A purpose-built convention centre and attached five-star
Hilton hotel in the central city is looking likely for
Wellington, the council says.
The 165-bed hotel and centre will be partly be paid for by
the ratepayers, but the cost was yet to be revealed.
But Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said there would be no capital
investment or construction risk for the city.
The facility would ‘‘put us ahead of Christchurch and
Auckland developments, with no need for a casino", she said.
“Negotiations and planning is ongoing, in the meantime what
we can say is that the plan is for a purpose-built conference
venue with a partnership between the Council, a consortium of
local and national interests, and an international hotel
The ‘‘non-controversial" location meant resource consent was
not required to be notified, Ms Wade-Brown said.
Developer Mark Dunajtschik told Radio New Zealand site
proposed was Cable Street, opposite Te Papa.
Economic Growth and Arts Committee Chair Councillor Jo
Coughlan said Wellington was the country's second largest
conference destination behind Auckland.
“We make up 14 per cent of the country's total convention
market, earning more than $100 million for the city each
The plan being developed would help secure and grow the
market, and also supported the city's other growth
initiatives, Ms Coughlan said.
The next step was the presentation of a completed business
case to the council in late June.
“Ultimately the business case will have to stack up and
demonstrate a good investment for our ratepayers,” Ms
Wellington Hospitality Association president Jeremy Smith
told RNZ Wellington's venues were not appropriate.
‘‘In terms of the expectations of upmarket customers it's not
up to the standards that we need, the capacity is not there
and places like the current event centre we play basketball
there, we have WOW (World of Wearable Arts) there and those
are two situations that take it out of commission for big
chunks of time."
* brand new state of the art purpose-built conference
facility with capacity for 2500 delegates;
* it would be the third largest facility in NZ;
* 165 bed five-star Hilton hotel;
* the developer behind the proposal is Mark Dunajtschik;
* no capital investment or construction risk for the city