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Cheque book legislation not the Kiwi way

Auckland Issues Spokesperson

20 January 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Cheque book legislation not the Kiwi way

Changing gambling laws in return for casino giant Sky City funding a national convention centre in Auckland is not the way the Government should be doing business, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Cheque book legislation is not the New Zealand way,” Phil Twyford said.

“Most Kiwis will find it repugnant that the Government should put the commercial interests of a multi-national corporation ahead of the best interests of New Zealanders.”

Phil Twyford said today’s news that newly-appointed Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce believes that negotiations are ‘stepping up a little bit pace-wise’ suggests that the Government is well down the road in relation to agreeing a deal.

“Of course, it is good news that Auckland is likely to get a new international convention centre.

“But it isn’t good news if the Government is going to sign off legislative changes that will enable Sky City to install a whole heap of extra pokie machines and gambling tables, or to promote them more widely,” Phil Twyford said.

“New Zealand already has serious gambling addiction problems. We should not be making a big problem worse.

“There are other ways of doing business than selling off our laws to the highest bidder. There are other potential partners who can be considered,” Phil Twyford said.

“The Government rolled over and changed our labour laws when Warners Brothers held a gun to its head. The Government ditched Kiwi workers to allow overseas interests to build our new trains.

“A repugnant history is becoming worse. New Zealand laws should not be for sale on any basis.”


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