Tag Archives: Casinos

Auckland Council: Hark to DCC’s well-tried model of corporate welfare

Sky City International Convention Centre [via stuff.co.nz]Sky City International Convention Centre and hotel.

Somebody ruthlessly slips the word “National” into the name for Auckland’s proposed convention centre.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:32, December 22 2014
Auckland Councillors blast Sky City ‘corporate welfare’
By Niko Kloeten
Auckland ratepayers should not have to pay for a blow-out in the cost of the Sky City National (sic) Convention Centre, councillors say.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce raised the prospect of the Auckland Council chipping in to help fund the project, after new estimates revealed the cost could blow out by as much as $128 million. The increase in cost could leave taxpayers on the hook for any shortfall, but Joyce said the council could provide some assistance. “If you look at the Wellington Council, they’ve just done a deal to do a convention centre there, a much smaller one, but they’ve under-written some operating costs and that might help was well,” he told Radio New Zealand.
Howick councillor Dick Quax said the money would be better spent on the city’s much-needed transport projects, several of which have been delayed due to funding pressures. “It could be the beginning of an endless group of corporates coming to the council with their hands out. I don’t support corporate welfare at all.”
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█ Dunedin City Council bought professional rugby and simultaneously lost 152 cars. But wait, there’s more.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DIA reshuffle: new investigation teams, money laundering, criticism

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 12/08/2012
The money detectives take on casinos
By Steve Kilgallon – Sunday Star Times
A specialist casino investigations team is targeting offshore gamblers pumping millions through casinos on flying visits to New Zealand. The team is part of a major reshuffle at Internal Affairs, which is also establishing a major investigations team tasked with prosecuting sophisticated poker machine frauds, an area where it has faced major recent criticism. DIA staff and Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain have been briefed on the changes in the past few days. The casino team will be told its priority is potential money-laundering.

“There are some examples of people being in New Zealand for a relatively short period of time and putting quite a lot of money through the casino,” said Maarten Quivooy, Internal Affairs’ general manager of regulatory and compliance operations. “We are not saying that’s necessarily anything illegal, but it does raise the question ‘what do we know about these things?’

Internal Affairs’ other new team will be called the regulatory investigations team, which will be given extra support, work under Quivooy’s direct command and be told to chase “serious, wilful, deliberate, harmful” offenders.

The department has been heavily criticised in recent years for failing to prosecute alleged pokie rorts. But Quivooy denied the move was a response to that or an acknowledgement of any failings. “We are not doing this to placate people, we are doing it because it is the right thing to do.”

But Internal Affairs critic Martin Legge, a former gambling inspector and later industry whistleblower, said the changes were “akin to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” and a “deliberate and cynical ploy to deflect attention from their spectacular failure in regulating the pokie industry and stopping the rorts”. Legge said Internal Affairs already had a Serious Investigation Unit which had achieved little and he believed the department lacked the “culture, skills and fortitude” to legally outwit rogue trusts.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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