Sky City convention centre fire

The Sky City convention centre was due to be opened later next year, but that looks unlikely now after a major fire started on the building site yesterday. There are still flames and smoke this morning, with the rood allowed to burn in the hopes of saving most of the building.

This morning:

Flames engulfed the top of the building just after 1pm this afternoon – starting on the seventh floor before spreading to the sixth. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Bitumen and insulation is on fire and there are also concerns about gas cylinders in the area.

Hundreds of people were also evacuated from the precinct, including the Sky Tower, because of the smoke earlier in the afternoon.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff told Lately this evening that firefighters will abandon efforts on the roof of the Convention Centre but their strategy is to stop the blaze from spreading to the fifth level.

Fire and Emergency’s Thomas Harre said it’s been difficult for firefighters to get inside the building and to the top because the fire started in the roof cavity.

The orange glow of flames from the burning centre is clearly visible this evening, and thick black smoke continues to billow from the building.

Fire and Emergency said people may be able to see flames as the crews let some areas burn.

It said this was nothing to be concerned about and was a way to provide access for firefighters to the inside of the building.

Its spokesperson, Dave Woon, said it was “a very, very difficult fire to extinguish”.

RNZ this morning:

SkyCity fire still burning, PM to visit today

Firefighters worked into the night, abandoning the roof, and focusing their efforts instead on preventing further spread to the lower levels.

Dozens of fire units were on the scene, with additional help even arriving from the Hamilton Fire and Emergency branch.

Smoke continued to billow from the building into the CBD precinct yesterday, affecting workers and residents nearby. Those in the area have been warned to either avoid the blocks around SkyCity if possible or take precautions to avoid breathing in the fumes.

SkyCity evacuated its entire Auckland precinct, because of smoke from the fire, with people forced to leave the Sky Tower, casino, all SkyCity hotels and restaurants and corporate offices.

1 News – Live updates: Firefighters continue to battle SkyCity inferno; TVNZ building evacuated

6.37am: The current official health advisory is to stay well way from the fire and out of the trail of smoke, stay indoors and keep windows closed. Shut down external ventilation if smoke is being drawn into your building. See your doctor if smoke has caused shortness of breath or worsening of asthma symptoms.

6.35am: FENZ are reminding people to stay away from the Auckland CBD. 23 fire engines are responding to the fire, including one aerial appliance from Hamilton. An additional 20 units and 16 specialist support vehicles are attending also.

6.31am: Firefighters say an older structure would likely have collapsed under such conditions, but that the Convention Centre is still technically “structurally sound”.

Phil Goff is saying that he now wonders whether it could put back completion years. The convention centre was to be used for an APEC meeting in 2021, that looks at risk now.

Leave a comment

61 Comments

  1. The sea of red ink enveloping Fletcher’s just got a lot deeper. They are also building the Commercial Bay Project in the city. That is well behind too and Fletchers are forced to cover the costs. And it’s not only Fletchers, one of the major sub-contractors also under bid by millions on the project. The construction industry is a shambles right now led by too many executives with no idea.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  23rd October 2019

      What do you expect with Sir Ralph Norris as Chairman for the acceptance of these contracts.
      He follows a long line of over paid ,under performing knighted hoods that have conned us for years.
      Trotter,Deans,Fletcher…all ..useless ,entitled meatheads.

      Reply
      • How you do seem to envy those who have achieved things that you haven’t. People are not awarded knighthoods for no reason, nor do companies pay people big money if they are not seen to be worth it.

        I am never likely to be given a title, but I don’t belittle the people I meet who do have them. I have met several Dames; and respect the achievements and philanthropy that saw them being nominated for and given these. Putting them down would make me look like a jealous fool.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  23rd October 2019

          nor do companies pay people big money if they are not seen to be worth it.

          Well, yes, they don’t pay people big money if they’re not seen to be worth it, but we’ve sure had our share of directors & CEO’s paid big money who then turned out to not actually be worth it.

          The hapless, hopeless Jenny Shipley & co, & Fonterra’s Theo Speirings spring to mind just as a starter.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  23rd October 2019

          these days people are awarded knighthoods by their political peers and if they make large political donations.Everything is 4 sale in this world.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  24th October 2019

          1 out of 2’s …not bad.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  25th October 2019

            Nonsense. You have no idea of how the system works. If it was possible to buy a knighthood or damehood there would be far more of them.

            They are NOT awarded by the nominees political peers or bought by political donations. That is laughably ignorant. It wouldn’t be too hard to work out that this was happening and the Governor General and/or Queen wouldn’t approve them.

            There is a limited number of these awards and far more people are nominated than are given one.

            Your explanation is the most obvious sour grapes because you are unlikely to be given any official award. Nor am I, but I don’t have to boost my ego by pretending that other people don’t get them on merit.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  25th October 2019

              Look at this year’s list and you will see what nonsense your idea is.

  2. Gezza

     /  23rd October 2019

    How is the PM visiting the site going to improve matters?

    Is she going to get on the end of a fire hose, make excuses for the fire, make it a kinder fire? Or what? 😳

    Jesus. Just knock it all down & write it off. The bloody thing’s cursed.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd October 2019

      Hey, wait a minute. Grant’s got $7.5 bn in his spare wallet …

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  23rd October 2019

        Is that the wallet that’s down Steven Convention Centre Joyce’s $11.7 billion hole? 😎

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  23rd October 2019

          Good question, dup, but perhaps the hole got postponed by all the “Let’s not do this” projects?

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  23rd October 2019

            No. The Hole was found with only Joyce deep in it before the election. Joyce made a basic error in the way allowances for future spending were calculated. I think he knew it was accounted for but went for his smear anyway.
            If you think Labour hasnt been spending more , I have news for you.

            No there isnt $7.5 bill spare in the wallet. The last years money spent exceed the money raised by $0.7 bill. Thus extra borrowing to cover the empty wallet

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  23rd October 2019

              Jacinda will make caring nods and grimaces while wearing a fireman’s hat.

              I hope that she thinks better of going, she’d only be in the way.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd October 2019

              It was only said tongue in cheek, Dukers. I hope Grant borrows at a bargain basement rate.
              Still, I will now be interested to see if the CoL offers to help out the Convention Centre rebuild/repair, seeing the damn thing & those building were already in such a hole.

          • Duker

             /  23rd October 2019

            Its yearly running costs of the Convention centre Im worried about. I dont think it was screwed down at the time how much the taxpayers/ratepayers would hit up on for the tab. They get the big international conventions running at a loss, and because we are supposed to be delirious at the thought of even more visitors in Auckland, it will come out out Ateeds spending money. Thats what is see is coming scenario.

            Reply
      • Blazer

         /  23rd October 2019

        hey G..just wondering ..who can Grant borrow from?i.e which country,entity has no debt and credit available to lend?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  23rd October 2019

          Well they must have some union pension funds they can flog some government bonds off to? (Or maybe not. 🤔 )

          Saudi Arabia (& maybe a few other Gulf states?) seem able to splash the cash about. (Obviously, Muzza Mac thought a few sheep would be a good sweetener.)

          Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  23rd October 2019

    What a monumental f. up. Looks like a bunch of Filipino labourers are going to cop the blame but surely their management is really in the gun.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  23rd October 2019

      just get Key and Brownlee to put their carpenters belts back on and rebuild it.Look how they rebuilt ..Christchurch!

      Reply
      • Thought Jacinda was more into dressing up, a wee veil and a hi-viz – she’ll knock ’em out.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  23rd October 2019

          It’ll be a fireman’s helmet this time, and she’ll screw her face into a caring expression.

          Reply
          • Jay3

             /  23rd October 2019

            There isn’t a photo op the PM won’t pass up.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  23rd October 2019

              Well, I can’t imagine her wanting to have photos taken at the sex assault inquiry.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  23rd October 2019

              The $55,000,000 new building at Waikato University was a photo op at the taxpayers’ expense; the sight of the PM turning the first sod of a building that isn’t needed because those things are already there on campus was very galling. $55,000,000 could have been used better elsewhere….like hospitals.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd October 2019

              To be fair, if Max didn’t have a baseball game somewhere & he wasn’t swanning about a Hawaii golf course, if he was still the PM, John Key would probably have shown up with a concerned expression on his dial too.

          • Blazer

             /  23rd October 2019

            so this $55k building was planned and built in the last 2 years!!You have N.F.I Grimalkin.

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd October 2019

        Just reduce the speed limit, put out more road cones, plant trees, build cycleways, stop mining and drilling and ban immigrants. That should fix everything.

        Reply
  4. No active alarm system, and no active sprinklers at this time either. I imagine this will devastate Fletchers.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  23rd October 2019

      Probably their future hangs on their insurance cover – unless they can swing taxpayer sponsorship. Fletchers have always been thick with governments from the the first Labour Govt state housing onward.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  25th October 2019

        1News tonite said that the insurance claim on this fire will probably end up in Court because the Insurance Company will want to pick apart every detail of what happened & why and contest liability for whatever it can. Could take years to sort out.

        Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  23rd October 2019

    Another victim of environmental religiosity? Why would you fill a roof with multiple layers of straw? Answer: to achieve very high levels of thermal and acoustic insulation and to be environmentally friendly.

    Why were these deemed necessary or desirable?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd October 2019

      You’re being too negative, Al. At times like these we need to look for positives.

      For example:
      Auckland University associate professor of civil engineering Charles Clifton, who previously visited the building site as a consultant, said …

      “The whole system is designed to stop a fire getting in from below the roof. There’s no system for if a fire actually starts in the roof panels, because there’s no envisaged scenario where that would occur.”

      So, on the positive side, there is now. Another world first for NZ. 👍🏼 😐

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd October 2019

        Stuff’s live stream is brilliant. I was so chuffed to see there actually are road cones on the bloody roof!

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd October 2019

        Someone had a cunning plan: let’s build a roof that is impossible to firefight and then set fire to it.

        And we’ll put some road cones up there to make it look safe.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  23rd October 2019

          Yeah, yeah. You probably really ought to see a professional about your obsession with bloody road cones, Al.

          And if road cones could speak, I bet they’d have a few stories to tell ! 😎

          Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  23rd October 2019

      Well, yes, it’s hard to imagine how a fire could start in a roof.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  23rd October 2019

        Roof? Remember Notre Dame ? It s like almost all fires , where ever there are men women or children that’s where a fire can start

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  23rd October 2019

        I’m sure it is for some…ever heard of..lightning? 😦

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  23rd October 2019

        The interminably long 1News item mentioned at some point that the biggest risk of fire in buildings is usually during construction, renovation / refurbishment or reconstruction. They mentioned the fires in Notre Dame cathedral & at Windsor, both of which were started during reno ation work.

        And, just generally, I understand two common causes of fires in rooves (or roof cavities) are old electrical wiring, & rats chewing through wiring.

        Reply
        • Gerrit

           /  24th October 2019

          Relation of ours had a fire in the roof cavity due to faulty wiring (and during renovations to install DVS system) which they only found out about after a neighbour raised the alarm and called the fire brigade. Flames were engulfing the roof whilst the lower story remained occupied and everyone was unaware of the fire even with operational smoke detectors in the living area.

          If you have a roof cavity it is prudent to install smoke alarms in that space. We all have smoke detectors in the living areas but none in the space where fires are most likely to start.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  24th October 2019

            The smoke alarms in houses are there primarily to detect the toxic gases from a fire that kill you while you sleep but you are right about roof cavity.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  24th October 2019

            That’s damn good advice Gerrit. I’ve got a HRV system up there in mine.

            Smoke detectors are cheap as chips.👍🏼 I’m going to get one for my roof cavity this week.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  25th October 2019

              Last winter I replaced mine because (as I discovered too late) smoke alarms were going off at all hours with some sort of atmospheric conditions. I thought that mine must be faulty. Most annoying but I bought new ones with 10 year batteries while I was at it & think it was worth the extra.

  6. Corky

     /  24th October 2019

    Congratulations to our news media who have spun what is basically a fire into national crisis.
    Is it? Well, Mikey interviewed some chap Sweeny about what I believe was the issue of compensation for Auckland businesses for loss of trade, re intercity redevelopment and maybe this fire ( I only caught the tail end of the interview). From the interview it would seem Sweeny was stating Jacinda and Phil Twyford are lying over the issue of compensation and help for Auckland businesses. Mikey is definitely a thorn in the side of this feral government.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  24th October 2019

      Hmm. He only had a passing swipe at them in this one from Tuesday. Poor bugger was forced to agree they got something right.

      (Is that a new jacket of Kate’s that he’s borrowed? Probably looks very feminine on her too. 😳 )

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  24th October 2019

      On 1News tonight the next big breathless crisis is a decision now has to be made about what to do with the “toxic water flooding the lower level of the basement car park” – “if it IS toxic”.

      It’s water. The basement car park’s flooded with feet of it. I doubt it’s gonna be toxic.

      And fear not, the free to air TV screenings of the RWC games on the weekend – including the ABs v England game – will be able to be screened as promised.

      Reply
      • It turns out that tests show that the water is not very toxic or contaminated so it isn’t much of a problem. 1 news will have to come up with some other drama to report tonight.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  25th October 2019

          I’m sure they won’t have any trouble there, Pete.

          The All Blacks have named their squad for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against England in Yokohama with Scott Barrett called in to start in the loose forwards ahead of Sam Cane.

          The lovely Wendy Petrie described this on 1News last night as a shock announcement!

          Reply
          • Yes, it waas shocking that compared to last week when Cane started and was replaced at halftime by Barrett, this week Barrett will start and will probably be replaced by Cane.

            I think it is a subtle but good change. More grunt up front from Barrett, then Cane’s defence and turnover ability comes into play when the game comes to the crunch.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  25th October 2019

              I was disappointed. As it was supposed to be a shock announcement I thought one of the team must’ve been outed as a transsexual or something.

              Very disappointed. 😦

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  25th October 2019

              Almost as shocking as the daily “Shock, Horror – Someone Said Something Rude About Trump” story.

            • Gezza

               /  25th October 2019

              Er … it’s mostly Trump himself who keeps tweeting, & telling, Shock hHorror stories at press standups and rallies when “Someone Said Something Rude About Trump”, Al.

              And Fox News. 😐

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  25th October 2019

      If ‘Mikey’ is Mike Hosking and not some small child who can’t pronounce his own name, he is unlikely to be a thorn in any government’s side with his supercilious pronouncements and inflated ego.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  25th October 2019

        It might save a bit of typing for you (& reading for us) in future if you just accept that whenever Corks mentions “Mikey”, he obviously means Mike Hosking, Kitty. 😐

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s