The deadline for approval of a revised design for SkyCity Entertainment Group's international convention centre in Auckland has been set at April 30.

The casino company and the government have agreed to extend the date for approval of the preliminary design of the convention centre until April 30, it said.

SkyCity is revising its initial design after the government baulked at taxpayer funding when its initial preliminary design was submitted in October, saying the centre could cost as much as $530 million, exceeding the initial estimate of $402 million.

The government refused to fund the shortfall in the face of public opposition.

It is already giving SkyCity gambling concessions and extending its monopoly on its Auckland casino licence to 2048 in return for SkyCity developing the centre at its own cost.

SkyCity, which has four casinos in New Zealand and two in Australia, won’t secure the gambling concessions and licence extension until a construction contract is signed.


By Tina Morrison