Hobson St View
An artist’s impression of the Hobson St view of the new building

Auckland Council has given SkyCity’s New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) project the green light to proceed.

SkyCity’s CEO Nigel Morrison said the resource consent approval is great news.

He said, “We are working towards concluding a building works contract later this year, having already put months of work into the tender process and with strong interest from outstanding and experienced construction firms. Our objective is to turn the first sod of the New Zealand International Convention Centre before Christmas.”

The NZICC will be the largest purpose built convention centre in New Zealand, capable of hosting conferences of 3150 people or two concurrent events of 1,200 delegates each. The resource consent approval also allows for the construction of a 5-star, 300-room hotel.

SkyCity has completed the preliminary design for the hotel and is currently exploring options with external investors for the development and future ownership of the hotel.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) chief executive Sue Sullivan said the new convention centre can’t come soon enough to meet growing demand from international conference organisers.

“New Zealand can now compete on the world stage, challenging Australia and South East Asia for lucrative convention business.

“We look forward to seeing this purpose-built facility get underway very soon. With space for more than 3,000 delegates it will allow New Zealand to stage conferences of a size not seen here before,” said Sullivan.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has also welcomed the decision by Auckland City Council to grant a resource consent for the NZICC.

“This is another important milestone for the building of the International Convention Centre. The decision means that SkyCity can now prepare to commence construction on what will be a very impressive new facility for Auckland and New Zealand.

“The NZICC will drive a significant increase in tourism expenditure in the city and around New Zealand through the estimated 33,000 additional convention delegates and $90 million annual increase in delegate expenditure that it is expected to bring each year.

“It will create an estimated 1000 jobs during construction, 800 permanent new jobs, and an increase in GDP of $49 million per annum. It will ensure that New Zealand is able to compete effectively with Australia and Asia to attract high-value business visitors from across the Asia-Pacific region.

“Importantly, it will be completed without a direct financial contribution from government or taxpayers.”

SkyCity will invest at least $430 million in the NZICC, and says it could spend in the range of $450 million to $470 million.