Len Brown backs Sky City Deal

NBR Online

Len Brown has backed the SkyCity deal which will deliver a Convention Centre to Auckland at no cost to the ratepayers or taxpayers.

Auckland mayor Len Brown supports the convention centre at the heart of a contentious deal between the National Party and SkyCity Entertainment Group – a facility the council’s own research shows would be “break-even” at best.

Under the SkyCity proposal, the casino and hotel operator would pay the full $350 million construction costs for a centre capable of holding 3500 seated delegates or 4500 in an exhibition format.

The payback for SkyCity would be changes to gambling regulations that would allow it to install more gaming machines.

Brokerage Goldman Sachs last month estimated SkyCity would need 350 to 500 extra machines to profit from the deal, generating as much as $46m of revenue in the first full year of operation.

Labour is clearly opposed to any deal where private enterprise picks up the tag, oppsed to any deal that provides 1000 construction jobs and opposed to 350 permanent jobs.

Before we listen to what Labour has to say about this deal let them firstly pay back the dirty money they got in donations, then let them explain how they would fund  a $350 million Convention Centre.


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  • Blokeintakapuna

     Totally agree – and even before they have the right to be able to comment on this or any issue as a possible “political party” they should firstly be made to pay back the almost $1,000,000 from the 2008 attempted election rigging with Auntie’s pledge card rort. Only then, should they be allowed to talk about financial matters – and only also after they have explained that even with an extra 500 pokie machines, the total number of pokie machines Auckland will have will still be numbered in the thousands LESS than what a Labour government allowed / encouraged.
    Totally agree – and even before they have the right to be able to comment on this or any issue as a possible “political party” they should firstly be made to pay back the almost $1,000,000 from the 2008 attempted election rigging with Auntie’s pledge card rort.
    Only then, should they be allowed to talk about financial matters – and only also after they have explained that even with an extra 500 pokie machines, the total number of pokie machines Auckland will have will still be numbered in the thousands LESS than what a Labour government allowed / encouraged.

    • Blokeintakapuna

      I really can’t wait for the MSM media to catch up to your blog Mr. Slater – so the MSM can ask Shearer and Labour about their pokie machine numbers they had under a Labour government… just so we can see Shearer attempt to mumble / fudge / obfuscate on the details… The proof though is publicly available for any investigative journalist to go find.. Unless of course they only know how to copy and paste.
      C’mon MSM – dig a little deeper and investigate these details and ask Labour about those numbers… for the sake of MSM journalistic integrity – because if you don’t, your competitor will do and you’ll be the “last cab off the rank” chasing a stale story and then watch those ratings fall further…

      • Gazzaw

        The MSM won’t go there. Pravda won’t, we know where TV One & TV3 News sits, Nation or Q&A? Radio Red? Newstalk ZB is about the only hope. Maybe  just maybe Fairfax but they do not have a significant reach into Auckland.  

      • Landy

        John Key nailed these facts nicely, tonight, on Campbell Live, TV3 7pm.
        Campbell (who must have been off duty and living high somewhere as he has acquired some new double chins) was in his glittering-eye pushy “I’m gonna be fantastic here” mood.  

        But, unhappily for John Campbell, Key was in specially quick form, being, as he said, in practice.   He’d had a week under constant questioning in the Indonesia tour.   And Key had the killer facts.

        On this “pokie numbers” issue Kay said calmly that, while Labour up till 2006 at least lived happily with 25,000 pokie machines, National had reduced it back to 18,000.  

        Game, set and match.

        Key further pointed out that it was all merely up for negotiation at this stage, and was expected to be a maximum number which would suffer attrition.

    • BiT…you keep saying this but Labour did actually pay this back. It was $840,000.

      • Blokeintakapuna

        Cheers WO  -thanks for the heads up…

    • Alloytoo

      Let apply some common sense here.

      Adding these machines to already saturated site like skycity (who have the means to monitor and manage addicts) is going to have next to no negative social consequences. 

  • Observation

    What a joke this is. John Key is an expert businessman and he has done a brilliant deal.

    These left-wing idiots obviously have no idea how proper business works, you have to negotiate and give benefits. This deal is a win win for the government and for SkyCity. Well done John.

    •  Expert business man – you’re kidding!!! Deal maker – maybe…..How is it a win for the Government? It’s a deal for Auckland City rate payers….Are you suggesting the government would have had to pay for the convention centre otherwise – Why?

      • johnbronkhorst

        That was the suggestion neil, it is a win for the govt. as it will  boost tourism to NZ by offering something we don’t currently have, a world class (and sized) convension centre. On the global stage, there is a market (that we currently don’t participate in) for LARGE convention centres seating over 3000, you MUST also be able to entertain the convension visitors (pokies), house them (increased occupancy of down town hotels) and feed them (increased business for downtown, restaurants). etc etc

      • Observation

        Oh so you know better than John Key do you. He didn’t become a millionaire by doing bad deals. He has used his extensive business acumen for the good of the country and prevented the needless waste of public money.

        Thankfully he has also ensured the Crafer farms deal has gone through. I’m sure if you had your way you would have that drunken hippy Shearer sell them off for a song, but luckily for us Key is in charge and can get the best deal for the country.

  • http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10800128 From the Pravda? As you call it. So who is telling porkies…

    • Bunswalla

      Ben if you believe anything that leftard spin-weasel Bernard Orsman says then good luck to you. I hear he applied to the real Pravda for a job as an opinion writer but was rejected on the grounds that his views were too far to the left. So he peddles ridiculous tripe attacking anything and everything Key and his government does, and occasionally finds some idiot to lap it up.

      • Nope I do not believe anything that comes out his mouth especially with what he said in the article I linked.
        I am “indifferent” to the Sky City Centre “deal” at the moment – not fussed eit… wait indifferent is wrong here – Good on John for getting this Convention Centre, looking forward to attending Party Conferences in the facility when it is built :) 

        So onwards we go – and good on Len (so long as he does not back flip) for also backing the Convention Centre. Seems our resident prude is more of a prude then we expected – is he Labour or a Closest Centre Right man – or covering his ass next year against C&R :P

        But I digress off the topic
        Onwards with the new Centre 

    • Euan Rt

      I also notice both Rudmans’ column and pg A7 and Hopkins’ column pg A13 could be read as supporting the Casino’s bid. Rudman a little less so but he spells out the benefits and ends with,
      “It’s good to see Opposition politicians badgering the govt over the ethics of funding a convention centre out of the personal misery of addicts, but I wish they’d also push for a positive alternative.” I appreciate his admission here of his bias and that he attempts to call out the naysayers who can’t put up a reasonable alternative.

  • Arranh

    Quite clearly Labour would fund it from ditching the Holiday Highway

    • johnbronkhorst

      What???…the one that is already built….do you mean they would sell this public asset to private stake holders………interesting change of policy by them!!

      • Arranh

        It was sarcasm, as Labours go to funding measure for everything these days is ditching the expansion of SH1 between Puhoi and Warkworth. Shearer used it again a few days ago to pay for something else. Must be a very expensive road as it seems it could fund all government expenses for several decades if Labour is to be believed.

    • johnbronkhorst

      I recognise sarcasm Arranh….I was just adding to it!…I also acept that they have already spent the cancelation of the “holiday highway” money serveral times to attempt to make their promises/ books balance!

    • Gazzaw

      I don’t know that labour has even thought about who is going to fund it Arran. They are too busy opposing the deal just for the sake of it because it’s a great initiative brokered by their arch-enemy John Key. Fortunately the project will go ahead and by the time the 2014 election campaign kicks off all that Auckland will see are all the positives with a 1000 strong workforce on the construction site and international conference bookings rolling in. Labours current antics will prove to be one of their most spectacular SMOGs ever. 

  • Cullen’s Sidekick

    Whale Oil – Uncle Shearer can do better deals with the tax payer. What he could do is slap a 6% tax increase on rich pricks who earn more than $70,000 to fund the conventional centre. Other option is to slap a 10 cents Fuel Levy on Aucklanders to fund the centre. Uncle is winning the battle here bros.

    • johnbronkhorst

      Really??? so 6% tax on those that CREATE employment, that after this increase, simply won’t (create employment). Fuel tax on Auckland…..economic growth, can be flushed with the rest of the crap they talk!

      • Arranh

        Really need to google the word ‘sarcasm’ there John

    • AnonWgtn

      No cannot do – over $70,000 will effect far too many public servants – like Auckland City staff, who are expected to vote Labour.

  • johnbronkhorst

    How do you get 1000 jobs for free, an income to tourism, without spending a cent??? Oh yes you TRADE something that doesn’t cost you anything, for it!!! What a fantastically insiteful deal John Key has made, tourism is boosted (the same tourists that will use the pokie machines), Auckland gets a massive piece of capital investment, the tax payer (at last) doesn’t foot the bill!!!
    Have any of these Labour idiots thought, the increased income from the convension centre and more pokie machines…..will be subject to TAX, increasing the govt.s tax take by expanding the economy!!! WOW…it’s just right on EVERY level. As for problem gambling…….do the words PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY actually mean anything to you idiots.

    • Pokerface

      “Problem Gambling”
      “Addiction’s” to cola etc. – 
      By claiming to be a “Victim”, they can blame someone else for their lack of SELF CONTROL / PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY / WILL POWER. All things I was taught as a child. 
      I know that if I buy a packet of gingernuts I will likely eat them all with my next cup of tea – so I don’t buy them.

      • Pokerface

        When did being a victim become a good thing?

      • Alloytoo

        Well, you won’t buy them often :-P

        I share that addiction.

      • johnbronkhorst

        and yet that is the reason I buy gingernuts…addiction…but I won’t be asking for COMPENSATION…should they have aa negative effect n me, instead, I will just die happy & QUIETLY!!!

      • Bunswalla

        What about the gingernuts? Why doesn’t anyone ever think about the gingernuts?

      •  You just described my problem with Tim Tams!!! LOL….

      • Sarrs

        My problem is with Griffins bringing out normal flavoured biscuits but in tiny sizes (chocolate chippies, krispies, those stupid pink wafer things). Everyone knows that tiny food is infinitely more tasty than normal sized food.  

        We should start a support group for biscuit addicts and apply for government funding. 

  • johnbronkhorst

    Another point, Labour seems to be implying that John Key, should not have been involved. If not the minister of tourism…..then who??

  • In Vino Veritas

    Don’t get too wound up people. Just remember, it’s OK for the socialists to do this sort of thing (Cullen and taxation advantages for movie industry) but not for Key, because he is personally a rich prick, therefore must be doing it for the wrong reasons. (Oh, then there is dear old Winnie. A man that sold laws for the racing industry).

    The current leadership of the Labour Party wouldn’t recognise a good deal if it was rammed down their throats. Even if they did, they wouldn’t be able to successfully negotiate it with all the extremists whackos running around within. The bilious vomit will not cease coming from their mouths since they have no strategy other than to take potshots at Key.

    • Sarrs

      Yet no one seems to care that Labour MPs are rich too, they just all made their money out of the troughs. The reason they squawk so loud is that if it all ended tomorrow, they’d be out in the streets begging (Georgina Beyer anyone?) whereas John Key would go back to work and continue to be a success. 

      • In Vino Veritas

        No Sarrs! Cunliffe could go back to working for, um, Boston (for what they are worth), Shearer could go from the NZ trough to United Nations trough, Robertson from trough to MFAT trough (though he might be culled), Ardern to being a ……………..policy advisor (I think she found her level there), Cosgrove, PR, Little and Teabag to the Unions, Street to academia, Twyford to run Oxfam, Mallard teaching etc etc.

        There’s a fine lot of people used to spending other peoples money in that load.

      • Sarrs

        They must honestly all think that money grows on trees. It doesn’t appear that any of them have generated any money for the economy in their whole lives!

        I wish they would implement a time sheet policy that so much of NZ has to deal with – see how they account for every five minutes of their day

  • Cullen’s Sidekick

    The best thing for John Key to do is ignore the screaming socialists and communists and get on t sign the deal before Sky City panics and changes its mind. I would rather get 1000 people into the job market now rather than answering a bunch of losers

  • BJ

    If Labour were in Government right now they would do exactly the same as National and if down the track  – heaven forbid – they get back in to power and the deal hasn’t yet been done with Sky City by National – then  true to form ‘you can bet’ Labour  would change their tune to suit and find all sorts of reasons to justify it. There seems to be no honesty in the dealings of Labour 

  • Can someone here explain to me what is wrong with this? Is this a profitable going concern and if it isn’t why would another make any difference – and if it is profitable would the SkyCity centre end up taking busines off it? http://www.aucklandconventions.co.nz/Home.aspx

    • Gazzaw

      It isn’t big enough Neil. End of story. We are talking large conventions of 3000-4000 people. Yes, Sky City will compete with the Auckland Convention Centre because the Sky City facility will no doubt be able to be partitioned. Doesn”t matter though, it’s called competition.

      Once Sky City has got the official nod you can bet your bottom dollar that the major international hotel chains – Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott will be lining up to build in Auckland and add their not inconsiderable marketing muscle to attracting MAJOR interntational conventions to NZ.


      • So my next question is does Auckland – particularly in the city area have enough bed capacity for these large conventions out there in the market, we had a similar thing threatening in Wellington in the 1990’s where the dilemma was which to build first, hotels to accommodate big conventions or a bigger than MFC Convention Centre – end result neither happened.

      • Gazzaw

        Yes we do at a pinch Neil but there is time to build extra capacity. Just as important as the physical beds is the hotel management company managing & marketing the property because of the international nature of their business. eg Hyatt has hundreds of properties worldwide, as does Sheraton, Westin, Marriott, Radisson etc etc. Some of those companies were in Auckland but went because we had no prospect of getting a full on international conference venue. They have been replaced by less prominent hotel chains with less muscle. Sheraton became a Langham, Hyatt became a Pullman etc. 

        In five years time we will be wondering what this fuss is all about. Let’s face it, the opposition to Sky City is politically driven by parties with an anti-business agenda and their media puppets. 

  • Agent BallSack

    It’s common knowledge Labour and its ilk would rather spend the money on a theatre that only the Intelligentsia and Party Faithful Comrades would get the use of. Don’t forget the ongoing losses incurred by bringing Mein Kampf and assorted political fables yearly.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Yesterday I delivered my latest major speech, this time to the Nelson Chamber of Commerce. I hope you take a few minutes to watch or read the full speech.
    I want us to become prosperous together and give everyone a fair share. We have such enormous potential as a nation, that we really can be a place where anyone can grow up hopeful, with the future they dream of within their grasp.
    I intend to lead a government that creates a new New Zealand.
    I have talked about the need to lift our educational achievement and the importance of science and innovation in creating more exports.
    I focussed on two other aspects of our new New Zealand.
    As a nation we’re working harder for less. The economy isn’t working for many New Zealanders.
    One of our Labour priorities for the new New Zealand must be to raise wages. An idea that I’ve been exploring is the Living Wage. 
    It’s the amount a person needs to earn to provide for themselves and their family. The attraction is that it’s a voluntary pathway to incomes above just the minimum wage, so that it forms a virtuous cycle.
    People who are working hard, playing by the rules, should be paid well enough to live and raise a family.
    The second Labour priority I identified today was skills and training.
    The number of 15 to 24 year olds who are not in work, school or training is enough to fill Eden Park – 20,000 more than there were three years ago.
    This is a disaster for New Zealand.
    It will be our priority to get every young person under twenty into skills training, education or employment.
    The centrepiece has to be apprenticeships.
    Instead of paying young people to go on the dole, we will use it to subsidise businesses to take on apprentices.
    We need to grow a new economy so that we all share in the benefits. That’s the new New Zealand I want to create. 
    I want a country that works for you. 
    And I hope you want to be part of getting us there.
    Yours sincerely,
    David Shearer
    Labour Leader
    PS – Thanks to all of you who have taken a minute to write a ‘Dear John’ letter asking the Prime Minister about his shonkey deals with Sky City – we’ve had hundreds so far. Please make sure you pass on our new webpage to your friends and family.
    The idiots sent me this, after I wrote on the “dear John”, a GLOWING endorcement of the deal John Key did with sky city….IDIOTS don’t read their mail and then just use the info. to send everyone this rubbish!

  • Balanced View

    Really? I certainly didn’t get this message from your post above, or the linked article. C’mon Whale, stop being creative with your words, it destroys your credibility.

    • Tim

      “Auckland mayor Len Brown supports the convention centre at the heart of a contentious deal between the National Party and SkyCity Entertainment Group” 
      What part of that don’t you get?

      • Balanced View

        He supports the need for a convention centre. That doesn’t mean he “backs the sky city deal”. The two are VERY different comments.