Sky City has always had good ties mutually with the National Party and New Zealand’s rapidly growing organised crime.
In 2005 the casino made a $60,000 donation to the National Party. That was only two years before triads were found to be operating loan sharking operations out Sky city and other casinos throughout NZ as reports surfaced that a criminal simply known as the ‘Russian’ had rented out an entire floor level at Sky City casino.
Then in 2009 a blog titled ‘Stub of your cheque book’ reported “The Prime Minister has been listening to National Party supporter, ex-policeman and anti-P campaigner Mike Sabin”. Sabin was member of the Stellar Trust, an anti-P lobby group, which recently had its founding dinner at Sky City in Auckland. “It was a good choice of venue as some of the biggest P deals yet recorded in NZ took place there”. Bear in mind this blog was dated 2009 even bigger drug Sky City deals were to follow. This was only the tip of the proverbial Iceberg as it were.
The 2009 dinner you might say was a case for disgraced Nat and ex cop mike Sabin of “that was then this is now” to quote the legends that appear over the door of Fight Club the Head Hunters pad in West Auckland (in turn a quote from book of the same name by novelist S. E. Hinton). The club also host boxing matches, “family days” and charity events, supported by mainstream businesses, up the entire North West Coast, beyond the bridge and timber town of Wellsford, and into the heart of Auckland CBD, where Sky City dominates the landscape and patrons included (a friend of Auckland Mayor and Act candidate John Banks) property developer and transport magnate, Lynn Carter, before her own fall from grace due to addictive nature of P.
The Trust includes, or has included Burton Shipley, husband of National Prime Minister Jenny Shipley,Simon Moore (Crown Prosecutor), Detective Inspector Bruce Good, The Very Rev Ross Bay, Bishop of Auckland, John Graham “educationalist” and trucking executive, Bill Francis from Media works and Paul Holmes (best known for TV but also tied up with Media works) became the Trust’s Ambassador until his passing in 2013.
Clockwise Karren Soich entertainment lawyer former Mr Asia girlfriend – Millie Holmes daughter of Karen ex-business partner Paul and boyfriend Morris Connor (88 on tea-shirt stands for HH) — Lynne Carter business women turned addicted patron of Club 88 (Head Hunter HQ) charity – Meth seized in operation ghost linked Sky City money laundering and Operation Jervaris (Head Hunters) & Manu in Far North.
Paul Holmes daughter Millie Holmes, was a victim of P addiction, with her boy friend Connor Morris, being the son of senior member of the Head Hunters club. Morris was murdered last year his high profile funeral attended by a number of celebrities and VIP’s including Sir Don McKinnon, a former National MP and deputy Prime Minister. This was not the Holmes family’s first connection to the Head Hunters. In that the public relation firm he founded along with Neil Roberts (the head of TVNZ until he was arrested with 1kg of cocaine in his Porsche in the 1990’s) and Karren Soich, the former girl friend of Marty Johnson (the head of the Mr Asia Heroin syndicate in the 1970’s), used the Head Hunters in a advert for an insurance company (when Communicardo had just being started after Neil arrest and resignation from TVNZ).
Detective Inspector Bruce Good headed led Operation Ghost, an 18 month investigation, which focused on a group of senior Asian organised crime figures operating in New Zealand which led to more than 30 arrests in December 2013. More than 15.5 ounces of methamphetamine and approximately $1.5 million of cash was seized prior to the shipment being discovered at the Ports of Auckland. A total, 594kg of pseudo-ephedrine was seized – enough to make $172 million of methamphetamine.
Homes, cars and cash worth more than $20m were also seized and OFCAN (Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand) also focused on millions of dollars gambled at Sky City casino as part of the ongoing inquiry. The operation also related to Operation Manu and Operation Jevaris (Headhunters) which had links to the black market Kauri and Paua trade. In which smuggled commodity good were traded for P. The cases were also linked to corruption.
In 2012, the year before Operation Ghost, The National Party received $60,000 from Sky City before convention center for pokie machines deal was made public.Party donation returns also show that United Future and John Banks, during his 2010 Auckland mayoralty bid, both received funding from Sky City. The National Party received $60,000 from Sky City Management Ltd in 2005, while United Future received $12,000 in the same year. During the 2010 Auckland mayoralty race, John Banks was given $15,000 by the casino. Mr Banks the former leader of ACT party leader was at the time a Government minister.
National Party also pumps money into Sky City which it uses to host venue for party events or makes sure that National MP’s have made sure they support key events. Such as when Judith Collin attended the opening of Masu at SkyCity Grand Hotel, with husband David Wong Tung on October 12th 2013. Tung is the director of Chinese owned Oravida’s and Oravida Kauri off Northland. Oravida like wise donated $56,000 towards the party’s election war chest in 2010. Ms Collins says she did not know anything about that
The National Party would use Sky City for its campaign launch in 2005, and it was the election night headquarters for John Key in 2008 and 2011. It should also be noted that the National Party campaign manager in 2005 was Steven Joyce former CEO of Media Works, who has been defending the pokie machine deal as Minister of Economic Development,”. Joyce also supported the tender contract of Chinese communication firm Huawei despite the firm being considered and persona non gratis by NZ Five Eye security partners and that it has a reputation for making bribes and paying kick backs is legendary
In 2012 Immigration Minister Nathan Guy was forced to reveal an agreement with China Southern Airlines in which gold and silver frequent-flier cardholders could skip normal border checks after documents were released by NZ First leader Winston Peters showing how SkyCity had “boasted about bringing high-rolling gamblers to New Zealand aboard China Southern Airlines through a fast-tracked visa process a year before Immigration New Zealand recommended that the Government sign a deal with the carrier”.