Disappointment over delay of Sky City convention centre

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 7:53p.m.
An artist's impression of the Sky City convention centre. (Photo / Supplied)

Sky City has removed cladding from its Auckland convention centre over fire fears.

The aluminium composite panels it had put on the building, which is still under construction, were similar to that used on the Grenfell tower in London.

Cancelling the use of the panels has resulted in a $25 million bill for the company, and has further delayed the opening of the convention centre.

Sky City Chief Executive Graeme Stephens told Larry Williams that they decided not to use the panels, which he describes as "today's asbestos" out of safety concerns. 

"We decided that its better to strip it off and not have any of it on the convention centre. It is a public building and we don't need to have any concerns around it."

He says that they the APP panels are common building materials. 

Stephens says they only announced the repair job now they had the facts, but the repair began about six months ago.

He says that they are not sure who will bear the cost.

"Our estimate is around $25 million, and that is part of the ongoing debate with Fletchers." 

As the centre will not be opened until late next year, Stephens admits it is a lost opportunity for the company and the city. 

"Other hotels in Auckland have opened in anticipation of a convention centre being open."

He says that some of those who had already booked will be moving to other centres for their event.s 

Stephens does not believe there are any other issues around material.




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