SkyCity fire: More SkyCity workers, customers criticise the company's response to the emergency

SkyCity says it will carry out a review of its crisis management plan in the aftermath of the fire.

It comes as more SkyCity workers and customers criticise the company's performance. 

One worker says it's riduculous she was told to start work at 4pm, more than two hours after the fire started. 

Sky City accepts there was smoke on the site but it says its Health and Safety team carried out regular checks. 

When one worker walked into SkyCity's old convention centre on Tuesday, she says she stepped into a "foggy" haze of smoke.

"Other staff were coughing and just saying their eyes were sore. They were getting watery eyes," she told Newshub.

SkyCity said it had to move hotel guests to the old convention centre and the air quality there was safe - but this worker doesn't think it was.  

"Because I was thinking if everyone else is evacuated, why are we not evacuated yet?" she said.

SkyCity says it offered face masks to those who needed them, although this worker says that wasn't the case for everyone.

"I didn't like that we had to keep working, even though it was hard to breathe in the smoke," she said.

"[It] kind of felt like we didn't matter as much."

She says workers were informed that dinner bookings had been cancelled due to the emergency but they were still told to polish the knives and forks. 

"Then they came back a while later and said that they were going to get us to work. Some of us were going to set tables and some of us were going to polish the cutlery. 

"It's just a bit ridiculous." 

Her mother even phoned SkyCity management, questioning their decision to keep her daughter at work. 

"He said it was '100 percent safe' because the fire was across the road," said the worker's mother.

She is not alone in her concerns. 

Another parent, whose daughter was at a conference, told Newshub her daughter had trouble leaving the building as people were arguing with staff and "no one was giving anyone clear instructions". 

Her daughter "felt sick and her throat was constricting". 

"I find it hard to believe that's how bad a major disaster was handled," says the mother.

SkyCity told Newshub its customers and staff are always its utmost priority, that Fire and Emergency recommended everyone to stay indoors at 4pm on the day of the fire. It also says the company told staff if they were feeling unwell, they were allowed to go home in taxis provided by SkyCity.

Even in the casino, one customer claims that players were initially assured they were fine to continue gambling.  

He says smoke was visible on the gaming floor for 45 minutes before anyone was told to get out. 

"I was quite surprised that none of the floor managers had made a determination to have people leave," says casino customer, Trevor.

SkyCity said while it was happy with how it managed the event, it will be reviewing its response to the emergency. 

"We will definitely be conducting a review when things have normalised and no doubt there will be learnings that will improve the plan."

Unite Union, which is representing some workers, has told Newshub it's advising members not to return to work until they're satisfied the environment is safe.