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Huge blaze at New Zealand venue built using same material as Grenfell Tower

A large fire erupted at the under-construction SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland, New Zealand.

SkyCity is a casino operator in New Zealand. Earlier this year, it payed $25m to remove aluminium composite panels from the venue, which were found to be the same that partially caused the fire at London’s Grenfell Tower.

However, Fletcher Building, the construction firm contracted to build the venue, told firefighters at the scene that there was no more of the APC cladding in the building when the fire started.

The fire began at around 1pm on Tuesday 23 October, and continued throughout that night. It has now been put out.

It started when a torch was being used on a rubber waterproofing membrane, according to electrician Lindsay Rowlands.

SkyCity and and Fletcher Building have been in dispute over the building, which was unveiled in 2014 and supposed to be complete by July 2019. This date was later pushed back to December 2019.

SkyCity announced it was withholding $26.9m from Fletcher due to the delays.

SkyCity was paying for the construction of the centre after agreeing a deal with the New Zealand government allowing it to extend its casino licence to 2048, and add 230 poker machines and 40 gaming tables. The deal caused controversy over the gambling concessions in exchange for the build.