Team New Zealand don’t need our money, yet the government is throwing it at them

The Government will invest $5 million in Team New Zealand to help it retain its key members, ministers announced this afternoon.

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges said the interim funding would help protect the team’s intellectual property, experience “and the skills that rest with key team members”.

This is private business run by rich people, and it needs New Zealand taxpayer’s money to keep the staff loyal for long enough for the sponsors to pay for the rest of it.   I love how they say “invest” when there is no actual return.  It’s more like a ransom demand:  pay for these people or they will go elsewhere.

Bridges would not say whether the Government would provide funding to Team NZ’s defence of the America’s Cup, which is expected to be in New Zealand.

“While the location for the 36th America’s Cup has not been decided yet, we do know that hosting a regatta in New Zealand has the potential to generate significant economic benefits.

“The America’s Cup regattas hosted in New Zealand in 2000 and 2003 had a significant impact on the New Zealand economy generating around half a billion dollars of total value added per regatta, particularly in the marine and tourism sectors.

“New Zealand Trade and Enterprise also held a successful business leverage programme at the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013 which generated trade and investment deals for New Zealand worth $200 million and a further $120 million of new sales opportunities and investor interest.”

It seems taxpayers’ cash is still to be handed out to people that have multiple multi-million dollar houses in multiple countries.  Sponsors such as Emirates clearly don’t have that sort of money lying around to keep their own investment in Team New Zealand safe.

To keep “our” intellectual property is a mirage.   Our boat wasn’t designed exclusively by New Zealanders.  Team New Zealand spent hard cash pilfering overseas talent just like other syndicates attempt to do with ours.

There is no need for taxpayers to get involved here.    But this level of corporate welfare has been pretty standard for the last two decades.

That doesn’t make it appropriate.  Not when people need somewhere to live.  Or need expensive medicine.

I’d rather house a few more people or save a few more lives than make sure that more boat builders and sailors don’t have to lie awake at night worrying if they may still have a job with Team New Zealand in two years time … instead of with another syndicate.

Can you imagine the stress?


– Isaac Davison, NZ Herald

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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.