New Zealand International Convention Centre out of action for 2 years

Damaged by fire, SkyCity rules out any possibility of repairs in time for APEC 2021

The convention centre was damaged by fire in October.

AUCKLAND - The damage done to New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) following a massive fire is so great that the venue will not be repaired in time for 2021.

This is what the centre's management SkyCity told investors on Thursday (Nov 7). SkyCity chief executive Graeme Stephens said it was unclear what the impact beyond 2021 would be for the venue.

The development rules out any possibility of repairs being in place in time to host the APEC Summit - an annual conference for leaders from the Asia Pacific region - in Auckland in 2021.

At least two dozen major conferences had been confirmed for the venue before the Oct 22 fire on the roof of the convention centre.

SkyCity has until Jan 1, 2023, to complete the centre under existing commitments with New Zealand Government.

When completed, NZICC was expected to handle events of up to 4,000 people.

Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said: "This is obviously devastating for SkyCity and challenging for the Government, but it does provide some interesting opportunities for the conference sector in the rest of the country."

Other regions could benefit by picking up the events that have lost NZICC as their venue, he said.

The fire, believed to have been caused by a blowtorch being used on the convention centre's roof, is another hurdle in the project that has been plagued by delays.

Latest News