Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, February 21st, 2013 - 71 comments
Breaking news, but it certainly looks like John Key has (1) made up nonsense about Sky City, and (2) lied to Parliament.
Update: Key is publicly backing down. Looks like an apology and explanation to Parliament will be needed.
Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, February 21st, 2013 - 15 comments
A year ago, I wrote that SkyCity was pursuing the dirty practice of ‘subvention’ – where owners of white elephant infrastructure extort governments for subsidies – for the convention centre. The msm has caught up and is reporting on it now. MED denies there will be any subvention; but Joyce says it’s all on the table. And what about the $10m+ in operating subsidies the centre would need?
Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, February 21st, 2013 - 21 comments
As John Armstrong puts it the AG’s report on the Sky City bid was “deeply disturbing” and “verging on banana republic kind of stuff without the bananas”. One of the competing bidders is talking about a refund of costs “wasted on a bid that was never seriously considered”. And why wouldn’t they?
Written By: - Date published: 3:07 pm, February 19th, 2013 - 129 comments
The Auditor-General’s report catalogues a dirty deal hatched between Key’s office and SkyCity execs to give SkyCity more pokies ‘in return for’ a convention centre. It shows the bidding process was a farce and reveals that the whole ‘trade-off’ of pokies for convention centre is a con hatched by SkyCity and the Nats. And there’s a deeper issue.
Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, December 13th, 2012 - 16 comments
A typical Auditor-General report takes 3 months. “Larger and more complex” ones take 6. Metiria Turei’s complaint about the way SkyCity was chosen for an international convention centre in a ‘pokies-for-convention-centre’ deal has been going 8 months. Clearly, what they’ve found has non-trivial implications for the government and they’re making sure all their ‘t’s are crossed and ‘i’s dotted.
Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, November 16th, 2012 - 12 comments
It now appears that the Government’s controversial plan to allow wealthy frequent flyers on state-owned China Southern Airlines to skip visa requirements was done to help SkyCity get more high-rolling Chinese gamblers visiting. It’s the warped priorities that gets me: the Nats are bending over backwards for SkyCity while insisting that they won’t ‘pick winners’ to save manufacturing jobs.
Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, August 17th, 2012 - 3 comments
The Greens’ successful call for an Auditor General’s probe into the Government’s pokies-for-convention-centre deal with SkyCity has stalled the negiotations – despite the Nats’ claims it wouldn’t derail their attempt to sell our gambling law. No meetings have been held since the A-G’s investigation began two months ago. With any luck, it’ll push out the legislative timeline past the 2014 election.
Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, June 5th, 2012 - 46 comments
Remember when John Key promised 4,000 new jobs from the cycleway and, in fact, a few hundred, short-term, part-time positions were created? Remember when John Key promised 170,000 new jobs and unemployment went up instead? Looks like Key’s being making it up on the pokies-for-convention centre deal too, which would create only a fraction of the jobs promised.
Written By: - Date published: 8:40 pm, May 23rd, 2012 - 32 comments
So Key is ‘surprised’ that David Shearer, the local member for Eden Park, accepted tickets to a local game, and doesn’t feel beholden to corporate interests? He can accept hospitality and still criticise a company is somehow shocking? I think this tells us more about John, than it surprises the rest of us about David…
Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, May 9th, 2012 - 15 comments
The Government’s ‘sinking lid’ on homicides means that John Key can personally garotte 3-5 enemies and the overall number of killings will still decrease, a smiling Prime Minister told journalists today. “On current trends, the number of murders is dropping by half a dozen a year. Which means no-one should mind if I bump off a few annoying arseholes” said Mr Key
Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, April 26th, 2012 - 11 comments
The Herald’s revealed that, in 2001, Judith Collins, as chair of the Casino Control Authority, rubber-stamped a ‘pokies for convention centre’ deal with SkyCity. This triggered the then Labour Government limit the number of pokies by statute. Now, the Nats are doing another dirty deal with the cancer in Auckland’s heart but, thanks to Labour, they can’t do it on the quiet.
Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, April 24th, 2012 - 27 comments
Since 2004, the government has collected a problem gambling levy from all types of licenced gambling. The levy on SkyCity’s casinos is half what it is on pokies in pubs. In 2010, officials recommended a rebalancing – more on TAB, Lotto, and casinos, less on pub pokies. The Nats picked up the recommendations with one exception – SkyCity’s levy didn’t increase.
Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, April 23rd, 2012 - 8 comments
Very interesting article on Stuff yesterday, about ex cop Martin Legge and the information that he has on the practices of the gaming industry in NZ. Someone is trying to sweep this case under the carpet. They shouldn’t get away with it.
Written By: - Date published: 12:06 am, April 22nd, 2012 - 46 comments
Key’s selling our gambling law to SkyCity in return for a convention centre with no government capital contribution. But, MED says, we would be subsidising that convention centre with $10m for starters. Plus marketing costs. And, then, ongoing subsidies both if convention numbers fall short and as a kickback when it does host conventions.
Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, April 21st, 2012 - 111 comments
A sad story in the Herald today of a man who got hooked on pokies. It has destroyed his family and relationships. He’s started ripping off clients at work. All to put money in the machines that SkyCity profits from. SkyCity has so many
addicts customers it says it needs more machines. SkyCity is a cancer. We shouldn’t just stop its expansion. We should excise it.
Written By: - Date published: 3:25 pm, April 20th, 2012 - 11 comments
Scott organises a guest column from JK about the fabulous deal with award winning entertainment venue Sky City.
Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, April 20th, 2012 - 62 comments
It’s a bit rich for Key to claim that there were no credible alternatives to the back-room deal with SkyCity when he shut down one alternative proposal and ignored four others. But now the facts are coming out. Key has “advised himself” into his worst public relations fiasco yet.
Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, April 19th, 2012 - 25 comments
When it comes to doing dirty deals with a casino, selling our law so that it gets a convention centre and more profits from gambling addicts, National’s willing to die in a ditch. But when there was an opportunity to save and expand our high-tech, high-skill manufacturing at Hillside simply by requiring government bodies to consider the costs and benefits of their actions on the whole country, not their narrow corporate interests, National did nothing.
Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, April 19th, 2012 - 77 comments
Back before John Key’s political nous deserted him (circa mid-November 2011), he would have run a mile from the dirty pokies deal with SkyCity. Instead, he’s claiming the dirty deal as his own and SkyCity’s chairman bragging about his access to Nat ministers. All to build a useless convention centre that will demand ongoing subsidies. Not worth the political capital.
Written By: - Date published: 1:46 pm, April 18th, 2012 - 44 comments
David Shearer’s created an easy way to send John Key a message about selling the law to SkyCity. Here’s your chance to tell John his plan to inflict harm on the community to increase the profit of SkyCity is stupid.
Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, April 17th, 2012 - 30 comments
The Greens have revealed that criminals are laundering millions of dollars through SkyCity, taking their gambling losses as the price of coming out with clean, untraceable money. The Government’s sleazy ‘law for sale’ deal with SkyCity would only make it worse by allowing more anonymous, higher stake gambling on the pokies. Instead, we should be clamping down.
Written By: - Date published: 4:50 pm, April 8th, 2012 - 89 comments
We know that giving SkyCity more pokie machines will mean more problem gamblers, more crime. The Right says it’s worth it for the convention centre. But the official numbers show that’s a dog and we would pay for it in the long-run. It’s not one side of this equation that is bad for New Zealand, it’s both.
Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, April 5th, 2012 - 83 comments
“Prime Minister John Key says hundreds of extra pokies at Sky City Casino will not increase gambling addiction”. Key is lying and he knows it. That’s why the Nats won’t release the official advice they have received on this topic…
Written By: - Date published: 6:31 am, April 5th, 2012 - 81 comments
Update: Labour had accused Banks of not declaring the $15,000 donation from SkyCity as required under local government electoral law. The law is strict. If he is charged and convicted he’ll be kicked out of Parliament. Key will have to take his portfolios if Banks didn’t declare the money.
Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, February 23rd, 2012 - 56 comments
Steven ‘White Elephant’ Joyce isn’t content with building highways to nowhere with costs that exceed the benefits. Now he wants an international convention centre in Auckland that’s just as pointless. But he doesn’t want the government to pay. So, he’s cutting a dirty deal with more law for sale and more pokie machines blighting our communities.
Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, May 24th, 2011 - 33 comments
Here’s a stunning headline from the Herald on the glamour of working at SkyCity casino:
Perhaps next they could introduce compulsory de-lousing baths at the end of each shift?