GAMBLING

National's shonky pokies deal on the ropes

Wednesday 13 June 2012, 2:38PM
By Labour Party
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The shonky deal between National and SkyCity must immediately go on hold until the Auditor-General’s investigation into the convention centre tendering process is complete, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“John Key’s fingerprints are all over this shonky deal. The cosy arrangement between him and SkyCity was dodgy from the very beginning. It was stitched up in a way that essentially cut all other bidders out of the running.

“That’s not the way we do business in New Zealand. We have a strong reputation internationally for open and transparent government and that must be protected.

“The Auditor-General’s inquiry is an opportunity to get to the bottom of what National and SkyCity have been up to behind closed doors.

“New Zealanders are overwhelmingly opposed to the deal. They don’t want National selling our legislation by offering the casino more pokies if it builds the convention centre. They know the harm that pokies cause in our communities.

“The whole process surrounding this deal has been shonky, including John Key’s overinflated claim that up to 2000 jobs could be created by the convention centre. Estimates from hospitality and travel consultants put the number at more like 320.

“It’s time for the truth to be told. We welcome the Auditor-General’s decision to conduct a thorough inquiry and look forward to her findings,” said David Shearer.