Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
John Key’s desperate ‘nothing to see here’ defence won’t fool New Zealanders who know a dodgy deal when they see one, says Labour Leader David Shearer.
“No matter how many times John Key repeats ‘there’s nothing to see here’ he can’t deny that he gave Sky City the inside running on a deal that sells our legislation in return for more pokies.
“The Prime Minister repeatedly dodged straight questions in Parliament today about whether his Chief of Staff offered Sky City ‘regulatory relief’ in return for building the convention centre and whether that offer was extended to other bidders.
“He didn’t want to answer because it shows that he was sharing information with Sky City that other bidders were not privy to. It took the Speaker David Carter to answer for him, saying that the Prime Minister himself had offered the casino that relief.
“John Key has been spinning for days that the deputy Auditor-General’s report clears him. But John Key hasn’t been vindicated. He’s been implicated. He’s up to his eyeballs in this cosy stich-up and is funding a convention centre on the backs of problem gamblers.
“This deal wasn’t ‘even-handed, it wasn’t ‘transparent’ and it treated bidders ‘very differently’. Kiwis don’t support it. The Government should go back to square one and conduct an open and honest process,” said David Shearer.