The $703m NZ International Convention Centre has been plagued by setbacks since its controversial approval.

News initially focused on a deal with the then National government, whereby in return for paying for the centre, SkyCity was allowed to unveil 230 new extra gaming machines, extra gaming tables and had its exclusive NZ license extended from 2021 to 2048.

Fletcher Building won the contract in October 2015, and construction was predicted to start in late December that year, but didn't start until February 2016.

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More recent news has focused on late delivery and SkyCity penalising builder Fletcher Construction by withholding $39.5m, and a further $25m on changes when potentially combustible aluminium composite panel cladding was designed for the building.

Although never applied, it still cost significantly to change the specs and use an alternative product.

In February this year, SkyCity confirmed that construction delays had further pushed back the opening date for the Convention Centre.

The delays were understood to impact as many as 8000 delegates who had booked events early in 2020.

SkyCity said that the venue was scheduled to open in the latter half of next year.
At this stage, it is still unclear whether the inferno will push that date back further.

In early 2017 Fletcher braced the market for a profit downgrade of up to $150 million, three quarters of which were due to cost overruns and delays on two major projects, including Auckland's convention centre.

Further write-downs came and Fletcher reported a loss of $190 million for the 12 months ended 30 June, 2018.

Fletchers' problems stem from cost blow-outs as it was undone by chasing too much work and low bidding on big projects.


Fletcher's investors would eventually tip in another $750 million of fresh capital and the company announced a new strategy saying it would no long focus on vertical projects.

Sky City shares have fallen 15c or 2.8 per cent to $3.83 after fire broke out. Fletcher Building has dropped 8c or 1.7 per cent to $4.64.

August 2009:

Ministry of Tourism and Auckland City Council complete convention centre feasibility study.

November 2009: PM John Key has dinner with SkyCity board, discussing an Auckland convention centre and possible changes to the Gambling Act.

March 2010: Cabinet decides to call for "expressions of interest" from other developers. Tender process begins two months later.

May 2011: Tender process closes, with bids from SkyCity, The Edge, Ngati Whatua, Infratil and ASB Showgrounds.

June 2011: SkyCity wins with $350m bid. Its convention centre requires no taxpayer funding but depends on changes to Gambling Act to allow more pokies and other concessions.

June 2012: Auditor General announces inquiry into the way the Government sought proposals for the convention centre.

February 2013: Auditor General clears Key of wrong-doing but says Govt's dealings with SkyCity "fell short of good practice in a number of respects".

May 2013: Govt signs initial deal with SkyCity for a $402 million convention centre. The deal extends the casino's licence to 2048 (beyond expiry date of 2021) and allows 230 more pokie machines and other concessions worth an estimated $527m over 35 years.

November 2013: Parliament passes legislation to allow gambling concessions.

December 2013: SkyCity decides to build a 500-bed hotel on former TVNZ land surrendered for the convention centre.

December 2014: SkyCity lodges resource consent, revealing the cost of a new convention centre has increased by between $70m-$130m. Government says taxpayer funding may be needed.

February 2015: Key warns that without the extra funding the convention centre could be "an eye-sore" but later clarifies that public funding is "the least preferred option".

February 2015: Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced that SkyCity had agreed not to pursue a financial contribution from the Government and would instead amend its design to ensure the facility can be completed without financial input from the Crown.

Februray 2017: Fletcher Building announced a profit downgrade of $150m due to cost overruns and delays on projects including the Convention Centre.