SkyCity

Len Brown makes lame promise to repair image

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Auckland mayor Len Brown says the council will not put any ratepayer cash into building or running an international convention centre.

He told the Weekend Herald yesterday that there would be no money for the SkyCity convention centre in a new 10-year budget.

The council and Mr Brown were blindsided by suggestions from the Government and SkyCity before Christmas that ratepayers’ money be used to fund the shortfall in costs for the controversial project.

SkyCity said the original $402 million cost had been “revised” to $470 million and to $530 million.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce floated the idea of ratepayers helping cover operating costs, but has since talked down the idea and suggested the council look at its regulatory fees for the consent and construction process.

Mr Brown said he had never been formally approached by the Government on the issue.

One, Auckland Council have been told that if they spend any more money they’ll have their credit rating downgraded. ¬†Bottom line: ¬†there is no money for the train set, so Brown would never have given any to Sky City. ¬†(Of course, there is enough for the arts, but not the rescue helicopter). Read more »

Hey Steve Joyce, how long does it take to tell SkyCity to F off?

via Newstalk ZB

via Newstalk ZB

SkyCity wants our money. ¬† That’s extremely unpopular, so what is there to “discuss”? ¬† The fact Steve Joyce is prepared to talk it over can’t be good for the tax payer.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says there was an early signal that SkyCity’s controversial convention centre in Auckland would potentially go over-budget. Read more »

So after years of whinging about gambling what does a Labour leader hopeful do?

Grant Robertson has banged on about gambling for ages, attacking constantly the Sky City convention centre deal.

He is even in Hansard railing about gambling and gambling harm.

What is his response to Major Campbell Roberts, from the Salvation Army, who said that the proposed legislation cancels out any benefits, that the harm minimisation measures allowed for in the legislation are a joke, that they are neither robust nor effective, and that they do not represent any significant improvement on the current ineffective practices of Skycity Casino, which are already failing to reduce gambling harm? What is his response to Campbell Roberts’ comments?

Yet around rolls the Melbourne Cup and what is Grant Robertson doing?

That’s right being a hypocrite and flaunting his gambling stubs from the TAB.

10610870_598436246855277_8427676331423965494_n Read more »

Peter Lyons…Here’s a clue, life isn’t fair

Peter Lyons is a teacher at St Peters College.

He made a lame attempt at satire yesterday in the Herald.

Seriously has this teacher never interacted with a child aside from lecturing them on his leftie leanings, most young people want to make their own way in life and be rewarded for their hard work.

This is from the guy who gets 4 months holiday and a 100k a year salary regardless of whether he is totally useless at his job or brilliant and pretty much has to interfere with a child (and get caught after successive cover-ups)to lose his job.

I just realised there may be a vacancy for a fuller-figured right-wing blogger with limited talent for prose. I may be the man for the job.

I think we are born with an innate sense of fairness. As we age we learn that unfairness is part of the magic of existence. By middle age, we have learned that life is not always fair. Maybe this is the hallmark of middle age. Some people in life are the perpetrators. Others are the prey. This is the law of nature.

I am changing my voting this election. As a partially sighted, middle-aged, XXL bachelor it’s time to take self-interest seriously. Much of my modest wealth is tied up in shares. I am an ardent capitalist. It’s time I came out after spending a lifetime in socialist staff rooms.

I can’t vote for political parties that will undermine the oligopolistic power of the electricity companies whose shares I own. My fat dividend cheques are preferable to the electricity needs of some old pensioner in winter-chilled South Dunedin.

Funny how he works for a private school but loathes private business.

I’m voting the right way this year because I like their education policies. Star principals and teachers will get big bonuses to spread their magic to lesser schools and teachers.

My principal and I can jump into his car several times a week. We can cruise through the leafy suburb of Epsom and on to the motorway and head south to share our wisdom. I could teach the students in these schools about the joys of capitalism. I would teach them that we all start from similar wombs. All it takes is hard work, application, thrift and attitude and we can all be winners. It’s about freedom to choose.

Read more »

Bill Liu is in the news again, for all the wrong reasons

Bill Liu is in the news again after getting raided by the cops.

Jared Savage has the details:

Police have raided the luxury penthouse of a multimillionaire businessman granted citizenship in controversial circumstances and seized his assets because of alleged involvement in money laundering.

William Yan – also previously known as Bill Liu, Yang Liu and Yong Ming Yan – lives on the 35th floor of Auckland’s Metropolis tower. Residents saw detectives removing items from his home on Thursday.

Millions of dollars worth of assets the police allege belong to Mr Yan – although officially registered in other people’s names – have been seized, including the apartment, worth more than $2 million, a Mercedes-Benz, and shares and bank accounts.

Mr Yan has spent millions of dollars as a high roller in the SkyCity Casino VIP lounge. ¬†¬† Read more »

Jones continues his jihad against Lotto, still conflicted, Cunliffe says nothing

Shane Jones continues his conflicted jihad against Lotto this morning, though he is veiling it as an attack on Countdown.

He is seriously conflicted out in this matter though with his missus working for SkyCity and SkyCity providing his week day accommodation.

If a glass of milk and a photo opportunity was grounds for resignation because one’s spouse is a director of a company then how much more inappropriate is it for someone to be lobbying against a director competitor of the employer of your spouse?

Labour MP Shane Jones is calling for an end to big Lotto jackpots after attacking supermarket giant Countdown for selling tickets at the checkout counter.

Jones said selling Lotto tickets at the checkout was like putting a poker machine at every counter but worse, because people could pay for the tickets with their credit cards.

“What do you buy? Weetbix, orange or a big fat Wednesday?” he asked.

He believed there should be an immediate review of the Gambling Act that should include a look at the size of the Lotto jackpot, because a $30 million or $40m jackpot was too high. ¬† Read more »

Has Shane Jones declared his conflict of interest?

Shane Jones has launched another attack on Countdown, this time over their desire to sell Lotto tickets at the checkout rather than at a separate counter.

Labour MP Shane Jones has again taken aim at Countdown, raising concerns about lotto sales at the supermarket’s checkouts.

Lotto tickets are being sold despite new evidence that people spend less on food when there is a big jackpot.

You can now buy lotto at the checkouts in 100 Countdown supermarkets around the country. That makes buying a ticket more convenient, but Mr Jones says that is the problem.

“With Countdown putting a one-armed bandit at every Countdown checkout counter, you’re bringing gambling into the community,” says Mr Jones.

I wonder though if Shane Jones was wise to mount such an attack considering his own conflict of interest.¬† Read more »

Another Labour fail. Making a claim, then having it destroyed in seconds

Yesterday Labour and their proxy blogs made the claims that the Problem Gambling Foundation had lost its funding because it opposed the government deal with SkyCity.

Once again Labour has been caught out.

Labour claims funding for the Problem Gambling Foundation has been stopped because the foundation opposed the deal to increase the number of gambling machines at SkyCity Casino.

But the Government has confirmed the new holder of the contract to provide health and counselling services for problem gamblers throughout New Zealand is the Salvation Army, which also opposed the deal.

Labour’s Internal Affairs Spokesman Trevor Mallard said the foundation was being forced to close its doors because it vocally stood against the deal between the Government and SkyCity to increase the number of pokies in the Auckland casino, in return for building a new national convention centre.

“Staff will this morning be told the foundation has lost its Ministry of Health funding and will close its 12 offices nationwide,” Mallard said.¬† Read more »

Pants Down Brown faces corruption charges

Bankrupt, convicted fraudster and blackmailer Graham McCready is today laying charges in the courts using a section of the Crimes Act covering corruption for public officials.

The left-wing have cackled for months over McCready’s ongoing prosecution of John Banks so they can hardly complain when one of their own comes under the hammer.

A private prosecution will be brought today against Auckland’s embattled Mayor Len Brown, alleging he broke the law in not declaring hotel freebies from SkyCity.

Two charging documents sent to Auckland District Court by retired Wellington accountant Graham McCready state that between November 2010 and November last year, Mr Brown accepted for himself and his wife Shan Inglis three complimentary hotel rooms and five free room upgrades from SkyCity and SkyCity Grand Hotels.

The gifts, worth about $4600 by Mr McCready’s calculations, led to “favourable consideration” given by Mr Brown towards SkyCity and parent company SkyCity Casinos, say the documents. ¬† Read more »

Fran O’Sullivan – Call in the Auditor-General

Fran O’Sullivan adds another of the cuts in Len Brown’s long and slow death by a 1000 cuts.

Auditor-General Lyn Provost is the right person to take inquiries into Len Brown’s relationship with the SkyCity hotels and casino operator to the obvious next stage.

The mayor of Auckland has attempted to brazen his way through the embarrassing detritus exposed by the EY (Ernst & Young) report into some of the implications of his two-year affair with Bevan Chuang.

But that report, emasculated as it was after legal negotiations between Brown’s lawyer and the Auckland Council’s QC, has put new material on the table which must now be investigated by the Auditor-General herself.

It was fundamentally inappropriate for Brown to take the three freebies and accept five upgrades from the SkyCity and SkyCity Grand hotels in Auckland.

Particularly, as the Auckland Council had to take a position on the Government’s controversial “pokies for convention centre swap” and the mayor – who had previously railed against problem gambling – let his principles melt away. ¬† Read more »