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New Zealand Sees Tourism Boost from National Convention Center

New Zealand’s economy will get an NZ$85.4 million ($61 million) boost each year from a national convention center that is able to host international-scale events and exhibitions, according to Auckland City.

The government has called for expressions of interest to identify a location for the center. Auckland, the nation’s largest city by population, will submit a bid, Mayor John Banks said in an e-mailed statement.

Auckland has cooperated with government officials in a feasibility study that identified the likely economic boost from an estimated 22,000 extra international visitors each year, Banks said. The study concluded a center capable of handling at least 3,500 delegates plus associated events would be necessary.

The council has identified several central-city locations that would be suitable. The center could cost from NZ$330 million to NZ$550 million to build, depending on the site, the New Zealand Herald reported, citing council documents.

Any development would be separate from Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd., the nation’s largest casino company, which has proposed expanding its 1,200 seat center to handle 2,000 people, Banks said.

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