February 15, 2015
Casino deal reminder Maori missing out
Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare says the Government’s dealings with Sky City over the Auckland convention centre stand in sharp contrast to its dealings with iwi.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce yesterday announced the casino operator had agreed to go ahead with the project without seeing any government funding, but the Government was prepared to accept a slightly smaller facility if that is required to meet the agreed total construction cost.
Under the original deal to build the $400 million convention centre, Sky City gets a 27-year extension to its Auckland casino licence and can add extra gaming tables and pokie machines that some analysts estimate could add more than $100 million a year to its revenue.
Mr Henare says the deal was always about hand outs for National’s mates in the business sector, and is in sharp contrast to the treatment of Ngati Whatua o Orakei, which was lured into putting in a competing proposal which had no chance of success.
" Sadly and the truth is this, the government don't see Maori as being true players in an economic sense. And Ngati Whatua have suffered that. They haven't been recognised in any of their aspirations for what essentially was a convention centre for the country. It's these kind of opportunities that our people are missing out on " he says.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH PEENI HENARE CLICK ON THE LINK
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