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Friday, April 27

Auditor General asked to investigate SkyCity deal

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei has today asked the Auditor General to investigate the process that led to SkyCity being chosen as the preferred bidder for an international convention centre in Auckland.

 "John Key's pokies-for-convention-centre deal raises a host of very serious issues about Ministerial influence and the fairness of the process to other groups who put together proposals to build a centre," said Mrs Turei.

 "We have asked the Auditor General to audit the Ministry of Economic Development's Expressions of Interest process and inquire into the involvement of John Key and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce's in the deal. "We believe that several state sector guidelines and rules for the procurement of public services have potentially been breached.

 "It is important that all the normal rules around Government procurement have been followed. "If the rules have not been followed, and SkyCity has received an unfair advantage, then the process needs to start again. "We have also asked the Auditor General to investigate whether the long term known economic costs from gambling harm have been factored into the cost of the deal.

 "The Green Party believes it is wrong to change the law so SkyCity can get hundreds more pokie machines when all credible research shows that increased opportunities to gamble equals increased social harm."