Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Progress for Wellington convention centre proposal

Progress for Wellington convention centre proposal


Wellington City Councillors will vote next week after being briefed on a purpose-built convention centre and five-star Hilton Hotel proposed for a vacant site opposite Te Papa.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown welcomed the proposal, saying the convention centre is a transformative project that will keep Wellington ahead in the conference market.

“We’re shifting the game with the convention centre proposal,” says Mayor Wade-Brown. “If agreed to, this convention centre proposal will be a great investment in Wellington, and we’ll have a purpose-built five-star facility to help spur the Capital’s growth, contribute to NZ Inc and draw on the Government’s international marketing clout.”

If given the go-ahead, the state-of-the-art 4400 square-metre facility would be able to host up to 1200 conference delegates and have a banqueting capacity for up to 1450 people. It would be built along with the 165-room hotel on the site in Cable Street.

The overall project would be financed by local developer Mark Dunajtschik. The Council would lease the convention centre at an average net cost to the city of about $2 million a year over the lease term.

“We’ll be asking Councillors to vote to take the proposal out for consultation,” says Mayor Wade-Brown. “Today was a chance to lay out the detailed business case and the process we’ll use to consult with ratepayers on a plan that could bring $30 million in new expenditure to the city each year and directly create at least another 200 jobs.”

The convention market earns more than $140 million for the city each year and supports about 1000 jobs, but Mayor Wade-Brown says without investment in purpose-built convention facilities, the city could lose a lot of that economic activity.

“Our facilities, while individually attractive and good for boutique events, are too small and, in some cases, too old, and lacking the flexibility needed for the modern convention market. With new convention centres being built in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown, we stand to lose a big part of our existing business.”

Deputy Mayor and Governance, Finance and Planning Committee Chair Justin Lester says the proposal is a cost-effective way to secure a large and modern convention facility with little risk to ratepayers.

“The Council is working with a leading local developer prepared to invest all the capital and carry most of the risk – for our part, the city would lease the new convention centre and the Hilton hotel chain would run it.”

The Council’s Economic Growth Committee Chair, Councillor Jo Coughlan, says the proposed convention centre is the first of the Council’s ‘8 Big Ideas’ to get to this stage and is a catalyst project for the City Council’s Growth Agenda.

“This is a great opportunity for Wellington and a significant investment which would see an additional $20 million in GDP growth per year.

“The eight ideas all support and build on one another and the convention centre proposal feeds into the proposed film museum, the tech precinct and the airport extension.”

If the Council votes next week to support the proposal, a formal consultation period would run from 8 July to 8 August and be supported by a range of information. During that time, negotiations would continue with the developer and Hilton. “The aim is for the Council to be in a position to make a final decision in September,” says Cr Coughlan.

“Wellington has two choices – we can do nothing and accept we’ll lose up to $25 million a year of economic benefits from the convention sector, or we can partner with Hilton and have an international convention centre which will see us continue to grow and compete.

“The proposal being considered by Councillors would give us a purpose-built strong modern offering for a relatively small cost,” says Cr Coughlan.

An overview of the economic case supporting the Convention Centre

• Wellington is currently the country’s second largest convention destination behind Auckland, making up 15 per cent of the country’s total convention market and earning more than $140 million for the city each year.

• If we do nothing, we could lose up to 17 per cent of that business when other newer facilities are built around the country – that’s up to $25 million in lost business and about 170 jobs.

• This new purpose-built centre would protect that business and, we estimate, grow the overall business I Wellington by about 10 per cent – about 74 new events delivering 68,000 delegate days each year..

• As well as protecting the existing market and jobs, that growth would add $30 million in new expenditure and directly create more than 200 new jobs.

• We expect flow-on secondary development to occur in time in supporting businesses such as entertainment, hospitality and retail.

• A 5-star Hilton would help attract premier industry events to the Capital and support other economic development initiatives such as the proposed film museum and tech precinct.

• We get this for an average net cost to the city of $2 million a year over 10 years on our base operating projections (after accounting for profit share and rates income).

• It would cost the City Council at least $55 million to build a convention centre itself and at least $1.7 million more a year to run – the city would carry all the cost and associated borrowings, and all the risk.

Some details and background information

• The developer is Mark Dunajtschik - an established and successful local developer with a demonstrated commitment to Wellington

• New 165-bed 5-star hotel and purpose-built conference facility with full-format conference hosting capacity of up to 1200 delegates and banqueting capacity for up to 1450 people. In theatre style seating, the facility can seat 2500 in the largest space.

• At the time of completion, the new venue would be the second-largest convention facility in the country and would be completed before the other convention capacity becomes available in other parts of the country

• The venue would be branded, marketed and managed by Hilton which would give Wellington international exposure - and confidence that new events will be attracted to the Capital.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Kicks Off: Carter Re-Elected Speaker

The 51st Parliament held its commission opening today with MPs sworn in and David Carter elected Speaker.

The day began at 11am with the three Royal Commissioners – the Chief Justice, the Court of Appeal President, and the Chief High Court Judge – declaring the new Parliament open.

After the Commissioners left the Chamber the swearing in of MPs took place in alphabetical order. Unlike some previous openings all MPs managed to swear on the bible or affirm their oath without any hiccups... More>>

 

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Labour Davids: Lisa Owen Interviews David Shearer

David Shearer still mulling whether to stand for Labour leadership but says his family doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Declares that it will be “incredibly divisive” for the Labour caucus if David Cunliffe returns to the role of leader. More>>

ALSO:

Taser Use & False Evidence: Timaru Officers "Failed To Follow Good Policing Practice"

The Authority found that even if Mr Reuben’s contact with the officer was deliberate it amounted to only a minor assault. While it found the use of the OC spray was justified, the use of the Taser was not a proportionate response... More>>

ALSO:

Little Surprise: Andrew Little To Contest Labour Leadership

I have decided to contest the Labour Party leadership. There are three immediate issues to deal with: creating greater cohesion across the caucus, rebuilding the relationship between caucus and the Party and, most importantly getting the process under way to listen to the voters who have abandoned us... More>>

ALSO:

Two Fewer Votes In Recount: "Positive Result" - Harawira

When I applied for a recount of the votes from the Tai Tokerau election, I made it clear that this application was not aimed at overturning the election result, but ensuring that all votes cast by Maori were treated with due respect, regardless of whether those votes are for Labour, Maori Party or MANA. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news