I googled ‘SkyCity Convention Centre cost-benefit analysis’. The first three findings are ‘Close to Corruption‘ in NBR, ‘SkyCity Convention Centre Short on Seats’ from NZ Herald and ‘SkyCity Deal Doesn’t Add Up: Treasury‘ on Stuff .
In this last piece from July 2013, Andrea Vance reports that “In a briefing paper to cabinet ministers, economic development ministry officials note that Treasury was “not convinced by the cost benefit analysis” for the centre. It said New Zealand already attracts a “disproportionate share” of the convention centre market. International arrivals for conferences have plateaued since 2005 and international research showed a low net public benefit of conference centres. “These considerations lead Treasury to doubt that an expanded conference centre in Auckland will attract significantly more international conference attendees.”The paper also laid out Treasury officials’ concerns about gambling.”Public costs will only go to private gain,” it said, once the initial costs of constructing the centre are paid off. “Treasury has strong concerns that private benefits to SkyCity will exceed public benefits to New Zealanders.”
Given this and the extraordinary events of last week, should there be a public inquiry into the Government’s dealings with the Casino giant, the integrity of the original tender process and the role played by the Prime Minister (described in last Saturday’s NZ Herald by Fran O’Sullivan as “shamelessly bypassing good governance procedures”) negotiating a deal that has delivered ‘private benefits to SkyCity that exceed public benefits to New Zealanders’?