Revised NZICC design gets green light

  • Steven Joyce
Economic Development

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced that the Government and SkyCity have agreed a revised preliminary design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC).

The new design will provide for a slightly smaller centre to be built without any construction costs being met by the Crown.  SkyCity has also agreed to increase the minimum amount it will invest in the centre from $402 million to at least $430 million, and the company says it could spend in the range of $450 million to $470 million.

“I am pleased to confirm today that the revised design approved by Cabinet and the SkyCity Board means that a very impressive International Convention Centre for Auckland will be completed without any financial contribution from the Government or any other change to the regulatory concessions,” Mr Joyce says.

“This amended design will be very similar in appearance to the previous design and will, when built, be a major new amenity for the city. It will drive a significant increase in tourism expenditure in Auckland and around New Zealand through the estimated 33,000 additional convention delegates and $90 million annual increase in delegate expenditure that it is expected to bring each year.”

SkyCity submitted a Preliminary Design in October 2014 for approval by the Crown, and applied for a resource consent in December.  However the total construction cost for the design of between $470 million-$530 million significantly exceeded the $402 million anticipated in the agreement between the Crown and SkyCity.

With the Government unwilling to make any financial contribution to the cost of the project, SkyCity agreed in February to amend the design.

The revised design retains the key design features and allows the centre to host 3,150 conference delegates at any one time, as compared to 3,500 in the initial preliminary design. Plenary capacity will be 2,850, compared to 3,000, while the Exhibition Hall will reduce from 8,768m2 to 8,100m2.The total floor area of the NZICC will be more than 32,000m2.

The Crown had previously indicated that it would be prepared to accept a slightly smaller convention centre with a reduction in capacity of up to 10 per cent if that was needed to meet the agreed total construction cost, Mr Joyce says.  The revised design meets that requirement.

Both parties have also agreed on changes to the NZICC Agreement that will make the NZICC design and construction process more efficient, and give SkyCity more responsibility for managing the developed and detailed design phases, procurement and the construction process.

“The Crown and SkyCity have continued to work collaboratively on our joint vision for an iconic building that will enhance the central Auckland urban landscape and ensure that New Zealand is able to compete effectively with Australia and Asia to attract high-value business visitors,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government is pleased to be moving ahead with this project which will create 800 permanent new jobs, an increase in GDP of $49 million, and be an important public facility for Auckland and New Zealand.”

A Supplementary Agreement to the NZICC Agreement, which includes the approved preliminary design, will be available from 10am at: http://www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/regions-cities/nz-international-convention-centre-project