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Underwrite America's Cup Bid Says Nz First

Underwrite America's Cup Bid Says Nz First

New Zealand First says the Government should underwrite the America’s Cup team until sponsorship can be arranged for the next challenge in Europe.

Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says that underwriting the challenge at this stage would ensure that the team and all its “backroom” support could stay together without breaking away into other syndicates.

“Underwriting the project means that it would be guaranteed by the Government. Taxpayer money would only be spent as a last resort, or if a decision was made to make a direct grant as part of finance allocated within the Budget.”

Mr Peters also pointed out that at no stage during the time that New Zealand held the America’s Cup did the Government make any commitment to ensure that this country had the best crew and the best boat.

“The Prime Minister and her entourage simply used it for photo opportunities and a backdrop for their talkfest about knowledge waves.

“They actually did very little else,” he said.

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