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Govt picks consortium for Chch convention centre

Govt picks Plenary, Ngai Tahu, Carter consortium for Chch convention centre

By Paul McBeth

Aug. 7 (BusinessDesk) - The government has chosen a consortium made up of Plenary Group, Ngai Tahu Property and Carter Group to build a convention centre able to seat up to 2,000 people in Christchurch.

Prime Minister John Key and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee today announced the Plenary Conventions New Zealand consortium as the preferred developer and hotel operator Accor as the preferred operator of the new convention centre, to which the government has committed $284 million. Construction is expected to begin next year, with the centre open for business in 2017.

"The next step for the consortium is to formally enter into a master planning and development phase, where the Crown will work with Plenary Conventions NZ on the detail of the precinct ahead of construction," Brownlee said in a statement. "I'm confident the end result will be a vibrant, world-class convention centre precinct that attracts conference and convention visitors from all over the world, and delivers significant economic benefits for the Canterbury region."

Local authorities around the country have started looking at convention centres as a means to boost tourism earnings, including Auckland, Queenstown and Wellington. Christchurch's nearly new convention centre was demolished after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Brownlee said he expects the Christchurch centre would complement other facilities around the country.

Land in the convention centre precinct would also house hotel accommodation, hospital, retail, and commercial and residential property, he said.


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