Convention Centre Deal Passes Third Reading

by Desk Editor on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 — 5:01 PM

A bill putting into effect the SkyCity convention city deal has passed into law.

The New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill gives effect to the deal which will result in SkyCity building a convention centre in Auckland in exchange for an expansion of its gambling operations.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said the bill would ensure a National Convention Centre would be built in Auckland bringing jobs and boosting the economy.

English said the deal was similar to one struck under the last Labour Government which was welcomed by the then Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Pokie machine numbers had risen under Labour and had fallen under National and opposition MPs were crying crocodile tears over the issue.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe said English had made a “bizarre” speech which ignored the growth in SkyCity’s gambling machine business at the expense of community based machines.

The bill was about “feathering the nest” of the corporate world.

A Labour Government would legislate to reduce problem gambling even if it meant overturning a “dirty deal”, he said.

A personal vote was held and the bill completed its third reading by 61 to 59.

The House went into committee to consider the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill and the Health and Safety (Pike River Implementation) Bill
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