John Drinnan

John Drinnan is the Media writer for the New Zealand Herald.

TVNZ gets dividend relief for SkyCity land deal

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

Taxpayers are contributing to SkyCity Convention centre with TVNZ allowed to deliver a smaller dividend to make up for disruption caused by sale of its land to Sky City.

TVNZ has revealed plans for a makeover and refurbishment using cash from sale of land for the SkyCity Convention Centre, with staff in temporary accommodation for around two years.

SkyCity paid $10.6 million for 81-95 Hobson street which is around $2 million more than the ratings valuation for the land.

See an aerial shot of the properties here.

But in addition to that payment the government has allowed them to cut the dividend to pay for upheavals - effectively a taxpayer contribution.

The level of dividend relief has not yet been spelt out.

TVNZ initially resisted the sale but went into negotiations after the Government focused on long running negotiations.

The state broadcaster has said in the past that the sale will mean it has to make major alterations to its Auckland network centre at the corner of Hobson Street and Victoria Street West.

TVNZ issued a statement today in which it played down the impact of the sale and presented the forced sale as an opportunity.

The company had taken the opportunity "to refurbish its central Auckland facility in parallel with a two-year investment project to upgrade its online technology".

SkyCity's purchase of TVNZ land and buildings has triggered the opportunity to consolidate its Auckland staff into one building and redesign its central Auckland facility into an open, flexible workspace transforming business culture in tandem with technology, the company said in a statement.

"In response to rapid growth in TVNZ Ondemand and ONE News online video streams, TVNZ has decided to fast-track investment in technology to fully integrate systems that will support the automated delivery of video content to all its on-air and online platforms.

"At the same time, SkyCity's purchase of TVNZ land and buildings has triggered the opportunity to consolidate its Auckland staff into one building and redesign its central Auckland facility into an open, flexible workspace transforming business culture in tandem with technology.

"TVNZ reached agreement with shareholding Ministers to dividend relief, net of proceeds from the sale to SKYCITY, to cover the costs of refurbishing its main building at 100 Victoria St West.

"The building transformation project will begin during the coming summer. During the natural break in television programme production over Christmas and New Year, up to 500 people will be moved into temporary leased accommodation in the Telecom building in Victoria St West just 200 metres down the road from TVNZ, a spokesman said.

Chief executive Kevin Kenrick said the sale of land - which it initially resisted - was good for the company.

"This is a great result for TVNZ."

- NZ Herald

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