13 Feb 2019

SkyCity convention centre delay to remove aluminium panels

11:59 am on 13 February 2019

Construction delays, including replacing potentially dangerous cladding, have further delayed the opening of the international convention centre in Auckland.

Construction site for the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

SkyCity Entertainment is removing aluminium composite panels (ACP), which have been linked to fire risk overseas, at an additional cost of around $25m.

The company, which is building the $700 million convention centre and an adjoining hotel, said the centre was now expected to open in the middle of next year, a delay of six months.

The delay was flagged by the casino operator as it reported a fall in net profit for the six months ended December of 11 percent, to $82.8 million.

The convention centre is a major cause of lead contractor Fletcher Construction's near $1 billion losses over the past two years.

SkyCity has claimed penalty payments for the delays.

Chief executive Graeme Stephens said Fletcher Building had missed contractual completion deadlines, leading to liquidated damages under the contract.

He said SkyCity and Fletcher Building were engaging positively and he remained comfortable that total project costs, excluding ACP, would not be materially above the original budget of $703m.

The company was now reviewing bookings of conventions which were due to be held at the centre next year.

The panels are linked to fires including London's Grenfell Tower apartment block where more than 70 people were killed.