SkyCity Thanks Firefighters With Donation

Elouise Spencer - 14 November 2019

In the aftermath of the fire that saw downtown Auckland being evacuated on Tuesday 22 October, casino giant SkyCity Entertainment Group has offered a donation to the charity of the local firefighters and emergency services choosing. This is a thank you for their efforts on the day in putting out the blaze, and ensuring that the SkyCity casino, restaurant and other facilities were saved.

The company has issued a public thank you to the teams that worked on putting out the fire on the construction site of their new international convention centre, situated next to their headquarters and just across from their casino. SkyCity has also pledged a donation to Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand. This is a charity that Fire and Emergency New Zealand has long had an association with and proudly supports in efforts to raise funds for them.

Charitable Donation Made As Thanks

The chief executive officer of SkyCity Entertainment Group, Graeme Stephens, commented that they were more than happy to make this donation as their company has also had a long-standing relationship with Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand. For the last 15 years, SkyCity has helped them raise over 10 million dollars alongside the efforts of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

The charity’s chief executive officer, Peter Fergusson, spoke about the partnership that exists between the different organisations. He also went on to speak about his admiration for the firefighters and how they can think about giving to charity when they are already heroes, saving families and communities. The devastation that was caused by the big fire at SkyCity at least has a silver lining in the form of this donation.

Events Of Tuesday 22 October

The fire on the 22nd of October occurred during the day, and is believed to have started when a worker left a blowtorch unattended. The investigation shows that the flame from the blowtorch ignited the roofing material, which was exposed and flammable. The smoke from the fire and the threat of encroaching flames meant that emergency services had to evacuate the full SkyCity precinct and not just the area under construction. The casino, head offices, restaurants, hotel and car park were all emptied.

The fire caused a large amount of damage to the site, but thankfully the casino, hotel and all other operational buildings remained unharmed. The building site was supposed to be SkyCity’s New Zealand International Convention Centre, worth NZ$703 million. Construction was well underway and the opening date had been set for early 2020. This has been moved to an as yet unconfirmed date.