The feasibility of constructing an international quality Convention Centre in the Queenstown Lake District is set to move to the next phase, QLDC Mayor Vanessa van Uden announced today.
Council put out a Request For Proposals in September 2012 with the process closing last Friday. “I can confirm that we have received several proposals, clearly there is support in principle for a first class convention centre,” Mayor van Uden said.
Prior to the public process, the Convention Centre Working Group had heard a consistent message that a well-developed convention centre project could deliver significant economic benefits to the district.
“We are now receiving information that clearly reinforces that position; it’s a tribute to the vision and hard work of the working party and the Council,” Mayor van Uden said.
The next step was to work through the detail of whether a business case existed to work with a consortium of interests to take the project to the next phase.
A rigorous process had been put in place to assess the responses received, which included the appointment of Auckland Crown Solicitor Simon Moore QC as independent chair of an evaluation panel to assess the proposals.
“The public needs to have confidence that the assessment process is fair, objective and applies the necessary expertise required to ensure the best possible decision is arrived at,” Mayor van Uden said.
New QLDC Chief Executive Adam Feeley’s prior experience would also help to build on work undertaken to date.
“Adam previously led the redevelopment of Eden Park. His input will be a real asset together with relevant industry experts both on the panel and available to provide advice to the panel,” she said.
The evaluation process would be progressed as quickly as possible so that the public could be informed of the outcome and next steps as early as possible in the New Year.
“In the meantime both Council and the working party will be making no further comment, to maintain the integrity of the evaluation, until the review process and recommendations have been received from the panel,” Mayor van Uden said.