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Team New Zealand funding

8 May 2003 Media Statement

Team New Zealand funding

America’s Cup Minister Trevor Mallard confirmed today there would be a reference to a possible trade and tourism investment by the government in Team New Zealand in next week’s budget.

“A final decision by Cabinet on any government contribution to Team New Zealand, to generate trade and tourism benefits for New Zealand off an America’s Cup challenge, would not be made unless certain conditions are met,” Trevor Mallard said.

“I have today received permission from Finance Minister Michael Cullen to release budget details relating to the possible investment.

“Next week’s budget will indicate the government is prepared to make a final investment of up to a maximum of $33.75 million, as marketing partner for the challenge.

“This is about creating jobs for New Zealanders. It’s about building on the trade and tourism opportunities created for this country from the America’s Cup and Team New Zealand over the last eight years.

“The three conditions for the investment are that Team New Zealand must, obviously, first decide it will mount a challenge in Europe.

“The final level of the government’s contribution will also depend on an assessment of the potential economic benefits that can be leveraged off the next Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup regattas in Europe.

“This will be based on the rights and privileges associated with a marketing investment in Team New Zealand.

“And finally, any further investment would also depend on Team New Zealand’s ability to raise substantial funding from the private sector.

“In this respect, the government would not be the first on board.

“The basis of any further investment would be a government contribution of $1 for every $2 raised by Team New Zealand from sponsors up to the maximum level of close to $34 million.”

“Cabinet has already appropriated $5.6 million to ensure Team New Zealand can retain key members. Conditions were attached to this investment in terms of marketing opportunities which I cannot reveal because of commercial sensitivity while Team New Zealand continues its negotiations with private sponsors.

“The 1999/2000 challenge is estimated to have brought an additional $640 million to New Zealand in jobs and economic growth, so taxpayers’ previous investments in Team New Zealand have certainly been worthwhile. We will receive an economic impact study on the economic spin-offs from the 2002/03 defence later this year, but it is expected that the extra jobs and economic returns will be even higher than those generated by the earlier regattas.

“If and when the Government receives a final proposal from Team New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand and Trade New Zealand will then undertake an analysis of the potential trade and tourism benefits for New Zealand. The Government will then make its final decision on any contribution to Team New Zealand,” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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