12 Jun 2015

Money woes for Chch convention centre

7:21 am on 12 June 2015

Government documents have revealed apparent funding problems behind Christchurch's convention centre, despite Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee dismissing talk of a budget blowout.

A concept image for the Convention Centre Precinct on CCDU's website.

A concept image for the Convention Centre Precinct. Photo: CCDU

Documents released under the Official Information Act show the Earthquake Recovery Authority asked Cabinet to approve millions of dollars in additional funding to ensure the project moved ahead.

The Government has already committed $284-million to the project.

An Authority spokesperson said the funding request was agreed to but would not say how much money was being asked for because the information was commercially sensitive.

Business leader urges action

The Government urgently needs to resolve issues with the planned convention centre, a Canterbury business leader says.

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said more information was needed about the project.

"I think the complexity of the convention centre project is becoming clearer and clearer, it's taking longer than it should and we need to get it resolved. I suspect that those conditions relate to part of a commercial negotiation and part of the absolute right of Cabinet to play hard-ball if it needs to."

The completion date was recently pushed out a year, to late 2018.

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