Players involved in the proposed convention centre
project for Queenstown are staying tight-lipped about the
parties who want to be involved and how it might be funded.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council issued a request for
proposals in September. The process closed on December 7 with
''several proposals [in] support in principle for a
first-class convention centre,'' Mayor Vanessa van Uden said
at the time.
Crown Solicitor Simon Moore QC, of Auckland, was appointed
independent chairman of the evaluation panel to assess the
proposals. Mr Moore is on leave for all of January.
SkyCity Entertainment Group was rumoured to be one of the
parties which expressed interest in the convention centre.
The company took full ownership of the Queenstown casino in
December, buying the other 40% previously held by co-owner
Skyline Enterprises Ltd.
SkyCity sold its share in the Christchurch casino to Skyline.
''Over the past two years SkyCity has invested significantly
in our Auckland site, to encourage high-spending visitors to
come to New Zealand,'' group chief executive Nigel Morrison
said when announcing the deal.
''This has seen international business at SkyCity Auckland
''We believe Queenstown also has huge potential in this area
and will be investing in the casino to offer a VIP
However, a SkyCity spokeswoman told the Otago Daily Times the
group had no comment to make on the convention centre and
referred inquiries to the council.
Council chief executive Adam Feeley declined to comment on
any parties who had responded.
''As regards timing, we have already indicated that we hope
to be in a position to advise on progress and next steps by
''More generally, the project is progressing well to our
Deputy Prime Minister and Clutha-Southland MP Bill English
also declined to answer when he was asked on December 7 what
kind of convention centre he wanted to see built in
Queenstown and whether Central Government would contribute to
A ''senior staff member'' of the Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment sits on the evaluation panel and
the ministry will continue to be involved with the proposal
for a convention centre as it progresses, a spokesman said on
Friday. Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key in June
2011 told guests at a National Party breakfast co-hosted by
the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce the resort needed a
convention centre and should look to Auckland for guidance in