The Government is making an interim investment into Team New Zealand to retain key team members while a decision is made on a challenge for the 35th America’s Cup, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce announced today.
Cabinet today agreed to provide $5 million in bridging funding to Team New Zealand to ensure key team members including designers, sailors, support crew and administration staff are secured until May 2014, by which time Team New Zealand plans to finalise a decision on its involvement in the next regatta.
The previous government made an interim investment on a similar basis, although for a larger amount of $10 million, after the 2007 America’s Cup regatta.
“The 2013 America’s Cup was a great demonstration of the talent and innovation that New Zealand holds within its marine and technology sectors. It also provided a very high profile for New Zealand expertise and innovation in the world’s largest economy. We are keen to retain the knowledge and skills of the team for a further challenge, should that prove feasible,” Mr Joyce says.
“There is no doubt the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco was hugely beneficial to New Zealand businesses, including our food and wine, ICT, tourism and marine industries who all leveraged successfully off the event. A thorough evaluation of the benefits to the New Zealand economy of the Government’s $36 million investment in the 2013 America’s Cup is under way and is expected in March 2014.
“Team New Zealand has now commenced planning for the next challenge. However it will not be possible for them to finalise their involvement until such time as they know key elements of the regatta, including where and when it will be held.
“The Government will assess its further involvement based on a strong business case from the team, and the benefits our involvement would bring for New Zealand exporters and our New Zealand brand.
The details of the next event and the economic evaluation of the 2013 event will be important considerations. This $5 million interim funding would form part of any final sponsorship arrangement, just as the $10 million initial funding did in 2007.”