Firefighters, police and emergency responders have all been praised in Parliament today as MPs noted the "tragedy" of the fire that continues to blaze in downtown Auckland.

Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford gave a ministerial statement on the fire at the start of today's parliamentary session.

"The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe," Twyford said.

"At this stage we do not know the cause or the extent of the damage. The priority is still on making sure the fire is contained, and that our first responders and members of the public are kept safe."


He paid tribute to the firefighters tackling the blaze and the police, paramedics and first responders involved in the response, as well as the construction workers who were making great progress.

"We all will understand their disappointment and hope that the damage is not too great."

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Twyford said Aucklanders had been patient with the disruption and traffic.

"It's heartening to hear that Auckland's hospitality and hotel industry has reached out and offered support to SkyCity, offering to accommodate their guests, and other support.

"It once again speaks to who we are as a country – always willing to lend a hand, to show kindness and help each other out."

It was too early to say what the impact would be on tourism and businesses in the area, he said.

"The thoughts of the whole Parliament are I am sure with the firefighters continuing to fight the blaze in intense heat and thick clouds of smoke, and their families."


National's economic development spokesman Todd McClay said the fire was a "tragedy".

"I also want to recognise the very brave men and women of the NZ fire and emergency services as well as other responders who have continued to work tirelessly to put this fire out."

He said National would work with the Government to see the best way forward once the damage has been assessed, given the Convention Centre was going to host Apec leaders in 2021.

"It is not conceivable ... that the SkyCity Convention Centre can play much if any part in the hosting of Apec.

"We must give those on the ground - SkyCity, Fletchers and others - time, along with the insurance companies, to work through the significant magnitude of this fire."

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said she had reached out to organisations, including the Auckland City Mission, to make sure homeless people were being looked after.

"There is monitoring happening for all residents, including those for whom the actual street is also their home."

Speaking to reporters, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said it was too early to say how the fire would impact the use of the convention centre for Apec 2021.

"We won't know for a number of days at this point in time what the likely answer is."

"But I can say this: we will have Apec in 2021: full complete, with the utilities we've already got."