Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says further steps are being taken towards securing the future of New Zealand House in London.
“After lengthy discussions between New Zealand officials and the United Kingdom’s Crown Estate a lease and refurbishment contract for New Zealand House has been exchanged,” says Mr Peters.
“However, it remains dependent on the next step of achieving planning permission from Westminster City Council.
“This consent process, including public consultation, is now underway. The approval from Westminster City Council and final confirmation from The Crown Estate on the commencement of the project is not expected until mid-2020.
“The cost and lease arrangement is commercially sensitive at this point but the proposal is welcomed by the Government for being cost effective, and for securing a long-term future for New Zealand House,” Mr Peters said.
The proposal will require the High Commission and other New Zealand agencies to move into temporary accommodation for around three to four years while New Zealand House is refurbished. The timing of any relocation is dependent on planning permission for the project.