'Sky City deal lacked transparency'
Tue, 19 Feb 2013 6:02p.m.
By Patrick Gower
The Auditor-General's not happy with the way the Government did a deal with Sky City that would see it build a convention centre in exchange for more pokie licences.
It says the deal – championed by Prime Minister John Key – was neither transparent, nor fair to other players.
But while John Key and his officials didn't cheat, they certainly did play favourites.
"We have seen no evidence to suggest that the final decision to negotiate with Sky City was influenced by any inappropriate considerations," the report says.
But it is highly critical of how Sky City got itself into pole position to build the convention centre ahead of five other groups.
"We do not consider that the approach adopted was appropriate. The result was that one submitter was treated differently from the others.
"In our view, the steps that were taken were not consistent with good practice principles of transparency and fairness."
The report details a series of meetings between Mr Key and his senior staff with Sky City bosses. There was an early handwritten note by Mr Key about "the Sky City angle".
The most significant was a dinner in November, where the Prime Minister told Sky City to "think outside the box".
The deal is of course right outside the box – the casino builds the convention centre and the Government changes the law to give it more pokies.
And the deal's back on, with Sky City wanting 300 pokies, so for now the house wins – but the game is not over.
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20/02/2013 8:33:02 p.m.
Get your cheerleader's gear on Neil, you've got the job for National. But first explain how an annual marketing fee that will run into the millions, paid to directly to Sky City by the taxpayers was ever part of the deal? Cos the govt and their supporters repeatedly pushed the point the Convention Center was going to be a no strings attached gift to Auckland and the rest of the country. Now it turns out its a gift that will keep on taking. Sky City were given the inside running, even Brownlee thought there was too much insider trading going on and now the govt are having to cough up with the taxpayers cash to close the deal. Similar to the Novopay fiasco with Talentless2, National have been outwitted by another private enterprise,almost willingly and not too worried about it cos its the general public who are footing the bill for their blunders. This witless govt caught trying to pass themselves off as business savvy are costing this country millions once again. Joe Key is heralding this as another success in his eyes and thinks we should all rejoice. Like the easily led prats commenting on this thread that the govt have done well. Labour's sinking lid policy is why there's less pokies now than before and Joe Key just paraphrased that, leaving out the Labour part so his idiotic cronies have got something to crow about.One of them holding up Len Brown as the compulsory Labour blame target...just pathetic. The Beehive and the country are being fleeced by the Key-stoned Kops and they've tapped into a river of money that they're looking to run dry before they leave the place bare.... You're right George, there's far more than meets the eye whenever the Snake-oil salesman is involved, the sooner the media start probing more effectively, the better. Kiwis need to wake up and get these goons out next year come election time before its too late.
20/02/2013 7:17:59 p.m.
Re the Skycity deal and John Key,this smells of similarities of when Labour Gov.were discussing buying the Rail back.This was opposed by Key, until he was found to be a fairly large shareholder,who subsequently quietly sold the shares but was found out.Why does TV3 not start digging,someone close to Key,maybe Key himself is likely a large shareholder in SkyCity.Remember Key denied owning a Vineyard/Winery (hidden in his blind trust)There is a story the population of this country deserves to hear,so please TV3 do this ountry a favour and expose this Big Business rort for what it is
20/02/2013 3:33:56 p.m.
Don't forget you silly lefties that this deal was fully backed by the wonderful and on to it Labour mayor Len Brown- now don't you all feel like idiots ? I see leftie Len has now got himself 6 spin doctors - brilliant.
20/02/2013 2:51:42 p.m.
@NEIL - Because of the *sinking lid* policy implemented by Labour. National have had nothing to do with the lower number of pokies there are now compared to then.
20/02/2013 1:45:26 p.m.
In the world of procurement it is definitely not best practice to provide one potential tenderer with different information than the others. All tenders need to have the same information about submitting a proposal at the same time. The process needs to be fair and transparent and clearly according to the OAG it wasn't. It seems to be that the other bidders may have grounds for a judicial review with the view to a re-tender.
20/02/2013 1:21:00 p.m.
Did you get that from John Key's comments this morning on TV, and you believed him of coarse oh gullible one? John Key had a history of making up things when he's under pressure and he likes quoting all sort of numbers in percentages to try and convince his audiences. Sounds like a desperate car salesman. Show us the facts that there are less pokies now than before Neil.
20/02/2013 10:08:42 a.m.
The joke is there are far less pokkies under National then Labour, 19,000 compared to 26,000 10 years ago - talk about hypocrisy.
20/02/2013 10:02:04 a.m.
How does the left need to apologise when the findings clearly show that JOhn Key and his pals were sloppy, played favorites and were less than transparent Neil.
What a ridiculous statement you have made.
20/02/2013 7:03:35 a.m.
Is the maori party condoning this? Who in the house supports the law change to allow it to go through? I would like more information on how a party can make up laws and change them willy nilly when they see fit and get away with it?
19/02/2013 10:47:47 p.m.
Another one of John Key's con job! Oh, that's right, it's easier to blame the officials because they cant speak up about it. How many times have we heard Key, English, and Joyce in the past 3 years blame the officials when they are caught out?
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