America’s Cup: Kiwi government waiting for Protocol

Published on April 16th, 2014

The New Zealand government says the $36 million of taxpayer money used to send Team New Zealand to the 34th America’s Cup has been recovered more than twice over, a result of the “direct and indirect benefits” of entering the iconic yachting regatta.

However, further investment by the New Zealand government may not occur until the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup is released.

“From a $36m taxpayer investment, the evaluation shows an estimated positive impact of $87m to the New Zealand economy,” said Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

Sixty-six per cent of the campaign’s funding came from international sources including sponsors, meeting the Government’s requirement to find $2 for every $1 of State support.

The report said $153m, representing 85 per cent of the total campaign budget, was spent in New Zealand.

It is likely that much of the money spent in New Zealand came from boat building. Both of the team’s boats, along with parts, were built in country. Additionally, training partner, Italian Luna Rossa also had parts built in New Zealand.

Both teams also trained in Auckland. The Kiwis were on the water for over eight months, while the Italians were there for over four months. The cost of support labor and facilities contributed to country’s economic benefit.

Joyce said one of the key benefits was the boost to New Zealand’s profile in international media over the 55 days of racing. However, opponents of the funding have pointed out that yacht racing is a niche sport with a relatively small global audience.

Looking to the 35th America’s Cup, the Government has already made an interim investment of $5m to keep key team syndicate members for the next challenge. A decision on further funding will depend on the business case Team New Zealand delivers.

Source: Fairfax NZ News

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