As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire

Follow live updates as the massive blaze at the SkyCity convention centre continues to burn.

What you need to know:

  • A massive fire continues to burn at the SkyCity convention centre in Auckland's central business district.

  • While the fire is believed to be contained, firefighters are trying to stop it spreading. 
  • Fire and Emergency NZ regional manager Ron Devlin says crews will remain at the site through the night.
  • Newshub understands the fire was started by an unattended blowtorch left by a worker on a smoko. Fletcher Building boss Ross Taylor confirmed blowtorches were used near where the fire began.
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern flew to Auckland to meet with stakeholders.
  • A full evacuation of the SkyCity precinct took place on Tuesday. Nearby TVNZ was evacuated on Wednesday morning.
  • SkyCity facilities - including the Sky Tower, casino, carparks, and hotels - remained closed on Wednesday.
  • Fire and Emergency NZ has confirmed the roof of the building will be sacrificed to allow firefighters better access to the blaze. 
  • In a press conference shortly after 4:30pm on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that APEC will proceed in 2021 and a new building to host the conference is being determined.
  • Auckland Regional Public Health Service has compiled a list of FAQs in terms of the heavy smoke and public health. Read the advice here.

8:50pm - SkyCity has reiterated that its facilities, including the casino, Sky Tower, hotels and restaurants will remain closed on Thursday.

7:45pm - Fire and Emergency alerts are still actively warning those in the vicinity to stay out of the smoke, close windows and doors and shut off air conditioning. 

7:30pm - Newshub's investigations reporter, Michael Morrah, has reported on SkyCity's "appalling" communication with its employees.

A woman, who has asked not to be identified, claimed managers told staff to "just keep working" despite the thick, billowing smoke. 

"I've just been throwing up throughout the night. I've been having continuous headaches. My eyes are burning. I can't breathe properly," she told Newshub.

The woman has been given pills and an inhaler to help with her nausea and breathing difficulties. 

SkyCity worker Anthony Kavana said the stench of smoke was overwhelming, but workers were told "to carry on like it's another day".

Read more here.

6:40pm - FENZ has posted a video of Jacinda Ardern thanking the firefighters battling the SkyCity convention centre fire.

"The fact that [people are safe] is largely due to the fantastic work of our Fire and Emergency services," she said.

"I've just been talking to many of them... and they are doing an incredible job... this is a set-back for this project... but that building will be rebuilt. Conventions will continue in New Zealand, APEC will still be hosted here.

"I know the people who have worked to get it to the state it's in now will get it back up and running, because that's what we do."

6:33pm - St John confirmed two more patients have been treated at the scene of the fire with minor injuries, bringing the total number of patients on Wednesday to six - including the firefighter who was taken to Auckland Hospital.

6:15pm - Road closures are expected to remain in place overnight and through Thursday morning's peak traffic. 

AT recommends people who can work from home, from a non-central location or can start later in the day to do so and to avoid unnecessary travel.

Auckland Civil Defence reiterates road closures and diversions will remain in place on Thursday morning.

6:00pm - FENZ regional manager Ron Devlin said at an earlier press conference that firefighters are "winning the battle" against the flames.

Although the roof is destroyed, the rest of the building remains largely intact. 

Warnings and recommendations over the slowly dissipating smoke remain in place - for those in close proximity to the site, close external vents, keep food preparation surfaces clean, keep doors and windows shut and keep pets inside. If suffering symptoms of smoke inhalation, call Healthline at 0800 611 116 or seek medical assistance.

5:30pm - Civil Defence has defended its emergency alert reception rate after some Aucklanders complained they didn't receive a notification last night about smoke inhalation.

A Civil Defence spokeswoman said the catchment area was limited to the CBD and they currently expect 50 percent of New Zealanders to receive the notification.

5:20pm - FENZ say investigations into the fire will begin once it's extinguished.

At the height of the fire, almost 130 firefighters were involved in battling the blaze.

Auckland Transport has reiterated a number of bus services are detoured and for commuters to expect delays.

4:45pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to reporters at a press conference in Auckland. She says APEC will still be held in Auckland in 2021 and where the conference will be held is being determined.

"We have contingency and we are ready to trigger it if required," Ardern said.

"New Zealand has hosted APEC before without an international convention centre... APEC configurations are often quite diverse."

"Because of the way the evacuation was so quick, some [workers] left their tools on site," said Fletcher Building Ltd CEO Ross Taylor.

"We've set up help centres to facilitate and make sure they don't have an issue with those sorts of items they had to leave behind. Once we get back in, we'll be able to return them.

"There will actually be more work. We not only have to finish what we had to do but rebuild a chunk as well... there will more jobs in the medium-term."

SkyCity CEO Graeme Stephens said he believes staff will be able to return to work on Friday.

Watch the full press conference here.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 23: (L-R) Sky City CEO Graeme Stephens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Fletcher Building CEO Ross Taylor speak to media on October 23, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. The fire at SkyCity Convention Centre is still out of control, covering central Auckland in smoke. The blaze started on Tuesday, and strong winds could hamper efforts to get it under control today. The entire SkyCity precinct including the casino, hotels and restaurants has been evactuated, and Auckland residents close to the CBD have been told to stay indoors. (Photo by Phil Walter/2019 Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty

4:25pm - In an update to media, FENZ regional manager Ron Devlin said the injured firefighter was hit by a fallen piece of roof.

Around 80 firefighters are currently on the scene. Devlin said the fifth floor of the convention centre looks in good shape. He also reiterated confidence that the fire is contained.

"Probably about 20 percent of the roof is still burning, and once that is burned it will have burned itself out [collapsed]," he told reporters.

4:15pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived at the scene of the SkyCity convention centre fire shortly after 3pm on Wednesday. She has been speaking with firefighters as crews continue to battle the blaze. 

As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Getty

Ardern is expected to begin speaking at a press conference in Auckland around 4:30pm.

Jacinda Ardern arrived in Auckland on Wednesday afternoon to speak to reporters and firefighters at the scene.
Jacinda Ardern arrived in Auckland on Wednesday afternoon to speak to reporters and firefighters at the scene. Photo credit: Getty

3:50pm - The thick smoke choking the streets of Auckland is raising concerns over the public's heath, with many in the proximity reporting headaches and coughs on social media. Mayor Phil Goff told The Breeze he's suffering from stinging eyes and a sore throat.

So what toll could the SkyCity convention centre fire be taking on your lungs? Read here.

3:25pm - SkyCity has expressed their "enormous appreciation" for the firefighters and emergency services fighting the blaze. They have also thanked the Auckland community for their "condolences and generous offers of help".

The company has reiterated its dedication to helping in any way possible.

3:20pm - FENZ has confirmed the person taken to hospital on Wednesday afternoon was a firefighter.

3:10pm - National Party leader Simon Bridges said he is visiting SkyCity on Thursday.

FENZ expects crews to be working on the fire throughout Wednesday night.

Auckland Transport (AT) advises commuters from central Auckland to leave earlier or later than usual to avoid peak hour traffic. AT spokesperson John Nottage reminds commuters train services are not affected and is a good way to avoid delays.

Road closures and diversions remain in place, including on Wellesley St West, Nelson St and Hobson St.

3:08pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has arrived at the scene with a group of people, including Auckland mayor Phil Goff. 

She is meeting with and speaking to firefighters as crews continue to battle the blaze.

Jacinda Ardern and Phil Goff at SkyCity on Wednesday.
Jacinda Ardern and Phil Goff at SkyCity on Wednesday. Photo credit: Getty / Phil Walters

3:05pm - St John confirmed another two patients have been treated at 2:40pm at the scene for minor injuries.

2:43pm - Fire and Emergency (FENZ) has tweeted an update on the fire and cordons from regional manager Ron Devlin and Inspector Scott Gemmell from Auckland police.

Earlier in the afternoon FENZ said they plan to sacrifice the convention centre roof to allow firefighters better access to the blaze. They are working with building engineers to make sure this is done safely.

The roof will continue to burn "to 100 percent".

2:36pm - St John confirmed two people were treated at 1:40pm on Wednesday. One was treated for minor injuries at the scene while a second with moderate injuries has been taken to Auckland City Hospital.

St John are unable to confirm whether the person was a firefighter or a member of the public due to privacy reasons.

2:30pm - Water from the toxic blaze will enter Auckland Harbour. An Auckland Council spokesperson told Newshub the water is not "a huge concern", estimating 60-65 percent of the water will evaporate as firefighters battle the blaze.

He says the rest of the water will be gone from the harbour in two or three water cycles and "people can still swim".

2:23pm - Professor John Tookey from the School of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Science at AUT told Newshub the ramifications of the fire "are set to be huge".

"The consequential effects of smoke and water damage are likely to be every bit as substantial if not more... the final bill could see the sky's the limit," he said.

2:04pm - Auckland Civil Defence thanked locals who have donated food to the fire crews. FENZ says they are fully stocked.

1:45pm - NIWA Weather says a wind shift to the south-southwest has shifted the smoke plume towards the Viaduct Harbour, but predicts Wednesday afternoon's wind gusts won't be as strong as those in the morning.

1:25pm - The SkyCity blaze will have massive economic implications for Auckland and New Zealand on top of the disruption it has already caused Aucklanders.

But it's not the first large fire to happen in New Zealand.

Newshub has looked at some of the other dramatic fiery events over the years.

1:15pm - It has now been about 24 hours since the fire began and smoke continues to billow from the SkyCity convention centre. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff was one of the first to tweet about the fire at 1:13pm on Tuesday.

Food and drink donations for the firefighters battling the blaze can be taken to the back of the Auckland City Fire Station on Pitt St.

1pm - One of the reasons for the fire still being alight is that the roof includes layers of flammable straw.

Auckland University associate professor of civil engineering Charles Clifton told Stuff the straw was used for insulation and acoustics.

It was seen to be more environmentally-friendly than other insulation materials.

"The reason the fire's still burning is the fire got into the straw. You've got the layers of straw and the layer of plywood on-top, with a bitumen membrane on it. So it is a flammable panel," he said.

12:50pm - SkyCity is reiterating that its hotels are currently closed and will be on Wednesday night as well.

"No penalties will be incurred for cancelled bookings this evening and affected customers will receive full refunds. To cancel your hotel booking, please do so through the channel you made the booking through," a statement on SkyCity's Facebook said.

12:30pm - Auckland Civil Defence has also released advice for pet owners. 

12:20pm - The Headquarters Viaduct bar and restaurant posted on Facebook earlier on Wednesday offering fire crews a place to relax, drink and eat.

"If you need a break or a lay down come to HQ. The food and drink is on us while you're dealing with this fiasco. Don't even ring, just turn up. We know you, you know us, you're gold, and we owe you this," the post said.

12:15pm - NIWA has tweeted out another timelapse showing the smoke blowing across central Auckland.

12:10pm - If you want to see the current state of the convention centre and the fire, a livestream can be found here.

12:05pm - The Auckland District Court will remain closed for the rest of Wednesday. Chorus House - which houses tribunals and other courts like the Environment Court - and Swanson House - where legal aid staff are located - are also closed.

"The Courts have adjourned all matters, including three jury trials, and have informed participants involved in the cases about future court dates," a statement from the court's acting chief executive Carl Crafar said at 12pm.

"Overnight arrests have been transferred to the North Shore District Court and urgent Family Court without notice applications are still being progressed.

"A coronial inquest has also been adjourned for the day. For anyone who was expecting to attend court today, if you have questions or concerns please call the contact centre on 0800 COURTS. The High Court remains open."

The District Court is located on Albert St, near the SkyCity convention centre. Around 250 people have been affected by the closures.

As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.

12pm - Auckland Civil Defence has again warned inner-city residents to close their windows and stay inside.

"If you are within the central Auckland area and you can smell smoke, we recommend you stay inside if possible and keep windows shut. Please stay out of any smoke plumes.

"If you have health concerns please call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or contact your GP."

11:50am - A tweet from former Green Party leader and current head of Greenpeace NZ, Russel Norman, about the fire has caused outrage.

Norman said on Tuesday: "Always said John Key’s convention centre deal stank. Today it stinks of burnt plastic, right across the Auckland CBD."

It received backlash on Twitter, with many calling it inappropriate. 

11:40am - SkyCity has confirmed all staff - causal and permanent - will be paid for the period in which facilities are closed. All corporate staff have been instructed to stay home on Weednesday.

11:35am - A woman on Twitter has tweeted about the smoke in her central city hotel.

"We checked out of the hotel first thing this morning. When I went back into the room - having left - to check the wardrobe I realised how incredibly smoky and it was in there, and we breathed that poison all night... recovering now in fresh air (sic)," the woman said.

11:25am - The Ministry of Primary Industries is reminding people heading along to the NZ Food Awards on Wednesday night that the event will no longer be held at the SkyCity complex. Instead, it will take place at the Aotea Centre.

11:15am - Devlin is incredibly proud of the women and men working at the site to stop the flames spreading. He also thanked other emergency services, such as police, for their assistance.

"While we might be the front of it, there are other men and women doing a great job."

As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.

11:10am - Devlin said the firefighter who was hospitalised on Tuesday after suffering a medical event is now home. He said the 100-man crew felt safe, but frustrated.

None of the surrounding buildings have had a mandatory evacuation, Devlin said. 

The wind is disrupting firefighters' ability to get water onto the fire as well as fanning the flames.

Devlin said he expects firefighters to stay at the site for at least another 24 hours.

11:05am - Fire and Emergency NZ held a press conference.

Regional manager Ron Devlin said the plan so far is "working rather well". That includes letting the roof burn out and fall onto the floor below. Firefighters can then take an "offensive" stance to try and put it out, rather than just stop it spreading.

Devlin said it was a complex fire to deal with, but not the most complex he has had to handle. He expects it to "extend out beyond this evening".

He said there was no concern about the convention centre structure being compromised.

11am - The Auckland Civil Defence Twitter account says essential council services are running but facilities are closed in the central city.

The InterCity bus service has also moved where it picks passengers up.

 

10:45am - Professor John Tookey from AUT's School of Engineering says the impact of the fire will be "huge".

"The ramifications of the SkyCity Convention Centre fire are yet to be established. Losses as a result of the direct effects of the fire are set to be huge," he said.

"The consequential effects of smoke and water damage are likely to be every bit as substantial if not more. When these losses and the business related cashflow impact of cancelled conferences etc are calculated, the final bill could see the sky as the limit."

10:25am - Stephens says staff were fully paid for shifts yesterday and none were asked to take annual leave for evacuating.

10:16am - Fletcher Building CEO Ross Taylor says construction of the building will be finished. He addressed the building team this morning and said there was a lot of emotion on the ground.

"The only way I could describe it is incredibly disappointment."

Taylor said the evacuation on Tuesday went smoothly as it had been practised during earlier stages of construction.

The full impact of the fire and the damage it has caused couldn't be assessed while the flames raged on.

He confirmed a blowtorch had been used on bitumen to seal joints close to where the fire is believed to have started. 

10:12am - SkyCity CEO Graeme Stephens told a press conference he expects efforts to contain the fire to continue through the night. He said the fire had been "devastating".

A Newshub employee near the fire said the smoke and flames have intensified in the last half hour.

Stephens said he doesn't expect SkyCity's hotel to be open again on Wednesday.

10:00am - SkyCity CEO Graeme Stephens and Fletcher Building CEO Ross Taylor are speaking to media. Watch it live here.

9:51am - NIWA has shared a time-lapse video of the fire's progress over three hours on Wednesday morning.

9:45am - A Fire and Emergency spokesperson says helicopters with monsoon buckets are rarely used for building fires.

"In this instance, it would not be effective to fight the fire with a helicopter due to the complex structure of the roof. Firefighters are able to direct water to where it can be most effective."

9:35am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told MoreFM that she will be meeting with firefighters on Wednesday afternoon as well as SkyCity and Fletcher Building to discuss the knock-on effects of the fire.

9:30am - TVNZ has announced its midday news bulletin will only be five minutes long. The 6pm news and Seven Sharp will be broadcast from a backup Auckland facility. Te Karere and TVNZ's late news show will not be broadcast.

9:25am - In case you missed it: Fire and Emergency NZ's Ron Devlin told The AM Show on Wednesday morning that the fire could burn for another 10-12 hours.

9:15am - Google Maps is showing traffic in the central city remains congested and slow.

As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Google maps.

9:05am - Fletcher Building says all of its staff and subcontractors were evacuated safely on Tuesday.

"Once the fire has been extinguished and it is deemed safe to re-enter the site, investigations can commence to determine the cause of the fire and assess the extent of the damage.

"The company will commence an investigation and will assist with all other investigations to be conducted."

Once the extent of the damage is known, Fletcher Building says it will able to determine the impact of the fire on the construction timeline.

"It is expected there will be a material delay."

9am - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has spoken to The Breeze's Robert and Jeanette from the Auckland Council building which is near to the SkyCity convention centre.

"My eyes are stinging, my throat is a bit sore. I am going to do a check with the health authorities to make sure that there is nothing that is damaging," he said.

Goff said he expects the fire will push back the convention centre opening by years.

"It is a tragedy for SkyCity obviously, but it is a tragedy for the city. This was our beautiful new international convention centre that was going to be the focal point of APEC."

He also acknowledged the firefighters who worked through the night.

8:50am - Many buildings and workplaces are closed in the Auckland CBD. Newshub has collated a list here.

8:45am - A SkyCity spokesperson says firefighters are yet to "contain the fire in the roof" of the convention centre.

"As such we have made the decision not to open today, but expect that we can open our facilities tomorrow, once the smoke has cleared - that includes the Sky Tower, Casino, Convention Centre, hotels and restaurants."

The SkyCity carpark also remains closed.

If people have their belongings in a SkyCity hotel room, they can call 09 363 6000 and meet at the Albert St entrance next to the East Day Spa.

"If you have a booking at one of our SkyCity Hotels tonight, please contact 09 363 6000 for an alternative to be arranged, as our hotels wont be open this evening.

"We have also been finding alternative options for the events there were due to be held at SkyCity today, including The New Zealand Fine Food Awards. We have pre-prepared for this event, and the venue has now moved to the Aotea Centre, where it will be hosted by the SkyCity team.  We are still hopeful the KEPA Event will go ahead tomorrow."

8:40am - Auckland Civil Defence is asking people to avoid the central business district if possible. 

"Road closures and diversions remain in place in central Auckland."

8:35am - Staff from Fletcher Building are gathering near the burning convention centre.

As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.

8:30am - Weatherwatch says staff at Bauer Media and TWR Media are being told to stay away from the city.

"This is where our daily videos are produced, so apologies but we will have NO VIDEO update today," Weatherwatch said.

8:25am - If you are wondering why helicopters aren't being used to fight the fire, Dave Greenberg - an emergency management specialist and former rescue helicopter crew member - says: "you can't have a helicopters carrying a ton of water across the city".

"If bucket accidentally dropped (which does happen) you would kill people and damage people on the ground (sic)."

8:15am - The Auckland Art Gallery and District Court will both be closed on Wednesday.

8am - Weatherwatch says the weather is "not on the side of Auckland firefighters" with gale force winds expected to batter the central city.

"SkyCity is also half way up the main hilly rise in Auckland, this makes it even more exposed to peak wind gusts - meaning gusts on the roof may be even higher than forecast," a statement said.

"This afternoon winds turn more south west and do start to ease, but only a little. Gusts into gale force and up to 80 or 90km/h will be likely across today and don't look set to ease back further until tonight."

It is currently bucketing down in the city with bursts of hail.

As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.

7:55am - Mayor Phil Goff is calling on people to "stay away from the city" if they can.

7:50am - Auckland Councillor Pippa Coom has confirmed the Auckland Council building in the central city will be closed on Wednesday.

7:45am - National Party leader Simon Bridges has tweeted that he recently visited the convention centre.

"I visited the SkyCity Convention Centre recently and spoke to workers who were so proud of what they'd built. They will be devastated. Thinking of them and of course our firefighters who are working to get this under control."

7:40am - It's not only cars that won't be able to get around some parts of the central city. Auckland Transport says that road closures will also affect people wanting to walk or bike on the streets. The Nelson St cycleway is also closed between Cook St and Victoria St.

The Auckland Central library and Auckland Media Design School campus have also been closed.

7:25am - Fire and Emergency's Ron Devlin told The AM Show it will be at least another 10 hours until the fire is put out.

"We are another 10 to 12 hours, I believe, before we have this fire out."

He said the roof was made up of bitumen, straw and plywood compressed together. There are 80 firefighters at the scene.

Devlin said it was too early to speculate what started the blaze.

7:15am - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has told The AM Show the situation was "distressing" as smoke continues to billow from the building.

"They have abandoned the roof, that has gone completely. But they are trying to contain the fire above level five of the building."

Goff said a fire commander told him it was one of the biggest and most complex fires he has had to do deal with.

He said it is doubtful the APEC meeting will go ahead in 2021 at the convention centre, but hopes it will happen in Auckland.

"Have no doubt about it, this will be a major setback to the construction programme for this building, which was already running late but starting to look really good."

There is a "plan B" in place for APEC and Goff said he is hoping to talk to the Prime Minister about it on Wednesday afternoon when she arrives in Auckland.

7:10am - TVNZ is airing Breakfast but from a small satellite studio. The media company had its Auckland building evacuated earlier on Wednesday.

7am - Emergency alert notifications were sent to city residents' phones on Tuesday night warning them of the dangers of the smoke and to keep indoors.

However, many people are also reporting receiving the notification on Wednesday morning as they travel into the city for work.

As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.

6:55am - On Tuesday night, a spokesperson from SkyCity said anyone who had their car trapped in the SkyCity carpark would not be charged an additional day. The carpark was closed when the precinct was evacuated and people could not return due to cordons.

An update will be provided later on Wednesday morning regarding when the carpark can be accessed. 

6:50am - Google Maps is showing significant congestion around the SkyCity convention centre in Auckland central. 

Auckland Transport has further information about which roads are closed and what buses are impacted on its website. 

6:43am - A livestream of the fire can be found here:

6:40am - The Queen St JB Hi-FI store will be closed on Wednesday morning due to access to the city being limited as well as high pollution levels.

6:30am - Metservice meteorologist Lisa Murray told The AM Show it will be very windy all day in Auckland Central. She said the winds have turned from northwesterly to southwesterly - something that could impact how firefighters tackle the blaze.

She said the intensity of the winds will increase throughout the day, up to about 110km/h around midday.

6:15am - FENZ Auckland regional manager Ron Devlin told Newshub firefighters believe they are in control of the blaze.

"I believe we have control of the fire. We obviously have eyes on it and we have a plan as to how we're going to actually contain it. In looking at the fire itself [you] probably [wouldn’t] think that."

He said the cold and windy conditions overnight have not helped, but the firefighters are following their plan of letting the flames burn through the roof.

Some of the firefighters have been working since about 6pm on Tuesday and only now are about to switch over shifts.

6:10am - Auckland Transport is continuing to warn of "significant delays" for motorists and that some bus routes will have detours.

6:05am - The fire continues to blaze on at SkyCity. Firefighters are attempting to stop the flames spreading but have had to let it burn through the roof.

As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Day two of Auckland's SkyCity convention centre fire
Photo credit: Newshub.

5:55am - The TVNZ building near to the SkyCity convention centre has been evacuated only minutes out from the start of their Breakfast programme.

5:50am - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has told RNZ that the fire will have major implications for the construction of the convention centre.

"Looking at the long term consequences, the conference centre was due to be completed next year," Goff said. But he now believes the centre may take years to finish.

APEC is meant to be held at the centre in 2021.

5:45am - The weather in Auckland is already picking up with strong winds and pelting rain.

The AM Show's Sinelle Fernandez will be live at the convention centre at 6:10am with the latest while MetService meteorologist Lisa Murray will talk to host Ryan Bridge at 6:15am.

5:40am - There are several bus detours in place.

Routes impacted include: NX2, 22A, 22N, 22R, 221X, 223X, 24B, 24R, 24W, 243X, 248X, 82, 802, 923, 924, 75, 18, 151X, 171X, 172X, 195X, 209, 105, 106, 110, 125X, 129, 132, 132X, 133, 133X, 134, the InnerLink and Outlink.

Most bus stops around the SkyCity convention centre cannot be accessed due to cordons.

5:35am - The fire burnt throughout the night, lighting up the Auckland skyline. Newshub has collated some pictures of the fire and orange glow from overnight.

5:20am - The Auckland Council warned on Tuesday night that commuters could expect major delays on Wednesday morning.

Several bus routes have been affected, while road closures will means congestion in the central city is likely. 

Aucklanders have been warned to avoid unnecessary travel and work from home if possible.

More information can be found on the Auckland Transport website.

5am - The fire has burned throughout the night and it's still unknown when the blaze will be fully put out.

Daniel Nicholson from Fire and Emergency NZ told Newshub earlier on Wednesday morning that there had been "no change from overnight".

"Fire and Emergency are still working in defensive mode while allowing the fire to burn through the roof space," he said.

"We have 21 fire appliances in attendance.

"There is still a lot of smoke around and the public is asked to keep their windows and doors closed and their air-cons turned off."

Nicholson said there are two lanes open on Nelson St, while Hobson St is closed and Wellesley St West is closed between Hobson and Nelson St.

Newshub.