26 Sep 2013

Govt could consider further Cup funding

5:35 pm on 26 September 2013

The Government will seriously consider using taxpayer money to fund another America's Cup campaign, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

Mr Joyce is in San Francisco, where Team New Zealand were beaten by Oracle on Thursday giving Oracle the regatta win.

He said he had already talked to members of Team New Zealand about whether they wanted to mount another challenge. They were not in a place where they wanted to talk about the future yet but he had told them the Government would look seriously at any request for help with a future challenge.

Prime Minister John Key described the loss as gut-wrenching but said he was personally proud of Team New Zealand.

He said the $36 million investment by the previous Labour-led Government was well worth it.

Mr Key said Team New Zealand had to sit down and talk about whether it could find sponsors and the right people to put together another challenge. The taxpayer contribution was only a small part of the total cost of the 2013 campaign, he said.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the country had had the government investment returned several times over.

The decision was a sound one and the Government should continue its investment in the America's Cup, he said.

Mick Cookson, managing director of Cookson Boats, which built Team New Zealand's catamaran, said Government funding for any future tilt for the America's Cup was commercial common sense and a no-brainer.

"I personally believe they should have put in more (to this challenge)," Mr Cookson said.

"To mount a viable campaign for the America's Cup, you have to have some serious money.

"We've just seen how the entire country, or most of the country, can get behind an amazing event, and this truly has been an amazing three weeks."

The Government injection helped sponsors feel comfortable putting money into the campaign, Mr Cookson said.