A petition organised by the only Taxpayers' Union, the only group representing the taxpayer, has sent a clear message to National that this was a no win for them. 98% said they did not support more taxpayer funding for SkyCity.
This remarkable victory comes hot on the heels of the Taxpayers' Union’s big win to force the government to have ten year passports instead of the money making five year deal forced on New Zealanders.
I urge all taxpayers to support this influential group in its quest to represent their interests.
The SkyCity convention centre is to be redesigned to meet the original budget, with no extra funding to be sought from the Government.
SkyCity had said it needed an extra $130 million because of rising construction costs.
The central Auckland development was originally set to cost $402 million.
"I have repeatedly stated since December that our least preferred option is for the Government to contribute funding for the project. I am pleased to confirm that will be the case," Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said.
"The Crown has also indicated today that it may be prepared to accept a slightly smaller NZICC (New Zealand International Convention Centre), if that is required to meet the agreed total construction cost."
When the SkyCity deal was signed in May 2013, Prime Minister John Key said the construction of the new convention centre would not cost ratepayers or taxpayers a cent.
However the plea for extra funding had become a political headache for the Government.
SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison said they "accepted and respected" the Government's decision.
"This decision gives SkyCity the clarity needed to move forward with the development of this exciting project. We remain committed to delivering a landmark Convention Centre for Auckland and New Zealand," Mr Morrison said.
The date for design approval will be extended.