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The SkyCity Deal

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, February 10th, 2015 - 74 comments
Categories: capitalism, john key, national, same old national, Social issues, Steven Joyce, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

John Key is softening us up for the prospect of more Government money being paid to SkyCity for the Convention Centre on the grounds that a convention centre reliant on the proceeds of gambling may be a bit of an eyesore. From Radio New Zealand:

John Key would not rule out a taxpayer top up to cover the construction cost over-run, as negotiations between the casino and the Government continued.

Under the deal, Sky City would build and design the centre for up to $402 million.

In return, it could operate another 230 gaming machines and 40 tables.

Last year, Sky City revealed the estimated cost could potentially reach up to $530 million.

Mr Key said that was because the design is bigger and ”flasher” than was originally proposed.

“Ultimately Sky City has worked off a concept through to something that now looks more like a project that’s ready to go.

“I’m keen to see the best convention centre I can for Auckland because this is a very long term asset.

“So I’d hate to see some sort of eyesore constructed downtown.”

Mr Key was asked whether the Government was willing to consider a taxpayer funded top up to cover the cost of construction.

“Ah I can’t rule that out today, what I can say is that we are working very closely with Sky City…to try and see if a deal can be completed but as I’ve always said the deal was never a done deal until ultimately everything was ticked off.”

Do you get the feeling that the Government is being done over by SkyCity?  Of course it should do the proper thing and pull out of the contract as it is able to do even at this stage.  But it seems to be captured by SkyCity and they are betting that the Government has invested too much political capital in the deal to allow it to fail.

This article by David Fisher in the Herald 18 months ago gives some insight into the bargaining process that had occurred.  At the time Steven Joyce said that “[a]nything that is not written down is not happening.”  Those words may come back to haunt him.

The article revealed Treasury’s concerns that SkyCity held all the cards during the negotiation process.  The article also contained this passage:

The hard-fought deal saw SkyCity return repeatedly to push for concessions which had been ruled out, forcing officials bargaining for Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce to aggressively assert the Crown’s position.

The bargaining was informed by advice from other government departments, including a warning from the Treasury. Bureaucrats warned the Government away from the deal, telling Mr Joyce it was doubtful extra conventions would be attracted by the new centre.

He was also told: “[The] Treasury has strong concerns that private benefits to SkyCity will exceed public benefits to New Zealanders”.

The Treasury was also concerned that the Government “lacks adequate leverage” in the negotiations and if concessions to SkyCity’s demands could not be time-limited then consideration should be given to opening bidding again to others – or funding the centre directly.

Papers show the deal was effectively complete in May 2012 – when SkyCity baulked and insisted on greater protection for its investment and increased benefits.

Another 14 months of haggling followed, with officials juggling new demands from SkyCity right to the end.

Because of the flawed process adopted SkyCity has always been in a dominant position and able to demand more and more from the Government.  It should do the decent thing and just say no to any further funding.  If this means that the deal falls over then so be it.

74 comments on “The SkyCity Deal”

  1. CnrJoe 1

    From twitter –
    Brent Edwards ‏@rnzgallerybrent 3m3 minutes ago
    PM to make statement to Parliament at 2pm. Live tweet coverage on http://www.radionz.co.nz .
    could be Sky or Sabin or …sayonara..? heh – *wish*

  2. IF the government proceeds with this deal (which I don’t think it should but that is another story) it is absolutely essential that the centre is “big and flash”. From Europe, it is as far away as you can possible get. It is 10 hours from Singapore, 12 from LA or Hong Kong and 14 from Vancouver. For it to attract business in competition with closer destinations, it has to be an absolutely first-class facility in every respect – design, fittings, IT, acoustics etc. Or else it really will be a white elephant disaster. Which means the govt has to fund it above $402 million, and take the political flak for mismanaging the whole process.

    • emergency mike 2.1

      “and take the political flak for mismanaging the whole process”

      Yeah the Taxpayers Union will be all over them for this…

    • Tracey 2.2

      So the so called savvy economic managers with business nous running NZInc never saw any cost over runs coming? that would make them stupid economic managers naive in business or they knew exactly what would happen with our money. Cant have it both ways real world ministers

    • freedom 2.3

      ” Which means the govt has to fund it above $402 million, ”

      Sure the country might have to cough up a bit, but not one cent should be spent on the 300 room Hotel that was NOT part of the original $402 million deal and any monies should be seen as a loan so we get full and timely repayment with interest. After all, we will be borrowing any money we give to SkyCity and our bankers demand we pay interest.

      • Tracey 2.3.1

        Um, no, not even a bit. Convention centres are, in this part of the world, white elephants. It is a competitive international market and the cost for attendees to travel to our part of the world is very high and often prohibitive. Even Treasury (??) reported tot he government that to break even would require a $10m a year input of taxpayer money.

        And even within NZ we are creating competition for ourselves by having

        Auckland
        Wellington
        Christchurch
        Queenstown

        All building new ones.

        FOUR!!!!

        • freedom 2.3.1.1

          “Sure the country might have to cough up a bit, but ” should have had a sarc tag I guess. It does read as if I support the gig 🙂 I am of the firm opinion though that if the project goes ahead any monies above the original build cost should be a loan.

          I am against the entire project Tracey, and have said that a number of times.
          I whole heartedly agree with your statement about the pachyderm population.

          If taxpayer funds were to go to a big development right now I would rather see them find funds for the building of a $40m cruise ship berth for Lyttleton. After hearing the report on RNZ this morning, it seems the country could lose a large number of ship visits if the Lyttleton stopovers are removed from cruise schedules. That certainly has a more wide reaching impact on the whole of NZ. An impact that is certainly more real than if we lose a conference centre.

          • Tracey 2.3.1.1.1

            I thought it odd freedom, but thanks for the clarification

            • freedom 2.3.1.1.1.1

              I think my sarcasm gland is secreting inferior compounds. Have been following a rigorous regime of recommended sincerity and applying liberal doses of Hicks & Carlin but gosh darnit the poor old thing has been hammered by too many CT infections of late. Might need a transplant.

              p.s. here is an interesting little article on the topic of sarcasm http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-science-of-sarcasm-yeah-right-25038/?no-ist

              • Tracey

                Thanks for the link…

                BTW how many state houses could we build for however much money the govt is considering throwing at the freaking white elephant up the road from the previous white elephant (Aotea Centre) and down the road from the current yoke around our necks ( eden park “upgrade” for world cup 2011)

    • Molly 2.4

      “… it has to be an absolutely first-class facility in every respect …”

      Even if it was an absolutely first-class facility – the problem is – it has to overcome the natural physical restrictions of the time/space continuum, and get international convention attendees here in the same amount of time as other venues.

      That is never going to happen.

      (Of course, we could appeal to the unique aspects of NZ – hey look! a first world country with 250,000 children in poverty, or the worst waterways in the least amount of time… but I don’t think that will be a drawcard, except for the most cynical of conferences.)

    • Skinny 2.5

      While a convention centre linked to the casino would be nice for SkyCity shareholders,
      times have changed. The gambling tourist market, especially highrollers from Australia & Asia is very high. Its a far cry from a few years ago when the convention centre deal was first mooted.

      Scrap any deal with SkyCity and forget about Auckland as the venue, let it be built in Queenstown or the Bay of Islands, after all we are talking international quaility which should include a pristine location. Built by private interests outside of a gambling house. I have no problem a taxpayer funded joint venture up to 1 billion.

      • Chooky 2.5.1

        +100 “Scrap any deal with SkyCity” ..casinos reek of losers…they smell tacky ….of sweat and depression…they invite greed, vice and corruption …and exploitation of the most marginalised

        ….a casino deal is no place for a Convention Centre for Auckland or New Zealand

    • Adrian 2.6

      So was the $402m deal only for a shoddy, unfit for purpose convention centre?

      • mac1 2.6.1

        Absolutely, Adrian, in a deal negotiated by a shoddy, unfit for purpose Minister in an shoddy, unfit for purpose government.

        What a terrible argument that Key is reduced to, in order to justify his spending $140 million for a free convention centre, which made $69 million profit last year.

        The $402 million centre would be an eye sore! Well I’m told that it looks like something out of Stalag 13, but would $140 million change that? Is that a reason for opening the public purse on a private venture which would makes $140 million profit in two years?

        While people go poorly housed?

        John Key, what is worse? An ugly building or the blight of poverty, poor housing and poverty of spirit?

    • irascible 2.7

      Convention Centres, regardless of flashness, are invariably white elephants costing more to service than the income generated. Key & Joyce got caught playing negotiating roulette on a wheel geared in favour of the house. This whole deal is a political and economic disaster created by over enthusiastic school boys trying to play with the big boys.

    • AmaKiwi 2.8

      “For it (the convention center) to attract business in competition with closer destinations, it has to be an absolutely first-class facility in every respect.”

      Wrong! There is nothing you can do to make Auckland a world class tourist attraction short of getting Rangitoto to start shooting lava.

      Auckland ain’t got what it takes. That’s why Treasury said a new building is not going to draw more conventions.

      • tc 2.8.1

        Yup, overcrowded, hard to get around, akl is just another poorly planned city with shit infrastructure.

    • vto 2.9

      Mr Hooton, perhaps you should take some of the advice Key had for Eleanor Catton and stick to what you know….. which I would surmise is absolutely shit-all about what attracts convention goers to potential convention centres.

      Your opinion there on what is required is worth nothing. You have no idea.

    • Foreign waka 2.10

      Firstly, to do a hard sell on gambling is just plain immoral. Secondly, to call for the taxpayer – you know the one being told that inflation or better deflation indicates that they will get no wage increase – to support with his/her tax money a gambling den for the rich is just simply insane.
      Tax money is being collected for certain purposes, they are declared as such. This is a blatant misuse and should not even enter the conversation.
      The amount of money that the additional “one armed bandits” will collects for the poor casino managers is more then enough to offset any costs incurred to get more gambling addicts assured, care of the government.

    • Plan B 2.11

      Have you seen the pictures of proposed building. The Guggenheim it is not. You could not drag someone around the block to see it let alone half way round the world.

  3. alwyn 3

    Does anyone think that Andrew Little can be persuaded to concentrate his fire at the Government on this issue, rather than waste his time on the date Key heard about Sabin or the possibility of different rights for people with some Maori ancestry?

    I don’t think anyone in the general public gives a damn about the Sabin affair. For Little to continue to prattle on about it might please a few hundred people who seem to think that Key is the “Great Satan” but makes Little look demented to the bulk of the population.

    For Little to even consider opening up the question of different rights for people with some skerrick of Maori ancestry will leave him wide open to charges that he supports apartheid in this country and is going to leave him scaring the bulk of New Zealanders. Leave it alone. Do what Helen Clark did with the shoreline and seabed debate.

    The screw-ups that appear to be happening with the Convention centre in Auckland, on the other hand would seem to be something that he can use to bash the Government with, and even force them to abandon any ideas of supporting the Casino company with tax-payers funds. If Little will concentrate his fire on this he might get some traction. The company has only a very limited number of supporters, their shareholders and staff. The rest of the public are probably not at all happy about tax-payer funding. However the Labour Party must come on with a concentrated attack if they hope to get anywhere with this. Splitting their fire is never going to work. It is also the only real chance Labour will have to dent the view of the National Party as being better economic managers than Labour can possibly be.

    Concentrate on this and leave the side issues to Winston or Turei.
    Perhaps Little can get something useful for New Zealand by doing so.

    Incidentally the Council in Wellington seem to be going down the same road. Come to some agreement with a developer and they then they decide they really have to have a much better site with council owned land on the waterfront. The council here appears willing to go along with it, rather than tell the developer to go and take a running jump into the harbour.

    • Tracey 3.1

      I guess you dont read? the article i read quoting key also quoted little

      • alwyn 3.1.1

        Sure I read it Tracey. I didn’t say that Little was ignoring it did I? I said he should concentrate on it.
        The Sabin and Waitangi Tribunal affairs are never going to attract any public support are they? Let Little focus solely on something that he can get some traction from, and I think this is it.

        • Sabine 3.1.1.1

          ahhh, not comfortable with the Sabin thing?

          I am one member of the public that is very much interested in the dodgy Sabin thing, I am also interested in the Waitangi Tribunal thing, and interested in the only some books for schools thing, the running up debt thing, the sky city tax payer bailout ™ thing, the non housing crisis – sell state houses thing, the housing crisis – change rma thing, the cutting of beneficiaries cause lazy thing, the irrigation/water thing, the dropping milk price thing and all the other things going on.

          The only thing i am really over tho is the Flag thing. that really , arrrrggghhhh

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.2

          An “affair” is it now?

          Beyond contemptible what you people will look the other way for.

          • alwyn 3.1.1.2.1

            Is there some particular meaning to the word “affair” that I am unaware of?
            What on earth upsets you about its use?

            • framu 3.1.1.2.1.1

              might have something to do with what everyone thinks the investigation is about

              • McFlock

                I’m sure Alwyn thinks it’s probably just a few unpaid parking tickets, and we’re all confusing it with another case entirely…

          • Tracey 3.1.1.2.2

            I took alwyn to be using it as a synonym for “issue”.

        • framu 3.1.1.3

          “The Sabin and Waitangi Tribunal affairs are never going to attract any public support are they? ”

          that depends – if what has been said turns out to be true its going to offend an awful lot of people

          (thats as far as my public speculation on what the investigation is about will go)

          but is little concentrating on sabin – or – is it a topic reporters keep asking him about?

        • Tracey 3.1.1.4

          How do you know this isn’t the beginning of him concentrating on it… THAT was my point.

    • crashcart 3.2

      This is a good oppertunity to make hey. Perhaps just remind people of the Sabin thing until more evidence is firmed up. Ask a couple of questions in the house and get some OIA requests in to see if you can nail down Key in a lie.

      Leave the issues around the Treaty as he has. He has come out strong in his response that he mearly said there should be a discussion, which is compeltely fair.

      Then as you say hammer the government on this. He doesn’t even need to attack Key directly (that doesn’t seem to work). Point out the dog the deal is and leave it to media to go back to the fact that Key was the one who kicked the whole sorry saga off. If they won’t go there on their own some questions in the house to Key about his confidence in the original tendering process should remind people of what got us to this point.

    • irascible 3.3

      Convention Centre: It’s deal or no deal Mr Key
      Tuesday, 10 February 2015, 12:26 pm
      Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party

      Convention Centre: It’s deal or no deal Mr Key

      John Key has to confirm whether the deal with Sky City over its convention centre is still on the table, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.

      “John Key and Steven Joyce told Kiwis they were corporate wunderkinds and could negotiate an incredible deal of a ‘free’ convention centre. Instead, by Mr Key’s own admission, five years of negotiation have only delivered plans for an ‘eyesore’.

      “Now the Government is being sucked into another round of negotiations by SkyCity which is haggling over an extra $140 million. How long will this round last?

      “John Key and Steven Joyce have been played by the best in the business. They are no match for SkyCity.

      “This deal was dodgy from the start. It’s a debacle and it has dragged on far too long. The tender started in 2010.

      “If John Key hadn’t locked the Government into five years of haggling with this Australian casino giant, Auckland would already have a world-class convention centre.

      “It’s time for John Key to say to SkyCity: ‘deal or no deal’,” Andrew Little says.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.1

        Are Labour members going to let the National Party’s corruption stand if Sky City decide to ‘deal’?

        How about Labour Party members ensure that instead, Sky City are punished for their corrupt conspiracy with the National Party.

        • Murray Rawshark 3.3.1.1

          +1
          That’s the approach I’d much rather see Labour take. The problem there is that so many big businesses are likely to be involved in corrupt practices with the NAct party that we’d see threats of capital flight if Labour ever looked like making them accountable. They’d need cojones to deal with that, and I’ve seen no evidence that there are any big enough in parliamentary Labour.

      • Tracey 3.3.2

        Any chance Labour is working behind the scenes with MP and Dunne to make it a very tight thing for the Government come vote time? OR does the giving of taxpayer money to shore up a shonky deal not require parliament?

        • rawshark-yeshe 3.3.2.1

          going to war doesn’t need it, surely they’ll find wiggle room for this in their
          dungeon of corruption ?

          • Tracey 3.3.2.1.1

            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.

            • rawshark-yeshe 3.3.2.1.1.1

              so hard to choose where to attack, they are such a filthy lot !

              Maybe the lovely young David Seeless from Epsom could ask on behalf of his constituents .. we can be sure ACT members are not too happy about this .. can’t we ? lol

              Dunne will choose his usual path of self-aggrandisement.

              sigh ….

    • North 3.4

      Still flapping around trying very, very hard to keep a lid on the matter of the former member for Northland aye Alwyn ? That’s because that one has very muscular legs and you know it. Keep on whistling in the dark Alwyn……well no, lying akshilly. Professing care for and coming over like a strategist for TheCrookedKey’s opponents indeed ! You’re making a complete tit of yourself. In the process highlighting those muscles. There’s much, much more to come as to that first matter, as you know. Hager’s probably got a number of explosive emails already.

      • alwyn 3.4.1

        I haven’t the faintest idea what Sabin is meant to have done and, now that he is no longer an MP, I don’t care either.
        I do however care about whether this Government gets any deeper into subsidising businesses like the Casino. I didn’t mind the deal that was struck, except for one thing. They don’t appear to be willing to say that if it doesn’t work they will scrap all deals with Sky City. They really ought to say that the TV2 site will be repurchased at cost, and that the gaming licence is available to anyone else, immediately, if they will build a Casino. Then see if Sky City suddenly find they can do it.
        I do not believe Governments should EVER get involved in running businesses. They, being politicians, will never admit that they have made a mistake. Rather than do that they continue to go on and on throwing money at something that is dead and starting to smell and warble about it still being alive. Look at Labour and the Railways.
        You might think I am a dyed-in-the-wool National supporter, but that is only in your imagination. I have voted for both National and Labour roughly the same number of times (6/5 with one no-vote) since 1981.
        I fear that National are getting, rather early, the arrogance Key claimed they had to avoid. Even knowing this I would still have voted for the last year. The thought of the idiots Cunliffe and Norman in charge of the economy was simply too much to bear.
        Please, please let Labour get something resembling an opposition capable of taking over in Government before things really crash. At the moment they don’t really look like it but it could still happen if they got rid of their deadwood.

        Meantime I can only suggest Helen Clarks comment “There, there diddums”

        • freedom 3.4.1.1

          Your tender compassion reminded me of a scene in the sometimes terrible Doors film by Oliver Stone where they re-enact a quite famous press conference. The reporter is pestering Jim about his parents. Jim responds

          Morrison: Do you hurt?

          Reporter: What?

          Morrison: What hurts you the most?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.4.1.2

          I do not believe Governments private people should EVER get involved in running businesses. They, being politicians greedy schmucks, will never admit that they have made a mistake and will demand that the government pay them out the profit that they want.

          FTFY

          Unfortunately, the government seems to be preset to make that payout.

          Look at Labour and the Railways.

          Railways, being a monopoly, should never be run as a business but as a government service paid for through general taxation. Same goes for power, telecommunications, health and many other essential services. One of the big problems of the right-wing is that they constantly misidentify what should be a business.

          The thought of the idiots Cunliffe and Norman in charge of the economy was simply too much to bear.

          The idiots are all in National but Labour’s really not that much better. In fact, IMO, no politician or businessperson knows what an economy is nor it’s purpose. It is this ignorance that ensures that our economy keeps failing.

        • tricledrown 3.4.1.3

          Alwyn Dominique straus Kahn is no longer a politocian either

          • rawshark-yeshe 3.4.1.3.1

            Alwyn — all I can say is that you should damn well care. I promise you will when it all floods out, as surely it will, suppressions or not. Or are you completely without heart of any kind ?

            • alwyn 3.4.1.3.1.1

              You must presumably know a great deal about the matter if you can say –
              “all I can say is that you should damn well care” and mean it.

              I haven’t any idea what the whole thing is about and am therefore quite unable to express any informed views on the subject of Mr Sabin.
              If it is explained I may be able to form some sensible opinion. Until then I prefer not to get het-up over other people’s wild speculations.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                You will care, I promise. You may even become a little het-up yourself when you can finally form a ‘sensible’ opinion.

                Nothing more now. That’s it.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Why is Key front-ending the SkyCity results out tomorrow? Is he talking up the share price? I recall the howls from the Tories when Clark made an oblique reference to company results a few years back? Not a peep now, though?

  5. BLiP 5

    John Key’s lies about the SkyCity deal . . . so far:

    the Sky City deal will provide 1000 construction jobs and 800 casino jobs

    all five bidders for the convention centre were treated equally

    my office has had no correspondence, no discussions, no involvement with the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (8)

    I can’t remember what was discussed at my meeting with the SkyCity Chief Executive on 14 May 2009

    I have no record of the 12 November 2009 email from Treasury advising that the SkyCity deal was dodgy and needed to be referred to the Auditor General

    there was nothing improper about the Sky City deal

    SkyCity will only get “a few more” pokie machines at the margins

    any changes to gambling regulations will be subject to a full public submission process

    Sky City has approached TVNZ about the purchase/use of government-owned land

    I did not mislead the House (9)

    this government has been very transparent about all its dealings with SkyCity

    I did not mislead the House (10)

    the Auditor General has fully vindicated National over the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (11)

    the Deputy Auditor General supports the view that there was nothing inappropriate about the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (12)

    I did not breach the confidentiality of the Auditor General’s Report into the Sky City deal

    the Labour Government did exactly the same sort of deal back in 2001

    Labour has promised to not revoke the Sky City legislation

    • Sabine 5.1

      Hmmmm,,

      are we to be interested in all these things?

      🙂

      really these might be too many things to remember?

    • Chooky 5.2

      thanks BLip…you do journalists research for them…pity most of them are not up to it

  6. peter h 6

    The govt could fund it easily, just borrow the money, and add it to the 100 billion,
    The voters would not care ,Bill will say we are going into surplus, and all the Nats will say. What a great job John Bill and the boys are doing, and Hoskings and friends will get a pay rise, from Sky city, then the triclkle down will start, and we will all be rock stars again

  7. Neil 7

    I actually hope Key commits tax payer money to it, it will be his down fall

    • Chch_Chiquita 7.1

      Oh, they will spin it around. Wait until the drums will beat on the thousand of construction jobs this will create and the thousand of jobs the convention centre will bring.

  8. North 8

    This ‘warning’ of the likely (already intended) giving of tens of millions of government money to SkyCity is patent extortion. In principle it is no different from the bankers’ pitch of “too big to be allowed to fail – so cough up !”

    And from a further angle Key’s ‘warning’ (as the Herald soft-pedals it) is no different from the always crooked painter/builder/roofer/concreter going to the customer after the contract’s been signed and sealed and darkly saying – “Look…..it’s gonna be a complete cock-up and eyesore unless you start writing (more) cheques……I ‘promise’ you”. Like it was always intended to pull that extortionate ace somewhere along the line.

    I’m with Neil @ 7 above. There MUST be rumblings going on somewhere in the National Party. It screams of scam.

  9. Pete George 9

    An eyesore should blend into the Auckland CBD well. It’s not as if there’s anything nice left here.

  10. Rodel 10

    Don’t usually take notice of TV polls but Campbell’s tonight was 97% against us paying into sky city’s convention centre while only 3% said yes.

    Has to be a kick in the ass for Mr Key’s attempts at persuading us to fall in with his Sky city mates fraud schemes.

    Is it possible for Key to take notice? or will it be a scam when we just pay $50 million instead of $150million ? Whew! and we can all feel a sense of relief

    • les 10.1

      this is the sort of deal I expect…estimated over cost 140 mil…real about 100 mil…50/50.Sky City wins as do their shareholders,even those. with shares in trusts.Picking that the design of the centre will make it easily convertable to SC’s core business, when it does not prove viable for international conventions.

  11. rawshark-yeshe 11

    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 destructive liars.)

    • Rodel 11.1

      WEHe
      Thanks for that information. I didn’t know all that.
      Bastards all of them. My money!

      • rawshark-yeshe 11.1.1

        This is how bad it really is .. and even the Herald says so !!

        First of all, Sky City said they had to have to TVNZ land else they couldn’t build the convention centre !! Read the whole filthy, crooked mess here …. and be prepared to be outraged at the willing and complicit duplicity of Key and Joyce, and even tbheir lies to Parliament re TVNZ land … Herald, October 2014 :

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

        Metiria Turei:

        “The truth is that SkyCity now gets a prime piece of Auckland CBD real estate with harbour views for a hotel that they wouldn’t have been able to purchase without the Government’s assistance.

        “SkyCity’s decision to change their story after the deal was signed shows just how dodgy the deal always was.

        “SkyCity will benefit financially from piecing together a new deal over the use of land originally sought for the Convention Centre. Once again the public and the taxpayer have lost out.”

        The broadcaster had lost land and money in the deal, she said.

        “TVNZ never wanted anything to do with the SkyCity deal. It was forced to sell its land by a National Government hell-bent on cutting a deal that will lead to an increase in gambling and social harm,” Mrs Turei said.

        “SkyCity’s extra profits from this deal will come at a high cost for the rest of the community.”

        A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said Mr Key was comfortable with the process and the changes proposed.

        The change in plan also appears to conflict with a statement Mr Joyce made to Parliament last November.

        In response to a written question from the Green Party, Mr Joyce said the contract with SkyCity “prevents the land being used for any other purpose than as a convention centre”. He said this week he stood by his answer. “As far as I’m concerned that actually still meets the definition of it being used for the convention centre.”

        • rawshark-yeshe 11.1.1.1

          and this from lprent himself when the TVNZ sale details were announced .. well worth the re-read .. from sept 5, 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.”

          Corrupt bastards they truly are.

          • Tracey 11.1.1.1.1

            rawshark-yeshe

            Thanks for these reminders. Together with BLiP’s post it is quite soul destroying. alwyn and I are in complete agreement about 1 thing, THIS is something Little can latch on to and ride for all it’s worth because wasting people’s money speaks to the degrading soul of so many who allow ethical issues involving honesty, deceit, integrity, deviant behaviour to wash over them as acceptable.

  12. sirpat 12

    i don’t suppose the govt will just say go away….pay them the 10 mill and oh I guess Sky City will keep the gambling concessions already changed in law?…..or am about to see legions of flying neo-con pigs?

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