John Drinnan

Media writer for the New Zealand Herald

TVNZ - still no request for SkyCity land

The costs of looking for new studio space are believed to have turned TVNZ off the idea of selling some of its inner city land to SkyCity for a new national convention centre. Photo / Herald on Sunday.
The costs of looking for new studio space are believed to have turned TVNZ off the idea of selling some of its inner city land to SkyCity for a new national convention centre. Photo / Herald on Sunday.

Television New Zealand says it still has not been approached about selling central Auckland land for a new national convention centre.

The Hobson Street land is adjacent to the TVNZ's network centre and currently includes studio space for the Maori and Pacifica unit and the Good Morning show.

In March 2012 the Herald revealed TVNZ buildings were in the path of the new convention centre proposed by SkyCity to the government.

Announcing the convention centre deal today, Economic Development minister Steven Joyce said that commercial negotiations would be held between TVNZ and SkyCity for the land.

It is not clear whether the sale of the land is a part of the deal with the government and whether the theoretically independent Crown owned company TVNZ is allowed to capitalise on Sky City's and the government's need for it.

TVNZ sources say that the broadcaster has not wanted to sell the land because it would incur major costs looking for new studio accommodation.

TVNZ spokeswoman Georgie Hills said today that 15 months after plans for the site were revealed there had been no approaches from either SkyCity or the Government.

The company was not aware of any unofficial approaches at a board level, she said.

Hills said that after today's announcement the company expected there would be an approach.

In the past TVNZ has indicated land at 93 Hobson St would be for sale but not 85-91 Hobson Street.

A principal of SkyCity's lobbying firm, Saunders Unsworth, Barrie Saunders is a director of TVNZ.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf02 at 19 Dec 2014 00:12:35 Processing Time: 478ms