PM’s Fingerprints All Over Sky City Deal

Published: Thu 19 Apr 2012 12:35 PM
David Shearer
Labour Leader
19 April 2012 Media Statement
PM’s Fingerprints All Over Sky City Deal
Labour has evidence that shows the Prime Minister directly intervened in the process and instructed officials to stop work on a business plan for a Convention Centre when a possible deal with Sky City was floated.
“Documents obtained by Labour show that a joint feasibility study for a new convention centre was carried out by the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Tourism and the Auckland City Council in August 2009,” Labour Leader David Shearer says.
“Officials recommended developing a further business case and John Key, as Minister of Tourism, was briefed on that.
“At the same time John Key was also made aware of Sky City’s plans to expand its own convention facilities. He then called an immediate halt to further work on a business case.
“Three months later, in November 2009, John Key has dinner with casino bosses where he admitted having discussed the centre and ‘issues relating to the gambling act’ - clearly sealing the deal.
“This raises questions about the extent of John Key’s dealings with Sky City.
“Selling our legislation to a casino in exchange for hundreds of pokie machines is shocking behaviour for a Prime Minister,” David Shearer said.
“He directly intervened in the process and agreed to a deal with Sky City almost a year before Cabinet finally decided to call for expressions of interest, in 2010.
“The entire process, which has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, appears to have been just a smokescreen to cover up the fact a deal had already been done.
“This deal has been anything but transparent. This looks like a secret deal was done behind taxpayers’ backs. It will cause harm to New Zealanders.
“It is no surprise that Sky City emerged victorious from the tender process because it was a one-horse race from the start,” David Shearer said.
“It’s time John Key put his cards on the table, and showed New Zealanders exactly what has gone on behind the scenes.”

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