SkyCity convention centre out for Apec 2021

Author
Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 5:42PM
The convention centre on fire in October. (Photo / NZ Herald)

SkyCity convention centre out for Apec 2021

Author
Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 5:42PM

The main events of the 2021 Apec leaders' week will need a new home after the Government has effectively ruled out the fire-damaged SkyCity International Convention Centre.

Fletcher Construction said in a statement today that the recovery from last October's fire will continue for the next few months, and major construction work on the ICC won't start before mid-year.

Fletcher chief executive Peter Reidy said the damage inside the building was significant, including extensive water damage and, due to the summer heat, mould.

"That requires the replacement of many of the services and fittings that were installed and has restricted normal access to the site."

He said having the building ready in time for Apec 2021 was "highly unlikely".

"We have met with Mfat [the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade] and it's clear that the Apec venue must be completed for the highest level of security reviews and clearances by mid-2021."

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said that other venues had been tentatively booked.

"Sad to have the definitive advice from Fletcher Construction that the ICC will not be available in time for the Apec meetings in November 2021.

"However contingency planning has been accelerated following the ICC fire and alternative venues have been tentatively booked. The negotiations with the venues are still commercial-in-confidence so no further details can be released at this stage. "

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said it was not surprising that the ICC would not be ready in time.

"Disappointing but not a surprise.

"However as the PM has made clear, it will still be held in Auckland. The Government and Auckland Council have had contingency plans in place from the outset and there are a number of good options for potential use available, including the Aotea Centre."

The main attraction of the ICC was the capacity to hold the major events of leaders' week - the leaders' meeting, the CEO summit, the ministerial meeting and the Voices of Future summit - in one place.

The Aotea Centre has capacity for more than 2100 seats in its ASB theatre.

Peters has already floated venues as viable options, including the venues that were used in 1999 such as the War Memorial Museum and the Town Hall.

"We won't lose Apec. We are a big enough country to run it without the convention centre," Peters said in the immediate aftermath of last year's fire.

The city can host events for up to 2300 people in custom-built convention facilities, though Emirates Team New Zealand has already moved into the Viaduct Events Centre to use as its base.

A plethora of venues can host peripheral events, including Shed 10, the Spark Arena, The Cloud and ASB Showgrounds.

Some 10,000 visitors will descend on Auckland, which will be propelled into the global spotlight.

 

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