Key gave unfair advantage to Sky City
19 February 2013
gave unfair advantage to Sky City
John Key and his
Government clearly gave Sky City an unfair advantage in its
bid for the contract to build a convention centre in a move
that will boost casino profits off the backs of problem
gamblers, says Labour Leader David Shearer.
Zealanders don’t want more pokies in this country. They
cause real harm and if this deal goes ahead with Sky City,
we’ll see the casino make hundreds of millions of dollars
at the expense of problem gamblers.
“Today’s report by
the deputy Auditor-General shows the Prime Minister’s
claim that he’s been ‘totally vindicated’ is an insult
to the intelligence of New Zealanders.
“Kiwis know he
was donkey deep in this entire process. The deal with Sky
City was his idea. He knew exactly what was going on and was
pulling the strings behind the scenes.
“The report has
made stinging criticisms, including that Government
officials worked ‘closely’ with Sky City to help it put
together a bid and were conducting preliminary negotiations
while palming off other bidders. It also found the meetings
and discussion between the Government and Sky City were
‘materially different in quantity and kind’ from those
with other parties.
“This is evidence that Sky City was
given unfair advantage.
“The report also states that the
steps taken during the Sky City negotiation process were not
consistent with ‘good practice principles of transparency
and fairness’ and that there were a range of deficiencies
in the steps taken by officials and Ministers.
does not clear the Prime Minister despite his attempt to
spin the story before the report’s release. He was
personally involved in meetings with Sky City and actively
encouraged it to make a bid.
“This whole episode
undermines New Zealand’s reputation for honesty and
transparency and that lies at the feet of John Key,” said
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