Foreign Minister Winston Peters says it is "extraordinarily unlikely" that the SkyCity Convention Centre will host the world's most powerful during Apec's leaders' meeting in 2021.

Peters, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, made the comments this morning after he gave a speech to the Aged Care Association conference in Wellington.

His comments echo ones made earlier today by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

Peters told the Herald he did not want to pre-empt any announcements that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern might make this afternoon when she visits Auckland.


But he added: "It looks extraordinarily unlikely this convention centre is part of any future Apec in the next two years."

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But he said that Auckland had alternative sites and New Zealand would still host Apec.

"We won't lose Apec. We are a big enough country to run it without the convention centre.

"Auckland has got some alternatives. I don't want to jump in to say what they are, although some of them will be obvious as venues or optional venues or venues for specific reasons which are capable of the security and the least amount of interruption."

He said Auckland War Memorial Museum, which hosted Apec's leaders' week in 1999, was one obvious alternative.

"There's a lot of capacity for Auckland still. Let's see what our old assets are in our new circumstances."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says it looks 'extraordinarily unlikely' the SkyCity Convention Centre would be part of 2021 Apec meeting. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says it looks 'extraordinarily unlikely' the SkyCity Convention Centre would be part of 2021 Apec meeting. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Among Apec's 21 members are the US, China and Russia whose leaders - Donald Trump (if elected next year), Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin - are expected to be in Auckland during leaders' week in November 2021.


The leaders' meeting was scheduled to take place at the SkyCity Convention Centre, though other meetings were planned for other venues in Auckland and other cities.

Goff said the convention centre was due to be finished by August or September next year and, from a lay person's perspective, it appears the work will be put back by more than a year.

"It seems to me, having watched that fire evolve over hours and hours and the difficulty in putting the fire out, the extensiveness of the damage and the water cascading off the building like a waterfall into Hobson, there will be extensive fire and water damage.

"You have got to believe that has put in jeopardy the ability of the Convention Centre to host the Apec meeting."

He said he would be working with the Government on a plan B for alternative accommodation for the Apec leaders' meeting.

He said he expected to talk to Ardern about the issue when she visits the scene of the fire this afternoon.

"It will not jeopardise the hosting of Apec but it means alternative plans have to be put in place," he said.

"It will be disappointing for Auckland because we were looking forward to a brand new convention centre that was fit for purpose."