Dissembling from David Cunliife

Check this out.. amazing double speak from David Cunliffe. He weasels around on SkyCity…and I also think the bit where he refuses to have a personal opinion about MPs pay is hugely wrong footed.

Shouldn’t the person vying to be the next Prime Minister offer an opinion when he’s asked?

So they have campaigned relentlessly against the Sky City deal – but they won’t kill it.  Smells like hypocrisy to me.

Prime Minister John Key claims Labour MPs are privately offering assurances that they won’t overturn a deal with Sky City for an international convention centre.

But the claim was denied by Labour leader David Cunliffe, who accused Key of making it up.
Key made the claim today after Parliament’s commerce committee recommended the International Convention Centre bill be passed.

Under the deal, SkyCity will build a $400 million convention centre in return for gambling concessions.

The committee reported that it had sought advice on the ability of a future Parliament to repeal the legislation after the deal included provision for compensation to Sky City should the agreement be overturned.

It was told by Crown Law that any future Parliament could amend the legislation but unless it expressly overrode the compensation provisions, compensation would be payable.

Key said today no Parliament could bind a future Parliament and “that’s true of any laws”.

That was the risk any commercial operator took.

“Legislatively they can change any law they want but ultimately there’s also contract law in New Zealand and future parliaments would probably be mindful of cutting across contract law because that has implications for other things that take place.”

But Key said he did not believe Labour would overturn the deal, despite its opposition to the gambling concessions granted.

“They wont go there. Because Labour is already telling SkyCity they won’t,” he said.

Asked what he based his claim on, Key responded: “They wont get rid of the deal…that’s what I’ve heard around the traps in Auckland. I won’t divulge my sources.”

But Cunliffe denied there had been any discussions with SkyCity.

“I believe he’s making it up again… I have made no such commitment.”

Cunliffe refused to elaborate on what they would do in regards to the deal should they form the next government but said it was within the scope of future parliaments to reduce the number of pokie machines.

“When we become the Government we will look carefully at issues of gambling harm, we will take a principled and rational approach. To the extent that that contract is inappropriate it could be subject to a future parliament.”


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  • AnonWgtn

    Typical cowardice.
    If he does not say anything intelligent, then he cannot be wrong.

  • blokeintakapuna

    He’s certainly better in live interviews than Shearer ever was….
    The fact he’s a weasel-like snakeoil salesman persona, except without the charm is the main reason why politicians the world over are universally hated.
    An odious little cretin if ever there was one!

  • jcpry

    What an annoying little shit! He looks like that twerp off Cougar Town and has less credibility.

  • Justsayn

    If Labour thinks Banks should abstain from the SkyCity vote because he was gifted some campaign funds from them for his mayoral run, then why does the same logic not bar the Labour MPs that knowingly accepted the gift of hospitality from SkyCity?

    On the same topic will Labour confirm they have not, directly or indirectly, received any donations from SkyCity?

    They are simply a bunch of whining asses that still fail to understand that most of us voted for the other bunch.

    • drummerboy

      I recall sky city saying last year that they make donations to both political parties. But I could be wrong, I’m not 100% sure

      • Agent BallSack

        They affirmed that when Shearer et al turned up for the rugby game.

      • Justsayn

        I suspect they do, and that they would be happy to confirm it even if Labour is not.

      • Wine Man

        Its all there in his own words…“When we become the Government we will look carefully at issues of gambling harm, we will take a principled and rational approach. To the extent that that contract is inappropriate it could be subject to a future parliament.” Re read as we will offer them more machines as we did last time we were in Government and they can pay us a bigger donation to fund our erection campaign. (opps lefties don’t get those do they except at work)

  • dyannt

    One of the spin-offs of Len’s behaviour will be the silent questioning in most people’s minds of “What perks is this politician getting out of this situation.”

  • ozbob68

    Love it, Key makes a specific, pragmatic statement and Cunliffe rolls out the dissembling and double-talk. David is being exposed for what he really is, expect this type of thing to continue in drip-feed until election campaign kicks in proper.

  • peterwn

    David Cunliffe cannot really comment about MPs’ salary increases without appearing to be two-faced. His and Green MP’s would be most upset if he was seen to be dampening down their salary expectations. John Key’s personal attitude would be the same as when he was at Merrilll-Lynch (or like Cyrus in ‘Alex’) – if you don’t like the pay, then look elsewhere.

  • drummerboy

    He speak to people like they are stupid. You can tell he wants to be PM for himself not really for anyone else, he just likes control.

    • BJ

      He talks at people, with no relationship in the exchange, whereas John Key talks with the person that is engaging with him. People that engage and let their guard down, allow themselves to be vulnerable and are therefore honest by default. I don’t trust Cunliffe one bit.

      • jb

        neither do I, BJ.

    • dyannt

      Just like Len, really.

  • BJ

    What a slippery slimy character. His sentences are formed by using mostly the reporters words verbatim, bar the question part of it – then adding his ‘squeaky wheel’ own verbatim approach “I will take a principled approach.
    Well Mr arrogant high and mighty, we’ll be watching your principles very closely.

    • When someone constantly bangs on a bout principles you may be sure that they don’t have any.

  • jb

    I like what Key has done here. Foisted the responsibility of denying any hypocrisy on Cunliffe. Clever PM.

  • Wine Man

    The problem with Labour is they are still the same politicians running around as when Herr Helen was in charge, all they have done is change the chairs, yet a lot of dumb voters will once again get sucked into their bribes, corrupt policies and lies to get into and stay in power.

  • Justsayn

    I understood that Key gifts his entire PM salary to charity. Can any confirm, if so…

    He does well not to make a big deal of it, not all are in a position to do that even if they wanted to, but the hypocrisy of citing the PM salary increase with an implication Key is feathering his own nest is palpable.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    I somehow get the feeling Curryleaf is telling the truth here….they would not have told SKY city that they won’t touch the legislation. Unless uncle Key comes up with an evidence, nobody can shake Curryleaf to be honest. So it is better for uncle Key to move on quietly…..

    • Justsayn

      He dodged the question about whether or not he had talked to SkyCity about the contract, replying with the truism that no one can bind future Parliaments over what they may seek to do via legislation (which is NZ constitutional arrangements 101).

      Clearly he has talked to them about it, if not he would have said so.

      So what did he tell them? If it was just the above then I reckon they’d have said, “Yes, thanks for that David, now why did you call?”

    • dianne65

      Cunliffe with the silent T, is an ugly mug cheat. He talks out the side of his measly mouth, but actually says nothing. He wouldn’t know the truth if it tripped him up. Creep.

  • mike

    Now this boys and girls is an example of a brilliant politician… he is unable to answer a straight question with a straight answer, he make no commitments to anything but neither does he rule anything out… he is the master of double speak and boy oh boy doesn’t he come across as a git, even the media lackeys are getting annoyed with his inability to give a real answer.

  • johnbronkhorst

    See cunliffe is also throwing the bull shit line that the regions are declining.
    Maybe he can explain why several of my customers are doubling the size of their factories…….in the regions!!!!

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    John Key cannot prove that Labour said this to Sky city. So he has more explaining to do and as Whale Oil says, explaining is losing (except when Lentils Brown explains). It may be a good idea for John Key to get on with the legislation and start to build the convention centre. At least Labour won’t order the demolition of the centre!!

    As John Key won’t be PM in 2014, he doesn’t have to worry about what happens to the Sky City deal. That is for Curryleaf to manage and if he needs to fork out huge compensation, he will have lot of extra cash from the rich pricks tax he will be imposing.

    Whichever way you cut it, it is raining in Curryleaf’s patch, while John Key’s patch is getting drier by the minute.

  • Mark M

    I actually think that Cunliffe answered the questions correctly and appropriately. He has put Sky City on notice that his future government is more likely than not of changing the gambling laws. Sky city can not feign ignorance of this constitutional prerogative of any future government. They will need to proceed with their eyes fully open. To me, personally, the convention centre should be built by other private/public means without involving this Sky city mega gambling outfit. Such a plan will have better public support.

    • Kimbo

      Yeah, Ok.

      Joining the dots on that analysis,…

      as pubs have pokie machines should they also be built by private/public means?

      Why should Joe Public have to reach into his pocket because a few Green ninnies, and some self-serving Labour politicians feigning outrage for their own political profit, think it will get “better public support”.

      The time to oppose pokies and casino gambling was about 20 years ago. Under this deal, the country gets a new convention centre with subsidiary benefits for free. Now Cunliffe wants to play politics with our hard-won reputation of being a business friendly nation – or at least non-capricious, contract-breaking Banana Republic

      I’ll speak for myself, as do most around here, but kindly don’t presume to speak for what will get “public support”. It is presumptuous in the extreme.

      What precisely will change with the Sky City deal if Cunnliffe becomes PM? Those who do business here, and most importantly, all voters, no matter what their views on the Sky City deal deserve to know.

      Cunnliffe needs to either piss, or get off the pot.

  • Rimutaka

    Cunliffe is performing well as Leader of the opposition. He answered the question as one would expect a future PM should, entirely appropriately. On the other hand John Key’s glibness is stating to take the shine off his popularity.

    Key needs to put up or shut up over his claim. Simple as eh bro. I don’t think the righties cans see what’s coming, reminds me of the Republicans fantastical optimism about Romney, and the utter disappointment when reality smacked them round the face.