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Why New Zealand should support the Tongan League team and forget about the Americas Cup

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, November 28th, 2017 - 101 comments
Categories: class war, International, rugby league, sport, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

If you wanted to see a clear example of sport and class then the last weekend provided the perfect example.

On one side was the Tongan Rugby League team whose ranks included talented professionals who chose to give up well paid gigs and potential big pay outs in the top two International teams so they could play for their home country, a beautiful Pacific paradise of not very many people who at the beginning of the competition had no chance of advancing.

Then they beat New Zealand. And they came so, so close to beating England, a professional league superpower with 570 times as many people as Tonga.

And you have to question the refereeing. That final play looked like it could have been a one on one strip and the consequence would have been a Tongan win and a place in the final.  It should at least have gone to the third ref for review.

And as I said before it is great to see the formerly termed minnows playing so well. It is also great seeing professional players turning their backs on huge game payments so they can represent the country of their birth or ethnic origin. Andrew Fifita for instance who was selected for Australia and could have earned $20,000 per test match and a winning bonus of $50,000 opted instead to play for Tonga and earn $500 per match.  Onya Andrew.

On the other side is the America’s Cup.  High tech boats with lots of sponsors’ logos.  Huge TV contracts to sign.

Over the past couple of weeks we have had a crisis develop in Auckland about the size of the public spend.  It feels really similar to what happened in Wellington with the Hobbit.  A large multinational corporation has local public organisations on to see how much it can squeeze out of them.

First it was the size and cost of the headquarters.  $190 million and significant encroachment on the Waitemata Harbour was proposed.  Thankfully Auckland Council pushed back.  But it will cost $140 million.

But now there is a further claim for $80 million.

From the Herald:

Team New Zealand’s demand for a ‘hosting fee’ has the potential to take the America’s Cup away from Auckland in 2021.

Government minister David Parker told Newstalk ZB’s Tony Veitch that Team NZ were asking for a ‘significant’ hosting fee as Cup defenders, on top of their infastructure expenses.

Asked about the negotiation process Parker said: “I think we’ve been making significant progress in the last couple of weeks. If any one of the parties become unreasonable then we could lose it.”

On one side we have a talented league team willing to play for peanuts and which has invigorated the city in a way that I have not seen. I toot at every vehicle I see with Tongan flags and I toot all the time. I have not seen the city so proud.

And on the other side we have a bunch of rich sailors who are completely mercenary and will represent anyone as long as they pay enough. They ambush the city and the Government and demand that much money the city could do a great deal with addressing the scourge of Kauri Dieback for instance. And then after the decision is made they demand more money. And the justification is that somehow there will be huge wealth generated from visiting members of the 1%.

If there is huge wealth to be generated then I think the recipients of this wealth should pay the hosting fee. I am sure there will be a solid business case somewhere presuming the predictions are accurate.

I would prefer that we sponsor the Tongan National League team and tell Team New Zealand they can no longer use the name if they go overseas.  Passion and dedication and not money should be the primary driver of international sport.

101 comments on “Why New Zealand should support the Tongan League team and forget about the Americas Cup”

  1. Zorb6 1

    You could probably run a F1 Grand Prix in NZ for 80mil.America’s Cup is hardly value for money.Look at the Melbourne Cup.It would create much more revenue as an event at a fraction of that cost.

    • James 1.1

      I assume you have seen the figures that the America’s Cup is not value for money?

      I would be disappointed if we didn’t host the cup here – but the government does this at their peril- Kiwis love this event and if we lose it – you can be sure they will be painted as the reason for it.

      And – I’m pretty sure the government can’t tell them not to use the name Team New Zealand – but again I would love to see them try.

      It’s like you want them to be a one trek government.

      • Kiwis love this event and if we lose it

        [citation needed]

        • Enough is Enough 1.1.1.1

          Draco, we know that you despise most things about modern New Zealand society but do you really need a citation.

          Just google America’s Cup parades.

          Up and down the country New Zealanders came out onto the streets (like they have for no other recent protest or celebration), to welcome their hero’s home.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            But the majority of people stayed home right?

            That would indicate that a few people do, as a matter of fact, like the America’s Cup but not the majority which tends to indicate that Kiwis don’t like this event.

            • JohnSelway 1.1.1.1.1.1

              So by your logic because the majority of NZer’s don’t attend specific things then they don’t like or support them?

              The majority of NZer’s don’t attend the Gay Pride parades so does that mean the majority of NZer’s do not support homosexual law reforms?

              The majority of NZer’s didn’t attend, well, any protest against anything National proposed so I guess that means the majority are fine with it.

              Your reasoning is specious, Draco. You are saying unless a particular parade, protest or cause attracts over 50% of the population then we can safely assume the majority of NZer’s are against said cause, protest or event.

              • So by your logic because the majority of NZer’s don’t attend specific things then they don’t like or support them?

                It’s not my logic – it’s that of Enough is Enough.

                My logic requires actual research rather than supposition.

                Which was the point of my comment. Though that was fairly obvious when it followed Enough is Enough’s failed logic.

                • JohnSelway

                  No you implied that because most people didn’t attend the parades then that indicates most NZers don’t like the Americas Cup. So using that same logic I could say the same about the Wellington Xmas parade I went to with my daughter on Saturday.

                  • /facepalm

                    Enough is Enough implied that because people actually went to the parades then all kiwis like the America’s Cup.

                    I followed that same logic by pointing out that the majority didn’t go to those parades and so, according to his logic, Kiwis didn’t like it.

                    It’s not my fucken logic you fucken moron. My logic requires actual study and research.

                    BTW – speaking of “actual research” Reuters tells us of the 2013 Americas Cup:

                    Nearly one-quarter of the residents of the sailing-crazed island nation of New Zealand were glued to their screens for Sunday’s razor-tight races, according to the New Zealand Herald newspaper. It said 927,000 of 4.4 million Kiwis watched live broadcasts of the matches.

                    And it’s still only a minority no matter how you spin it.

                    And please learn to use proper formatting. It’s not hard but it does make reading your comments so much easier.

                    • JohnSelway

                      No need for your fuck this and fuck that. I take your point re: logic however in saying that a nearly 1/4 viewership may be a minority but it is also a massive viewing margin by any stretch so yes, it would seem Kiwi’s do love it and by pointing out “but but it is a minority” applies to, well, anything really that doesn’t have over 50% support.

                      You are splitting hairs. Just admit it – you are wrong and NZer’s truly do seem to enjoy watching an being part if the Cup. Just because a mere 1/4 watch it on the TV doesn’t indicate that it is somehow it is a small minority (which you stated below). It is OK to be wrong, just like I was wrong about the point you were making with Enough is Enough.

                      Everything will be OK.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      No – How did I imply that all Kiwis support the Americas Cup.

                      If 10 Kiwis supported the Americas Cup then as a matter of fact Kiwis support the Americas Cup. Not all Kiwis, no one is suggesting that, but 10 Kiwis, Yes.

                      As it happens Thousands of Kiwis turned out in the rain on a work day. Again no one is implying that all, or even a majority of Kiwis support it. But evidently Kiwis love this event.

                      The point of my post was more a dig at your continuous negativity about anything that you don’t like. Just ignore it if you don’t like it. Kiwis (not all – just to be crystal clear) like rugby, sailing, cricket, concerts, surfing, generally having fun with their mates. A lot of us Kiwis like doing things, or even watching sport, as opposed to sitting on our computers today being continuously negative about anything and everything.

                • JohnSelway

                  BTW – speaking of “actual research” Reuters tells us of the 2013 Americas Cup:

                  Nearly one-quarter of the residents of the sailing-crazed island nation of New Zealand were glued to their screens for Sunday’s razor-tight races, according to the New Zealand Herald newspaper. It said 927,000 of 4.4 million Kiwis watched live broadcasts of the matches.

                  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sailing-americascup-viewers/tv-viewers-tune-in-to-americas-cup-but-jury-out-on-finances-idUSBRE98H1C820130918

                  So not the tiny minority you claimed. If and when I find 2017 figures I’ll post those too

                  • mickysavage

                    Most of Auckland was fascinated by the Tonga England game on Saturday. And it cost a fraction of what the Americas Cup will cost.

                    We are talking about $220 million. I personally can think of many many better things the money could be spent on.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.2

            No – How did I imply that all Kiwis support the Americas Cup.

            By saying:

            Up and down the country New Zealanders came out onto the streets (like they have for no other recent protest or celebration), to welcome their hero’s home.

            Clear implication.

            • Enough is Enough 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Haha Brilliant – I think you are clutching at straws there Draco.

              Anyway, I suggest the best thing is for you to just climb back into your dark cave, and jump on your keyboard the next time we as a community come out on the streets to celebrate something which bring a smile to many kiwis faces.

              • I think you are clutching at straws there Draco.

                No, I’m not. Within context, ‘kiwis’ obviously referred to everyone.

                I suggest the best thing is for you to just climb back into your dark cave

                Why the denigration?

                Can’t support your own arguments perhaps?

                And I’d still like to know why the majority are having to pay for the desires of the minority?

                • JohnSelway

                  “And I’d still like to know why the majority are having to pay for the desires of the minority?”

                  Like everything? Why are the majority paying for cricket, rugby, football, polo, water polo, the Olympic team, the commonwealth team, rowers, shot-putters, ad infintum because they are all only of interest to a minority.

                  Your argument is specious Draco. We get it – you don’t like the Americas Cup for…reasons. But over 900,000 NZer’s disagree with you. And they merely were the ones who tuned in.

                  “Can’t support your own arguments perhaps?”

                  At first your argument centered around there being a tiny minority who actually cared about the AC. When it was shown that this minority actually consisted of a 1/4 of the population you moved the goal-posts to “Well, it’s still a minority”. But we support loads of minority interests and you seem to be suggesting that unless something attracts an over 50% buy in from the public then we shouldn’t be supporting it. Which is stupid.

                • Enough is Enough

                  When I clarified the context, you still continued your hair brained argument,

                  What a sad society we would live in whereby the desires of minority groups could not be funded appropriately with public money. Say good bye to culture, music, sport, and recreation.

                  Ironically the only thing to survive would probably be rugby.

                  It would be a very sad and dark place, hence the reference to a cave.

      • Molly 1.1.2

        So, because I don’t love it – I’m not a Kiwi.

        If our new government supports this, I’m going to be critical of their priorities. Just as I would regardless of who makes this decision.

        “It’s like you want them to be a one trek government.”
        I don’t want them to be a one trick government – pretending to care but really not – and hey look! a royal visit, a rugby world cup, an america’s cup….
        We’ve had enough of that kind of governance, and too many are suffering because of it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      probably

      Only one whole order of magnitude out. Better luck next time.

      • Zorb6 1.2.1

        Interesting link-‘Street races are cheaper to get off the ground than those on purpose-built tracks since they don’t require construction of a new venue’.The AC hosting fee is separate to the cost of infrastructure .It was just a guess ,but the author of your article is guessing too.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      The Economic Impact of the 2003 America’s Cup Defence – Full Report (pdf).

      tl;dr:

      $523m of net additional spending in the New Zealand economy generated by the event over the 2000-03 period, which would not have occurred otherwise.

      • Zorb6 1.3.1

        ‘The main sectors to benefit from the additional demand were:
        Marine sector ($143m)
        Accommodation and hospitality ($92m)
        Retail and entertainment ($132m)
        Business and household services ($48m).
        Transport ($48m)’
        Still hard to justify taxpayers funding it to the degree they want imo.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1

          The GST alone on those figures amounts to ~$70M. And those figures are from 2003.

          • Zorb6 1.3.1.1.1

            I get that you are in favour of taxpayers funding the event.It does surprise me,mind you, you are entitled to choose your own cause celebres.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s hardly a cause célèbre. Generally speaking, I think we should support one another in our endeavours.

              Where there’s large investment involved it makes sense to look at the cost/benefit ratio. If the figures add up they add up.

              In this case we have previous experience to draw on, and it tends to debunk “it will cost too much” type arguments.

        • mickysavage 1.3.1.2

          Do the same analysis with a series of other events. For instance Pacifica which costs peanuts but generates huge activity. Then let us know which is the best spend.

    • mauī 1.4

      I agree with the comparison with Formula 1. It’s more and more about the money now and not really about country v country like it used to be. The greatest benefactors are most likely the sponsors and with Team New Zealand winning we have won the hosting rights and Oracle, Emirates, and billionaires etc should be paying to put on the event.

      • JohnSelway 1.4.1

        As NZ gets to decide the rules and have decided that at least 20% of the sailing team must represent the country they sail for which is a step in the right direction.

        (I agree about F1 though – I used to really like it but it has just become all about sponsorship)

      • Phil 1.4.2

        I agree with the comparison with Formula 1. It’s more and more about the money now and not really about country v country like it used to be.

        Formula1 hasn’t been about ‘country vs country’ since roughly 1960 and the racing spectacle (visual access, closeness of lap times, number of competitive teams etc.) in recent years is pretty much the same or better than at any time since the sport as we know it began post-ww2. I absolutely adore the old F1 cars. The Lotus 49 and 77, in particular, are borderline pornographic as moving objects. But, watching old footage, makes me realise those races were boring as fuck.

        In terms of cost, a huge driver of the overall increase is safety – both track and car. Again, look back at old races and you see people standing on the outside edge of the track, separated from a +200kph metal object with nothing more than a haybale or single rope fence. All the investment in (and ongoing maintenance of) crash barriers, runoff areas, vehicle impact strenghtening and so on costs a ton of money in addition to what teams are already spending on improvements to squeeze an extra 10th of a second of performance.

  2. garibaldi 2

    I think these new boats are going to make it the most exciting Americas Cup ever and we would be absolute fools not to put it on. Our world wide excellent reputation in yachting/boatbuilding would be enhanced and I can’t help but thinking the naysayers out there are being a tad precious. Besides, it will be more exciting than rucking fugby.

    • lprent 2.1

      I agree – the boat builders and hoteliers should pay for it. While they are at it, they should pay me for my patience in having to put up with this bloody nonsense in my local community.

    • I think these new boats are going to make it the most exciting Americas Cup for that small minority that actually watch it.

      FTFY

      Besides, it will be more exciting than rucking fugby.

      Watching paint dry is more exciting that watching rugby.

      Our world wide excellent reputation in yachting/boatbuilding would be enhanced and I can’t help but thinking the naysayers out there are being a tad precious.

      That’s a possibility but only a possibility. That’s the thing about these sporting events. They usually produce far less income than promised.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        See comment 1.3. Actual analysis to argue with.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          And what was the downsides?

          How much extra CO2 and other GHG emissions?
          How much damage to the environment?
          How much extra damage to the infrastructure?

          Is extra spending really a viable measure?

          Personally, I’ve always thought GDP was a completely shoddy way of measuring economic performance. This is backed up by certain “financial” opinions though, like so, even recently, from Bloomberg for example:

          “…because GDP measures average income, it can obscure important discrepancies at the household level. When incomes rise disproportionately for the well-to-do, for instance, mean income can increase even though many regular workers see their paychecks cut.”

          In other words, it is a truism that sitting in your car burning fuel that depletes us of resources. But it’s hardly a positive and beneficial spend is it? However, this makes GDP rise.

          Dumping effluent into rivers, and spending a couple of million to clean up that which shouldn’t have been there in the first place also makes GDP rise.
          Hardly good for us, but – it’s certainly good for the GDP stats.

      • JohnSelway 2.2.2

        And again – as linked above:

        ” for that small minority that actually watch it.”

        Close to 1 million. Not a “small minority” by any means.

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sailing-americascup-viewers/tv-viewers-tune-in-to-americas-cup-but-jury-out-on-finances-idUSBRE98H1C820130918

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1

          But still a minority.

          • JohnSelway 2.2.2.1.1

            But a small minority? No.

            So because over 50% of the population didn’t tune in it means…what?
            An even smaller minority watched the Tonga League game. Guess that means people don’t support it.

            Only 45% of regsitered voters voted in the 2013 Asset Sales Referendum. A minority. I guess NZer’s didn’t care about that either

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1.1.1

              So because over 50% of the population didn’t tune in it means…what?

              An even smaller minority watched the Tonga League game. Guess that means people don’t support it.

              Don’t know. That’s why we have research.

              Only 45% of regsitered voters voted in the 2013 Asset Sales Referendum. A minority. I guess NZer’s didn’t care about that either

              That seems to be more a problem with postal voting and citizens initiated referenda that the government says that they’re going to ignore no matter what.

              • JohnSelway

                And the research shows us that a significant portion of NZ tuned in to watch the America’s cup. Nearly a full 1/4 (which becomes even greater once you trim out everyone under, say 13, who don’t have their own household or TV). This is a greater proportion of people who watch many other events, attend parades, and is in fact an number far greater than those who vote Labour in 2013 (the year the Cup viewer stats are sourced).

                It is quite obvious, from the research available that yes, the Americas Cup is hugely popular in NZ – far more so than many other sports, events or causes. Whether that is a good thing or not, or whether you like it or not is irrelevant.

                It is OK to be wrong Draco. You will be OK.

  3. Ad 3

    I drove through Onehunga and Otahuhu on Saturday morning and it was seriously insane with white and red painted fences, huge lines of red and white balloons, tall trees with road cones on the top with Tongan flags perched on the very tip, and of course hundreds of people-mover vans festooned in colour beeping at each other on the motorway, on Great South Road, and on Mt Smart Road.

    At our early Christmas function at work we gave away 20 double passes to that Semifinal as prizes and awards, and the joint was buzzing on the Monday with what coulda-shoulda beeen.

    Also on that day were the suburban Santa Parades, the many regional markets and German markets and Christmas markets, and the really big downtown Santa Parade on Sunday morning.

    It felt like Auckland was in full celebratory mode everywhere you looked.

    My thought was roughly the same as yours Mickey:
    The Labour Party should represent working class sport, and League is by definition the premier working class sport.

    I’m still waiting for the massive mea culpa from NZLeague for the pathetic proposition of essentially putting up the Warriors as a national team. But at least they’re not requiring $150m in infrastructure before a game is played.

    • James 3.1

      “It felt like Auckland was in full celebratory mode everywhere you looked.“

      I light point out that the areas you were is not “all Auckland “. The majority of the super city has nothing at all.

      And to be honest I would assume that a lot didn’t even know or care that the league World Cup was even coming to Auckland.

      It’s been fantastic watching Tonga – but let’s not get carried away – this is a small event in the scheme of things.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        “…it felt like” is not claiming a statement of fact. After all, I didn’t get to Dannemora or indeed to the North Shore.

        The only reason the people of Auckland knew there was a League World Cup on is because of the Tongan community.

        No need to get carried away. Only a need to re-look at sport funding allocation mechanisms and really ask: how much capital needs to be spent on which discipline to get kids hooked on physical activity for the rest of their lives?

        • solkta 3.1.1.1

          “how much capital needs to be spent on which discipline to get kids hooked on physical activity for the rest of their lives?”

          The evidence would seem to suggest that this level of sport creates more who are hooked on observing sport rather than participating in it. The professionalization of disport into highly competitive sport just sends the message to the majority that they are not worthy and should not try (not that many people enjoy being jumped on anyway).

      • lprent 3.1.2

        Mickey is out west. I’m in Newton just off K Rd. The Tongan community has been pretty active here for a few weeks now and they were quite voluminous last night.

        Where do you live? A cultural desert?

        I’ve lived through several America’s cup around central Auckland over many decades. I’m well and truly over it.

        They are a dreary burden on those of us who live around town. They clog traffic and make running a productive business (I couldn’t give a pigs arse about retailers) anywhere near the city. They make the whole of the bottom end of town even more of a no-go dead area to be avoided than it already is. And on top of that to add injury to offense, I pay for this idiotic frippery through increased bills in rates and taxes.

        Can I suggest that if anyone else likes it that they take it and pay for it themselves.

    • James 3.2

      “The Labour Party should represent working class sport, and League is by definition the premier working class sport.”

      By definition of the working class sport do you mean players on huge salaries playing for multi millionaire owners who don’t even live in the country and run the club as a business ?

    • Morrissey 3.3

      More working people support rugby union than rugby league.

      • Ad 3.3.1

        Union is subsidised up the gills with stadia.
        Well overdue that league got a better share of the states’ attention.

      • lprent 3.3.2

        Not in Auckland.

        • Morrissey 3.3.2.1

          I was referring to Auckland. Contrary to what some RL diehards like to imagine in their pipedreams, rugby union is far more popular everywhere in the city and suburbs.

          But at least Rugby League does have a presence in Auckland. In the rest of the country, it barely registers.

  4. The decrypter 4

    The team playing strip should have been blue……..They lost- just like the natz!!– Reds a winning colour.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Looks like a false dichotomy. Why not support both?

    If the only argument against the Americas Cup is that the benefits only accrue to the 1%, the problem is tax law, not yachties.

  6. Antoine 6

    If only you had some connection with the NZ Labour party and could persuade them not to pay the $150M odd for the Americas Cup

    A.

  7. Adrian 7

    Why not support both, and remember where the crews both on and off water come from.
    It is completely dishonest to thrash the old ” millionaires ” line.
    Picton is one place where some key personnel have come from and they were
    “working class ” kids like the majority of their TNZ members.
    I was in Picton when the actual America’s Cup was paraded through the town and the local kids even got to touch it.
    Here was the world’s oldest sporting trophy and one of the most prestigious
    awards in one of the smallest towns in NZ there to honour the local involvement.
    Now that is egalitarianism.
    Good on Tonga, I was hugely disappointed a how close they came but remember those great players only got that way because they were able to develop at the expense of ” millionaire” owners.

    • I was in Picton when the actual America’s Cup was paraded through the town and the local kids even got to touch it.
      Here was the world’s oldest sporting trophy and one of the most prestigious
      awards in one of the smallest towns in NZ there to honour the local involvement.
      Now that is egalitarianism.?

      No, that is a few people exclaiming to the world how special they are.

      Good on Tonga, I was hugely disappointed a how close they came but remember those great players only got that way because they were able to develop at the expense of ” millionaire” owners.

      Millionaires don’t pay for anything, ever. And they probably don’t pay taxes either.

      That’s how they became millionaires.

      • Adrian 7.1.1

        Draco, your arrogance knows no bounds, if people don’t adhere to your own view of an ashes and sackcloth utopia you are as derogatory of them as any born to rule Nat is of one of their dissenters.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          What a load of bollocks.

          I just want the actual source of the countries wealth to be accepted and rewarded for their efforts.

          Here’s the thing, it’s not the rich.

      • Payslotsoftax 7.1.2

        What are you on ?

  8. ThatcherForEver 8

    Why should we sponsor Tongan Leage when players like Taumalolo earn over $10 million?

    Don’t kid yourself about professional players turning out for their home countries for minimal match fees, they are more than well compensated

    https://www.google.co.nz/amp/s/coupler.foxsports.com.au/api/v1/article/amp/nrl/nrl-premiership/teams/cowboys/ben-ikin-says-jason-taumalolo-cost-himself-5-million-by-signing-10year-deal-with-cowboys/news-story/0e28c8a47006afb5caae5e513cfe158e

    As for the America’s Cup?, couldn’t care less; big boys playing with boats in the bathtub

    • mickysavage 8.1

      They gave up the chance of earning big money so they could play for Tonga. This is something I applaud.

  9. Do I hear “Neither”?

    Cos that option sounds great.

  10. Adrian 10

    And don’t forget that one of the only two paid designers of these fantastic revolutionary new boats is a 22 year old Elise Beavis, a Computational Fluid Dynamist. She is a great example of the knowledge economy that people on this site are often touting as the way for us to go.
    Remember also that most of the world’s great technological advances and art was underwritten by the so called ” elites”.
    In N Z that is generally 1000s of ordinary Kiwis donating and sponsoring a few dollars to get stuff like this done, wether it be the local league club or helping get a young dinghy sailor or rower or whatever to the next level or even buying a pair of red socks.

    • Remember also that most of the world’s great technological advances and art was underwritten by the so called ” elites”.

      No it wasn’t.

      It was all paid for by the poor workers. They’re the ones that created the wealth that allowed the ‘elites’ and the artists to live at all.

      • Mickomarvel 10.1.1

        Sure, everything, everywhere, at all times comes from the effort of the poor (and not so poor) workers. I wouldn’t be on the left of the political divide if I didn’t implicitly understand that. But it is also always the case that investment decisions are made by members of an elite whether this be a capitalist, socialist or communist elite.
        So I think your comment does nothing to negate Adrian’s point. Our boating industry is second to none, in innovation, both on and off the water and is leading the world in this small but lucrative niche within the ‘knowledge economy’.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          But it is also always the case that investment decisions are made by members of an elite whether this be a capitalist, socialist or communist elite.

          Why is that and can we get rid of it?

          Can we, as a matter of fact, get dispersed decision making going and get rid of that ‘elite’?

          Previously there may have been a reason for a well educated clique making the administration decisions but that time is now long past. Everyone is well educated now and communication technologies capable of supporting true democracy.

          Our boating industry is second to none, in innovation, both on and off the water and is leading the world in this small but lucrative niche within the ‘knowledge economy’.

          I suspect that, like so many niche markets, it won’t be quite so niche and quite so lucrative for very long.

          • Mickomarvel 10.1.1.1.1

            Why is that and can we get rid of it?

            Neither question is pertinent to the subject under discussion.

            I suspect that, like so many niche markets, it won’t be quite so niche and quite so lucrative for very long.

            Suspect away to your hearts content. Some suspect the moon is made of green cheese.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Neither question is pertinent to the subject under discussion.

              Actually, it’s very pertinent to the discussion considering that we’re talking about how the workers pay for everything. Shouldn’t they have a say in what they support?

              Suspect away to your hearts content.

              Every body keeps telling us that catering to niches is what’s going to make NZ rich. The problem with that is that everyone else can also cater to those niches.

              As I say, if every country developed it’s economy properly there’d be no trade between them. No need for it when the local economy can produce it just as well and there’s no transportation costs involved making it cheaper.

              • Mickomarvel

                I thought we were discussing the practical issue of whether this government should pay towards a regatta, not some wider issue of worker control.
                I’m not claiming that catering to niches will make us rich, but you’ve already admitted that there are research and development potentialities in the AC.

    • Ad 10.2

      Boston, Manchester, most of Caribbean, Antwerp, Augusta, Washington, bunches of African cities:

      successful, thriving, dependent on slave labour just 200 years ago.

      Careful how well subsidised a tiny few elite jobs are.

  11. David Mac 11

    Yes, lets double the revenue generating capacity and spectacle of the America’s Cup event and divert some of our Team NZ funding towards Team Tonga and build them a boat. Team NZ can drag the spinning quick-fire raffle board out from under that little stage at the RNZYS and BBQ sausages for the Herne Bay silver foxes.

  12. But now there is a further claim for $80 million.

    Isn’t supposed to be user pays?

    They’re using our infrastructure and our waters so they’re the ones that should be paying.

    • David Mac 12.1

      Tend to agree with you, I guess the counter to the argument is if this type of event is deemed by a majority to add vibrancy, quality of life and commercial revenue to Auck/NZ the users are everyone.

      • Well, if it’s everyone then we need to get the sponsors names off of the boats.

        And, to be honest, I would be happier about it if the NZ government fully funded Team NZ but pulled all the results of the R&D back in to NZ government ownership.

        EDIT: As far as R&D goes sponsoring the America’s Cup is a far better option than sponsoring rugby of any stripe.

        • David Mac 12.1.1.1

          Ha! Yep, I like it when I agree with the thrust of your thoughts.

          I guess the counter then becomes:

          ‘Good ratepayers of Auckland. We’re doing the Cup, we can clip your pocket $100 or stick the name of an airline on the sail and sting you $50. What suits you?’

          • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.1

            Good ratepayers of Auckland. We’re doing the Cup, we can clip your pocket $100 or stick the name of an airline on the sail and sting you $50 and your airfares will go up 30%. What suits you?

            FTFY

            • David Mac 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Airfares are one of the very few items that haven’t been subjected to the ravages of inflation. A flight to Sydney in the late 70’s costs about the same as it does today. If geared to the price of milk or hot chips, a return flight would be $7000? Their modern marketing programs like sponsorships are partly responsible for that.

              • True.

                IIRC, advertising is about 30% of the fare. That was awhile ago though. IIRC, it’s about normal for business across the spectrum.

                Then there’s the question of if they’re actually paying enough to cover all costs. Climate would suggest otherwise. If the airlines did start charging enough I suspect that people would start claiming poverty because the OE is no longer on the cards and nor is their yearly trip offshore.

          • Mickomarvel 12.1.1.1.2

            They’ve already got the name of the airline on the sail.
            If the rates need to go up then it should be business rates only, as the economic benefits will accrue to businesses not residents. In fact residents may suffer from the extra congestion, strain on resources and price gouging occasioned by the event.

  13. Obtrectator 13

    2001 is over three years away, and already I’m sick to death of hearing about the “Shutduffer Cup”.

    It’s a real dilemma, though, in the strictly accurate sense of being a choice between two equally unpalatable courses of action.

    Option 1 (hosting the thing, spending the dough) alienates the part of the electorate that resents money – “theirs” especially – spent on facilitating rich men’s hobbies, also the ones in the City of Sails who’ll have to put up with all the carry-on involved in preparing for it. But it gratifies the considerable number who troop dutifully in the wake of the drum-bangers rooting for good ol’ li’l NZ sticking it to the world*.

    * while secretly preparing to line their pockets, of course

    Option 2 (don’t refuse to host it, but refuse to cough up) saves the expense, pleases a lot of tax- and rate-payers, and – if the event goes elsewhere – saves a lot of disruption and inconvenience in Auckland, but irks the ones who wanna see the big game, Daddy, and would throw a tanty at anyone who said “no”.
    (The user-pays crowd ought to welcome this option, but quite possibly won’t – they can be surprisingly lenient about what certain users ought to be obliged to pay for.)

    Seems to me it’s all about the numbers, and estimating them accurately. Do that before making a decision. Then go with whatever option would appear to cause a smaller backlash against the present government. If hosting the Cup is likelier to help them retain office in 2020, then so be it. After all, there were many even worse examples of such cynicism under their predecessors. Principle is all very well, but not if it keeps you permanently out in the cold.

    My heart says “save the money, to Hell with the Cup”. My head says “more information, please”.

    • David Mac 13.1

      Measuring it seems to become so subjective.

      Do we include Watercare’s upped bill on the extra toilet flushes at the Hilton? I guess it’s an exchange of funds we wouldn’t of had if the Cup wasn’t on. What about the overtime wages for the guy at the treatment station working late to keep the extra water chlorination needs met? He’s got extra money due to the Cup. The guy fitting tyres to taxis, he’ll see his customers 2 weeks before he normally would.

  14. joe90 14

    But now there is a further claim for $80 million.

    Same old stadium scam – rich pricks picking the public pocket.

    https://www.facebook.com/stopstadium/

  15. Kat 15

    Interesting how sailing and yachts bring out the class warfare. A lot of ordinary working people inhabit the world of sailing including the Americas Cup events across a wide selection of trades. You may even find a few Tongan rugby league supporters are involved in the boating industry. The interest in sailing and yachting is not just the idle pastime of rich pricks.

    The assertion that its just a bunch of rich sailors who are completely mercenary, well I would like to be present when you tell that to young Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

  16. Mickomarvel 16

    It is also great seeing professional players turning their backs on huge game payments so they can represent the country of their birth or ethnic origin. Andrew Fifita for instance who was selected for Australia and could have earned $20,000 per test match and a winning bonus of $50,000 opted instead to play for Tonga and earn $500 per match. Onya Andrew

    Not sure why this is great. Isn’t it just another form of nationalism? Don’t get me wrong; I’ll cheer for the ABs or TNZ along with the best of them, but I don’t fool myself that this kiwi tribalism is in some way more virtuous than earning my living. However, if you are admitting nationalism into the discussion, why would the mass of Kiwi prefer to support a Tongan league team over a New Zealand yachting team?

    As for the two different “sports”, they’re not that different. Both involve highly paid professionals, both are media circuses, both are supported by sponsorship and backed by billionaires and both have considerable followings. The main difference between them is the perception that one of those followings is comprised of workers while the other consists of ‘nobs’. Possibly true once, but no longer an assumption you can safely make,IMO.

    If the next America’s Cup does not take place in Auckland, I think it will hurt the government in the polls. Equally, it will hurt them if they are seen as being profligate. They need to be able to find a good economic case to support it.

  17. timeforacupoftea 17

    We were in Dakota USA when the America’s Cup was on.
    My husband had to tell me not to make a spectacle of myself in a hotel because no live coverage of the Cup was being played.
    No one knew anything about it, never ever heard of it.
    Mind you Dakota is in the middle of America might explain it.
    Thank goodness for the app on my phone.

    Then again it would not worry us if we never got our chance to have the Cup here in NZ.
    Just watching the graphics by Taylor ? would be quite fine as long as that was live and for free.

  18. Mathias 18

    At least Rugby League got some coverage despite the usual negative reporting it always gets.

    Team NZ – ( that is an oxymoron ) is a rich man’s sport , always has been and should not be in the position of demanding anything from long suffering ratepayers.

    They will do as they are told and all these threats about losing the cup in 2021 because of their prefered option for the marina is not carried out is fear mongering.

    It is typical of the arrogance that has crept into society since that bastard Key and his colleagues were running the country.

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