National splits in two over Sky City bailout.


Just one day after John Key was brought to task over the controversial suggestion that taxpayers’ money would be spent to prop up SkyCity, bitter divisions have opened up in the party over $130m+ bailout.

Bill English is leading the division within National against the bailout.

English said more taxpayer cash was the least-preferred option in the convention centre issue and so it was “logical” that walking away would be better option. –

But John Key today distanced himself from his comments made yesterday, where he stated an extra $130m was needed to make the convention centre look “flasher”, saying he didn’t prefer the option of spending taxpayer cash on the development

But SkyCity isn’t backing down. It insists the extra cash is needed despite cost projections at $402m last year, compared to as high as $540m this year.

But National’s divisions could be far worse than first anticipated.

Along with Deputy Bill English, the ACT Party has also distanced itself from the bailout, saying it never has and never will support corporate welfare.

Perhaps most concerning is Matthew Hooton’s comments made weeks before the announcement of the bail out;

“Who are the two MPs rumoured to be in talks with officials about changing parties?

Mr. Hooton said on his Twitter page.

ACT’s revelation that it does not support the bail out might just be the justification for why the two National MPs are talking to ACT Party officials.

If so, this opens up a serious split in ideology within the party and dissatisfaction with the leader.

Since Andrew Little shared the Labour Party’s official petition to stop the ‘Rip off’ SkyCity bailout at 11am this morning, the petition has been shared far and wide around social media and has attracted close to 13,000 signatures.

You can sign the petition here

The capitalisation of this issue was not capitalised on more, and crucially so, by Labour leader Andrew Little. According to a Campbell Live poll of 10,000 people last night, 97% of Kiwis oppose any public money being spent on corporate welfare to just 3% for.

3 News reporter Tova O’Brien commented on Little’s skill in generating outrage over this issue, saying Little was “owning it” in parliament today.

“Labour was dished up a dream issue with John Key on the ropes over the SkyCity pokies deal. Little made the most of it – nailing the attack lines in and out of the House.” O’Brien said.

Bennett Morgan. 


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