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Americas Cup is New Zealand’s cup?

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, March 18th, 2021 - 80 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, jacinda ardern, sport - Tags:

I must admit that I have recently been watching the Americas Cup races.  Ultra high tech boats travelling at unbelievable speeds and the local team has some good old kiwi sailors beating the best of the world.  And on the Waitemata Harbour.  What is there to dislike?

Well it is a rich man’s sport.  The crowds shown by TVNZ did not look like the Aotearoa that I know.  It looked like the St Heliers tribe had moved downtown.

And it was rather expensive.

The Government contributed $136.5 million and Auckland Council contributed $113 million to host the event.  These are big sums.  Council’s contribution especially is significant at a time where it is trying to save every cent it can find.

There was speculation a month ago that the organisers were looking to host it overseas.  From Todd Niall at Stuff:

Team New Zealand says its survival could depend on bids being finalised by overseas cities interested in hosting the next America’s Cup.

The Cup defender has been in talks with up to 10 cities, with a shortlist of final bids due by the end of February, to consider alongside the outcome of negotiations with the Government on any future hosting.

Team New Zealand must first successfully defend the Cup in March, before making what could be a radical change in Aotearoa’s relationship with the regatta, in which winning meant hosting.

In an exclusive interview with Stuff, Team New Zealand’s chief executive Grant Dalton said the Covid-19 environment, and the evolution of the Cup, meant the old model of funding a regatta and a team was over.

My first response was what a bunch of mercenaries.  My second response was that if survival depended on gaining more than $250 million of public money as well as all of the corporate sponsorship, television rights and advertising sloshing around then clearly the Americas Cup is not value for money.  Think of the international Kapa Haka competition we could have with this sort of money.

My third response was that I hope Auckland Council’s lawyers had covered this in the hosting agreement.  Like “If we win the America’s cup regatta in 2021 then the next regatta will also be held in Auckland”.  But I am not sure if these particular words were included.  Because I cannot see them anywhere.

I hope I am wrong.  Otherwise downtown Auckland has some pretty impressive marine infrastructure that may not be used in the foreseeable future.

The Government quickly jumped out of the blocks and offered more money for the event to stay but the wording was careful:

“Team New Zealand has once again made us all so proud by retaining the America’s Cup as New Zealand’s cup,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“On behalf of all of Aotearoa I congratulate Grant Dalton, Peter Burling and the whole team, those on the water and off it, for their achievements.

“Peter Burling and his crew of skilled sailors showed what they were capable of in all conditions, highlighting the tactical brilliance and sheer hard work of everyone involved.

“Following a hard year, Team New Zealand provided such optimism and excitement. I know with all the international limitations that COVID created this wasn’t the competition they expected, but they’ve made us so proud,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Innovation, technology, guts and hard work have delivered glory for Emirates Team New Zealand,” Minister responsible for the America’s Cup Stuart Nash said.

“We want to see it all over again in 2023.The Government has already agreed that the successful America’s Cup team will be supported to stay together while it plans its next defence of the Auld Mug.

“Cabinet has agreed to invest in the team from within existing budgets. It would be subject to a number of conditions, including an expectation the Cup will be defended in New Zealand.

And a challenge has been received, with the suggestion that the event be held in the Isle of Wight.  From Christopher Reive at the Herald:

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron general manager Hayden Porter confirmed the club had received a new challenge when speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan this afternoon, but would not say where the challenge had come from.

“We have received a challenge for the 37th America’s Cup. There’s a lot of details to come; discussions will evolve over the next few days, weeks and months and things will happen from there … it was all done out on the water – all details will be revealed in the next wee while,” Porter said.

The process of agreeing terms with the next Challenger of Record is remarkably swift – as the deed of gift allows for any other yacht club to put in a challenge, that must be accepted should it be considered “legitimate” – and it will be no different in this case.

“It’s one of those traditions that is pretty special about the Cup; that they must receive a challenge and it must be accepted,” Porter said.

“There’s a protocol that goes with it; it gets handed over literally at the second it happens. In the old days, things used to get thrown on to boats. Here at the club, we have some protocols that go around it where our email servers get shut down, our phones get shut down, the doors get locked and things like that so it can’t be challenged that another challenge has been received. We’ve done it a few times, so we know the drill.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Herald reported that Team New Zealand are understood to be considering a radical proposal for the next America’s Cup defence – a one-off defence against Ineos Team UK excluding other challengers on the Isle of Wight next year.

If it is to be the Isle of Wight can I express to Team New Zealand the best of luck and I hope they go well.  But there should not be one cent of public money put into the event.  They are clearly a bunch of mercenary wide boys competing for an event that has been the exclusive purview of the rich and famous during all of its life.  There are much more important events for us to spend out money on.

80 comments on “Americas Cup is New Zealand’s cup? ”

  1. Barfly 1

    Taken overseas by Team $$$$ ? = not one cent ever again. Perhaps the cup holders should look at the long view…..

  2. Ad 2

    Well I take a different view to that.

    Like the Rugby World Cup or the Olympics, this year's host America's Cup nation should have no expectation that they should host it next time. The All Blacks don't' determine where the next World Cup will be.

    It's a globally mobile event. Proposed hosts should compete for that right to host. That's not a free proposition. For every event of that scale of magnitude, there will be an awful lot of infrastructural preparation and cost.

    The area that the bases were on last time now has expensive apartments and a 5-star hotel on it. It will be the same: like an Olympics, the America's Cup can generate legacy urban development outcomes. If you're looking for a reason to take off another wharf or two off Ports of Auckland for future public use, here it is.

    We can argue about how much state funding should be put into it. We probably should, just as we would for any other major event.

    Some may say it's just a sport for elites. The 1,500 strong construction crew who worked to prepare the waterfront for 2.5 years might have a different view, as would the fitout specialists, R&D teams, sail and spar and componentry specialists, and all who celebrated in their homes and at the event. Or you could admit to the elitism of sport full stop: you win on the world stage of any sport precisely because you are within the highly subsidised elite.

    I'd encourage anyone to pop down and see what the money was spent on. For 70 years you used to be able to see petroleum storage tanks dominate the area. That's been removed and much of it already integrated into the new urban form. Take kids with you.

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.1

      …pop down and see what the money was spent on. For 70 years you used to be able to see petroleum storage tanks dominate the area. That's been removed and much of it already integrated into the new urban form.

      The mate who came round to ours over the past two days to watch this (in my opinion) obscene display of rich wanker willy wagging thought he might wander down to Auckland and soak up the ticker tape party vibe.

      He too (like myself and my disabled partner) has lived and traveled in camper van type vehicles, either by choice or necessity.

      And although we never actually met in that particular freedom camping spot, we've spent happy times exchanging accounts of our respective stays at the Tank Farm. Used to be marked on the map of Auckland…"Freedom Camping Area"…right down the end of Hamer and Brigham Streets. Awesome spot for those with stuff they need to do in the city who can't afford the hotels and motels. Especially good for wheelchair users as the trip to town is all on the flat.

      There was an interesting assemblage of 'permanent' campers who gave much needed colour to the place and the occasional legal snapper could be caught from the rocks.

      And once the endless stream of buses loaded with camera- armed tourists had abated for the night (we figured they were brought down to the Tank Farm while the hotels processed the last bus load) the place was relatively quiet.

      All gone now, I believe? https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/freedom-campers-causing-concern-auckland

      Shifted out the travelers and the indigent so the wealthy can play without the poor being in their faces.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        It's not designed for any vehicle to park as long as they like.

        It's a place where thousands of people from all walks of life run, skateboard, cycle, walk, go to work, fish, play, live, and generally enjoy life. It's just as free to entry as it was.

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1.1

          It's not designed for any vehicle to park as long as they like.

          But it used to be a legal Freedom Camping Site. You know, common land available for all of the people. Including travelers. And those with nowhere else to live.

          ….people from all walks of life run, skateboard, cycle, walk, go to work, fish, play, live, and generally enjoy life were still able to do these things despite the presence of van dwellers.

          But I guess the people from "all walks of life" found the presence of the poor and indigent a little bit confronting? Reality just might put them off their lattes?

          • Ad 2.1.1.1.1

            No, you no longer have a right to camp your camper there for free. Your nearest paid carpark is 500m away like the rest of the public.

            Top work on your well-nourished grievance.

          • Jimmy 2.1.1.1.2

            I've got agree with Ad here, the waterfront is a lot nicer place now that can be used by all the public.

          • KJT 2.1.1.1.3

            I admit to being more than a little peeved at so many "Freedom campers" assumption that they can hog public spaces.

            The waterfront at Whangamata estuary playground, for one.

            • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1.1.3.1

              @ Ad …you no longer have a right to camp your camper there for free.

              @ Jimmy ….the waterfront is a lot nicer place …

              @ KjtT …peeved at so many "Freedom campers" assumption that they can hog public spaces.

              Ah, but Ad, freedom campers used to "have the right" to park at the tank farm. That right was removed. I could take the time an explain to you why it was so convenient…especially for those of us with mobility and access issues…but they would be words falling on stony ground.

              Do you feel the same way about homeless Kiwis? That they should be out of sight of the 'nice' folks who just want to have fun? Hidden away somewhere?

              To my knowledge none of freedom campers at the Tank Farm ever blocked access to the public. I guess the privileged found their mere presence offensive.

              Many of those parking up long term at the Tank Farm were homeless New Zealanders. Did any of you ever go and pass the time of day with any of them? Some of us who were occasional stayers did…

              Any of you care what happened to them? Where did they end up? You don't have to worry about what you can't see, eh?

              • KJT

                The "homeless," around my way cannot afford campervans. I know, I had an ever-changing bunch of young homeless, in my basement, for years. The “freedom campers” blocking public access I’ve seen are affluent bludgers or tourists. Not homeless.

              • roblogic

                Parking up for the night on prime waterfront land is a privilege, not a "right". Sadly, NZ doesn't have as much free stuff as it once had, because everything is commercialised, and the population has (irresponsibly) grown beyond capacity, so there's just not as much space. 30 odd years ago, before the Wynyard Quarter development, the whole area was a vast empty carpark. Much has changed

    • The construction workers on this project and the money involved could have been better spent on the housing stock of the country.

  3. Gosman 3

    While I agree with some of your concerns about spending taxpayers money on this (or really any top level sporting event) I take issue with your view that the sport shouldn't be supported because people who either play it or watch it do not reflect the make up of NZ. That should NEVER be a major factor in determining if a sport should be supported. Rugby Union, Rugby League, and Netball do not have significant Chinese or Indian players or supporters (certainly not reflective of their proportion in the wider population). That does not mean we should not regard these sports as important to the country.

    • David 3.1

      Totally.

      If “it does not look like the NZ I know” was a reason to cancel sport in NZ there would not be any sport in NZ.

      The “it’s a rich persons sport” is always an interesting line that comes out this time in every americas cup campaign. I challenge that. Our 10 year old daughter is off to her local sailing club through a try sailing programme next Monday. It’s free. If she likes it, she can sign up to a six month learn to sail course for just over $200 everything included, boat and all. How much would it take to kit her out in rugby gear, netball gear or gear for any other sport.

      • Phil 3.1.1

        just over $200 everything included, boat and all. How much would it take to kit her out in rugby gear, netball gear or gear for any other sport.

        $200 barely buys you a cricket bat, let alone all the other gear kids need to play.

        • David 3.1.1.1

          Exactly.

          I’m not a sailor myself but our daughter is interested. Once you look beyond the “rich person sport” trope you find they have some amazing programs across the country to make it a very accessible sport.

          • Phil 3.1.1.1.1

            To be fair though, the expense-profile on bats and helmets doesn't change much over the lifetime of an amateur cricketer as they progress through the ranks. I suspect the expense-profile of sailing ramps up in a dramatically different fashion.

            🙂

            • KJT 3.1.1.1.1.1

              A lot of the participants in our club racing spend nothing. Apart from a couple of hundred dollars for membership.

              Then we also support the local Waka Ama, Disabled sailing, school sailing and youth training, (where they can ballot for club boats) all paid by our club fees.

              I think all of us enjoyed the America's cup racing.

              • David

                Agree KJT.

                This is a whole new world to me but I’ve been really impressed with the efforts sailing clubs have put in to make the sport accessible.

            • Chris 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Grassroots sport across the board is suffering, according to a whole bunch of reports that've been published over recent times, including our national sport. Whether rugby should be our national sport is one thing, but I've always found it strange how we can't just turn on the tele to watch a live rugby test match anymore. The same goes for a lot of sport. The Americas Cup screening live to air I'm sure has been a major factor in the public's support of it. Sure, it's held in a public space, but if most of the country had to access it via pay TV I'm sure it wouldn’t have had anywhere near the support it gets.

              • KJT

                Well. Everyone at my workplace was glued to it.

              • KJT

                More to do with current working hours, lack of money which translates to lack of time, and casualised jobs, that prevent people from participating in sports.

                Many sports are trying their best to change that, but fewer and fewer people have leisure time.

                Our "brave new world".

                • Chris

                  Absolutely, no doubt there's no straightforward explanation. But it's interesting how the AC had so many of us watching. I do think the free-to-air issue is a significant factor.

      • Obtrectator 3.1.2

        What your daughter is getting into is what I regard as "real" sailing. Not this high-tech space-age stuff that just happens to take place on water rather than in the air or on a race-track.

      • Tricledrown 3.1.3

        Russell Coutts old club the ravensbourne yatch club is even cheaper.

        The Americas cup has built a huge flow on business employing 10's of thousands of people.

        IT for instance our tech is world beating even the TV graphics were designed in Dunedin by a company founded and run by a Maori.

        Our boat manufacture and maintenance industry has grown from Americas cup exposure from a $120 million a year to $4 billion a year .This is a massive growth industry we need to show case our world beating technology and our team style of working together.

        The All blacks don't have that economic impact yet we spent $100's of millions putting on a world cup.

        [Fixed same typo in e-mail address again]

    • Phil 3.2

      I take issue with your view that the sport shouldn't be supported because people who either play it or watch it do not reflect the make up of NZ. That should NEVER be a major factor in determining if a sport should be supported. Rugby Union, Rugby League, and Netball do not have significant Chinese or Indian players or supporters

      Interesting to think about cricket from this perspective, too. It's still at the national level in NZ a predominantly white guys game (Ish 'the Dish' Sodhi and Ross Taylor being notable current exceptions) but at the grass roots level and in the leagues I play there are SO MANY talented kids of Asian and PI ethnicity coming through the ranks. I really look forward to seeing them play on the international stage soon.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        Sure but it shouldn’t matter. The All Blacks and the Super Rugby squads have a large proportion of the players (possibly a majority) being of Maori and Pasifika heritage far beyond their proportion in the wider population. That does not mean we should be stating they do not reflect the wider community.

  4. RedLogix 4

    All of the above – and then add on the inestimable value of NZ's profile in the world as a country that embraces and achieves human excellence at the highest level.

    • Ad 4.1

      The America's Cup is to yachting what Formula 1 and Formula E and Le Mans are to car production: test beds of R&D innovation played out before global audiences.

      It massively drives innovation and alters industries as a result.

      If there were an equivalent Olympics of food, Fonterra would now resemble GlaxoSmithKleine – rather than known as a mass producer and destroyer of whole water catchments.

      • Cricklewood 4.1.1

        I'd argue that its closer to the old group b rally cars… both in terms tech advancement and spectator accessibility.

        The r&d jumps they make building and running these AC boats are remarkable…long may it continue

  5. Obtrectator 5

    "Team New Zealand" – just another brand name, up for grabs by the highest bidder. Like those "clubs" in the English Premier League, few if any of which now have any real roots in their localities, or even in England.

  6. Sabine 6

    The rich and politically connected and the government/councils will always have money for rich peoples sports/fancies and desires. After all that is what the tax payers and rates payers are for, paying to the joys of the rich. Why pay for something when you can just pretend that what the Rich wants will 'trickle down' on us. Surely it will trickle down on us, like warm piss.

  7. John G 7

    Sailing is a huge sport in NZ, which definately involves some very wealthy people. But doesn't any top sport ? There is also a massive amount of weekend warriors with very limited budgets. My understanding is that GST and PAYE from the teams pretty much covers the government expenditure. That's without adding the huge benefit of showcasing our expertise overseas and the big spend tourists make when they come for the cup (obviously not this one with the covid restrictions) Not many are backpackers !

    Sometimes it's necessary to suck it up and take the return on what is essentially a rich mans pissing contest

    Long may it last !

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    The gentrification of sports is an unhelpful trope – elite athletes fostering a culture of celebrity rather than the participation, which a country with the third highest obesity in the OECD should be giving serious attention. No chance of that of course. Priorities are appearing to govern, not actually governing.

    As for government funding – it's all part of the cargo cult capitalism model. It rains money on wealthy established events, while community functions must struggle. As for the hitech innovation, we'd get a lot more bang for those bucks if government did research inhouse.

    • KJT 8.1

      Professional sport is the opposite of "gentrification" which is why the "Gentry" opposed it for so long.

      Can't have the "great unwashed" beating the Nobility.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.1

        The attraction is mostly lost on me – I'm an angler – there are no expectations my skills will make me famous or attract public sponsorship. The competition is with cool discreet intelligences, and the scope of my bragging is at most a few feeds among friends.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          I'm no fan of ball sports. And fishing is something I have done for a job. Not fun.

          But. Each to their own!

    • KJT 8.2

      The "Gentry" in Auckland were more than a little miffed by being "bombed" by fishermen in Mullet boats.

  9. Quote: "a radical change in Aotearoa’s relationship" and "The crowds shown by TVNZ did not look like the Aotearoa that I know." Well, I have NEVER known Aotearoa. That name was several centuries ago, well before my birth. This New Zealand. The Media have gone out of their way to never utter the words "New Zealand" again. Just watch the news, the weather, the reporters. Until there is some "official" change of name, this will always be New Zealand to me. JM2CW.

  10. Janet 10

    I remember being similarly confronted and miffed after we all got in behind “ our team” with the red socks campaign – they were not NZ’s team at all. If they go offshore to defend I think they can leave the “New Zealand” behind and become Team Anybody’s.

    • Rosemary McDonald 10.1

      …the red socks campaign

      Folks have very short memories Janet.

    • Obtrectator 10.2

      Are you alluding to the fact that the socks weren't actually made in NZ? (Korea, if I remember right – but you won't find much mention of it on-line these days.)

  11. Barfly 11

    If Team Money move the event offshore they will make more money no argument – but at some point the cup will be lost and at that stage I don't think New Zealanders will be willing to be useful idiots and finance a bunch of mercenaries – that will be the end of New Zealand's involvement in the cup so short term profit or a continuing legacy which will it be?

    • KJT 11.1

      25 years of Americas cup jobs to date. Noting that even in California a lot of NZ input.

      The yanks reckoned the whole thing was the NZ hi-tech boat building industry competing with each other, financed by them.. LOL.

  12. bwaghorn 12

    I enjoyed the cup but at a rough guess the government and Auckland council played about 7 mill per race that te rehutai raced.

  13. lprent 13

    I watched about 15 minutes of it over someones shoulder yesterday on a computer screen.

    The technology was impressive – and fundamentally not the applicable to anything apart from racing. For instance I can't see any way to scale up the technology of a 7 tonne hydrofoil wind powered racing vessel up to container shipping – something that might be valuable.

    The only reason that I watched at all was because someone I have been working with in the UK repeatably commented on it in a zoom meeting. They'd been following it assiduously. I came to the conclusion that there is probably a shortage of armchair sport available. It simply wasn't that interesting after 15 minutes – I went off and biked home.

    If it was 250 million of our taxes that went towards it, then I bitterly resent my ~$50-$100 of taxes that went towards it as waste of my time and work. It is a clear case where strict user-pays is a good idea.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      and fundamentally not the applicable to anything apart from racing.

      And much the same was often said about the Apollo program in the 60's – yet I can name at least three critical developments that fell out of it that few anticipated on the day:

      The AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer) was the first proper real-time control system computer with a high profile application. There were several hundred of them built for various purposes and the demand created for IC's is credited for substantially kick starting the modern semiconductor industry.

      Moreover the high reliability software techniques pioneered in that system, directly spun off into the PLC technology of the 70's – which have been the backbone of industrial automation ever since. (I know this because back in the 90’s I got the chance to spend a whole day one on one with the man who led that development effort.)

      The AGC also instantiated the very first implementation of the now famous Kalman algorithm, a core digital signal filtering and processing technique that in the modern world has a bewilderingly wide range of important applications.

      These are just three extraordinarily valuable outcomes of just one relatively small aspect of the Apollo missions that happen to align with my own personal experience – there must be a multitude of others.

      As for the AC boats themselves – yes they are highly specialised, but their influence does filter down to lesser mortals. Decades ago sailors were delighted if they could achieve 10 knots, these days it's routine for production performance cats to achieve 20 knots, and some leading edge designs are now adding foils and aiming for 30.

      As for resenting the $250m of taxpayers money, as others have pointed out, the govt probably recouped a fair chunk of that in other taxes like GST. And that's before we include the flow on effects into NZ's globally respected marine industry. It was an investment and it's paid off – you should be pleased.

    • KJT 13.2

      I saw a lot of technology that was applicable to commercial vessels and even for building things like lightweight low energy using road vehicles.

      Things which should be happening in New Zealand.

    • bwaghorn 13.3

      I dont watch the nzso but am ok with funding it. Do you feel the same way about them ?

      People need there bread and circuses.

      • Foreign Waka 13.3.1

        And the gladiators are the poor and homeless we see another day if we wish to watch, hopeless and despondent, begging for a few dollars, something to eat. There is not enough housing for the average buyer, why would anybody care about this lot. They are maybe on drugs, maybe not. Maybe alcohol, maybe not.

        But for sure left behind by a society that adores the rich and is happy with the breadcrumbs thrown at them. Those hard luck stories are a dime a dozen, who cares. Right?

        The 200K plus would have gone a very long way of feeding the poor. Priorities, priorities.

    • Cricklewood 13.4

      Actually the tech they come up with to build and drive the boat ends up with quite a few applications… fluid dynamics… hydralic systems…. the carbon composites even the AI they use for simulation end up with in or help to develop far more everyday items…

  14. Tiger Mountain 14

    Ever get the feeling you’ve been had?

    If only it was so easy to engage New Zealanders in things like putting the Whakatane mill into public ownership and repurposing it, and maintaining 200 jobs at way less than what was spent on the Americas Cup.

    Spectacle is a fleeting delight for the working class and a lifestyle for the entitled–I mean who wants last year’s Ducati parked on the lot…

    • RedLogix 14.1

      Fair point – it's certainly true that the AC regatta is way more sexy than any heavy industry board mill.

      It seems to me we could easily walk and chew gum here – but our productive business sector never seems to gain traction in our imagination. Contrast this with Finland – around a third of the companies listed in that link are dominant players in global markets, instantly recognisable to anyone working in them. By contrast NZ could put perhaps Fonterra and maybe Xero onto such a list.

      Someone once said to me that if only NZ could learn to do business with the same passion and commitment to excellence that the All Blacks did – we would be a different place.

      • KJT 14.1.1

        Problem of having businesses competing to see who can pay the lowest wages, instead of investing in plant.

    • Barfly 14.2

      Repurposing it to make what to sell to whom ? Plant is old lower volume and less efficient than the current – its biggest customer was its owner taking 80% of production and they are the ones shuttering it.

      • RedLogix 14.2.1

        Yes it was quite an old machine – I can well imagine it was no longer competitive. The problem of course likely started decades ago with a lack of investment.

        One aspect of papermaking (and many other heavy industrial plants) is that it's usually only economic to add new capacity in very large chunks; which in turn tends to quite quickly push older, smaller capacity out of the market.

        As a result these industries, and especially papermaking, tend to have these decade long business cycles built in.

  15. AB 15

    I watched parts of 3-4 races. The boats are beautiful. I wanted NZ to win but would have been over it in 10 seconds if they'd lost. In any case, the euphoria is over, and now "the faces along the bar / cling to their average day" (Auden). I wonder if there is some other hole we don't talk about that the euphoria is temporarily filling – who can know?

    Yes, innovation is important – though hoping for it to occur serendipitously from doing something as peripheral as racing yachts may be an act of faith. And generating jobs and revenue for businesses is also important. So I'm not an AC hater – but the spectacle of luxury and affluent consumption at the bars and restaurants would be less galling if people at the bottom of the pile weren't struggling as they have to now.

    • KJT 15.1

      It is not the rich who are benefitting from the cup investment. They are paying. Which is good. How many millions did Bartarelli spend in NZ. This is an occasion where we are getting the rich to spend some of their wealth into our community, instead of taking it away.

  16. gsays 16

    FWIW, I was part of the "my tax-payer's $" choir. Then I watched a bit of the racing last year and was captivated.

    The beauty, elegance and improbability of those craft I still find beguiling. I have since seen a fellow at Foxton getting along above the surf with a sail on a board with a bulbous rudder.

    Incidentally, I imagine the "my tax-payer's $" grievance, is something that gets aired a lot on Kiwiblog or wherever tories congregate.

    • Patricia Bremner 16.1

      Agreed . Sounds like the taxpayers union…False.

    • alwyn 16.2

      Hmm. Are you suggesting that Mickysavaage and Lprent are closet Kiwiblog commentators?

      They certainly seem, on this site, to be in the "my-taxpayer $" group.

      lprent said, in this post "If it was 250 million of our taxes that went towards it, then I bitterly resent my ~$50-$100 of taxes that went towards it as waste of my time and work. It is a clear case where strict user-pays is a good idea."

      Mickysavage said "My second response was that if survival depended on gaining more than $250 million of public money as well as all of the corporate sponsorship, television rights and advertising sloshing around then clearly the Americas Cup is not value for money".

      He wasn't quite as explicit in talking about his taxes but it was pretty close.

      Incidentally I should admit my own viewpoint on the matter. The New Zealand Government shouldn't have anything to do with the event and certainly shouldn't be putting money into the affair. And that includes the nearly one million dollars to get an aging English singer to gasp out his version of "Sailing".

      • Patricia Bremner 16.2.1

        The Government puts money into many sports, so being selective would not work.

      • gsays 16.2.2

        "Hmm. Are you suggesting that Mickysavaage and Lprent are closet Kiwiblog commentators?"

        No.

    • Jenny how to get there 16.3

      I once read a quote, 'If the airforce or army want a new fighter plane or tank, the generals and soldiers should have to run cake stalls and raffles and sponsored runs to raise the money for it, like teachers and pupils have to do for school trips or sports gear.'

      Maybe the same should be said the next time some millionaires come to us wanting a yacht race.

  17. RedBaronCV 17

    No parade because they want to save public money.? Or are they frightened of on the ground feedback about their next move?

  18. Sanctuary 18

    Personally, I much prefer NZ to be known for it's rocket launch and advanced yacht racing technology than a series of movies about a vaguely Fascist version of deep England set in rural NZ.

  19. DS 19

    Thats $207 for each Auckland ratepayer.

  20. greywarshark 20

    edit
    Give every kid a free birthday party in NZ each year. It would cost less , would stimulate the local economy, and would spread the money around – just spread it around eh!

    Make this the last Americas Cup held here. We can’t continue to be beholden to the rich to keep the country alive – that’s cargo-cult territory. This is a little country trying to be a Monaco while we face three large belligerent faces, Australia, China, and the USA plus the combined group the Quad. I don't feel light-hearted about that, ready to throw dough in the air.

    We need to spend money on getting our mercantile fleet organised again, and stop living it up on money Daddy got from selling some shares when there was that stock exchange burp.

    • Foreign Waka 20.1

      Yes and maybe 1 Million dollars sing along with Rod Stuart. What a blast this would be.

  21. Jenny how to get there 21

    "Give them bread and circuses"
    JUVENAL*

    "There are much more important events for us to spend out money on."
    MICKY SAVAGE

    Ending homelessness in this city, and even further afield, would be top of my list.

    *Roman satirical poet Juvenal (c. CE 100)

    (Latin panem et circenses (bread and circuses) identifies the only remaining interest of a Roman [New Zealand] populace which no longer cares for its historical birthright of political involvement).

    Auckland the new Rome

    'If the Auckland Council, (in the midst of a pandemic no less), can spend $113 million without batting an eyelid on epheremel frippery like the Americas Cup. Let's spend that same amount, or more, on something of lasting social worth, like social housing for instance. (That, or deliberately choose to follow ancient Rome down into social decay and decadence).

  22. My response to Marcus Lush 😛

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