SkyCity convention centre plans unveiled

  • 12/08/2014

SkyCity has unveiled the look for Auckland's contentious international convention centre, saying two jet airliners could park inside.

The casino and hotel owner is building the $402 million centre in the central city in exchange for gambling rule concessions from the Government.

Law changes were passed paving the way for the deal, despite Treasury concerns about its benefits and questions about SkyCity's advantage over competitors.

Resource consent should be lodged towards the end of the year.

The public would now get a glimpse of the New Zealand International Convention Centre's physical scale, appearance and what it had to offer, says chief executive Nigel Morrison.

The centre, with a floor area of 85,000 square metres, will be the biggest construction project in Auckland since the nearby Sky Tower was built in 1997.

"The exhibition floor will be the size of Eden Park's rugby pitch with a nine-metre high stud and the ability to accommodate two Dreamliner 787 aeroplanes side by side," said centre general manager Simon Jamieson.

It included "flexible, innovative convention and exhibition space".

Four levels will contain a public atrium entrance, meeting rooms and a multi-use plenary theatre able to accommodate 3000 people.

SkyCity has also revealed some details of a 300-room five-star $130m hotel, which will be built next door and connect to the centre via a covered walkway.

SkyCity says the centre has been designed so plays a role in "a living, breathing precinct that Aucklanders will be encouraged to use and enjoy".

Design leader, Warren & Mahoney's Andrew Barclay, said the centre: "Is designed to reflect the character of our country and people - the shared qualities of an open and dynamic culture, of dramatic landscape, of deep textures and innovative technologies".

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce is pleased with the progress, saying the company and the Government will now work on finalising the next stage of design for the last quarter of this year.

"The New Zealand International Convention Centre will generate major benefits to Auckland and New Zealand once it is up and running, through more jobs, economic growth and a boost to our tourism sector," he says.

It will mean New Zealand will be able to compete with Australia and Asia in the business convention market.

It is estimated the centre could see 33,000 convention delegates to Auckland each year.

The announcement comes as SkyCity announces an 8 percent slump in profits in the year to June of $123 million. The company blamed the poor result on the strength of the Kiwi dollar and disruption to its Adelaide casino.

3 News/NZN

source: newshub archive