15 Aug 2013

Govt spends $1.3m on SkyCity legals

5:25 pm on 15 August 2013

The Government has so far spent over $1.3 million on legal costs associated with the SkyCity casino deal.

Most of the money has gone to the legal firm Kensington Swan.

An artist's impression of the convention centre.

An artist's impression of the convention centre. Photo: SUPPLIED

Under its agreement with the Government, SkyCity is allowed to expand its gambling operation in return for building an international convention centre in Auckland.

In response to an Official Information Act request the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says the legal fees paid by the Government so far amount to one third of a percent of the $402 million cost of the centre.

The money paid to Kensington Swan includes the legal advice for formulating the deal with SkyCity, and also covers the negotiations, the drafting of the heads of agreement and the final agreement.

The ministry says another law firm, Simpson Grierson, has been paid just over $13,000 for some scoping work early in 2011.