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PM Implicated In TVNZ Land Sale Offer to Skycity

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

20 February 2013

PM Implicated In TVNZ Land Sale Offer to Skycity

New Zealand First says the National Government must have instigated backroom deals to offer TVNZ land on Hobson St to SkyCity to build its convention centre.

Rt Hon Winston Peters says secret deals by Mr Key, his officials, or other Government Ministers must have occurred because the TVNZ board had no knowledge of the proposal at the time SkyCity first announced its intention to buy the Hobson St site, nor would it act without political approval.

“A sale of this magnitude had to be authorised in principle at the top level. If it wasn’t the TVNZ board then that only leaves Mr Key’s Government.”

Mr Peters says the Auditor General’s report glossed over Mr Key’s role in TVNZ’s intention to sell its Hobson St site, which is adjacent to the SkyCity Casino.

“It was in the interests of many involved in the pokies for convention centre deal to do their dealings verbally and eliminate the chance that written records would implicate them.

“The Auditor General’s report agreed with this point when it stated: ‘We did not see any evidence of formal discussions or decisions on the evaluation process and criteria, or mapping out of the basic options for what might happen next, or advice to Ministers on how the process would be managed and their involvement in it. We do not regard this as adequate for a project of this potential scale, complexity, and risk’.

“If that’s not bad enough, part of the SkyCity deal is their requesting taxpayer funds to pay for future promotions. How sleazy is that?

“This accurately sums up Mr Key’s modus operandi of secret meddling so his big business mates can make sacks full of dollars,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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