Christchurch convention centre assurance
The Government remains committed to a new convention centre for the quake-torn Christchurch centre and hotels are likely to be part of the project, Prime Minister John Key said today.
The assurance comes in the wake of the Wellington City Council this week announcing a big convention centre and hotel complex for the capital.
The indicative 2017 time frame for the convention centre previously given by the Christchurch Central Development Unit was on track, Key indicated.
Further announcements were to come on the anchor project for the central business district.
"We hope so [for 2017]," Key said.
"Obviously it's one of the anchor projects in the process of all the various sort of spaces that are taking place.
"But the convention centre we see as critically important because it's a way of having the capacity to host big events which are important for Christchurch.
"Secondly it's an important part of the [quake] recovery, and Christchurch is obviously the gateway for the South Island so we're working on that.
"It's obviously a convention centre-hotel complex that's being proposed for there and we're very hopeful it will be completed by 2017."
From the National Party's perspective, historically annual "major conventions" for the party had been held in Christchurch every three years, and the party was "keen to come back".
Convention centre projects elsewhere in New Zealand were proceeding, with the national convention centre in Auckland in the planning and consenting stage, Key said.
"It's due to start work there at the end of this year, so by 2017 that will be completed, a major 3000 to 4000-person convention centre," Key said.
"We know that Queenstown are in the final stages of going through their process for a convention centre there, the Government's likely to be a contributor there."