17 Feb 2015

Govt confident SkyCity will consult Crown

2:30 pm on 17 February 2015

The Government says it's confident SkyCity will consult with the Crown on the tender process for the building of a national convention centre in Auckland.

An impression of the design in an image supplied by Sky City.

An impression of the design in an image supplied by Sky City. Photo: Supplied

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison said his company wanted to be in charge of the procurement process so it could get a better price.

SkyCity was having to revise its plans for the centre, because the initial cost estimate of $400 million had gone up by $130 million.

The casino operator accepted over the weekend that the Government would not help bridge the shortfall.

Mr Morrison said SkyCity wanted to keep the design integrity intact, without having to fork out more money.

"We really want to bottom out the cost of that with us running the rest of design, taking some cost out of the structure and being in charge of procurement.

"And just potentially we may be able to get the cost down into something that is getting close to reasonable," he said.

The Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the deal reached was clear about the Crown's involvement in the procurement process.

"My understanding is that they're going to proceed according to the agreement, and there's some opportunities for us to oversee that process.

"I think we will all agree that we would like the shortest time frame, but that won't mean we will cut corners on our agreement," he said.