A cause and origin report(external link) into the New Zealand International Convention Centre fire in Auckland’s city centre on 22 October last year has found the cause of the fire was accidental.

The Convention Centre was under construction at the time of the fire. At its peak nearly 30 appliances and around 150 firefighters battled the major blaze which took ten days to fully extinguish.

The official investigation into the cause and origin of the fire found it was inadvertently caused when the top layers of a waterproofing membrane – or cap sheet -–were being laid on the roof of the convention centre.

Investigators concluded the fire started after the cardboard inner of a cap sheet roll was momentarily exposed to a flame from a worker’s gas torch and began to smoulder.

After smouldering unnoticed inside the roll, an intense fire developed that burnt through the top layer of the cap sheet, and then spread across the level 7 roof membrane.

Because of the significance and complexity of the conference centre fire, the investigation report was independently peer reviewed. The reviewers agreed with the investigators’ conclusions.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s Fire Investigation report into the New Zealand International Conference Centre fire can be found here(external link).

Last modified: