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David Cunliffe Mum on SkyCity Deal and MP's Pay

David Cunliffe Mum on SkyCity Deal and MP's Pay

David Cunliffe's weekly pre-caucus press conference – 22 October 2013

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell


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At his weekly pre-caucus press conference David Cunliffe refused to say whether he would axe a deal for Sky City to get more pokie machines if Labour was elected to govern next year. He also declined to give his opinion on MP pay rises, and chastised John Key for commenting on the deliberations of the independent Remuneration Authority. Mr Key said yesterday that any pay increases should only be in line with inflation.

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Mr Cunliffe refused to be drawn on details of any Labour changes to a deal struck by John Key for SkyCity Casino to build a convention centre in Auckland in exchange for an increase in pokie machines deal.

Labour would not “incinerate” the SkyCity contract but he reserved the right for “a future parliament to address issues of gambling harm”.

He said is was the right of every parliament to make sovereign legislation as required.

“We will take a principled and rational approach but we won't fetter a future parliament.”

It was not appropriate to seconded guess a commercial contract in relation to regulation issues which had not yet arisen, Mr Cunliffe said.

He said neither he nor his MPs had met with Sky City to give a commitment about the deal.

Mr Cunliffe also refused to give his opinion on whether MP's should be given a pay rise, saying the decision was up to the independent Remuneration Authority.

“It is not a matter for me to have an opinion on.”

Yesterday John Key said he did not think MP's should get any increase in pay above the rate of inflation.

Mr Cunliffe said Mr Key was playing “cheap politics” and was only saying what he thought the public wanted to hear.

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