Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Sky is the limit

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  • Cameron Pitches,

    Hear, hear. Can someone please explain the contract between the Govt and SkyCity, where the Govt ends up being liable for the increased scope of a five star hotel?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report

  • Ben Ross,

    I think we need to share this picture I linked ( http://www.tickld.com/x/american-management-explained-this-guy-nails-it ) some more
    Shows we are just not quite there with leadership and governance on issues like this

    As for Joyce hinting Council to step in?
    How about we say no, Len flips the bird and we go the CRL ourselves 100%. It can be done with some very VERY smart financials that are not of detriment to the City.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 32 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    From today's RNZ Morning Report, hear the SkyCity CEO doing his best Monty Burns impersonation (8 mins, listening options).

    Then hapless Minister Joyce trying to claim that he'd negotiated a fixed price when he clearly had not (6 mins, options). Suggests the council might get involved to save his ass.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Suggests the council might get involved to save his ass.

    That really was outrageous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Cameron Pitches,

    The interview with Morrison above says the hotel is not included in the cost blowout - which he says is purely increased future construction costs. Who could know that a major rebuild of our second largest city might vacuum up construction capacity, raising prices?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Some sensible suggestions on Twitter that it could be a trade-off for an earlier CRL start..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Lest we forget, Joyce is the negotiating genius who likewise muffed the UFB deal with Chorus in their favour. Though how big a part the PM's ofice played in either case is not clear.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • bob daktari,

    I'm not sure there was ever a good case put forward for a new convention centre in Auckland - everything else was entirely predictable, if only it wasn't so...

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to bob daktari,

    There was some economic development modelling that supports it - but only in Ak. The Chch, Queenstown, Welli proposals just displace activity.

    But imagine if govt co-invested in world-leading innovative infrastructure for digital gatherings instead..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic,

    Prostetnic Vogon Joyce & Co sold us the premise that the taxpayer wouldn’t have to stump up a cent for the convention centre. He probably didn’t count on the possibility of a SkyCity shareholder revolt.

    Now that the issue is ballooning out of his control, it seems he wants to pass on the cost overrun to the Auckland Council. That way, he has an excuse to scapegoat them for rates hikes and overspending. At least with Wellington’s proposed convention centre, it’s not quite as loaded with delusions of grandeur or promises that it can’t keep. And, of course, Hilton Hotels, the partner for the Welly convention centre, seems better capitalised than Sky City.

    At best, the whole affair is a case of over-promising and under-delivering. At worst, it’s bare-faced hypocrisy and old boys network-ism. It'll be amusing to see the Tax Evaders Onion's response on this.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Grant McDougall,

    Joyce has handled this "unbelievably incompetently over the past few days" Hooten has just said on RNZ Nat.

    "Absolute buffoonery, these people are muppets" - Hooten again.


    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report

  • Steve Curtis,

    NZ Herald Jun 28, 2013: The Auckland Council has voted not to support the $400 million national convention centre for pokies deal on the eve of the Government and SkyCity signing off the deal. In a conscience vote, the council voted 10-7 yesterday not to support “the Government’s proposal for SkyCity to develop a convention centre in return for changes in our gambling legislation to increase gambling at the SkyCity casino”

    This vote was for a motion from anti casino campaigner Cathy Casey.

    'Mike Hosking said he was off to lunch at Federal St and couldnt comment' isnt a headline we will see

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report

  • Grant McDougall,

    No surplus, Sky City asking "Please sir, can I have some more?" and Mike Sabin being investigated on assault allegations. Hmmm, must be Christmas, time to dump the bad news, it'd seem.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report

  • bob daktari, in reply to Sacha,

    the same modeling that shows huge revenue spinoffs from hosting from sports and other types of events, govt surpluses and economic growth for the rest of time etc... ? The sort of research that is always reliant on leaps of faith - ie what was the convention norm at point x will be the norm in the future only bigger cause, growth?

    If I wander around Auckland and can see several convention & event centres...

    This was always going to be a white elephant that taxpayers or rate payers will be forced to prop up

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Hmmm, must be Christmas, time to dump the bad news, it’d seem.

    See also: the release of a nine-month-old report into what a complete clusterfuck Steven Joyce's "super ministry" is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    the Tax Evaders Onion's response

    Media release

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • daleaway,

    So this "business-savvy" government fell for a classic bait-and-switch?

    Quelle surprise.

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report

  • Steve Withers,

    The “business friendly” party has demonstrated over and over they aren’t very good at business.

    For example: The partial privatisation of public assets returning rates higher than the cost of the debt they planned to retire with the sale cash. D’oh. That completely unnecessary and counter-productive process cost over $100m to boot. Add that pile of wasted cash to this one…and let’s not talk about roading vs public transport.

    Billions wasted there on several roads with dubious rates of return.

    If these aren’t mistakes, they are a crony-cash lolly-scramble at our expense.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report

  • CRobinson,

    Calling the people who negotiated this deal muppets just lets them off the hook. These deals are nothing new, and there are plenty of people with experience in and close to government. That the public is now on the hook for extra costs is more like a feature rather than a bug.

    Since Aug 2014 • 8 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to CRobinson,

    more like a feature rather than a bug

    I agree they knew exactly what they were doing in the bigger picture - transferring public money into private pockets. However it's a good opportunity to heap ridicule on the manufactured image of these guys as sound managers on the public's behalf.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    poor moi...
    The Sky City head honcho on Morning Report today, was quite the piece of work, all the bully-boy repertoire on display, playing the martyr card - master class stuff!

    Someone, save us from the Alpha Males
    the pod that is in power now
    is taking us beach-wards
    at speed!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • CRobinson, in reply to CRobinson,

    Perhaps I should expand on what I just wrote. I am not saying that government ministers and officials set out to craft a bad deal (for the public) in order to favour corporate buddies. It was probably more that there was pressure for a deal, the politicians were not into the detail, and the officials and advisors, who should have been able to see where the risks lay, recognised the commercial realities and accepted what had to be (at least from their limited perspective). If you share the worldview of the dealmakers, then this probably makes sense, and to push back is to separate oneself from all the other sensible people, some of whom are probably also friends. Not muppets, but perhaps not really fully switched-on autonomous moral agents either.

    Since Aug 2014 • 8 posts Report

  • CRobinson, in reply to Sacha,

    Good point.

    Since Aug 2014 • 8 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to CRobinson,

    I'm so much loving these

    switched-on autonomous moral agents

    I feel a song coming on
    (with apologies to the usual suspects);
    a Gershwin-win situation?
    (Not really fully) SOAMA-time
    Fleecing the living is easy...
    Fer sure jumpin'
    and cotton-on-shy
    Owe your daddies rich
    endure RMAs good luckin'
    shush, liability,
    you gonna pay....

    </take me to your lieder>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Euan Mason,

    Projections of future financial viability of the convention centre might be as good as those foisted on Dunedin ratepayers for the covered stadium. <cough, splutter>

    "Muppets" is an apt description, except that I suspect the Minister realised taxpayers might have to be tapped eventually. This is not simply incompetence.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report

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