Bill English has today announced a $240 million contract to complete the design and construction of a new Christchurch convention centre.
Speaking at a press conference today in Christchurch, Mr English said the new injection of rebuild funds will have an economic benefit of over $300 million over eight years.
In a statement the Minister supporting Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner said work on "world-class boutique facility" the convention centre will begin shortly with the new main works contractor, CPB Contractors Limited.
"The direct economic benefit of the convention centre is estimated to be more than $320 million in the first eight years, and $57 million every year after that," Ms Wagner said.
"It's also expected to increase private sector investment, open up business networks and opportunities, and create new jobs."
Ms Wagner said the facility would be capable of hosting international conferences as well as community meetings, balls, galas and weddings.
The new convention centre will contain an auditorium for 1400 delegates, a 1250 banquet hall and meeting rooms for up to 1400 people.
Ms Wagner said CPB Contractors have committed to complete the construction of the convention centre by the first quarter of 2020.
"The Government has invested more than $14 billion in the rebuild and regeneration of Christchurch, and that’s forecast to increase to $17 billion by 2021," Ms Wagner said.
ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau Manager Caroline Blanchfield says the facility will allow the city to welcome back conferences of scale to Christchurch.
"With its separate plenary hall and exhibition space the Christchurch Convention Centre will be attractive to a large array of domestic Australasian and international conferences," Ms Blanchfield said.
"We are already working with several parties interested in coming to Christchurch to experience our hospitality and to see how New Zealand’s newest city is developing."