Wellington Scoop

Council wants $25m government funding for its convention centre


The Wellington City Council has asked the Government for $25m towards the cost of its proposed Convention Centre, which is planned for the top floor of a building that will also house Peter Jackson’s Movie Museum.

The council confirmed its request today, in a statement responding to a DomPost report which says the cost of the building has gone up to $165m because of changes to the exterior cladding and building design..

Councillors approved the project at a cost of $150m more than 18 months ago, but work has not started – because the council has been unable to reach agreement with Sir Peter on his museum.

News from WCC
The headline on today’s Dominion Post front-page lead story – ‘Jackson asks Govt for $25m’ – is fundamentally incorrect.

It is the Wellington City Council – not The Movie Museum Ltd – that is seeking a $25 million contribution from the Government towards the cost of building a convention centre in Wellington.

This is in line with funding requests other New Zealand cities have made to the Government for convention centres.

The funding request is in no way linked to The Movie Museum Ltd.


  1. Traveller, 17. April 2018, 11:16

    Costs for the Christchurch convention centre have doubled, even before it is completed. I suspect if you picked a few others around the country, it would be the same. So our new white elephant could be $300m or so?

  2. TrevorH, 17. April 2018, 14:28

    Government officials should read “Convention Center Follies” by Heywood Sanders published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. As the blurb says:
    “Through wide-ranging examples from cities across the country as well as in-depth case studies of Chicago, Atlanta, and St. Louis, Heywood T. Sanders examines the genesis of center projects, the dealmaking, and the circular logic of convention center development. Using a robust set of archival resources — including internal minutes of business consultants and the personal papers of big city mayors — Sanders offers a systematic analysis of the consultant forecasts and promises that have sustained center development and the ways those forecasts have been manipulated and proven false. This record reveals that business leaders sought not community-wide economic benefit or growth but, rather, to reshape land values and development opportunities in the downtown core.”
    I very much hope they reject the Council’s bid.

  3. Marion Leader, 18. April 2018, 9:39

    It also wants nearly half-a-million to get back some of its exorbitant legal costs for paying lawyers so much to get its way on Shelly Bay etc. The Council’s debate on getting this will be worth listening to.

  4. Geoffrey Horne, 26. April 2018, 13:21

    Given how much the Govt has just given Auckland – again – this $25mill should be a certainty; hope Grant Robertson sees it that way, and also funds the new indoor arena.

  5. Pam, 30. April 2018, 12:08

    Movie museum or lavish storage unit for movie memorabilia and paraphernalia?

  6. David Bond, 3. May 2018, 20:12

    A convention centre is surely well down the priority list for Wellington. Are there not enough halls, lecture theatres and conference suites to meet 95% of conference-needs already?

    And yet another sports/event-arena is a gross waste. The arenas we already have spend 95% of their time empty as it is.

    The city has far greater daily needs than these vanity-projects.

  7. lindsay, 3. May 2018, 21:18

    During last night’s council forum, I asked how many times per year the 35,000-seat Westpac Stadium is filled to capacity. The answer: “You will be aware that the Stadium can be sold out several times a year – ie for All Whites matches, All Blacks tests and when the Hurricanes are in the playoffs.” Building a 12,000+ seat arena would bring the same result: fully occupied only a few times a year. Empty for most of the year. Yet all the mayors are reported to be enthusiastic.