Steven Joyce got a second chance to remind people about prior convention centre deals on Thursday when David Cunliffe questioned him. But the door was left open for a supplementary question from Coromandel MP Scott Simpson:
Scott Simpson: Has he seen any reports endorsing convention centre deals in return for gambling concessions, including extra machines?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: In fact, I have, and as I rise I would say that the member opposite has just illustrated all the things that he does not want to do to create jobs in New Zealand. But I have seen a report from 2004 stating: “Here in New Zealand it has been pleasing to see continuing investment in the quality of our tourism infrastructure. In Auckland, Sky City has pumped $140 million into its new Convention Centre,”. This, of course, was in reaction to Skycity’s 2001 deal with the Government of the day that resulted in 230 extra gaming machines in return for Skycity’s current convention centre. I let the members draw their own conclusions about the relationship between 2001 and today. But it might help to note that the quote was from a former Labour Party Prime Minister, one Helen Clark.
Once again the Labour Party is trying to rewrite history, just as it did last year via Phil Goff on the issue of asset sales. Steven Joyce was dead right on Thursday; this is all about politics, and has nothing to do with principles or problem gambling.