Hotel capacity is part of having a convention centre

The Herald reports:

SkyCity is building its new hotel on land surrendered by the taxpayer for the creation of the $402 million convention centre, the Herald can reveal.

It is just one of a number of changes to the deal in which the Government gave the casino company gambling concessions in return for building the centre.

The decision to build a hotel on the former TVNZ property came just three months after the casino company bought the land – the result of three years campaigning for it on the premise it was needed to build the convention centre.

In response to a written question from the Green Party, Mr Joyce said the contract with SkyCity “prevents the land being used for any other purpose than as a convention centre”. He said this week he stood by his answer. “As far as I’m concerned that actually still meets the definition of it being used for the convention centre.”

Part of what makes a successful convention centre is being able to house the delegates at the venue. Building a global capacity convention centre isn’t just about having more meeting rooms – it is absolutely about having the accommodation capacity to go with it.

So from my point of view, trying to claim there is a difference about land for the convention centre and land for the hotel expansion is an artificial distinction.

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