Deal reached for Auckland convention centre

Deal reached for Auckland convention centre
By admin

A new agreement to build an international convention centre has been welcomed by the industry, with the project expected to boost the New Zealand economy by more than NZ$100 million a year.

Under the Heads of Agreement between the government and SkyCity, the casino operator will build the NZ$402 million international-standard convention centre in Auckland in return for an extension of its casino licence to 2048, along with an extra 230 pokies and 40 gaming tables among other concessions.

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said the 3,500 capacity project would enable New Zealand to host larger conferences, providing the airline with access to a new market.

"As an airline based in New Zealand, which has relatively small volumes of business traffic, the conventions market is very important to us and one which we actively target in Australia, Asia and North America," he said.

Meanwhile, Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ)  described the centre as "desperately needed and long overdue".

CINZ chief executive Alan Trotter underlined the benefits both for Auckland and for the country as a whole with convention delegates to New Zealand typically spending around $400 – around twice as much as leisure visitors.

"An international convention centre is something we've sorely needed for many years and it is fantastic that finally we're making headway," he said.

"What we need to do no is keep the foot on the accelerator and get this facility built as soon as possible."

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