Auckland Council says the city needs a formidable new tower because of competition with the likes of Melbourne and Shanghai.
At 209-metres, the 52-storey building will be the second tallest in New Zealand after the Sky Tower.
It's being developed by a Chinese-based group and will be a mix of hotel rooms, apartments, shopping, restaurants and cinema facilities.
Urban design manager Ludo Campbell-Reid told Morning Report the city has to take advantage of the right conditions.
He said people will go elsewhere if it is not built and it will attract high-paying guests and an Asian clientele.
Mr Campbell-Reid said Auckland is not an attractive urban setting at the moment.