Roughan: Sky City want to kill the convention centre deal

Key, Eagleson and Joyce might as well take this on the chin.  Sky City wants the tax payer to pay for their privately owned convention centre, or they can talk a long walk off Princess Warf

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison has just talked this taxpayer out of an Auckland convention centre.

“Absolutely,” he said when asked if he wanted taxpayers to contribute to the project now that the cost had blown out. “This is an unprecedented investment in tourism infrastructure in Auckland. If Auckland doesn’t want it, if New Zealand doesn’t want it, quite frankly that’s fine with SkyCity, we don’t have to do this.”

It Seems Sky City doesn’t want their new pokey licences.

And in that case, there genuinely isn’t a deal to get on with.

It never occurred to me that they were doing us a favour. As a participant in the New Zealand economy I don’t want favours from the board and management of SkyCity, I want profitable business decisions from them. I’m old enough to have seen how sick this economy became when too much of its activity hinged on public finance and favours.   

A $500 million convention centre is not Christmas in the Park or fireworks at New Year, it’s a significant economic investment. I had little confidence in it until SkyCity stepped up. Now that confidence is shot.

Not only has the estimated capital cost risen beyond SkyCity’s calculations, but it is believed to be now seeking an operating subsidy, too. Clearly the thing is not economic. In an attempt to justify a public subsidy Morrison has resorted to that old canard, “infrastructure”.

That’s new.  They want us to chuck money at them every year to run it.

Ok, it’s dead.

Dead.  Dead.  Dead.

Unless National try and find some way to keep it alive by spending tax payers money on it.   It would kill their fourth term, but clear judgement seems to have been absent since the election.

Let’s see what is more important to National:  A fourth term or avoiding the embarrassment of being played like a fish by Sky City.


– John Roughan, NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.