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Convention centre development moves ahead

Convention centre development moves ahead

Prime Minister John Key today announced negotiations with SkyCity to build a large international convention centre in Auckland, a project which would boost tourism, create jobs, and put New Zealand on the map as a business events destination.

Mr Key and Economic Development Minister David Carter joined Auckland Mayor Len Brown and SkyCity Chief Executive Nigel Morrison to announce plans for the proposed New Zealand International Convention Centre in the heart of the Auckland CBD.

“An international-sized convention centre is essential for New Zealand to tap into the growing market of high value business visitors that we are currently missing out on,” Mr Key says.

“The tourism industry and business sector have been calling for an international-sized centre for years. Now, with SkyCity, we have the opportunity to build one that will encourage more visitors to come to New Zealand and give a valuable boost to our economy.”

SkyCity’s proposal to build a 3,500 seat convention centre between Hobson and Nelson Sts has been selected as the best option following an Expression of Interest process.

It is estimated that the proposed centre will provide a $90 million boost to the economy through new spending by additional international visitors. In addition, it is expected that 1000 people will be employed during its construction and, once complete, SkyCity expects around 800 people to be employed directly at the centre.

SkyCity has agreed to pay the full construction costs of the centre – estimated at $350 million. The company has asked the Government to consider some alterations to gambling regulations and legislation.

Mr Key says the Government has ruled some areas out of discussion and will only proceed with a deal that is good for New Zealanders.

“Any changes to gambling regulations will be subject to a full public submission process,” Mr Key says.

“SkyCity’s proposed centre would be a major asset for New Zealand and would generate significant spin-off benefits for our economy.

“I welcome negotiations with SkyCity to build a centre that would bring huge benefits to Auckland, boost tourism, and create jobs.”

ends

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