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'Please Explain' Over Cup Funding

'Please Explain' Over Cup Funding

The Government and its agencies have some serious explaining to do as the scale of potential Government backing for an America's Cup challenge becomes apparent, according to National MP Murray McCully.

Mr McCully has released answers to written Parliamentary questions which show that Industry New Zealand invested nothing in the last America's Cup defence, and that Trade New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand between them invested $5 million through their Brand New Zealand joint venture.

"If the combined worth of the event to these agencies when the event was hosted on our own doorstep was only $5 million, how is it that the value of the event can be six times that figure when it is being held on the other side of the world?

"The best venue for the promotion of investment, trade and tourism in New Zealand is right here.

"Mr Mallard's actions suggest that the three Government agencies involved under-invested in the event when it was hosted in New Zealand. If that is the case then he should come out and say so," says Mr McCully.

"He should also curtail his policy of secrecy.

"New Zealanders are entitled to know what level of Government support is being made on their behalf. The current policy of secrecy will only backfire and undermine public support for a future challenge.

"In return, the debate around the level of funding which is appropriate needs to be balanced and intelligent.

Mr Mallard is right to say that the benchmark is not the level of funding for other sports. Decisions need to be based on a dispassionate assessment of the potential trade, tourism and investment benefits to New Zealand.

"Given the level of support from the Government's tourism, trade and industry agencies last time, that will take some explaining," says Mr McCully.

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