Developers sought for centre

Vanessa van Uden
Vanessa van Uden
Potential developers and partners, capable of creating a "world class" convention centre in Queenstown, are being sought by a Queenstown Lakes District Council working party.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor and Conference Centre Working Party chairwoman Vanessa van Uden said a "Request for Proposals" had been released, seeking parties to construct, manage and operate a 750-800 delegate convention centre in the resort.

'If this project goes ahead, we want to ensure that we're building a hi-tech, modern conference centre that will represent Queenstown Lakes, the South Island and New Zealand to an international audience and that will also make our ratepayers proud."

Many ideas and potential sites had been put to the working party during the investigation process.

However, it now wanted "full and complete proposals".

"We are seeking proposals that incorporate an identified location, an appropriate design, effective operational, management and governance arrangements and, importantly, creative and innovative funding solutions," she said.

The tender document said given the importance of and high public interest in the project, the working party was seeking "high-quality, comprehensive proposals".

To be successful parties had to demonstrate extensive experience and involvement in the design, construction and financing of buildings of the "scale and prominence" of the proposed convention centre and/or extensive experience in the operation of conference centres comparable to the proposed Queenstown Convention Centre.

The working party was "open to responses from New Zealand and internationally" and required the "international standard" centre to be "financially self-sustaining and of a quality that attracts conferences with high-value international delegates to Queenstown".

Listed under "expected outcomes", the working party said it would be an investment in the Queenstown Lakes, the South Island and New Zealand's future.

"The convention centre industry is one of the most connected and innovative businesses in the world.

"Success in this case means significant new business opportunities and employment in New Zealand as well as the growth of the existing strong tourism industry and a re-enforcement of the Queenstown and New Zealand brands."

The "Requests for Proposals" said due to convention or conference centres being considered "a major public and community asset", designs needed to allow public access in a way which integrated the buildings into the surrounding venue.

"The building should be the most sought-after venue in Queenstown.

"It should offer panoramic views of the town, lake and mountains and must be designed in such a way as to allow fast and effortless conversion from meeting and exhibition functions to banquet and performance uses, ensuring that it will be available for local events as well as for exhibitions and association meetings."

The working party sought a design which was "expressive of contemporary New Zealand values and technology"; an emphasis on, and clear expres-sion of, excellence in environmental sustainability; and a clear link with its cultural context.

The document was available at and was also on the Government Electronic Tender Service site.

Interested parties had until December 7 to respond.


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