10 Jul 2015

No public input on SkyCity convention centre

6:57 pm on 10 July 2015

The resource consent bid for SkyCity's contentious international convention centre will go ahead without public input.

An artist's impression of the convention centre.

An artist's impression of the convention centre. Photo: SKYCITY

Independent commissioners have decided it will proceed on a non-notified basis.

A second decision on whether to approve the application will be made by the same commissioners in the coming months.

The commissioners said they had considered the environmental effects of the application, as well as the recent decision about the Ports of Auckland's consent application, in making their decision.

SkyCity said the decision allowed it to move ahead with selecting a construction partner and finalising a date for turning the first sod on the landmark building.

It said it was pleased that momentum was continuing to build, bringing jobs, growth, and economic investment in downtown Auckland.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts said the decision brought much needed certainty for the industry.

He said the public's concern had been around how the building was funded, not about its construction.

Environmental lobbyist Gary Taylor, who chairs the Environmental Defence Society, said the decision was probably unlawful and wouldn't stand up in court.

"I can't see how a project of this scale, and with this degree of public interest, could satisfy a test for non-notification and if somebody wanted to go to the High Court, to overturn the notification decision, I'd be pretty confident they'd succeed."

And an Auckland councillor Cathy Casey said she was dumbfounded the public would have no say in the process saying it was a travesty.

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