Proposal for Convention Centre

8 July 2014

More jobs and economic growth are at the heart of the proposal for a new purpose-built convention centre in Wellington.

Artist's impression of the convention centre.

Artist's impression of the proposed convention centre

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The convention centre would be built as part of a 165-room Hilton hotel on the vacant site opposite Te Papa in Cable Street and could be open by 2017. It would be able to host up to 1,200 conference delegates and banqueting for 1,400 people.

From today (8 July), the public can have a say on the proposal and we’re keen to hear your views. Consultation runs until Thursday 14 August.

The Council’s Chief Executive, Kevin Lavery, says, “This is a huge opportunity to expand Wellington’s share of the convention market, especially for conferences attracting visitors from Australia and further afield. Supporting businesses such as hospitality, entertainment and retail would also benefit.

“The new convention centre would bring up to $35 million in new spending to the city each year, add $12–18 million in GDP growth and create up to 250 new jobs.”

The convention centre is the first of the Council’s ‘8 Big Ideas’ to start becoming a reality, and will be a catalyst for other economic development initiatives such as the proposed film museum and tech precinct.

Local developer Mark Dunajtschik would finance the overall project and the Council would lease the convention centre from the developer for 20 years. The average net cost to the city would be around $2 million each year over the term of the lease.

The hotel would also help to attract new events and give Wellington significant international exposure – the entire venue would be marketed and managed by Hilton.

We expect to make a final decision on the proposal later this year.

Why are we doing this?

  • Conventions are important for cities because they bring in money and support local businesses and jobs.
  • Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown all have plans for new convention facilities by 2018.
  • Our facilities are not purpose-built and Wellington is expected to lose market share when these other venues are up and running – this will have a significant impact on jobs and businesses.
  • A new purpose-built facility will allow us to compete with other centres, and grow our market share.
  • Partnering with the private sector is the most cost-effective way for Wellington to gain a new convention centre.

Have your say

Copies of the consultation document are available on our website, at libraries and our service centre.

You can make a submission:

Submissions must be received by 5pm, 14 August 2014.