New Zealand First says the Government must explain exactly the role John Banks played in Prime Minister John Key’s decision to allow up to 500 more pokie machines at Sky City.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says it is also unclear the role played in the deal by Mr Key’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson.
Mr Peters says the timeline for Mr Key’s dodgy Sky City plan makes compelling reading.
“Mr Key’s cabinet in March 2010 cancelled a jointly-funded business plan under development by the Government and Auckland City Council for a national convention centre.
“Then on March 26, Mr Eagleson met with Sky City in Auckland. Mr Key admits ‘it is likely’ the convention centre was discussed.”
Mr Peters says the issue was further clouded when Mr Eagleson went on holiday to Las Vegas with Sky City lobbyist Mark Unsworth and former National Party Minister Roger Sowry in June 2010.”
Mr Peters says that during the mayoral campaign, Mr Banks had a ‘vision’ for a convention centre on Auckland waterfront’s Bledisloe Wharf.
“Then suddenly in a press release dated May 14, 2010, Mr Banks ditched his ‘vision’ and announced that Auckland City Council would ‘work with the Government to find a suitable location’ for a convention centre.
“The press release made specific mention of Sky City’s plans to expand their existing conference facility.
“It is time for Mr Banks to be made accountable. At the moment Mr Key is allowing him to be judge and jury in his own case,” says Mr Peters.
Source: NZ First