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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 »