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NZ PIP Fund to invest in Melbourne Convention Centre PPP

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 16 NZPA - The Public Infrastructure Partnership Fund (PIP Fund) developed by Wellington-based investment firm Morrison and Co is investing in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) which developed the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

It is also putting its hand up to be a part of any PPP to build a National Convention Centre in New Zealand.

The PIP Fund is managed by Morrison and Co and its investors include the NZ Superannuation Fund and the NZ Social Infrastructure Fund.

The Melbourne investment, which is PIP Fund's first, is via a joint venture with Plenary Group, a Melbourne-based PPP firm which has expressed interest in expanding in New Zealand.

"The fact that we're able to invest under a joint venture arrangement with a specialist local PPP investor like Plenary Group makes this all the more attractive for us," said Steven Proctor, executive director of the PIP Fund.

The investment provided an excellent opportunity to participate in an operational PPP asset in Australia.

PIP Fund would also like to participate in building a National Convention Centre in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development has announced its intention to develop a National Convention Centre and will soon reveal a preferred location.

"Whichever site the Government selects, the PIP Fund would like to fund and deliver the New Zealand National Convention Centre as a public-private partnership," he said.

The Melbourne Convention Centre was completed last year and includes a 5000 seat hall, 32 meeting rooms and a grand banquet room. It has a "Six Star Green Star" environmental rating for design and has won a number of architectural awards.

"This is an outstanding facility which is operating well and has a 25 year PPP contract in place," Mr Proctor said.

Under the PPP model the public sector retains responsibility for attracting events to the convention centre. The private partner is contracted to build and maintain the facility, and receives a pre-agreed ongoing payment for making it available for use.

Mr Proctor also noted the recent New Zealand Government announcement that agencies proposing projects with a cost of more than $25 million would be required to consider PPP procurement options and that, in the medium term, this should lead to more opportunities for the fund.

Morrison & Co's PIP Fund was established in October to make long term investments in social infrastructure assets, such as schools, hospitals or community facilities, through public-private partnerships.

The transaction is subject to the consent of the Victorian State Government and the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board.

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