The selection of a consortium to take the Queenstown Convention Centre to the next stage of development was recently announced by Queenstown Lakes District Council Mayor, Vanessa van Uden.

“The public process attracted some impressive proposals with one particularly outstanding bid selected to enter into negotiations with the council,” Mayor van Uden said.

“The council has accepted the evaluation panel’s recommendation to enter into negotiations with a preferred consortium led by investors Ngai Tahu Property Limited and Morrison & Co,” she said.

“With commercially astute investors; architects who have had involvement with everything from Wembley and Eden Park to the new $1B Darling Harbour Convention Centre; and local planners and contractors; this pretty much amounts to the ‘dream team’ for Queenstown,” Mayor van Uden said.

Subsequent to making its submission, the consortium has now chosen SKYCITY Entertainment Group as its preferred operator.

The next step will involve giving shape to the proposal in order to undertake community consultation through the QLDC Annual Plan process over the period of April through to June.

“Our preferred site at this stage is to use the Lakeview site, which has long been earmarked for development. The site offers world-class lake and mountain views, but is minutes from Queenstown’s heart,” Mayor van Uden said.

Mayor van Uden said the preferred site is the Lakeview site due to its world-class mountain views and close proximity to Queenstown’s heart.

The funding arrangements would be a key factor in the negotiations, but Mayor van Uden said the preferred party had already indicated a level of funding commitment which significantly exceeded other proposals.

Mayor van Uden reiterated that some critical stages, including public consultation, still lay ahead for the project.