Home > The Body Politic > Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Toru)

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Toru)


Continued from: Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Rua)


New Govt procurement rules issued

Acknowledgement: Radio NZ – New Govt procurement rules issued


As reported by Radio NZ just recently, National has implemented  “new procurement rules [which]  will make it easier for New Zealand companies to win work contracts” by “making  the tendering process across the public service more consistent“.

On Scoop, Minister for Everything, Steven Joyce told the country,

We have consulted widely with the business community, and the message they have been giving us is they want a framework that makes it easier for them to do business with the Government.

Government procurement accounts for around $30 billion each year and comprises a significant portion of our economy. This new framework is user-friendly for companies, transparent, and is in-line with our international trade obligations.

Introducing greater efficiency and transparency into Government procurement will help us deliver on our priority of building a stronger economy and delivering better public services within tight fiscal constraints.”

Acknowledgement: Scoop:  Government streamlines procurement rules

Joyce referred to the process being more transparent.

Transparency is a good thing.

It keep everyone honest and prevents the advent of cronyism.

The question on everyone lips now, is (or should be), does this apply to our Dear Leader, the Prime Minister, Mr John “My Brain is Fading” Key?

Because as we’ve seen in the past, Key’s style of engaging with business has been anything but transparent. In fact, it’s been decidedly murky and dodgy.

In April 2011,


Prime Minister defends loan to MediaWorks

Acknowledgement: TVNZ –  Prime Minister defends loan to MediaWorks


A year later, in April 2012,


SkyCity deal was PM's own offer

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald –  SkyCity deal was PM’s own offer


Key’s “dinner meeting” with SkyCity’s Board followed on from a revelation that David Fisher wrote in the Herald on 18 April 2012,

SkyCity’s deal over pokies in exchange for a national convention centre comes after three failed court attempts to expand its casino business.

It repeatedly challenged the Gambling Commission over its restrictions – so much that ministers overseeing gambling regulation have been warned about direct lobbying by the casino company.

SkyCity has not filed a court challenge since the National Government came to power in 2008.

Instead, it began negotiating with the Government in 2009 over concessions on gambling rules in exchange for building the $350 million convention centre next to the casino.

It wants an extra 350 to 500 poker machines, more table games such as blackjack or poker and an early extension to its gambling licence.

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison said the casino wanted to change the law so it could expand.

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – SkyCity wooed Govt after court failures

The Auditor General’s report found,

Mr Key was personally briefed on options for the convention centre at a dinner with SkyCity board members and executives on November 4, 2009. At the dinner, Mr Key told them he wanted a bigger and better facility than they were mooting – to “think outside the box”.

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – SkyCity ‘treated very differently’ in tender

The Auditor-General added,

“However, we found a range of deficiencies in the advice that the Ministry provided and the steps that officials and Ministers took leading up to that decision.

The quality of support that was provided fell short of what we would have expected from the lead government agency on commercial and procurement matters.”

Acknowledgement: IBID

So if challenges in Court could not achieve SkyCity’s agenda, their “Plan B”  was to invite the Prime Minister to a “dinner” function. What went on at this dinner meeting?

We don’t know.

Only the PM and Board members know.

What we do know is that SkyCity was given preference over other tenderers to build a Convention centre. In turn the law would be amended to provide an extra 350 to 500 pokie machines;  concessions on gambling rules;  and an early extension to its gambling licence – in exchange for building the $350 million convention centre next to the casino.

There is no transparency here, nor at the April 2011 “social event” with MediaWorks’ Brent Impey.

As I wrote lat year; that’s how it’s done. Neat, no fuss, no questions from pesky media – sorted. (Even better if the business party pick up the tab for the evening!)

This year, it was revealed  that Key’s modus operandi  was applied to select the next appointment for the role of GCSB Director, Ian Fletcher,


Key met spy candidate for breakfast

Acknowledgement: Fairfax Media:  Key met spy candidate for breakfast


Another instance of Key meeting someone with whom he had been having State-related dealings with. And as with other occassions, Key insisted that ” the vacancy, as head of the Government Communications Security Bureau, was not discussed”.

Such an assurance is simply not credible, given that, as Fairfax’s Andrea Vance reported,

Three days earlier, Key had signed off on an interview panel for the job, which included then Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet boss Maarten Wevers. Fletcher was the only person to be interviewed for the post, after a shortlist of four other candidates was rejected.

Acknowledgement:  IBID

One has to wonder how many other  meetings Key has had in the last four years where government deals have been stitched together; “understandings” have been made; and under-the-table agreements reached.

Joyce has said,

What Government procurement needs to come down to is who can deliver the best value for taxpayers’ money rather than who is best at dealing with Government officials and this is what these new rules will deliver.”


But does John Key know? And will these new rules apply to him?




Previous related blogposts

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Rua)


TVNZ:  Prime Minister defends loan to MediaWorks (8 April 2011)

NZ Herald:  SkyCity deal was PM’s own offer (18 April 2012)

NZ Herald – SkyCity wooed Govt after court failures (18 April 2012)

Fairfax Media:  Key met spy candidate for breakfast (24 April 2013)

Radio NZ:  New Govt procurement rules issued  (24 April 2013)

Scoop:  Government streamlines procurement rules (24 April 2013)



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Categories: The Body Politic
  1. Theodore
    25 April 2013 at 10:10 pm

    You know that’s the first thing that came into my mind when I heard that RNZ report. Someone better tell dear Leader that his days of shonkey secret deal-making is goneburgers.

  2. 3 May 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Are you going to do an update of your blog re the Chinese take-over of NZs dairy business, coz that’s the way I see it. I have been collecting some more info myself here:


  3. 3 May 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Sally. Thanks for the link to your Facebook page. Interesting stuff there, and I’ve book-marked it. I hope to find time to do an update on the whole issue of corporate investment in NZ, including who has been funding National, and where the links go. It’s time consuming work and I’m currently in a situation where I have less time to research and write than I used to…

    It’s one of those things I have on my Priority Wish List…

    (If any left-wing millionaires/billionaires want to fund me through crowd-sourcing, I’m open to to it!! Full disclosure rules apply, as per usual.) 😀

  4. 6 May 2014 at 7:56 pm

    The Chinese straw man is a bit like David Bain – a suitable distraction from the main action. Canterbury and other parts of the South Island are being “weather managed” into being diary farms – the NZ template for the UN/NWO involves dairy, fine wools, wine and forestry.

    I have a client who speciality is valuing farms – he told me that most are being bought by wealthy Euros – especially Belgians, Dutch and [racist term deleted – FM] [correct term: Germans – FM]. Sian Elias has the northern half of Lake Sumner locked up for her an Huge Filcher while an American water baron has the other shore locked up. An American Billionaire has bought D’Urville Island which sits atop a nice little oil resource, and meanwhile suck-sessive Govts have sold out the Southern Basin oil and Anadarko are busily planting Tsunami bombs off the coast under the pretext of drilling for oil – they maybe should go to Wellington and drill for Vegemite.

    The plan is to turn NZ into the Haiti of the SOuth pacific and to kill off and impoverish a large part of the populace. I wonder what they planted in Taupo when they do Operation Hades back in 2011, or what is under Eden Park in the 450 metre deep hole put there in 2009-11 during the refurbishment. Apparently there is a seismograph down there – but there are no readings available – I think there is a snuke down there, ready for some radical depopulation of the largest Polynesian city. But never fear Wellington is going to be destroyed by a huge EQ which will send Tsunamis right across the Pacific.

    Think I am crazy? I got a premonition of the September 2010 quake in 2000 and said it would be 2010 and in 2009 that it would be first week in September. So I EQ strengthened my house. Nailed most of the others too, now just waiting for the next round – Wairau, Wellington, Wanganui, Westmorland…it is going to get really messy.

    • 6 May 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Kia ora viasollertia, and welcome to my blog.

      I welcome differing views and opinions – but let’s keep racial slurs to nil, eh? Cheers!

  1. 14 May 2013 at 10:39 am
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