Saturday, August 7, 2010


The 5 bids have been lodged for Auckland's [INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE] and the finalist will be chosen by September 2010.  A convention centre is long overdue, this will have incredible benefits for Auckland and for all that serve the incentive | conference industry. Our tourism industry will grow and so will our construction industry - more hotels could be built etc.

We have chosen our favourite bid - The Edge @ Aotea Centre - the architecture is cutting edge, bold and not the usual boring 90's box wrapped in glass. It makes a statement "we have arrived, we are going places, we embrace the 21st Century". We also like the fact that they will incorporate The St James Theatre and restore it to it's former glory. Other benefits include it's central location (no hills need to be climbed between Queen Street and Hobson Street), a choice of hotels in the area, the prospect of a future underground rail station and a range of amenities within walking distance. This choice is a no brainer.  

Our 2nd favourite is The Infratil bid at Wynyard Quarter - the render doesn't offer much but thus far it looks as if it will be another box - please no ! The area on the other hand needs investment and the convention centre will complement Sea+City's vision for a vibrant quarter with great tourist attractions, a tram ride between Wynyard Quarter to Britomart and a blank canvas where we can create bold, innovative and exciting 21st Century architecture - as well as public spaces which are not the anaemic grey we are so familiar with.  

Skycity's bid is dull and lackluster, so 1995 ! They already have convention centre facilities there and casino's are tacky. The competition will do them good. Ngati Whatua's bid leaves us wanting to know more - what exactly do you propose ? It will be great to see those rail tracks covered over but let's face it, the location is in the sticks. Talking about in the sticks, ASB Showgrounds bid is in another country. Although the design is great, we can't imagine International globe-trotters stuck out there with sheep and Macdonald's. The proposed hotel is so 1970's ... Auckland has moved on.

Good Luck to The Edge, we are backing your bid. 


  1. You may or may not have seen the recent studies on the profitably of Convention Centers around the world. It clearly states that.....THEY DO NOT MAKE MONEY! THEY DO NOT BRING SIGNIFICANT REVENUE TO LOCAL BUSINESS'!
    I'll try and track down a link and post it here.
    Convention Centres are about as good of an Idea as building more moterways....Crazy! Cheers

  2. Thanks Richard, I have not seen it and quite frankly think that doing nothing at all is an even bigger mistake .. We cannot afford to sit back with our heads in the sand while the world passes us by.

    Cities across the globe are building huge convention centers, expanding what they currently have and marketing their cities/countries aggressively ... Competition is healthy and will keep us on our toes.

    Not many people need to be asked twice to visit NZ and there is nothing better than using a conference / incentive as an excuse to visit our lovely shores ... Build it and they will come ... This has been proven time and time again (Aucklanders have a short term memory .. The goldfish effect)

    I lived in a city which changed drastically - for the better - once a convention centre was built and I am willing to bet that the same will be said for Auckland once we have a convention centre. It is time to grab the bull by the horns with enthusiasm and to stop expecting the worst.


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