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Key rejects Sky City polls as 'rubbish'

09:30 Mon Apr 23 2012
Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing new about a proposed convention centre-for-pokies deal with Sky City (Getty)
Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing new about a proposed convention centre-for-pokies deal with Sky City (Getty)

The public backlash over National's Sky City pokies deal and the Crafar farms sale have failed to register in popularity polls - and been dismissed by the prime minister as "rubbish" generated by the media.

Despite a series of unpopular policies and the ACC privacy fiasco, National's support has risen in a new 3News-Reid Research poll, up 2.3 points to 49.8 per cent, while Labour has failed to gain any traction, unchanged on 29.4 per cent.

An earlier poll showed nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of New Zealanders were opposed to a pending deal for Sky City to get about 500 more pokie machines in exchange for building a $350 million convention centre.

Sky City currently has about 1600 pokie machines, and the deal for more will require a law change.

Just 23 per cent of respondents supported the idea, while five per cent did not know.

National voters were also against the deal, with 58 per cent against and 35 per cent in favour of it.

Prime Minister John Key brushed off those results, saying Labour and the media had just latched on to an old issue.

"There are New Zealand voters who are looking through some of the rubbish they read in the papers and various things and recognising that we've got an agenda, and that agenda is economic growth performance, getting back to surplus," Mr Key told Newstalk ZB.

"The print media can jump up and down if they want to, the truth is we're doing the logical things, making sure that we create jobs for New Zealanders."

He says there is "nothing new" about the Sky City deal, despite new details about Mr Key's approach to the casino being revealed when media "decided to have a go at it" last week.

"We went out there, well over 12 or 18 months ago, had a press conference before the election, ran through the details, absolutely nothing's changed since then."