Brown's mayoral campaign funded by SkyCity
Wed, 04 Apr 2012 6:22p.m.
By Patrick Gower
Auckland Mayor Len Brown has admitted taking a $15,000 donation from SkyCity for his mayoral campaign.
He says it has not influenced his position on the Government's deal which will give the casino more pokie machines.
Mr Brown wears his heart on his sleeve but is refusing to say just what that position is on the issue.
It is difficult for Mr Brown, as he campaigned for a ‘sinking lid’ policy which means fewer pokies in Auckland.
But it turns out he has had a payout of his own from the casino: a $15,000 donation for his 2010 mayoral campaign - the same amount as John Banks.
Despite Mr Brown trying to keep his views on the extra pokies quiet, Prime Minister John Key is shouting from the roof tops that the Auckland mayor supports the deal.
"When we were out announcing that we were doing a deal with Len Brown in Auckland… Len Brown knew as well that it will create 1,000 jobs in its construction, 900 jobs ongoing,” he said in the House.
But Mr Brown's silence is now being attacked by opposition parties.
“Len Brown is the Mayor of Auckland, he knows this deal will damage Auckland and Aucklanders - he should speak out against it,” says Green Party co-leader Russel Norman.
“Look I don't want to criticise Len but what I've heard so far is a surprise to me, yes,” says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says.
“I think he needs to look carefully at the social costs of gambling and what we really need in Auckland,” says Labour’s David Shearer.
The pokies deal will see the Government change the law to give SkyCity more pokies if it builds an international convention centre.
And today Mr Key would not rule out allowing SkyCity to expand its use of updated pokie machine technology: machines that use ‘debit cards’ instead of coins, or take notes above the current $20 limit.
“The new technology will enable people to be fleeced faster,” says Mr Shearer.
Dr Norman says SkyCity is a parasite.
3 News asked SkyCity if New Zealanders should be concerned by these debit gambling cards that Mr Shearer claims will fleece people faster.
Sky City never got back to us.
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8/04/2012 2:36:21 p.m.
Grow a pair, Len, and stand up to them. If you say you're in favour of a sinking lid policy, PROVE IT.
These politicians should be ashamed. Shearer and Dr Norman are right, people will get fleeced. Pokies don't require skill, and they have the worst odds. They're there to scam money from people. It's not poker or blackjack, which require skill as well as luck.
5/04/2012 10:16:53 a.m.
you need to ask your selves when did anyone ever get re elected to a second term in Auckland ? what a bunch of tossers Auckland .
4/04/2012 7:51:30 p.m.
This National party is rife with political bulls crap,if brown needs to answer for the donation so should Banks as he is one also.Propping up the Nats too the helt,now it is all coming out into the open,and just shows NZ that we have a real corrupt government,and I would guess that those political polls are just as false,as to who counts them or is it the judgement of one person,who is just as corrupt,so the Nats can push through the asset sales,showing that the majority of NZ want them sold.This is the Most corrupt party that I have seen in NZ,and looks like the speaker of the house is one also.
4/04/2012 7:37:09 p.m.
If Len was so against gambling, he wouldn't have accepted the $15,000 campaign fund.First rule of gambling, only bet what you can afford to lose. That way if you lose, it wont ruin you. If you win, well and good. Most NZ'rs manage to handle gambling responsibly, but a small few like to gamble others money. Like Cullens recommendations that Kiwisaver and ACC invest in Maddock type investments that cost NZ $29 billion!But Lens principles are as solid as his anti-gambling accepting $15,000 campaign contribution.End of the day, it takes an idiot to gamble and lose money they cant afford. There are two sides to gambling. On one side we have corporates like SkyCity that making gambling accessible. On the other we have those who are stuppid enough to lose money they can't afford, and they will go out of their way to lose the money. If SkyCity wasn't about, they would find other avenues to lose money. Be it instant kiwi, TAB, or backyard poker games, or gambling with gangs.A positive of Skycity is its made gambling a fairly clean industry. Compare the lefts moves to decriminalise drugs, yet with gambling their intent is the exact opposite? What drugs are they on to have such divergence in ideals? There compaint isn't the gambling, its that a corporate has targeted the market and makes money from idiots.
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