Overseas SkyCity steel jobs expose holes in pokies-for-convention-centre deal

The Government needs to come clean about how many more of the construction-related jobs for the SkyCity convention centre will actually be overseas, following news that half of the steel frame construction work has been given to a Thailand-based company, the Green Party said today.

“Steven Joyce needs to front up about how many more of the jobs he promised for New Zealanders will actually be overseas,” Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said.

“The pokies-for-convention-centre deal was always bad news for New Zealanders, and now we find out that it won’t even deliver the jobs the Government promised.

“The SkyCity deal symbolises what’s wrong with the National Government – its willingness to trade the welfare of ordinary Kiwi families for the benefit of big corporates, and now its willingness to trade away Kiwi jobs too.

“The economic justification for the dodgy convention centre deal has always been full of holes, and now it’s completely falling apart.

“The Government said construction would create 1000 jobs, but an independent report for Auckland Council cast doubt on that number, and now we’re learning that some of these jobs won’t even be in New Zealand.

“We’re talking about at least ten percent of all the construction-related jobs going overseas, but Steven Joyce is making excuses that it’s just the way markets work.  No, it’s the way the National Government works.

“National should have backed local firms to create jobs for New Zealanders, but it chose not to.

“The Government gave SkyCity extra pokies and gambling table concessions, smoothed the path for a cheap sale of valuable TVNZ land to SkyCity to build a hotel on, allowed SkyCity to weasel out of the original plans, and now it’s standing by while jobs go offshore,” said Ms Roche.

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