12 February 2014

Local talent leads world-class NZICC design project team

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited today announced a number of key appointments to drive the development and design of the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC).

SKYCITY Chief Executive Nigel Morrison says the appointments of the senior management for the project and the world-class design project team for the NZICC will help bring the vision for New Zealand’s first truly international convention centre to reality.

The combination of the team’s international experience and home-grown talent will deliver the creative calibre and expertise demanded by a project of this scale.
SKYCITY sees our $402 million investment in the NZICC as an investment in New Zealand’s future by attracting high value events and visitors to our largest city and beyond. We’re confident we have the project team that will deliver a design that inherently reflects Auckland and New Zealand and which is recognisable to the world.

The NZICC is estimated to attract almost 185,000 visitors and generate about $90 million in economic benefits to New Zealand annually. It is expected to require 1,000 jobs during construction and 800 once it is fully operational. It will span 1.4 hectares and enhance the vibrant ‘Victoria’ entertainment precinct in downtown Auckland.

SKYCITY has appointed Simon Jamieson to the role of Group General Manager – New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) Development & Tourism, and he will have overall responsibility for the project.

In addition, Andrew Buckingham has been appointed as Project Director of the NZICC. He will be responsible for the execution and delivery of the NZICC.

Mr Morrison says both Mr Jamieson and Mr Buckingham have the expertise and experience to realise SKYCITY’S vision for the NZICC as a world-class facility and leading destination for conference, convention and exhibition business.

"Conventions are one of the most connected and innovative industries globally. For us, success means creating a facility that we can all be proud of – one that showcases brand New Zealand, while creating significant new tourism, business and employment opportunities locally," Mr Jamieson says.

Mr Jamieson joined SKYCITY in September 2007, and has held a number of senior executive positions with SKYCITY, including most recently General Manager - SKYCITY Auckland. Prior to joining SKYCITY, Mr Jamieson had extensive experience in Asian, Australian and New Zealand hospitality businesses.

Mr Buckingham joins SKYCITY from Kiwi Income Property Trust. He has worked in the commercial property industry for the past 30 years in both Australia and New Zealand. Mr Buckingham has been involved in all aspects of the property industry, but now specialises in property development delivering high value projects.

"Andrew brings a wealth of experience in delivering high-quality projects including the ASB North Wharf development and Sylvia Park retail complex for Kiwi Income Property Trust," Mr Morrison says.

SKYCITY non-executive director Richard Didsbury is also advising Management. He comes with a wealth of experience as a developer of major projects in New Zealand, including Sylvia Park retail complex, the Vero Tower, and the new ASB building in the Wynyard Quarter.

Mr Morrison also announced that leading architectural practice Warren and Mahoney has been appointed as the lead consultancy on the project.

Warren and Mahoney’s Auckland Regional Director, John Coop, is leading the project’s team and the collaboration that will deliver the project. Coop was recently Project Director for the architecture of the newly-completed $90 million ANZ Centre.

The practice has many decades of experience in the design of major public and commercial commissions including recent work such as The Deloitte Centre, Auckland Airport Novotel, and The Christchurch Blueprint. Warren and Mahoney’s Chairman and Design Director Andrew Barclay is responsible for leading the NZICC’s design.

Mr Barclay says that the philosophy behind Warren and Mahoney’s work is that the form of a building does not just come from the sum of its functional parts, rather a contemporary public building is a rich and carefully considered response to context, function, time, and culture.

"We are committed to the cultural development of New Zealand. The design and development of the NZICC will clearly showcase it as New Zealand’s meeting place and support our reputation for being an open and welcoming destination.

This is a project of national significance and needs to be responsive to the historic and developing fabric of the local environment and community," Mr Barclay says.

A key collaborator on the project is Australian-based Woods Bagot Architects, represented by Principal Gavin Kain. Mr Kain’s experience includes the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the $1 billion Sydney International Convention Centre, and leading both stages of the $350 million redevelopment of Adelaide Convention Centre, currently in construction.

Craig Moller of Moller Architects completes the design leadership team of the NZICC project collaboration. Mr Moller has advised SKYCITY for many years and explored the brief, master-planning and design options for the NZICC project. His experience also includes the design of the Macau Conventions and Entertainment Centre in China.

"The NZICC reinforces Auckland’s growing reputation as a vibrant international city and will enable us to attract high value events and visitors to our shores," Mr Morrison says.