Friday, August 08, 2014

Cronyism in Christchurch

Yesterday the government announced that it would be spending $284 million on subsidising a privately-owned convention centre in Christchurch. The lucky beneficiaries of the government's largesse?

“Today we’re pleased to reveal that Plenary Conventions New Zealand, a consortium of proven international infrastructure firm Plenary Group, and experienced local firms Ngai Tahu Property and Carter Group, has been selected as the preferred development consortium for this very large project.
Carter group? Yes, those Carters:
The Carter Group, it turns out, belongs to Philip Carter. Philip Carter is the brother of Parliament's Speaker and National Party MP, David Carter. The NBR estimates he is worth $120 million.
Yes, National just gave an enormous government contract to an MP's brother. Now, he may have been the best bidder, but up-front it looks like cronyism, if not outright corruption. Shouldn't the media be asking some very pointy questions about this?

[Hat-tip: Polity]