Auckland CBD fire: A timeline of the controversial SkyCity convention centre

About 20 fire crews are battling a major fire at Auckland's SkyCity International Convention Centre on Albert St.

The convention centre has been dogged with controversy and problems since it was first announced.  

Here's everything that's happened from the moment its construction was negotiated.


2011 - Then Prime-Minister John Key announced negotiations with SkyCity to build the large convention centre in Auckland.

April 2012 - Len Brown, Auckland Mayor at the time, admitted taking a $15,000 donation from SkyCity for his mayoral campaign.

He said it didn't influence his position on the Government's deal which would give the casino more pokie machines.

The pokies deal would have seen the Government change the law to give SkyCity more pokies if it builds an international convention centre.

Key at the time would not rule out allowing SkyCity to expand its use of updated pokie machine technology.

It was revealed ACT Party leader John Banks also received $15,000 from SkyCity during his campaign for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010. The Labour Party called on the police to investigate.

2013 - A deal between the Government and SkyCity is announced. SkyCity was allowed to build a $402 million convention centre, increase the number of gaming tables and pokie machines, have its license extended another 35 years and be allowed to introduce cashless gambling. In return, the casino will increase its monitoring of problem gamblers and introduce voluntary pre-commitment gambling limits.

2014 - SkyCity unveiled the look for the contentious convention centre, saying two jet airliners could park inside.

2015 - The controversial convention centre, now with a $470 million price tag, was given the go-ahead, as resource consent is granted.

Auckland CBD fire: A timeline of the controversial SkyCity convention centre

Construction begins

2016 - Key and other Government ministers gather at the central Auckland construction site, to mark the beginning of the convention centre's construction.

2017 - Shares in Fletcher Building - the company responsible for building the convention centre - fall by five percent.

February 2018 - Fletcher Building announces its total expected loss would skyrocket to a staggering $660 million - about $500 million more than previously thought.

November 2018 - SkyCity announces further delays in the construction. Originally expected to be finished by February 2019, it would not be finished "beyond December 2019".

Tuesday: Fire breaks out

1:55pm - Thick plumes of dark smoke could be seen billowing from the central city building on Albert St.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, who was watching from his central city office, said the blaze was burning through the roof.

He said he saw fire crews arrive and there were multiple evacuation sites.

2:15pm - Roads in the area are cordoned off.

2:46pm - Fire and Emergency New Zealand confirm more than 20 fire trucks are at the scene of the enormous blaze.

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