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.

SkyCity signed a deal with the government to build the centre, costing just over $400 million, in exchange for a law change allowing it to expand its gambling business.

It said the building costs could now be as high as $530 million.

Mr Joyce said discussions were taking place over who should fund the potential shortfall.

“Early on, there was an indication of a bit of a gap growing between the budget as agreed – $400 million – and the aspirations of the designers and architects. We were hoping that would close up but it appears to be widening out a little bit,” he said.

“But again, I would stress that a lot of that is predicted construction costs and inflation, which may or may not come to pass.”

The preliminary designs of the convention centre and the total construction cost will be decided at the end of February.

Bit of a gap.  Pretty legal.  It seems that if you put Stephen Joyce on the job you get the job done, sorta thereabouts.

John Key and Wayne Eagleson should have sent Joyce out with Winston’s big “NO” sign.  Unfortunately, early indications are that you and I are going to be paying for part of SkCity’s private business development to allow the government to save face.




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  • Murray Smith

    Perhaps Sky City could just have a punt on their own roulette wheel. The odds are they’d win.
    That’s how casinos work.

  • mike

    Maybe someone needs to start an email campaign to remind National that none of us want to fork out anymore money to Sky City.

    A not so gentle reminder that they are there at our sufferance… and we won’t suffer this.

  • Justsayn

    Are they really telling us that the contract didn’t address what would happen if construction costs exceeded the 400 million?

  • Salacious Crumb

    Come on National; what did your leader say about “3rd Term Arrogance”? Starting to get the waft of attitude from you……

    • mommadog

      More than a waft. It seems like they really don’t want a fourth term. So far we have Joyce talking to sky city which will really lose National favour if he signs away our tax payer dollar, no sign of JK dealing with his problem MP up on charges, and a Navy ship not allowed to do what the Navy should be capable of doing…. Its all downhill. The question is become is it Angry Andy as the next PM or will labour have another leader by then.

  • I.M Bach

    There’s a bit of a difference between $400 and $530 million, who priced up the job? You have to hand it Skycity; asking for handout is pretty arrogant and for it not be dismissed immediately indicates why they asked for it. If there’s a small chance of it being forthcoming I think I’d ask for $130m too. “Dear Mr Joyce……..”

  • G-Man

    farmers, wine growers, gamblers….next please

    • peterwn

      Well, Labour is calling for an amnesty for those who are behind with their tax payments – never mind those who pay their taxes on time. So add delinquent (except big biz) taxpayers to the list.

  • andrew carrot

    Dear Messrs Key and Joyce, I’ve had a very good year thus far, so I anticipate my tax bill will be much higher than first calculated. Please deposit $130m (appears to be the going rate) into the following BVI account…

  • johnnymanukau.

    If the Government thinks they may lose face by telling the Sky City management to go back to the drawing board and re price the dream, then I think they are wrong. I am more than sure that the tax payers and rate payers would welcome an about turn by the Govt regards this snout in the trough project.

  • James

    My bathroom renovations are going to cost a little more than I originally budgeted – I didn’t realise that I could therefore get taxpayers to stump up for the excess! Knowing this then I will go for those gold plated taps after all!

    • mommadog

      Go ahead. Its not your fault the gold taps cost more. It was the aspirations of your designer and architect.

  • Wendy

    The shortfall is because of the “aspirations of the designers and the architects”?

    Come on…a budget is a budget, not a trough for your own whims, egos and aggrandizement.

    • Wallace Westland

      Exactly. Tell the architects & designers to wind there necks in.
      If they want to create an iconic building that will be an immortal monument to their architectural genius then Sky City can foot the bill.

    • Warren

      Architects couldn’t design to a budget if they tried. The higher the contract price the bigger percentage they get. All architects worry about is the $$$$ signs and design prizes at the end. It was a top design, only 130Mil over budget.

  • Isherman

    I think Dagg had the reply I would use here


  • rangitoto

    The costs should be less with the price of oil and iron ore tanking.

  • The Accountant

    Actually, I’m happy to lend them the money, at, say, 10%pa. Nice little return on $130 million!

  • Dave_1924

    Dear JK and Steve Joyce, and yes Mr Farrar you bell weather researcher.

    I will make the following statement and I wil act on it.

    If Sky City with its 110 million a year free cashflow gets a dollar from Tax Payers in any form for the convention centre and the 5 star gin palace they want to build to host their high rollers – then I will vote LABOUR for 2 electoral cycles.

    This shilly shallying sickens me. Its such a cut and dry situation.

    Sky City will get a very nice cashflow boost within a few years of the Adelaide Casino upgrade and the Sky City Auckland expansion/convention centre capital spends. That is a published fact. See Morningstar research

    Also fact is the large free cashflow Sky city generate and their large untapped credit lines. They don’t need and never needed government money for the convention centre. They are just trying it on to get a higher ROE for themselves by leveraging free money out of the NZ Government

    Get your heads on straight and tell them to build the convention centre as agreed, or offer them a competitot in the Auckland Market place by issuing another operators license.

    • KGB

      Though I agree with most of your post, I would never vote against a Government who attempts to make a difference.
      Get your act together Steven Joyce. We will not tolerate such rubbish.

      • Dave_1924

        Sometime KGB you need to send a message. they only way i have to send that message is with my vote. i would rather Labour ran things for 3 years than allow Sky City to rort the country as they are trying to do in this deal. And yes Stephen Joyce sort it out….

        • KGB

          Don’t forget the rubbish that will come with a Labour Government. Life will be worse under their rule. I often disagree with stuff, but there are some issues that come with the territory. Be extremely vocal re this issue. We can demand change without demanding a change in Government.

  • Dave_1924

    Oh and if you feel strongly about this issue, like I do, send JK an email: [email protected]

    It will only be read by a low level staffer, but I am sure they count the volume per topic as a rough guide to sentiment in the electorate. And if enough emails and letters arrive maybe JK will pull Joyce’s head in on this stupidity and Sky City will be told to do the right thing.

  • Hard1

    Reality? Pokie takings are down.

  • thehawkreturns

    I think the Gov should look at taking an equity stake in Sky City. Market cap 2300 million so a 20% stake should cover the convention centre, return a good dividend and ensure the government blocks all executive pay rises until they can buy the gov out again….