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New Economic Impact Study And Taskforce Announced

Hon Trevor Mallard
18 October, 2002 Speech Notes

New Economic Impact Study And Taskforce Announced

(speech to launch of America’s Cup Ambassadors Programme, Base Club, Viaduct Basin)

Thank-you for the invitation to help launch the Base Club Ambassadors’ Programme, and welcome to my fellow ambassadors.

This new programme will tie in well with what our Government’s doing to boost the economic spin-offs from the America’s Cup regatta.

The ambassadors’ programme aims to facilitate business, sporting and cultural exchange between New Zealanders, and the many high profile international visitors expected in Auckland, over the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup yacht racing in the next four to five months.

Earlier today I reached an agreement to form a Taskforce to examine the issue of bases for the 2006 America’s Cup. Because of commercial development it is clear that additional bases will be necessary. The Taskforce will consider options and will be privately funded.

Over these next months, the eyes of the world are on us. This is very much a window of opportunity for us to show our many business-related capabilities, as well as give people around the globe further insights into our way of life and culture.

The ambassadors, who are together here for the first time, will be working together through the Base Club. They will search out ways to generate business activity and forge international business links. In particular, with visiting VIPS, international business personalities and organisations.

The government recognises the importance of the America’s Cup both economically and culturally. That is why we have a Minister for the America’s Cup. That’s also why we are funding a wide range of business activities to make sure we can realise the enormous potential from this event.

The America’s Cup 2000 is estimated to have generated $640 million of economic activity in New Zealand.

Research commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism that we released last week has shown that there has already been a multi-million dollar windfall from the buildup between the end of the racing in 2000, to the start of this event.

Over that period extra spending is estimated to have reached $73 million - generating $65 million in added value to the national economy.

There’s also excellent news on the jobs front. Between 2000 and 2002 an estimated 1470 full-time job equivalents have been created. This is mostly in construction, commercial accommodation and hospitality, marine services, retail, entertainment and transport.

So, the America’s Cup is already a winner for New Zealand.

And the defence hasn’t even started yet.

It’s important that research like this continues so that we can pinpoint the wins made. It can also give us information as to how best to maximise the benefits to New Zealand as America’s Cup host and also how to maximise the benefits to other agencies and businesses associated with the Cup.

That’s why I’m pleased to announce today that the Government, through its America’s Cup leverage fund, and Auckland City Council have agreed to a partnership to repeat the 1999/2000 study.

We are already collecting information through the International Visitor Survey and the Domestic Travel Survey to capture travel behaviours and spending of domestic and international visitors.

Over the next five months there will also be surveys of a wide range of local and national business, from travel agents to marine suppliers, from events organisers to infrastructure developers.

All with the aim of isolating the impacts of the cup on spending behaviour.

As with the last study, the results will provide valuable insights into the impacts of an event of this scale on our economy.

And with luck, it will help us to plan for maximising the positive benefits of the next defence. The results should be available in the second half of next year.

It’s clear from the estimated $640 million windfall from the last Cup that this event provides New Zealand business with a significant opportunity that needs to be seized and acted on.

That’s why the Government is putting money in to help leverage as much economic activity as possible.

We announced earlier this year $3 million worth of funding for a wide range of activities to help us realise the potential from hosting this event, and there’s more to come.

There is increased promotion happening in the home countries of the challenging syndicates.

The promotions are aimed at increasing tourist numbers, identifying and networking with high net worth individuals, showcasing export sectors and facilitating business connections.

In February, an innovation symposium is planned to showcase New Zealand’s innovative sectors such as applied technology, biotech and film.

There are also two dedicated business facilitators working with regional tourism, business, economic development agencies, Maori business and cultural groups, and America’s Cup personnel, to follow up on regional and sector business development opportunities.

An international media programme has been expanded to bring about 40 tourism and trade journalists from syndicate-related markets to New Zealand during February’s international regatta.

That media programme is also expected to help with business networking and raising New Zealand’s profile internationally.

And now we have the ambassadors’ programme here at the Base Club, which will also provide important linkages between VIP guests and New Zealand business owners, through a range of business and networking activities.

On behalf of the Base Club, thank-you to the ambassadors for agreeing to be part of this programme.


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