Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Work Restarts On Wellington Convention And Exhibition Centre, Town Hall, St James Theatre

Picking up the shovels and getting stuck back into exciting infrastructure builds is top of the list for Wellington City Council now the Government has eased the lockdown restrictions.

Work on several Council construction projects was put on hold in March as the New Zealand went into lockdown.

With construction given the green light to resume under Level 3 protocols, work can resume on projects including the Conference and Exhibition Centre, the St James Theatre and the Town Hall, next Tuesday.

“Prior to lockdown we had made excellent progress on these projects and I am excited to see them back up and running to ensure we are able to provide world-class venues for international, national and local events, exhibitions and conferences in the coming years. These are the things that will help return Wellington as the vibrant city we love,” says Deputy Mayor Sarah Free.

“Events come in all shapes and forms across the education, arts, culture, sport and business sectors. Having a range of venues offering different scale and environments allows for that variety to be met and ensures Wellingtonians can benefit from local attendance or showcasing our skills to a wider audience,” says Economic Development portfolio leader Councillor Diane Calvert.

“Venues like the St James, Town Hall and the Convention and Exhibition Centre aren’t just buildings, they’ll bring life to our city, revitalise our urban spaces, and stimulate businesses nearby - in short, they enhance the lives of Wellingtonians.”

Convention and Exhibition Centre

Work had been in full flow for the Convention and Exhibition Centre, with the base structure nearing completion with all 220 piles in place before the lockdown, as well as around 60 percent of the base concrete layer completed. Manufacture of the quake-resistant base-isolators has been completed and these are now in transit and it won’t be long before we see the structure emerging above ground.

“We’ve already committed about $60 million on land, design, foundations and materials like the base isolators. While the new centre was planned to benefit from attracting international events, primarily Australian, this business comprised less than 7% of the delegate number projections,” says Mayor Andy Foster.

Last week when speaking to over 2000 tourism operators at a New Zealand industry webinar Stephen England-Hall, CEO of Tourism NZ, said: “Business events will play an important role in the tourism sector’s recovery.”

Despite the delay due to Covid-19, the centre remains on track to be completed in early 2023 and is well placed to support that recovery.

While the world of mega conferences might look different as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, small- to medium-sized conferences will remain relevant.

“We are hearing from around New Zealand and the world that academics, associations, government organisations and businesses are already planning their meeting and conference schedule for 2021,” says David Perks, General Manager for Regional Development Destination and Attraction at WellingtonNZ.

“While the world is in turmoil WellingtonNZ has received a number of new enquiries to book the convention space in 2023 as soon as it is open.

“The size of the Convention and Exhibition Centre coupled with its flexibility is an important part of Wellington’s ability to attract those sized conferences in the future,” says David.

“Domestic tourism has been important to the city for 25 years. The ground-floor exhibition space will bring exciting exhibitions from around the world, as well as providing a stage for Wellington creatives to tell a New Zealand story. This will be the most significant new driver of year-round domestic tourism for the city since Te Papa and the Stadium. It will bring fantastic new experiences for Wellingtonians to enjoy too.”

ITx, New Zealand’s premier tech conference, is held in Wellington every two years. “We're absolutely committed to continuing with the ITx conference, once it's safe again to do so.” says Paul Matthews, CE of IT Professionals NZ.

“We see face-to-face conferences as crucial for our industry. This might sound strange coming from the tech sector, but technology still can't replace the ‘hallway’ discussions and networking that really make a live event special. Our sector loves online events as well, but we see a bright future for in-person conferences for a long time yet.”

The building cost will be $157.8million. This cost is 67 percent funded by the commercial sector and will support 864 construction jobs and 372 jobs from operations.

Town Hall 

Nearby, key strengthening work on the Town Hall will continue once contractors can return to site. The project team and contractors are developing protocols on how construction can restart once we move to under level 3.

Some strengthening work has already been completed including the parapets above MFC lane and Wakefield Street. Most heritage items have been removed and stored. The base isolators have been purchased and are now on site. Temporary steel is in place to support parts of the building including walls and floors. Significant demolition has been completed with the Municipal Office Building annex removed and access created for large machinery to enter the building.

St James Theatre

The work being done to strengthen and refurbish the St James will also start up again once we move to level 3. Design work and planning has continued under lockdown and, as with other projects, the team is developing protocols to work under level 3.

Prior to lockdown the project had been progressing well with the work completed including; the careful removal of a number of heritage elements that have been stored for reinstallation as well as the removal of building fabric and services to allow access to the building’s structural elements for strengthening.

The installation of new foundations has started and new structural steelwork is being manufactured and progressively installed, carbon-fibre wrapping of concrete structural elements is also under way.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Maritime NZ: NZ Joins Global Initiative Keeping Ports Open And Freight Moving

New Zealand has joined an international port authorities’ global initiative for safe and efficient movement of goods and shipping during the COVID-19 crisis. World-wide, 56 port authorities have agreed how they will work together facilitating maritime ... More>>

ALSO:

National: National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart

National will provide a $10,000 cash payment to businesses that hire additional staff as part of our commitment to keeping New Zealanders in jobs, National Party Leader Todd Muller and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith have announced. Our JobStart ... More>>

ALSO:

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:



Auckland Airport: Thousands Of Kiwis Travelling For Queen’s Birthday Weekend


Confidence in domestic travel is beginning to steadily ramp up, with thousands of Kiwis travelling within New Zealand for Queen’s Birthday.
Nearly 400 flights will be operating to and from Auckland Airport over the long weekend... More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A


Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO: