Wayne Eagleson

The “C” word

Yesterday I wrote about the Key/Joyce/Eagleson/SkyCity debacle. ?I ended the article with


Turns out that corporate shill Matthew Hooton is quite happy to use the C word today


The origins of this fiasco lie in the close private relationship established between John Key and SkyCity in the mid 2000s.? When he became prime minister, Mr Key surprised many when he appointed himself minister of tourism but it was old news to SkyCity. Its executives had advised business partners well before election day that things were looking up because Mr Key had ?agreed? to become tourism minister. Read more »

What does SkyCity have on John Key?

Media were delighted in speculating last year “what does Cameron Slater have on John Key?”. ?This was apparently to explain why John Key refused to rule out communicating with me in the future.

A question you won’t hear the media ask is “What does SkyCity have on John Key?”

The government are heading for a hugely unpopular move. ?Even some polling company can’t save National from the backlash if tax payer money is given to a business so they can build a privately owned building in exchange for?also getting additional licenses to allow for more gambling.

I don’t know what part of the (business) world you’re from, but that’s not how you do negotiations.

Prime Minister John Key won’t rule out using taxpayer money to stop SkyCity’s convention centre becoming an “eyesore”.

Mr Key expressed doubts over the wisdom of insisting the casino operator sticks to the initial $402 million spending plan for the building of the convention centre.

“I’m keen to see the best convention centre I can for Auckland, because this is a very long-term asset, so I would hate to see some sort of eyesore constructed down town.

“There are issues around the construction of it. Obviously you can spend more and get something that looks a lot better, or spend a bit less and get something that looks worse.”

However, he said it was “very unlikely” Auckland ratepayers would be asked to foot the bill for cost overruns.

Nice side-step. ?Of course Key can’t commit ratepayers’ money. ?But he can, and refuses to rule out, the use of general taxpayers’ money.

And the best reason they can come up with is that people?in Bulls, Westport, Hawera and Taupo have to cough up their taxes is so that Auckland won’t have to look at an ugly building.

National have had two months to think this over, and that’s the best they can come up with?

I realise Labour want us all to think that National now has third-term-itis with the requisite loss of focus and arrogance, but for goodness sake, do Joyce and Key have to make it this easy for them? Read more »

SkyCity is Darth Vader

Steven Joyce?s chances of becoming John Key?s successor must surely be ?reducing by the day.

His ?deal? with SkyCity (i.e. we give you a controversial gambling law change for one national convention centre) is being changed by SkyCity.

Looks like Joyce has managed to set up a Darth Vader vs Lando situation with SkyCity playing Darth.

Read more »

Armstrong on Key

Given the centre-left was well and truly thrashed by John Key-led National in last September’s election – not to mention the two previous ones – you would have thought it would have dawned on those occupying that part of the political spectrum that devoting time and energy to catching the Prime Minister out has not been very productive. If anything, it seems to be counter-productive, reinforcing Key’s standing, rather than undermining it.

That Key escaped punishment at the ballot box last September despite exposure of the dirty-tricks campaign masterminded by Jason Ede and Whale Oil’s Cameron Slater tells you an awful lot about New Zealand voters’ stance on the abuse of power and safeguarding political rights.

Quite simply, they don’t have one. If they did, Hager would have been considered a hero – not someone to be vilified and who ends up on the receiving end of a police search warrant.

Such high levels of public apathy have given Key a reliable measure of the degree of public tolerance of his and National’s less attractive attributes.

In the case of Mike Sabin and allegations made against him which ultimately forced the Northland MP’s resignation from Parliament, Key’s popularity is such that he could probably change his story half-a-dozen times while now admitting he was well aware of Sabin’s troubles long before last September’s election and the backbencher’s appointment as chair of Parliament’s law and order select committee. Read more »

What on earth is going on in John Key’s mind?

It looks like John Key has had a rush of?shit to the brains recently.

Something is seriously wonky with his thinking at the moment.

I’m talking about the messaging over the Sabin affair.

First up National has known about this issue for months, but sat there on the info, which proved remarkably accurate, for months letting the sore fester and become pustulant, almost turning gangrenous.

That was bad enough, and sorry I just don;t believe that the first he knew about the issue was just last week. Does he not speak to his chief of staff? Is his chief of staff keeping things from Key?

Then he stood by him on Monday as head of the select committee, again why? Didn’t Wayne Eagleson take Key aside and say “Boss, I think we have a problem”

By that stage Mike Sabin must have known what was happening Monday morning, surely someone in National’s caucus did too and no one thought to tell the boss…everyone tells the boss in National.

Then come Friday and over the weekend John Key pulls his best Sgt Schultz impression and declares he knew nothing.

Finally we get this brain fart.

Prime Minister John Key has hinted at some frustration with former MP Mike Sabin for failing to tell National about the personal issues that led to his resignation prior to the election, saying Mr Sabin had almost been appointed as a minister and news of his issue had come as “a shock.”


Mr Key said the first he knew of any problems Mr Sabin faced was in early December when his chief of staff told him. It is understood Mr Sabin’s issue arose prior to the election. Mr Key revealed Mr Sabin was on the cusp of being appointed as a minister when National was re-elected.

“To be frank, he was on the list of ‘likely to be a minister.’ It was a real toss-up between him and a couple of other people who got in. That’s how confident we were, or how lacking in knowledge of other issues we were.

So it came as quite a shock to me when I was told of the matters he was pursuing.”

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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. Read more »

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. ?? Read more »

Random Impertinent Questions

Did Wayne Eagleson become personally involved in the Sky City convention centre negotiations?

How many times did he fly to Auckland to meet Sky City executives when the deal was being put together?

Did the taxpayer pay for the flights? Or someone else?

While we are at it on random impertinent questions… ?? Read more »

Political commentator burns his own business

...and abracadabra...Magic! ...there goes my business and reputation...

…and abracadabra…Magic! …there goes my business and reputation…

Many in the general punditry destroyed their reputation over the weekend and the preceding election campaign.

The were mostly wrong but some were really wrong.

One such pundit who, like Martyn Martin Bradbury has been more wrong than right is Matthew Hooton. His reputation is in tatters too now.

Positioned as a centre-right political commentator Matthew Hooton has been whoring himself around the media during this election period. Last night TV3 had him on as their centre right political commentator.

Some despise Hooton as an evil? right wing fascist.

Others more to the right of him, think he?s soft ? despite telling all and sundry to give their two ticks to ACT in his regular NBR column.

Most political pundits think Hooton plays games and enjoys winding up the left. ? Read more »

Has John Key read the Cabinet Manual?

Bring back buck

John Key asked Maurice Williamson to resign saying that he had breached the cabinet manual rules…but did he?

There are just eight references in the cabinet manual?to the Police.

Nowhere does it say you can’t enquire?

1.) ?

3.3 ?State services? is the term used to refer to the broad range of organisations that serve as instruments of the Crown. The state services consist of:

(a) all public service departments;

(b) other departments in the executive branch of government that are not part of the public service (the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Security and Intelligence Service, the New Zealand Defence Force, and the Parliamentary Counsel Office);


?3.24 The State Services Commissioner also has a role in managing the appointment process?for a range of other chief executives and senior officers in the executive branch of the state services, beyond those for which the Commissioner has responsibility under the State Sector Act 1988. These appointments include:

(a) Solicitor-General;

(b) Chief Parliamentary Counsel and Compiler of Statutes;

(c) Secretary of the Cabinet/Clerk of the Executive Council (see paragraph 5.81);

(d) Director, Government Communications Security Bureau;

(e) Director, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service;

(f) Chief of Defence Force and senior defence appointments;

(g) Commissioner of Police and senior police appointments.

3.) Subject of inquiry

4.83 Legislation does not substantially limit the matters that commissions of inquiry can consider. An inquiry may be established to inquire into a matter of policy or a matter of conduct, or into an issue that requires consideration of both policy and conduct. A conduct inquiry should not usually be appointed, however, where an existing body has jurisdiction to carry out the investigation. While it is appropriate for inquiries to investigate instances of impropriety, they should not cut across the role of the police or the role of the courts in determining criminal or civil liability.

4.) Statutory Bodies

4.93 A wide variety of statutory bodies have powers to inquire into events or issues.Examples include the State Services Commissioner, the Ombudsmen, the Auditor-General, the Law Commission, the Health and Disability Commissioner, and the Independent Police Conduct Authority. Some inquiries may be initiated by a statutory body; in other cases, a Minister may ask a statutory body to investigate certain issues. ?

Read more »