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Sky City’s playing us for suckers

Written By: - Date published: 8:14 pm, February 10th, 2015 - 86 comments
Categories: john key, parliamentary spending, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags:

Sky City crying too poor to build a bigger casino – give us a break, please! The extra pokies and license extension they negotiated was estimated (by casino expert Sudhir Kale, not the noddies the government used) to be worth an extra $35million a year – see Matt Nippert’s 2013 article. That’s $35million extra for year upon year to 2048. That extra $35million could cover any extra cost of the casino in four years, and there’s still the other twenty-nine to rake more in, as well as the worth of the licence extension.

Asking the taxpayer to cough up any extra for add-ons is corporate greed on Sky City’s part, and corporate welfare of the worst sort on John Key’s and Steven Joyce’s part. Either those two are being played for suckers, or they are playing the rest of us for suckers.

And it’s likely to get better for Sky City, year upon year, as the casino expert says. This deal stinks even worse.

86 comments on “Sky City’s playing us for suckers”

  1. Sacha 1

    Nah, Key and Joyce are playing us for suckers. And those who failed to organise an effective political opposition for the last 6 years should be ashamed.

    • Chooky 1.1

      Rodney Hide sitting in on the commercial radio slot with Alison Mau thinks Key is off his game ( I didnt hear Hide on this because I dont listen to commercial radio…. but it was reported to me)

      ….maybe Key is losing it? ( hopefully) ….and eaten up with worry about Sabin…and Winnie winning the Northland bi-election

  2. Weepus beard 2

    Joyce is an idiot.

    Nothing further to add.

    • Tom Gould 2.1

      Joyce is a willing idiot. He’s being wilfully idiotic. All at our expense. No negotiator could be that naïve and incompetent by accident. In other places, his reputation would be in tatters and his career over. Not here, though. He’s ‘Mr Fixit’ and the media hang off his every cliché?

      • stever 2.1.1

        Yeah, Joyce is a bully and full of himself. I’ve been int he room when he’s spoken a few times…he’s totally unwilling to engage unless it’s with someone he knows is a “friend”.

  3. tc 3

    The deals always stunk, its going septic now as sky nail down the finer points betting key lacks the bollocks and political capital to call their bluff.

    Had they lost the election sky would be minding their business but they own key and joyce over this and know its now or never as politicians are like high rollers, fleece then flip them before they have no value.

  4. Skinny 4

    Head snake oil salesman for the National Party has already given Kiwi’s the steer. You need this to happen, a World class International convention center, one with all the bells & whistles. Not an eyesore, a blight on the Auckland skyline, nothing shabby, the best of the best. Of course it means we pay a bit more, however, remember you pay for quality.

    That was my take hearing Key on the radio today.

    Most Kiwi’s will want Key to tell SkyCity to piss off, build a quality centre at no extra cost or the deal is off including the land grab across the road.

    • tc 4.1

      Key has nowhere to go except sell yet another shonky deal he hitched his wagon to.

      Watch all the media sockpuppets ask the rehearsed questions shonkey can reel off confident responses to.

  5. Hennie van der Merwe 5

    Campbell Live poll of more than 10 000 just voted 97% No for public funding

    • Treetop 5.1

      LOL a draw. I could not remember the poll question and thanks for adding the number of participants.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      No wonder National is so desperate to get blood on their hands. A few casualties (not too many now) will do just nicely.

      The education amendment bill passed yesterday too. Ka-ching go the tills at Party HQ.

  6. Treetop 6

    The poll result on Campbell Live at 7pm was 97% against and 3% for, when it comes to giving Sky City (a not yet final figure) government money for them to build an international convention centre.

    The suckers are the government according to the poll result.

    Sickening for two reasons,
    1. Sky City will probably get the money through the proceeds from the sale of state homes.

    2. 100 million could be spent on doing up or relocating state homes for the 5,000 on the waiting list.

    Maybe Sky City could house the homeless in their new hotel/convention centre?

  7. Bragan 7

    I am sorry Weepus. Joyce is far from an idiot. He plays exactly the same role as the creepy Bill Birch did for Robert Muldoon. He is a Mr Fixit with a devious intelligence that is frightening

  8. fender 8

    “Asked what cost protections there were for the taxpayer in the original deal, Key said there were issues of “what escalation of costs would look like at a certain point when the contract is signed, where that sits, blah, blah, blah”.

    lol

    Couldn’t make this shit up, or imagine the outcry if it was a ‘left-wing’ debacle rort

  9. vto 9

    Maybe Bill English could use the $140million to pay of some of his $100 billion debt he has taken up….

    After all, one should without doubt pay off the mortgage before buying a casino….

    … muppets …

    … maybe its not Bill’s money or something? Gotta be some reason for such blatant ignoring of basic money advice. What could it be I wonder?

  10. vto 10

    I remember when Helen Clark neared the end of her time and the public turned against her more heavily. I recall at that time some fun at her expense. She began to be laughed at, ridiculed, and the like…

    … are Key and Joyce and English on the verge (or just over the verge actually) of similar? I sense people laughing at Key, laughing at this government. 97% of 10,000 on Campbell Live voted no to this deal – that points directly to ridicule.

    • Treetop 10.1

      Key probably thinks he has a mandate. The only figure he cares about is 61 votes.
      Key is too weak to have a conscience vote on this one.

    • “..97% of 10,000 on Campbell Live voted no to this deal ..”

      that is encouraging..

      ..i was concerned the populace would just roll over and ignore this latest scam/rort being played on them..(by key and his casino mates..)

      ..also of interest..is that sky will be publishing their annual profits 2day…

      ..(hopefully that will piss off the populace even more..)

  11. Gruntie 11

    Key is building his legacy … a big white elephant

    • Maybe we should suggest it be named the John Key International Convention Centre in his honour, as an eternal reminder to Aucklanders of the dangers of electing a National/ACT government.

  12. Don’t worry these ‘idiots’ have 2.5 years to finish the job and grab all the dough.

    Put SkyCity on the dole
    Join the coalition of warmongers.
    Remainder all the state assets.
    Outsource the Treaty.
    Privatise water.
    Smash the unions.
    Arm the cops.
    Secure the Homeland.
    Extradite Dotcom.
    Pull off the TPPA.
    Drill and mine everything.
    Sell off the F & S.
    Gag the courts.
    Sack the Chief Justice.
    Set up a Tax Haven.
    Home for cronies.

    And you have…ridicule?

  13. DLANZ Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ 13

    Its ironic that Peter Dunne, originally against the Sky Bill, changed his mind. Now the pigeons have come home to roost.
    Dunne moaning about the RMA today in Parliament today bears no fruit compared to this.
    Doug at DLANZ

    • tc 13.1

      Dunne was posturing for baubles and extra snout time. A classic hypocrite sellout who doesn’t live in akl anyway.

    • Tracey 13.2

      ^^^^^^^ THIS

      Still would be great to see the media hounding Mr Family Values Dunne on his continued silence and thereby tacit support for gambling and corruption.

      “ACT leader John Banks and independent MP Peter Dunne also voted for the bill,”

      So, the man convicted of deceit in terms of signing something he didn’t read (I note he is getting a new trial) and Mr Family Values helped get this through but it is the Government getting ALL the pillorying …

      Does this mean Banks voted for this deal without reading anything too? He has a history of this, he didn’t read much or see much while taking a fee for being Executive Director of Hujlich Finance either.

      The Government CANNOT have it both ways and I am pleased to see Little picking up this point… either they are incompetent economic and business managers (contrary to what they tell us and contrary to the basis of their campaign for re-election) or they deliberately left gaping holes to benefit Sky and hurt taxpayers. NEITHER is acceptable.

  14. les 14

    not forgetting the govt has to stump up with millions for marketing and promoting this ‘lemon’.

  15. Pete George 15

    It’s to be expected that the left will oppose a Sky City handout, they opposed the deal even before the scam attempt,

    But the reaction from the right on key ‘warming’ to a handout has been just as brutal.

    Nats slam Sky City scam

    The Flag, Skycity and Sabin continuing to sit as Chair of the Select Committee are three reasons I won’t be renewing my NP membership just now.

    Just one example of widespread opposition. Key seems intent on nailing his coffin of arrogance.

  16. les 16

    yes he warned of arrogance in this 3rd term and practices it regardless.I guess he figures hes got till 2017 to smooth everything over.

    • Once was Tim 16.1

      He warned of arrogance JUST because he knew he’d have to be completely and utterly arrogant to try and stifle his intentions and his past spin. It’s the CT way. It works ….. till it doesn’t work. You STATE you’re not going to be EXEKLY HOW YOU’RE GOING TO BE, anf you get you’re mates in the nedia to repeat it as often as they can.
      In Australia, it’s not now working but be very sure CT are working on it.
      Anyone remember “Closing the Gaps”? Now Buzz Words that were always [all ways] going to be a pile of stinking kaka.
      Next!
      “Captain’s Call” anyone? Gerry? Bekbenchas? Sabin? Peddy Gear? ….. Can’t even remember his name. ….. but theat fukwit …. Duncan Garner … that’s it, and les autres.
      Thought not. The bullshit is catching up with the reality.y

      I smell the fear. It’s a bit of a shame that pendulum has swung so far right because it’s loaded with a fucking powerful punch. HSBC….Greece…..Portugal ….. Spain ….. Italy (with due regard to Mussolini and lamppost cross members that were really only designed for electricity insulators – trust a pissed off 99%er to improvise eh?
      But yea but nah …. it’ll never happen

  17. Stuart Munro 17

    Joyce is not an idiot but a crook. His personal finances should be closely monitored henceforth – there is no public interest rationale for pissing away $140 million of public money to a vice industry. Key’s finances are also in need of close attention from the serious fraud squad. He probably doesn’t intend to contend 2017 – these kinds of things can provide retirement bonuses.

  18. rawshark-yeshe 18

    Wrote this late last night on the other Sky City thread and think it’s worth it to add here as well.

    Sky City’s original proposal did not include the 300 bedroom hotel. That came into play when Sky City was gifted, with taxpayers’ money, the land owned by TVNZ and ordered sold by Key and Joyce. This land was not valued at current value, nor put for sale on the open market. We, the taxpayers, have already paid.

    I suggest take the hotel out of the package as it was not included in the original. Sell the land back to us, the taxpayers, at exactly what Sky City paid for it — no valuation, no open bidding.

    Then we can do as we wish with it at a full market price ?

    nb Costs to taxpayers do not include the extraordinary costs of moving TVNZ and staff down the road in Victoria Street.

    Sky City must be stopped in its rape and pillage of Auckland, so ably supported by the masters of their own universe, Key and Joyce. ( Thanks Andrew Little, nice derogatory label for that pair of scheming liars.)

    Excellent detailed backgrounder via Herald:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11335925

    and lprent’s comments in 2013; prescient and worth a re-read … we need all these details front and centre right now … it is documented corruption

    • rawshark-yeshe 18.1

      oops .. link for lprent in 2013:

      TVNZ / Skycity deal is an asset dump

      “It seems to me that the government, and most likely Steven Joyce, has just directly overridden a SOE in the pursuit of a deal with SkyCity that already looked quite corrupt. They have taken an undervalued and depreciated building and sold it to SkyCity for demolition. On the way through they have probably killed much of the remaining operational value of TVNZ.

      All for this for a conference centre of dubious economic value, and a increased social cost. If Key and Joyce aren’t simply corrupt, then they are some of the most stupid business people I’ve ever seen. But most likely they’re just politicians trying to cover their arses for making a stupid mistake.”

    • ianmac 18.2

      raw: Your comment about the 300 room hotel was noted but it is strangely missing from the commentary from anyone else. Wonder why the critics have not used it?

      • rawshark-yeshe 18.2.1

        Ian .. maybe ‘cos there is so much to latch on to in their blueprint for perfect corruption !

        It’s in the Herald link I posted above, and lprent certainly makes much of it in the link I posted … he alone seems to have understood the ramifications for TVNZ and PSB.

        Originally, Sky City said they could not build the convention centre ( sans hotel) without the TVNZ land.

        Immediately it was ‘gifted’ to them by Key/Joyce, they amended their plans to this new increased value and plonked a 300 bedroom hotel on land they said they could not do without !!!

        • aerobubble 18.2.1.1

          Media buyin to the ‘its free’, thats corruption to the core. it was never free, land gifting, more pokies, and certainity from bring forward the renewal of the gambling liciencing.

          Our media is corrupt as it fail day one to say how Key was paying to give sky a conferemce center and payments to keep it running.

  19. Andrew Welsh 19

    I am a National voter, the idea currently being discussed (nothing committed as I write) to commit ratepayers $ is unpalatable to the majority of National supporters. If JK/SJ go ahead and pay SkyCity then this may well be a defining moment in the 3rd term government.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      Nah, you’ll knuckle down like a good little follower. This deal stunk from the start.

    • framu 19.2

      thats my “raised eyebrow” here as well

      andrew – i applaud your openess here – but my big question is …

      It was obvious the deal was a pile of crap and dodgy as hell when it first became public knowledge – why has it taken this long for national supporters to find it distasteful?

    • Tracey 19.3

      Good for you Andrew.

      Genuine question:

      When it was revealed Key had not been honest about dealing directly with Sky and the suggestion of the tender process not being totally above board, how did you reconcile that in your mind at the time?

    • rawshark-yeshe 19.4

      appreciate your candour, Andrew … what do you think about the rumour Key fronting for Sky City results today ?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.4.1

        He’s already done his bit by helping those struggling shareholders raise the money they’ll need.

        I hope they’ll need it to defend criminal conspiracy and money laundering charges, rather than for their temple of misery. An anonymous bloke can dream 🙂

    • Nobody is a ‘National’ voter, because the majority of Kiwis oppose their anti-social neo-liberal policies. They buy into the cult of John Key(tm), and probably have an inherent dislike of the poor.

  20. SaveNZ 20

    If the government can’t even get a deal right with Skyshitty, maybe they should stop selling our real estate to their cronies? They are a joke!

    Hope when National finally get dumped all those deals get scrutinised by Serious Fraud and the offenders bought to justice. They can join all their buddies hiding out in Switzerland from the 1980’s sell off, or even better in prison. Robbing from the poor to make the rich richer. I’d love to see Key and Joyce on bread and water courtesy of the taxpayer! Bring back Adam Feeley!

    The opposition need to play their ace card and say they will be taking them to court over such a ‘crony’ deal. Arn’t Little and Turei barristers, (even Winston) surely their is some legal way to either stop the deal or ‘like the wine box’ go through the dodgy deal with a fine tooth comb with tax lawyers. Even Skyshitty might get a bit nervous. Of course Skyshitty might be also funding Labour too, so might be time to jettison that liability. Apparently Skyshitty ‘incentivise’ all the TV and media people with freebies to keep them onside. It’s so dirty politics. I’m sure that is why Winston is suddenly so popular with the public for his past corruption crackdown. You can bet there is some kickbacks going down to Joyce and the National party from this deal.

    Only in NZ could the government ‘give’ extra gambling rights to a casino and then have the taxpayers underwrite the real estate deal, and actually sell off and relocate a state asset. Unbelievable.

    • toad 20.1

      The Nats hold their conferences and election launches at the existing SkyShitty Convention Centre. Wondering if the Nats get a mates rates deal on the venue as SkyShitty’s way of making an undisclosed donation to them in return for political favours.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        Sky City can probably put together a very interesting document or two detailing who meets who, for entertainment or business, and when. All that laundered money must make things quite slippery.

        • ropata:rorschach 20.1.1.1

          Nats are drawn to piles of money like flies to excrement.
          Whether it’s laundered drug money, pokie cash from poor people, or the proceeds from sold-off assets, it’s all good.

  21. vto 21

    free market failure

    free market failure

    free market failure

    go national go – you’re onto it…. /sarc.

  22. vto 22

    sell houses for the poor

    give money to dairy farmers

    sell houses for the poor

    give money to casinos

    sell houses for the poor

    give money to finance company investors

    sell houses for the poor

    just sell houses for the poor

    bereft ….

  23. The Casino has been a blight on Auckland ever since the first sod was turned. Why can’t we get a CRL and decent public transport? Because the old boys in Wellington have decided their phallic symbols take priority.

  24. TheContrarian 24

    Sky City should get fuck all.

  25. Andrew Welsh 25

    I don’t have an issue with SkyCity building the casino, its the potential contribution of tax payers $ I object to. The political judgement shown is poor and even the right supporters can see this.
    Regarding the tendering process, the Office of the Auditor General reported it was a poor process but not influenced by any inappropriate considerations. That sounds pretty much like tendering processes throughout the public service, and yes I have been involved in many from both sides of the fence.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 25.1

      Hard to find evidence of un-minuted meetings.

      Perhaps if you look at it from the point of view of one of the other bidders you might see the corruption.

    • Tracey 25.2

      is it possible that had the tendering process been above board in all respects we might have had a diff contract?

      in big building contracts this happens all the time. i wonder why this business savvy glvt didnt see it coming and take account of its superior bargaining position to prevent this happening? it could have said

      “fine if you dont want it on these terms we still have christchurch qtown and wellington.”

      the report you refer to doesnt square away keys deception about bis discussion with skycity. why do you think he lied about that?

      • Sacha 25.2.1

        “business savvy”. heh.

        One of them was a professional gambler, one took advantage of privatised state assets to build a radio station network, one worked for Treasury after some time on the farm, one is handy with a hammer.

        No surprise they’ve pulled off a succession of legendary deals like Novopay, fibre broadband, Chch cbd rebuild, etc.

        • Tracey 25.2.1.1

          Well, our career bureaucrat acting as Finance minister is blaming auckland council (which he and his poodles put together) and that his govt is trying to get more houses on the ground… which is odd when they seem to be trying really hard to get rid of state houses…

          first pigs fly, now houses need to be put on the ground

  26. Brendon Harre 26

    It is these land deals that reflect so badly on the government. The State -both central and local government have the power of eminent domain. Various acts of parliament allow them to compulsory purchase land to add to the public estate. The State then can make whatever modifications they need and either retain it or sell it off to others. This power is most often used by infrastructure providers to build roads, water schemes, power and communication lines and so on. In the past the power of eminent domain has been used extensively for ‘buying’ Maori land*, breaking large estates into family sized farming blocks in the 1890-1910s period and for State housing from the 1930s to 1970s.

    The whole concept of the State buying and selling land is quite tricky. Many people demand that the State should be selling at the highest price they can get. But the State is effectively a monopoly buyer/seller that is also the regulator. So by selling at the top rate they are acting as an unregulated extortionate monopoly, where their own citizens are the victims.

    Really the government should be using its power of eminent domain to benefit the wider public, so they should be selling at cost price. That’s what happened in NZ’s early years to create a democratic agrarian society of family farmers (the benefits did not always extend to Maori though). This also happened in the State housing years when the economy moved to the cities.

    How does the current government stack up? Well it has sometimes extracted the maximum value from land sales -such as the Hobsonville development where the underlying land value is being sold off for over a $million a hectare. But by and large the government has refused to use its powers to buy or sell land except for the odd example like SkyCity to do a deal with their corporate mates.

    In Christchurch I know of at least one local government councillors and others have repeatedly begged CERA/Brownlee to act in this way to provide new urban land to replace the red zone and thus prevent the escalating urban land price curve that is the underlying cause of rising rents and house prices. This issue is discussed here. http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/70493/fridays-top-10-brendon-harr%C3%A9-national-vs-labour-housing-affordability-uk-councils-spy-

    *In the past Maori were restricted to only selling land to the Crown -in part as a protective feature, in part because it added to Crown revenue.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 26.1

      Don’t be so mean.

      How will talentless Tories succeed in business if they can’t do corrupt land deals with the National Party?

      • dave brown 26.1.1

        This is their business.
        It is to privatise all state assets and boost their profits from public funds.
        They argue this was all paid for in the first place by their taxes which they regard as theft of their private property.
        What they and most of their social democratic opposition deny is that profits are all stolen from the surplus labour of workers in the first place.
        Their business is the theft or others labour.
        The original sin.

        • Brendon Harre 26.1.1.1

          Dave I am reluctant to go as far as using Marxism to analyse this issue, although I can see where you are coming from. I think you are right, this SkyCity deal is part of a bigger National party ideology.

          I think this ideology is not consistent with Kiwi egalitarian values and our long history of implementing practical policies where the state uses its powers to collaborate with market players to encourage fairer outcomes.

          We discussed this a few days ago, in the discussion about “Locking in housing inequality”. /locking-in-housing-inequality/#comment-965885

          • Tracey 26.1.1.1.1

            Brendon

            have you seen any attempt by the government to define “community provider” and anything to suggest that there will be more than one category of purchaser or just community providers. Key is being very careful (it seems to me) to use the phrase “community providers” whenever he discusses this which makes me wary of there being another category and he can later say “oh i was only talking about community providers when i said that”

            • Brendon Harre 26.1.1.1.1.1

              No the government has been cagey on that point. I believe they use the term “community provider” for stalking horse reasons so in the future they can implement the Charter School model so that ‘for profit’ organisations can receive government funding for social housing. John Key referring to the Salvation Army, Iwi organisations and so on are just other stalking horses that camouflage National’s real purpose.

              I believe this government will repeatedly fail to provide genuine solutions to the housing crisis, they will implement a ‘market’ of community providers with regard to social housing in a way that doesn’t ‘spook the public’. Initially National will not care how expensive or ineffectual this process is because their long term goal is the conversion of public assets into private hands (especially the hands of those that vote or financially support the National party).

              For 80 years it has been in the National party’s DNA to destroy the legacy of the First Labour government. This is another example.

          • ropata:rorschach 26.1.1.1.2

            Brendon, you don’t need Marxist analysis to see the obvious statistic (since 1984) of wages staying static while productivity and profits have shot through the roof. Nats love to gush about GDP growth but seem reluctant to mention stagnation of median incomes. How proud we are to lurch up the inequality ranks of the OECD!

          • dave brown 26.1.1.1.3

            Brendon, I think the ease with which the Rogernomes junked Labour’s welfare state shows that politics and ideology are the servant of profits.
            The welfare state would not have been possible had such state intervention not been necessary to bail out the capitalist class (by printing money against future taxes to build an infrastructure, public works, state housing, marketing boards etc) in depression and war.
            Social welfare didnt ‘moderate’ capitalism as much as ‘rescue’ it since state intervention subsidised and restored capitalist profits.
            The explanation of why the 4th Labour Govt abandoned state intervention (except to unravel the welfare state) was not one of the wrong ideology or bad politics, but the 1960’s crisis of falling profits that required deregulation and restructuring of NZ national capital as international capital.
            It’s true that the National Party always ideologically opposed state houses, as they did economic nationalism in general, but this was because farmers costs rose with import controls. The manufacturers benefited from Labour’s policies but the farmers did not.
            It is the return to an open economy mainly based on primary production and the end of import controls and tariffs that proves that Rogernomics. or neo-liberalism, makes the attacks on the protected economy necessary in the interests of international competitiveness.
            So profits and not ideology is what drives the sale of assets and in particular the sale of state housing.

    • Tracey 26.2

      Unfortunately the Hobsonville development only put about 11 houses valued at 500k into the market place.

      A 3 bedroom home in royal oak goes to auction today. It is on the onehunga side of royal oak (as opposed to epsom), and is very ordinary home surrounded by flats.

      Agent is giving $1m+ as a price guide.

  27. Sans Cle 27

    Does anyone know where I can find the Business Case for the convention centre – if it is in the public domain? If so, could you give a link please? (Anything further to the 2009 Horwarth original feasibility study undertaken for Auckland City Council – which had no government co-funding incorporated into the analysis).

    The Auditor General’s report (into the Inquiry into the Government’s
    decision to negotiate with SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited for an
    international convention centre) suggests more details of the Business Case:

    6.10 “The press release also referred to the estimated increase in international visitor spending in New Zealand associated with having a large international convention
    centre in Auckland. An estimated $90 million a year of extra spending was quoted.
    This was broadly consistent with the estimated increased spending identified in
    the 2009 feasibility study.”

    http://www.oag.govt.nz/2013/skycity/2013/skycity/docs/inquiry-into-the-government2019s-decision-to-negotiate-with-skycity-entertainment-group-limited-for-an-international-convention-centre

  28. DH 28

    IMO it’s the National Party playing us for mugs, Key & Joyce are just lapdogs doing their party’s bidding.

    This looks to be an orchestrated setup from the beginning. The contract for the Convention Centre has some design allowances for possible cost overruns, one of which is a column-free exhibition hall. The reporting on the increase is cost is often referring to, you guessed it, column-free spaces.

    Quote from the contract;

    “2 This Design Brief outlines the functional requirements of the NZICC, as well as its aspirational requirements. There are two functional elements which at the time of signing the Agreement are not included in the pre-concept plans (option 9 and option 10) nor agreed as to whether they will result in the Total Project Cost exceeding $402 million. These are:

    a) whether the exhibition hall spaces are entirely column free; and

    b) the level of sustainability rating to which the NZICC will be designed.

    3 It is the Crown’s aspiration that:

    a) The planned 8,600m2, single level exhibition hall space will be entirely column free;

    and

    b) The design team shall adopt an internationally recognised sustainability assessment framework to rate the proposed design and achieve a formal independently certified rating….”

  29. Tracey 29

    The following, imo, is worth quoting in full from April 2012.

    Prime Minister John Key ordered officials to stop work on plans for a national convention centre after Sky City indicated it might extend its existing facility, Cabinet papers reveal.

    The papers have emerged as Key today said he “advised himself” to chase Sky City for a deal to build a new national convention centre in exchange for changes to gambling laws.

    The papers, released by Labour, show Economic Development Ministry officials started looking in to a national convention centre with a feasibility study in August 2009.

    Key, as Tourism Minister, was briefed on the study and officials started work on a full business case for a new convention centre.

    But after it emerged around the same time that Sky City was considering expanding its convention centre, Key called a halt to work on the business case.

    Months later, Key had dinner with Sky City bosses in November 2009 at which a possible National Convention Centre was discussed and the casino bosses “raised issues relating to the Gambling Act,” according to Key.

    Key today said he had asked Sky City about extending their existing convention centre and they had replied that was “always possible”.

    Key had told them the Government’s preferred position was that it did not have to put any capital in to a centre and certainly did not want to run the project.

    He had told them – and every other potential bidder for the build – that the Government was “prepared to look at all options,” which “inherently” included the prospect of legal changes allowing more pokie machines and gaming tables for Sky City.

    Key said he had told Sky City: “Our preferred position would be a deal where we didn’t have to put in any capital. Now, if you can structure such a deal, come back and talk to us.

    “Inherent in the view that says if you can come up with a deal that means that the Government doesn’t have to put in any money – of course they’re going to have to look at other ways of cross-subsidising that.”

    A few months after the November 2009 meeting, in March 2010, Cabinet agreed to open a tender process for the national convention centre contract.

    In June last year, Key announced that Sky City would go in to negotiations with the Government to build the convention centre, with legal concessions to the casino giant to be negotiated in return”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6769093/Stop-on-convention-centre-work-ordered

    In other words the FULL business case was never completed, or if it was it was never made public but I suspect it would have been OIA-ed by now if it had.

    • Sans Cle 29.1

      Interesting…….no sign of an evidential base…..all back of the envelope calculations when the wink and the nod were given……and lots of people cheered that it was a great idea…….what about changing market conditions and changing international demand for NZ as a conference destination? What about competition between other NZ conference centre locations? If I were coming from overseas to a convention in NZ, I know I would prefer to be in Queenstown than Auckland! What market analysis has been undertaken given what is being proposed in Queenstown?

      • Tracey 29.1.1

        Wing and a prayer… amongst people whose handshake cannot be trusted.

        I googled and found that in less than 5 minutes, media seems to find google quite hard

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