Another day, another rort… Sky City Casino Convention Centre deal

Most folks will recall that Sky City corporation has been eyeing up some neighbouring land. They wanted to buy it and the current owner, TVNZ, did not want to sell.

Previously TVNZ had said that Sky hadn’t even formally approached them or made any formal offers.

Now keeping in mind that land in central Auckland is, well it’s not just expensive, it’s almost priceless. It is THAT expensive.

One reason why TVNZ didn’t want to sell some of their land is the disruption would be mind bogglingly bad for their staff.

In today’s NZHerald online it is said that a sale is going to go ahead, here’s a short quote…

TVNZ has revealed plans for a makeover and refurbishment using cash from sale of land for the SkyCity Convention Centre, with staff in temporary accommodation for around two years.

SkyCity paid $10.6 million for 81-95 Hobson street which is around $2 million more than the ratings valuation for the land.

… to that I say, that TVNZ have just bent over a barrel and let SKY Corporation do them over them over like a kipper.

Look SKY wanted that land and they were determined to get it come hell or highwater. They absolutely HAD to have that land for their much vaunted “convention centre”. (Either that, or simply re-design it, to fit the land they had). Who knows, if TVNZ had refused to sell the land at ANY price, maybe they would have sent out hit-men to kill everyone at TVNZ then bought it at the estate sale after the mass funerals, if need be.

TVNZ are gutless wonders. What useless negotiators. With houses in Auckland often selling for double and sometimes triple their RV (ratings valuations).

The RV on the TVNZ land is about $ 8 million, so any half decent negotiator, knowing that SKY wanted that land SO very badly, (it’s basically a key part of their $ 500 million expansion plan) would have pushed for a far higher price than barely 20% above RV. Pathetic, absolutely pathetic. How much is that negotiator guy paid ? They’d be better off employing the tea-lady to do their property sales negotiations. I could have got them a better price than that.

I would’ve said “yeah mate, we might sell that bit of land to you, for somewhere between $50 and $100 million”. Thankyouverymuch, nice fat profit in the back pocket for TVNZ.

It’s called private enterprise and private land ownership mate. If I own something, and you want, and you want it REAL bad. You have to pay WHATEVER price I ask.

Now it seems, TVNZ’s hardworking staff will have to spend 2 years, maybe more, in temporary and very much second rate premises as the refurbishments and modifications to their existing buildings takes place.

I reckon another $40 million to $90 million would have made that bitter pill a lot easier to swallow. Would have given TVNZ a big pile of cash for some upgrades and a few goodies for their staff.

An aerial view, associated with the NZHerald article, indicates that TVNZ will be giving up land and buildings that amount to more than a quarter of their original land area. I can only imagine the nightmare that poor TVNZ staff will have to put up with.

The Government has said as a concession that TVNZ will be allowed to pay the government coffers a reduced dividend this year. So this is effectively yet another taxpayer funded subsidy for the Sky City Casino. It really does show that National Party prime minister John Key is firmly in the back pocket of Sky Corporation and they’re only too happy to oblige him with a reach-around.

The Sky Casino has a reverse Midas touch. Everything they touch or have anything to do with turns to cow poop and spells disaster for New Zealand. For the sake of a relative handful of jobs, they are peddling misery and financial ruin for so many Aucklanders and mopping up government subsidies like a vacuum cleaner. The concessions the government has given Sky Casino for their expansion so far (that was totally prohibited by existing gambling laws) beggar belief, and here we go again, more taxpayer subsidies. Just so they can rip more New Zealanders off a bit more. Shame on you NZ government, shame !

UPDATED… A later article on the Stuff/Fairfax website gives some more details, not included in the earlier article. Just a couple of months ago TVNZ sold a neighbouring small land/building (93 Hobson Street) to SKY, and you guessed it, for barely 25% more than the RV. The later article also details how TVNZ will be needing to rent office space elsewhere for 2 years for upto 500 staff. YEP, a bad deal all around for sure. TVNZ you got done over well and truly.

Here below is a link to the article on NZHerald’s website.


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