Fire authorities say the downtown Auckland blaze is still "smouldering" but is under control, as crews continue to dampen down hot spots.

Two firefighters had been injured overnight.

St John said the two firefighters treated this morning were injury-related incidents.

Fire area commander Richard Twomey said they got the blaze under control about 7am this morning.


Staff were "in a good space'' and are working with Fletcher Building to remove a lot of the iron from the convention centre. A total of 75 firefighters are still working at the scene today.

The fire was still "smouldering", Twomey said.

"We're in a better place than yesterday''.

Crews are due to enter the building with engineers to determine exactly how much damage has been done.

That would be done this morning, authorities said.

Twomey said aerial units would not have been able to attack the fire when it started because the main fire was just under the roof.

"They had one and it didn't seem to make an impact,'' he said of the aerial appliance they had on the scene on Tuesday.

He pointed out that they also had firefighters directly attacking the fire on the roof.


Twomey said fire crews have been using drones this morning to look for hot spots.

Twomey said firefighters were "a bit fatigued''.

"It's just tiring.

"One of the challenges is that we keep rotating our staff as much as we can''.

He confirmed that the building's basement was now flooded and that "quite a few'' cars were underwater.

Twomey explained that fire crews could not access the fire from above or below the roof, so it needed to simply carry through.

"We've had people on the roof...but we haven't got them up there at the moment,'' he said.

Twomey said there had been "millions of litres'' of water used in the operation.

Firefighters in a cage suspended from a crane have been inspecting the hot spots this morning. The current priority is to protect the sides of the building not already damaged.

'Under control'

Earlier today Fire and Emergency NZ said: "The fire is under control and less visible. Firefighters are still dampening hot spots to prevent any flare ups''.

The inferno at SkyCity's new convention centre that sent a haze of smoke over Auckland and closed major roads was overnight coming under control but its effects are expected to be felt well into the future.

At its peak, 150 firefighters and 30 fire appliances battled the blaze in the $700 million convention centre, which was still under construction.

Firefighters kept up a constant torrent of water on yesterday and by afternoon, Fire and Emergency NZ said the blaze had been contained to the convention centre's sixth and seventh floors.

Flames could still be seen at SkyCity's new convention centre, on Hobson St, this morning. Photo / Michael Craig
Flames could still be seen at SkyCity's new convention centre, on Hobson St, this morning. Photo / Michael Craig

Small bursts of flames could be seen on the building's roof at 9pm, but fire officers said it was slowing down. They expect to be at the site for days.

"We are without any doubt winning the battle against the fire," said regional manager Ron Devlin said this afternoon.

The construction site made it one of the most challenging fires tackled in recent memory, but letting the roof burn out was proving successful, he said.

Nearly all businesses around the scene of the fire closed yesterday and more disruption is expected today.

Auckland Council, the Auckland District Court, the Central Library and the City Art Gallery also shut their doors for the day.

SkyCity said its casino, both hotels, the Sky Tower and all its restaurants remained closed yesterday.

Motorists were advised to avoid the central city again this morning, as parts of Hobson, Nelson and Wellesley Sts will be closed.

Those who could work from home or non-central locations were advised to do so.

"If you are able to time your travel to avoid peak-hour traffic, by leaving earlier or later than usual, we advise you to do so," said John Nottage of AT.

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Train services were not affected but some bus routes had been altered.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service advised people to take precautions because of lingering smoke affecting air quality across the CBD.

One firefighter was taken to hospital yesterday with moderate injuries after being struck by a piece of falling roof and suffering a concussion.

Firefighters continue to dampen down hot spots at the Hobson St blaze this morning. Photo / Michael Craig
Firefighters continue to dampen down hot spots at the Hobson St blaze this morning. Photo / Michael Craig

"It was unusual, and may have been flicked off in the wind," Devlin said. "It is not what we want to happen, and [why] we have been very careful with internal operations".

St John confirmed to the Herald a further five people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who visited the site yesterday, said she wanted to acknowledge the firefighters who had been working under difficult circumstances.

"The team on the ground have been incredibly professional, very focused on what they can do to preserve the building."

Aucklanders went out of their way to help with pizza and sushi donated to the crews, and one man drove up to the cordon, dropped off a tray of bottled water and shook a firefighter's hand before driving off.

Viaduct restaurant and pub HeadQuarters offered firefighters free meals, drinks and a place to lie down.

"Don't even ring, just turn up. We know you, you know us, you're gold, and we owe you this."

Fire crews are still at the scene this morning. Photo / Michael Craig
Fire crews are still at the scene this morning. Photo / Michael Craig

Janelle Himmel arrived at the cordon to check in with her fiance, Daniel Rosan, one of the many firefighters battling the blaze.

"Seeing this makes his job very real," she said.

The couple, who get married next month, shared a kiss and spoke briefly at the cordon before Rosan had to leave again.

Although the fire had affected the sixth and seventh floors, Devlin said the fifth floor looked in good shape. The roof's membrane was damaged, but the structure looked to be intact.

"We expected the roof to burn and collapse, and it is doing exactly that."

Once the roof had burned through they could enter the building and tackle the fire internally.

SkyCity chief executive Graeme Stephens said he hoped staff working on the convention centre project would be back at work tomorrow.

Stephens and Fletcher Building chief executive Ross Taylor were adamant that the centre would eventually open, although no timeframes could now be given.

"It was an amazingly iconic building yesterday and will be again.

"We will get the phoenix out of the ashes," Stephens said.

Taylor backed him up: "This is a very important project for SkyCity, Auckland and New Zealand and we will get this project finished to quality and make sure it's the iconic building and a very important piece of infrastructure Auckland and New Zealand needs. Fletcher is committed to getting the project finished and we will."

Ardern said Apec 2021 would still be held in Auckland, but the venue was a point of discussion for Government.

"New Zealand has hosted Apec before ... without a convention centre. We had contingency in place."

Officials refused to speculate on how the fire started, but workers said they believed an unattended blowtorch could have ignited the straw-like acoustic layer, quickly spreading to the roof's bitumen membrane.

Fire and Emergency was also working hard to ensure any run-off from water used to fight the fire was minimised, and Auckland Council and Watercare were monitoring this as the emergency continued.