The Government and SkyCity have signed a Heads of Agreement to build a $402 million convention centre in Auckland. Construction is due to begin next year and the facility is expected to open in 2017.
“An international convention centre in Auckland will be a major asset for New Zealand and will generate significant spin-off benefits including a projected $90 million annual injection into the economy; an estimated 1000 jobs during construction; and 800 jobs once it is up and running,” says Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, who announced the plans today.
“It’s estimated this new facility will attract around 33,000 more conference delegates each year.”
SkyCity will meet the full costs of the convention centre and in exchange the Government has agreed to an extension of their casino licence, which will now expire in 2048, an additional 230 'pokie' machines and an additional 52 gaming tables. They have also allowed for up to 17 percent of the pokie machines to accept banknotes of denominations greater than $20, and the introduction of TITO and card-based cashless gaming technology on all pokie machines and automatic table games at Auckland casino.
SkyCity will enhance their measures to deter problem gambling and money laundering.
The Government will invest $34 million over four years through Tourism New Zealand to attract large-scale events and conferences to New Zealand but this funding is not specific to any convention centre.