America's Cup: Win's economic benefits and social impact
America's Cup. AUT commentator - Economic benefits from Kiwi win would not be shared equally. Social impact more important.
From Associate professor Geoff Dickson (NZ Tourism Research Institute).
The prospect of New Zealand, and more specifically Auckland hosting the America's Cup is a tantalising prospect.
Already, the conversation is focussing on the perceived economic benefits associated with the event. The magnitude of these economic benefits are nearly always inflated, but even taking away the hyperbole and false assumptions, there will be economic benefits, but not as large as projected. And neither will these economic benefits be shared equally throughout the community. The number of people and businesses that will benefit economically from this event is quite small.
Stakeholders need to play the long term game. They need to ask two questions: What do they want Auckland to look like in the future? How can this event help it get there? If we start to change the long term plan to accommodate the America's Cup, well Auckland has missed the boat completely.
I encourage the conversation to shift from its focus on economic impacts to one that also includes social impacts. Social impacts go by many different names. Feel good factor. Psychic income. Shared experiences. Shared memories. National and civic pride. Sense of belonging. Sense of community. Communitas - an intense community spirit characterised be feelings of great social equality, solidarity and togetherness. Liminality - a situation where normally accepted differences such as social class and religion are de-emphasised or ignored. Whatever you want to call them, I believe this is where the true value of hosting is going to be found.