Why can’t Clark just STFU? Now she supports corporate welfare for rich sailers

Helen Clark is back and offering up her opinion on everything.

Now she wants the government to fund the America’s Cup.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark says there was “no question” the Government would have to be involved in funding and organising the America’s Cup, “a huge thing for New Zealand”.

Miss Clark -a keen fan of the America’s Cup – said she was delighted with the Kiwis’ 7-1 win this week. “I’m absolutely elated by it. I just wish I could have been in Bermuda for the big day.”

“Undoubtedly when New Zealand hosts a major international sporting event like that, the Government has to be part of it – no question. And the signs are they will be.”

She said it was the same with the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and the two times New Zealand had hosted an America’s Cup defence in 2000 and 2003, when Labour was in Government.

“This is a huge thing for New Zealand. This keeps New Zealand in the headlines. It’s good for tourism, it’s good for marine technology, it’s good for the reputation and brand of the country.”

Miss Clark was criticised by National in 2007 when the then-Labour Government agreed to put $38 million into Team New Zealand’s campaign. Although National went ahead with the funding, it only put in $5 million for the most recent campaign.

She said there was no question it would be good for New Zealand to host it here as the world’s most prestigious sailing event.


Look at the evidence. When the government poured the most into the cup we still lost.

This time around the private sector and sponsors ponied up, and wow, we won.

The Taxpayers Union also has figures to prove that corporate welfare makes the boat go slower:

Speaking of corporate welfare, Emirates Team New Zealand’a superb victory in the America’s Cup was particularly satisfying in that they won back the Auld Mug without the corporate welfare/direct Government funding which the team received in the disastrous San Francisco campaign.

Notwithstanding some R&D ‘growth grants’ from Callaghan Innovation (the same grants which saw taxpayers funding the Oracle opposition — see here) it seems forcing Team New Zealand to go out and fully fund its efforts from sponsors and the private sector saw an increase in team’s performance. Maybe there’s a lesson there?

On Tuesday, while the Champagne was still flowing, journalists were already asking the Government to fund the next campaign despite it being far from clear that even a cent will be needed. The Prime Minister was even asked whether he “regrets not giving Team New Zealand more money”. Other than more politicians in Bermuda, what did they think that would achieve?

Clearly, public money is going to have to be spent on getting Auckland’s facilities ship shape to hold a world class event in four years’ time. But calls for taxpayer funding of Team New Zealand, before it is even clear whether any money will be needed, puts the cart before the horse. You can read our comments to media on the subject here: Govt. must not sabotage Team NZ with San Francisco welfare.

The taxpayer, via Steve Joyce’s corporate welfare machine funded Oracle to the tune of $17M…if the government should fund anyone it should be Team NZ’s competitors, as corporate welfare seems to make the boats go slower.



Do you want:

  • ad-free access?
  • access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • access to Incite Politics magazine articles?

Silver subscriptions and above go in the draw to win a $500 prize to be drawn at the end of March.

Not yet one of our awesome subscribers? Click Here and join us.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.