Key: Labour guilty of 'deep hypocrisy'

John Key
John Key
Labour has confirmed four of its MPs were hosted in SkyCity's corporate box at Eden Park for the All Blacks versus France test last weekend.

Phil Goff, Annette King, Kris Faafoi and Clayton Cosgrove accepted SkyCity's invitation. Their leader David Shearer declined, but turned up for 10 minutes anyway.

Prime Minister John Key said the Labour MPs had displayed "deep hypocrisy" after accusing the Government of being too close to SkyCity over the casino company's plans to build a $400 million convention centre in Auckland in return for concessions on gambling laws.

"These guys have been running around parading as if they're holier than thou, telling everybody how terrible SkyCity is and how the sky was going to cave in because a convention centre was being built and the moment we turn our back they are taking their sausage rolls and free beers in their box watching the All Blacks play," he said today.

"I think they have been caught out, I think they are very embarrassed by the fact that they have been deeply hypocritical and I think New Zealanders will judge them very badly for this."

Mr Key said if Labour was true to what it was saying, the MPs wouldn't support SkyCity in any way.

"They have got to have a consistent position. If Greenpeace had a box at an All Blacks game, I wouldn't be attending."

Mr Key believed "without a doubt" that Labour would take a donation from SkyCity at the next election.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said she would be very happy to be invited to the SkyCity box.

"But then, I'm not a hypocrite like (Labour). I think they're a bunch of hypocrites and actually they should stop slagging off SkyCity and being very happy to take their hospitality.

Green co-leader Metiria Turei agreed it was a bad move to accept SkyCity's hospitality.

She said the Greens had an ethical donation policy that included declining gifts and donations like SkyCity's offer.

Mr Faafoi said he often met with businesses and organisations he did not support and said he had made the party's opposition to the Government's deal with SkyCity clear.

"We told them Labour would repeal any special privileges to be exempt from gambling laws that applied to everyone else," Mr Faafoi said.

Labour leader David Shearer said he declined an offer to watch the All Blacks game from the SkyCity corporate box but had "dropped in" for 10 minutes.

It is believed the Mr Faafoi and Mr Cosgrove used taxpayer-funded flights to get to Auckland for the game.

Mr Key said this wasn't unheard of.

"MPs do fly to rugby matches and the argument can always be is that actually business."

 

The Key here

This SkyCity decision should be decided by the public in a referendum type vote. It is ultimately the public and the working class that will feel the negative effects of problem gambling. Other legislation such as the alcohol purchase age and prison terms are not above the understanding of hard working kiwis. Mr Key seems to think us plebs are just too thick to make the right call for the betterment of our lives.

Also, with so many conferences queueing up for this 400 million-plus facility, they will be paying top dollar to use it bringing income for SkyCity. I very much doubt many average hard working kiwis will ever get to see the inside of this grand conference centre. And with the extension for National and SkyCity to nut a deal out SkyCity know they have our government in a vunerable situation 

As for Shearer, he and his party are now so close in ideology to National its very hard to define. There's only one party that is pushing for binding referendums and despite their short comings the'll get my vote. [Abridged]

Stupid move

Completely agree with Digger. This was a stupid and ill-thought out move, Labour. What on earth were you people thinking?

Pot calling the kettle black

Pot calling the kettle black. I don't like Shearer. He is ineffective as a leader. But for Key to talk about hypocrisy makes me want to puke.

But, it's The Footy!

When it comes to the Rugby, NZ men lose perspective. Politicians cast principles to the wind, it's the ABs after all. This is a great game because it is, or should be, equal opportunity. But Rugby is uber alles. That is why our City is broke, with FSB Stadium and bailing out ORFU.

Key has a point

I'm in no way a Key/National supporter, and apologist for anything to do with propping up the vile trade that is the casino/gambling business,but Key has made a valid point about these Labour MPs.

This only makes you wonder about the current depth of malaise, within Labour, with this poor lack of judgement. Labour  needs to show it has really changed for the better and, once in office, is not prepared to sell its soul to the highest bidder to these gambling cronies.

I hate to say it, but with this kind of nonsense it makes you wonder how far Labour is away from winning the confidence of the public. People like Goff and King are yesterday's men /women and should move over for fresh blood in the caucus. Sad to see Faafoi in there. Is he representative of his not so well off ethnicity or an apologist for the privileged? Cosgove could be in the National Party.Not sure why he's not.

Talk about dumb. These people have walked into a political booby trap which Key is understandably exploiting.

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