More beans, More bettah

Published on September 28th, 2021

It was a minor miracle for Auckland to host the 36th America’s Cup amid the strict pandemic guidelines of the New Zealand government. For small island countries, it is easier to block the borders and hold consistent policies, and they did so with great resolve to battle the coronavirus.

But doing so limited the event tourism, which did no favors for gaining economic benefit as host, and likely impacted the Kiwi offer to host again.

“At some point, we have to say we can’t justify investment beyond (our bid) for the taxpayer,” explained New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “We have to make a call about where that line exists. I could not hand on heart stand here in front of you and say that it would have been good value for money for New Zealanders to go beyond where we have. So I wouldn’t do it.”

That sentiment came in June 2021 but STUFF media now reports that Auckland Council has made an almost $1.9 billion surplus, after a stronger than expected rebound following 2020s COVID-19 lockdown,

Its annual report showed revenue outstripped expectation by more than $230 million and, along with cost savings of $126m, has meant debt has not increased as much as expected. The surplus across the council, and its main agencies, beat the budget by nearly $1.3m.

The surplus doesn’t mean the council has a mountain of unexpected cash, as it is offset by rising debt – $474m, but not as much as expected – and puts it in a more comfortable position for the current year.

Could this mean a better offer by New Zealand to retain the hosting rights for the 37th America’s Cup? Standing by…

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