24 December 2015

Work begins on site of New Zealand International Convention Centre

The NZICC and construction partner Fletcher Construction today announced the beginning of the first phase of work on the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC), formally kicking off the 38-month building project.

SKYCITY chief executive Nigel Morrison and Fletcher Building* chief executive Mark Adamson were on hand to witness the beginning of demolition works on 16 buildings that currently occupy the future site of the 32,500sqm convention centre and 5-star, 300-room hotel.

Following a prayer led by Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua this morning, a digger broke through one of many block walls on the site, which stretches for nearly an entire city block in Auckland CBD’s inner west. The site had previously been blessed by iwi before any work was undertaken.

The demolition project is the first phase of what is one of the largest construction projects in downtown Auckland since the Sky Tower was built, also by Fletcher Construction, in 1997.

Clearing the site for the landmark building is expected to take around two months, paving the way for Phase Two - excavation - which will lay the foundations for the country’s largest dedicated convention centre and a 1,327-space underground carpark. Phase Three will see the NZICC and the Hobson Street hotel rise on the site.

The $700 million project will create an estimated 1,000 jobs onsite during the build plus an additional 2,000 jobs in associated industries flowing on from the construction project, according to Fletcher Construction.

Once open, the NZICC and hotel will create more than 1,000 jobs across conventions, hospitality, retail, food and beverage.

SKYCITY CEO Nigel Morrison says he is delighted to see work begin on the project before Christmas, as promised.

"This is a day many in the travel, tourism, and conventions industry have waited many years for. New Zealand has been in desperate need of a high-quality, national convention centre that will bring more high-spending international visitors here and pump millions of dollars into the economy. Today also marks the beginning of the transformation of a neglected and run-down part of inner-city Auckland into a lively tourism and entertainment precinct for locals and visitors alike. For SKYCITY, this represents a $700 million investment in the future of our business in the city of Auckland and New Zealand’s tourism industry," says Mr Morrison.

Fletcher Building CEO Mark Adamson says the company is proud to be working on such a significant project and is focused on delivery milestones.

The Sky Tower was a 24-month build and at the time this was thought to be an impossible deadline but we delivered. Since then we’ve delivered many other significant projects in New Zealand and are looking forward to replicating our success on this project.

Mr Adamson said Fletcher Construction is committed to reducing the impact of the project on those living and working near the site of the future NZICC.

We strive to be a good neighbour to people who live, work and play near our construction sites. It’s going to be a busy site and there is a lot to achieve but we have comprehensive plans in place to manage noise, vibration and dust.

There will be noise and vibration monitors onsite, and there is a hotline that will be answered 24 hours a day.** Fletchers is applying a number of innovative, low-impact deconstruction techniques including using excavators with hydraulic jaws working from the top down to remove the existing buildings piece-by-piece.

A comprehensive traffic management plan has also been developed that utilises smart sequencing and planned deliveries to reduce traffic impacts.

SKYCITY announced in October that Fletcher Construction had been selected to build the NZICC and the Hobson St hotel simultaneously, together with the retail laneway spanning Nelson and Hobson streets featuring specialty retail, and signature restaurants and bars.

The NZICC will be the largest purpose-build convention centre in the country, capable of hosting conventions of around 3,000 people, or one-off events of up to 4,000 people on the exhibition floor.

* Fletcher Building is the parent company of Fletcher Construction
**0508 BEINFORMED (0508234636)