Third time lucky for SkyCity centre

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 09:31 05/07/2013
Sky City
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ARTIST'S IMPRESSION: SkyCity Auckland International Convention Centre

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The controversial deal on the SkyCity convention centre is expected to finally be signed off tonight after multiple delays.

Today marks the third deadline for the agreement for the $402 million complex which will be funded by SkyCity in exchange for widely-criticised gambling concessions from the Government.

The deadline is 11pm today after originally being set down for June 14 and then June 30.

The Government said the delays were not unexpected when working to a tight deadline and on such a major deal, with Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce admitting the original time frame might have been too ambitious.

Once an agreement is reached, legislation ratifying it will be signed off before it goes through the parliamentary and select committee process.

As part of the deal, SkyCity will pick up the construction, land and fit-out costs in return for an extra 230 poker machines and another 40 gaming tables as well as an extension of its license until 2048.

The convention centre will cater for up to 3500 people with construction to begin next year ahead of a 2017 opening.

SkyCity will operate the centre for at least 35 years.

The convention centre was expected to give the economy a $90m annual injection and create 800 ongoing jobs..

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- Fairfax Media

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