealand Music Commission estimates that around 200,000 Kiwis have been able to attend shows as a result of the programme The Government is hitting a high note, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare will depart tomorrow for Solomon Islands to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. While in Solomon Islands, Minister Henare will also meet with Solomon Islands Minister of National Security, Correctional Services and Police Anthony Veke to continue cooperation on security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
    The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.   The programme aims to scientifically evaluate the financial, social and environmental differences between regenerative and conventional practices. ...
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    3 days ago
  • More women on public boards than ever before
    52.5% of people on public boards are women Greatest ever percentage of women Improved collection of ethnicity data “Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level. The facts prove that diverse boards bring a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skill. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Awards support Pacific women
    I am honoured to support the 2022 Women in Governance Awards, celebrating governance leaders, directors, change-makers, and rising stars in the community, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. For the second consecutive year, MPP is proudly sponsoring the Pacific Governance Leader category, recognising Pacific women in governance and presented to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt investment into Whakatāne regeneration reaches new milestones
    Today Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash turned the sod for the new Whakatāne Commercial Boat Harbour, cut the ribbon for the revitalised Whakatāne Wharf, and inspected work underway to develop the old Whakatāne Army Hall into a visitor centre, all of which are part of the $36.8 million ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government determined to get a better deal for consumers
    New Zealanders are not getting a fair deal on some key residential building supplies and while the Government has already driven improvements in the sector, a Commerce Commission review finds that  changes are needed to make it more competitive. “New Zealand is facing the same global cost of living and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government exceeds Mana in Mahi target
    Mana in Mahi reaches a milestone surpassing 5,000 participants 75 per cent of participants who had been on a benefit for two or more years haven’t gone back onto a benefit 89 per cent who have a training pathway are working towards a qualification at NZQA level 3 or ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government opens new research and innovation hub
    The Government has invested $7.7 million in a research innovation hub which was officially opened today by Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Dr Ayesha Verrall. The new facility named Te Pā Harakeke Flexible Labs comprises 560 square metres of new laboratory space for research staff and is based at ...
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    5 days ago
  • Unemployment remains low and wages rise despite volatile global environment
    Unemployment has remained near record lows thanks to the Government’s economic plan to support households and businesses through the challenging global environment, resulting in more people in work and wages rising. Stats NZ figures show the unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in the June quarter, with 96,000 people classed out ...
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    5 days ago
  • First ever climate adaptation plan lays foundations for resilient communities
    Action to address the risks identified in the 2020 climate change risk assessment, protecting lives, livelihoods, homes, businesses and infrastructure A joined up approach that will support community-based adaptation with national policies and legislation Providing all New Zealanders with information about local climate risks via a new online data ...
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    5 days ago
  • New mental health and addiction services making a difference for Māori
    Māori with mental health and addiction challenges have easier access to care thanks to twenty-nine Kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services across Aotearoa, Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says. “Labour is the first government to take mental health seriously for all New Zealanders. We know that Māori ...
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    6 days ago
  • Data and Statistics Bill Passes its Third Reading
    A Bill which updates New Zealand’s statistics legislation for the 21st century has passed its third and final reading today, Minister of Statistics David Clark said. The Data and Statistics Act replaces the Statistics Act, which has been in effect since 1975. “In the last few decades, national data and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Further moves to improve the lives of disabled people
    The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament today, marking a significant milestone to improve the lives of disabled people. “The Bill aims to address accessibility barriers that prevent disabled people, tāngata whaikaha and their whānau, and others with accessibility needs from living independently,” said ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit
    Kia ora koutou, da jia hao It’s great to be back at this year’s China Business Summit. I would first like to acknowledge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, former Prime Minister Helen Clark, His Excellency Ambassador Wang Xiaolong, and parliamentary colleagues both current and former the Right Honourable Winston Peters, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further changes to CCCFA Regulations will improve safe access to credit
    Narrowing the expenses considered by lenders Relaxing the assumptions that lenders were required to make about credit cards and buy-now pay-later schemes. Helping make debt refinancing or debt consolidation more accessible if appropriate for borrowers The Government is clarifying the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance (CCCFA) Regulations, to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government prioritises firearm prohibition orders to reduce gun harm
    The Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill will be passed through all remaining stages by the end of next week, Police Minister Chris Hipkins said. The Justice Select Committee has received public feedback and finalised its report more quickly than planned. It reported back to the House on Friday.  “The Bill will ...
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    6 days ago
  • National plan to protect kauri commences
    The Government has stepped up activity to protect kauri, with a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) coming into effect today, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister James Shaw said. “We have a duty to ensure this magnificent species endures for future generations and also for the health of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support for Samoa’s Climate Change Plan and rebuild of Savalalo Market
     Prime Minister Ardern met with members of Samoa’s Cabinet in Apia, today, announcing the launch of a new climate change partnership and confirming support for the rebuild of the capital’s main market, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Reconnecting with ASEAN and Malaysia
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for the Indo-Pacific region today for talks on security and economic issues at meetings of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, and during bilateral engagements in Malaysia. “Engaging in person with our regional partners is a key part of our reconnecting strategy as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement to the 2022 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
    United Nations Headquarters, New York City  Thank you, Mr President. Ngā mihi ki a koutou. I extend my warm congratulations to you and assure you of the full cooperation of the New Zealand delegation. I will get right to it. In spite of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the nuclear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 10,000 more permanent public homes added under the Labour Government
    A major milestone of 10,037 additional public homes has been achieved since Labour came into office, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods confirmed today. “It’s extremely satisfying and a testament to our commitment to providing a safety net for people who need public housing, that we have delivered these warm, ...
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    7 days ago
  • Sanctions on Russian armed forces and weapons manufacturers
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has announced further sanctions on the armed forces and military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation. “President Putin and the Russian military are responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which is a grave breach of fundamental international law,” Nanaia Mahuta ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government plan to boost health workers
    Easing the process for overseas nurses and provision of up to $10,000 in financial support for international nurses for NZ registration costs. Provide for the costs of reregistration for New Zealand nurses who want to return to work. Covering international doctors’ salaries during their six-week clinical induction courses and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Today marks one year since Government’s Dawn Raids apology
    A new  future between Pacific Aotearoa and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is the essence of a Dawn Raids Apology anniversary event in Auckland this month, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. One year ago, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Speech to China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tuia ngā waka, Tuia ngā wawata, Tuia ngā hou-kura Let us bind our connection, let us bind our vision, let us bind our shared aspiration for peace and prosperity. This year marks a significant milestone in the New Zealand – China relationship.   Fifty years ago – 1972 – ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cook Islands Language Week will close generational gap
    It’s Cook Islands Language week and the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio wants the community to focus on what it means to keep the language alive across the generations. “Our Cook Islands community in Aotearoa have decided to focus on the same theme as last years; ‘ Ātuitui’ia ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cost of Living support payment to reach over 2 million New Zealanders
    From 1 August an estimated 2.1 million New Zealanders will be eligible to receive the first targeted Cost of Living Payment as part of the Government’s plan to help soften the impact of rising global inflationary pressures affecting New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. The payments will see eligible ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s border fully open to visitors and students
    · New Zealand’s international border opens to all visitors, including from non-visa waiver countries, and international students from 11:59PM, 31 July 2022. · Cruise ships and recreational yachts able to arrive at New Zealand ports. This evening marks the final step in the Government’s reconnecting plan, with visitors from non-visa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government sets out plan to eliminate HIV transmission in New Zealand
    New Action Plan to eliminate HIV transmission released for consultation today $18 million Budget 2022 boost Key measures to achieve elimination include increasing prevention and testing, improving access to care and treatment and addressing stigma The Government has today released its plan to eliminate the transmission of HIV in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government support lifts income for beneficiaries
    A report released today shows Government support has lifted incomes for Beneficiaries by 40 percent over and above inflation since 2018. “This is the first time this data set has been collected, and it clearly shows Government action is having an impact,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “This Government made a commitment ...
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    1 week ago
  • Māori Housing: Urban development underway in Mt Wellington
    Thirty new warm, safe and affordable apartments to be delivered by Tauhara North No 2 Trust in Tāmaki Makaurau Delivered through Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga programme, jointly delivered by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Allocation of the apartments will be prioritised to support ...
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    1 week ago
  • Phil Twyford to attend Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting
    Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Twyford will lead Aotearoa New Zealand’s delegation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations in New York next week. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of advocating for a world free of nuclear weapons,” Phil Twyford said. “The NPT has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Construction Sector Accord – launch of Transformation Plan 2022-2025
      I am delighted to join you today for the launch of the Construction Sector Accord Transformation Plan 2022-2025. I would like to acknowledge my colleagues – the other Accord Ministers, the Accord governance and sector leadership, the CEOs of Government agencies, and leaders from the construction sector. The construction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Work underway to make Wairarapa roads safer
    Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by the Mayors of Carterton and Masterton, local Iwi and members of the Wairarapa community to turn the first sod on a package of crucial safety improvements for State Highway 2 in Wairarapa. “The work to improve safety on this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next steps taken to deliver Milford Opportunities Project
    The board to take the Milford Opportunities Project (MOP) forward has been announced by Minister of Conservation Poto Williams today.  “The Milford Opportunities Project is a once in a generation chance to reshape the gateway to Milford Sound Piopiotahi and redesign our transport infrastructure to benefit locals, visitors, and our ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Construction Sector Transformation Plan to accelerate change in industry
    A new three year plan to transform the construction industry into a high-performing sector with increased productivity, diversity and innovation has been unveiled by the Minister for Building and Construction Dr Megan Woods and Accord Steering group this morning. As lead minister for the Construction Sector Accord, Dr Woods told ...
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    2 weeks ago