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SkyCity deal bad for the people and bad law too

22 October 2013


SkyCity deal bad for the people and bad law too

Crown Law advice that future Governments could repeal laws allowing SkyCity to expand its gambling business without paying the casino compensation is further proof that the deal is not only bad for Auckland, but bad law, the Green Party says.

The Commerce Committee has reported back on the New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill, including advice from Crown Law that future Governments’ could repeal the Bill without triggering the compensation provisions outlined in the Government’s agreement with the Casino.

“The National Government has failed in its attempt to stitch up a deal with SkyCity which allows the casino to get around the Gambling Act and massively expand its business, while preventing future Governments from acting to protect its citizens,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Tūrei said

“We always knew it was morally wrong to try to prevent future Governments from making law that protects citizens from harm, and our legal advice was that it was legally wrong too. Now the Government’s own advisers are saying the same thing.

“The Green Party will repeal the SkyCity Bill when in Government because this deal is contrary to the Rule of Law, it breaches the Bill of Rights and it actively causes harm to thousands of people.

“The National Government is desperately spinning the story that the Green Party will willy nilly undo commercial deals when in Government.

“This is just silly and desperate spin. The Green Party is against this deal because it is bad law which gives privileges to a casino that ordinary people are not allowed, and because the Government’s own officials say it will harm thousands of people, including 6500 children.

“The SkyCity deal is not an ordinary commercial transaction. Our advice is that it is unprecedented in New Zealand law, in that it gives regulatory concession to a business in exchange for a building.

“The Green Party stands up for the rights of New Zealanders to be treated equally before the law. This Bill is contrary to that right and trades human misery for a building, and we will fight it every step of the way,” Mrs Tūrei said.

Link to the Green Party’s legal advice on the deal by constitutional lawyer Stephen Franks:
https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/skycity_opinion.pdf

ends

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