Gordon Campbell on the dumping of bad news at Christmas
By Gordon Campbell
If the government really did have good tidings of great joy you can bet it wouldn’t be strewing them about at Christmas time – which is, traditionally, the dumping ground for terrible news that the government fervently hopes the public will be too distracted to notice. And so verily this Christmas Eve we learn of (a) the explosion of costs to the taxpayer and ratepayer of the vile SkyCity convention centre in Auckland and that (b) the government’s flagship MBIE “super-ministry” run by its Minister of Everything is a disaster zone of incompetence and mismanagement. MBIE is a Titanic looking for an iceberg, or so it would seem.
First, the Sky City bad news.
SkyCity yesterday lodged its resource consent application for the centre, which it’s building in return for concessions such as extra gaming machines worth as much as $42 million a year in additional profits.
Announcing the application, SkyCity chief Nigel Morrison revealed the cost of the convention centre had jumped [from $402 million] to between $470 million and $530 million.
Then there is that ‘super-ministry’ of Business, Innovation and Employment that’s driving the government’s economic agenda.
Out of 32 areas of review, the report highlighted 22 that needed development, and five that were weak….Only five areas were considered well placed for future performance, and none achieved the top rating of strong. MBIE rated weak on leadership and governance; workforce development; improving efficiency and effectiveness, and financial and risk management.