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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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  • Backing world-class innovation in New Zealand
    $12 million Government investment to support cutting-edge R&D in New Zealand by international businesses Dawn Aerospace and Merlin Labs join Innovative Partnership’s Airspace Integration Trials programme MOU signed with Air New Zealand to conduct a nationwide feasibility study into sustainable aviation fuels The Government is propelling cutting-edge innovation through a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • One-way quarantine free travel dates confirmed for RSE scheme
    From 4 October RSE workers from Vanuatu can begin arriving into New Zealand From 12 October RSE workers Samoa and Tonga from can begin arriving into New Zealand As part of a programme of work to reopen our borders and reconnect with the world, the Government has announced quarantine free ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • More community grants to support youth mental wellbeing
    The Government continues to make more mental health and wellbeing supports available to young people to ensure services are there when and where they need them, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “More than twenty community-led projects have now received a funding boost through The Youth Mental Wellbeing Fund to keep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Self-isolation pilot to start with 150 people
    The goal of safely re-opening our borders and developing new ways for people to travel will start with a self-isolation pilot, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “As part of the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan announced in August, the self-isolation pilot will look at self-isolation for vaccinated travellers who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Poroporoaki: Waka Joseph Nathan
    E Waka e, kei hea ra koe, kua ngaro nei i te iwi e, E kawe nei i ngā rongo, i ngā mahara mōu, i ngā wawata i hua mai i a koe. E Waka e, haere ra, kei te tuahu koe o te ati a toa, Kei poho tonu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Canterbury school students get hands-on with food and fibre careers
    Secondary school students in Canterbury will have the breadth of food and fibre careers showcased to them thanks to a new initiative launched today, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) Canterbury is a collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries and SmartNZ, a charitable trust that connects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strengthened reporting will improve abortion and sterilisation services
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced new data and reporting regulations which will help improve abortion and sterilisation services in New Zealand, by painting a clearer picture of the need in our communities. “The Government is committed to ensuring everyone who needs to access abortion services can, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government invests in restoring iconic South Canterbury river valleys
    The Government is investing up to $18.4 million over four years to create jobs and help restore braided river valleys, alpine and pastoral lands in the South Island as part of its Jobs for Nature programme Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor announced. Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) ...
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    3 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    3 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    4 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago