Skycity new HobsonSt EDITED

Legislation to give effect to the agreement to build a NZD$402 million international-standard convention centre in Auckland has passed its third and final reading in the New Zealand Parliament this week (Nov 12).

New Zealand’s Minister for Economic Development said the New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill “is another example of this Government’s drive to create new investment, jobs and growth for New Zealanders”.

“It gives effect to the 368-page agreement signed in July between the Government and SkyCity to build a world-class convention centre in Auckland that will be a major asset for New Zealand,” he said.

“The 3500-seat Convention Centre will generate significant spin-off benefits including a projected $90 million annual injection into the economy; an estimated 1000 jobs during construction; and 800 jobs once it is up and running.

“For the last 20 years the tourism industry and business sector have been seeking an international-sized convention centre to be built in New Zealand to ensure we compete with Australia and Asia by tapping into the growing market of high-value business visitors.

“The New Zealand International Convention Centre is part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda of building a more competitive and productive economy that creates jobs, lifts incomes, and boosts the standard of living for Kiwi families.

“Parties in favour of jobs for New Zealanders have supported the Bill and the building of the convention centre.

“Parties that don’t care about jobs for Kiwis have opposed it. In the case of the Labour Party, that’s despite being supportive of a similar deal for a much smaller convention centre back in 2001 when they were in Government.

“For little, if any, investment by taxpayers, New Zealanders will reap the benefits of a $402 million international-standard convention centre including an increase in GDP, new jobs, improved competitiveness as a business events destination and the attraction of more investors to New Zealand,” he said.