Govt lobs $5M in America’s Cup kitty

Article – BusinessDesk

Oct. 21 (BusinessDesk) The government will make an initial $5 million payment to help Emirates Team New Zealand retain key crew members ahead of a decision on whether to mount another bid for The Americas Cup.

Govt lobs $5M in America’s Cup kitty

Oct. 21 (BusinessDesk) – The government will make an initial $5 million payment to help Emirates Team New Zealand retain key crew members ahead of a decision on whether to mount another bid for The America’s Cup.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce announced the contribution after Cabinet today, comparing it to the $10 million granted in similar circumstances by the last Labour-led government for an earlier bid, and revealing Team NZ had asked for $6.5 million.

Whether further government support was forthcoming depended on whether a challenge is mounted and the extent of other sponsorships, although the ultimate commitment was unlikely to be much different from the $36 million government support for this year’s unsuccessful bid.

While no Cabinet decisions have been made, support in the range of $30 million to $40 million was in contemplation, Joyce said.

Joyce indicated New Zealand would seek to get better sponsorship recognition in a future challenge, acknowledging that some international media had referred to Emirates but not New Zealand as a sponsor.

“We would be looking for improvements. We might have to argue over bits of the boat,” he said.

While team leader Grant Dalton and skipper Dean Barker had agreed to stay on in the team, they did so understanding their positions were not assured as of right.

The $5 million down payment was non-refundable, but the government would be undertaking a “review evaluation” of the San Francisco challenge, which Joyce appeared to suggest became more valuable for New Zealand’s international profile because uninterested Americans began to follow the regatta once Oracle Team USA started climbing back from what seemed a hopeless position, to win the Cup.

Benefits for New Zealand tourism and high-tech industries from the exposure in the US and global markets justified a government investment in the Cup, Joyce said.

(BusinessDesk)

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