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Media release from the Taxpayers' Union

MEDIA RELEASE

GOVERNMENT SHOULD SAY NO TO CHRISTMAS SHAKE-DOWN 

22 DECEMBER 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on the Government not to bail-out Sky City for expected cost overruns of the National Convention Centre.  Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“The whole idea of the SkyCity deal was that Auckland and New Zealand would get an international class convention centre, paid for by SkyCity, in return for various concessions to the casino. It was never suggested or intended that the taxpayer or ratepayer would have to shoulder any of the burden. If SkyCity underestimated the cost of the centre when they signed the deal, that’s their problem.”

"If the centre is so important to Auckland then central and local government should have funded it in the first place. The fact that they didn’t suggests it is a nice-to-have not a must-have. If it is a nice-to-have then perhaps we can do without it after all – especially if taxpayers or ratepayers money is now required.”

“The SkyCity deal shows precisely what’s wrong with corporate welfare. Now that the Government has spent so much political capital in getting the project off the ground, SkyCity has it over a barrel. Its management will know that the Government would rather throw more money at it than risk the political embarrassment of failure.

"Unfortunately for taxpayers, it’s a recipe for an expensive Christmas."

ENDS

ENQUIRIES:

Jordan Williams
021 762 542

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is an independent activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It’s here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.

The Taxpayers’ Union operates a 24 hour media line for comment on taxpayer issues. Representatives are available on (04) 282 0302.

High resolution images and logos are available on request or online at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/resources