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Construction "Pencil-Booked" At The Edge®

Construction "Pencil-Booked" At The Edge® From November 2008 - September 2010

THE EDGE® hopes Civic Carpark Repairs will go Outside The Square

AUCKLAND, May 24, 2006 - THE EDGE® is advising its clients that possible construction in the area from November 2008 to September 2010 will affect bookings at the Aotea Centre and Auckland Town Hall. Bookings in The Civic will be unaffected.

THE EDGE® is part of a steering group that, with Auckland City, is responsible for the Aotea Quarter including the Civic Carpark repairs. After a meeting of the steering group, THE EDGE® - which manages Aotea Centre, Auckland Town Hall, The Civic, Aotea Square and Auckland Convention Centre at THE EDGE® - is advising clients that this period has been "pencil-booked" for major construction work and that event bookings during this time are now unable to be contracted until plans are finalised..

The construction will repair the Civic Carpark that lies under Aotea Square and Aotea Centre with a further $24 million earmarked for reinstating and improving the square and facades. In addition, this work could also incorporate a number of other projects outlined in the Mayor's Outside The Square plan, including the possibility of a purpose-built national convention centre and an underground road.

"The repair of the Civic Carpark is fundamental. The underground road appears to work as an integral part of the Outside the Square plan. The feasibility study of the national convention centre is now into the location identification phase. We can only hope that Council and others will seize the expanded, iconic Aotea Centre option for the convention centre and do it all at once so that we can turn this major setback into a major good news story for Auckland and New Zealand," said THE EDGE® Chairman David Wolfenden.

"THE EDGE® has been working closely with Council on the timing of the proposed works and agrees that while no particular time is ideal, this is probably the optimal time for this project. Although there will be no finality before six months, THE EDGE® has no option but to advise its clients now," said Mr Wolfenden.

"Auckland Convention Centre at THE EDGE® is our largest revenue earner and we take an active role in identifying and attracting convention business to New Zealand. Many of these events are bid for and booked years in advance. Our bookings for this period are already substantial and these clients want to proceed to contract," said Mr Wolfenden. "On the advice of Council, what we now have to say to them is that while we can take their bookings, we cannot guarantee the venues will be useable and so they will need a back-up. Clearly this news is going to have a considerable impact.

"We are working with our partner hotels - Carlton Hotel, Stamford Plaza, Heritage Hotel, City Life, Crowne Plaza, Duxton Hotel, Scenic Circle Airedale Hotel - and others, including SKYCITY, to ensure as much of our international and domestic convention business as possible is retained in Auckland.

"We have also advised our major performing arts presenters - NZSO, Royal New Zealand Ballet, The NBR New Zealand Opera, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and others - and have begun working through the issues with them. Again, clearly, the impact is going to be substantial."

All bookings up to November 2008 have been confirmed and are now being contracted.

ENDS


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