Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Must Engage On Auckland Cup Defence
The leadership of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron needs to engage positively on the Auckland America’s Cup Defence and stop parroting that they “do not have a viable New Zealand venue proposition”, says Mark Dunphy of Kiwi Home Defence.
Mr Dunphy is referring to the Squadron Commodore’s comments in response to members’ requests for a Special General Meeting to require that the America’s Cup be defended in the waters adjacent to the city of Auckland.
“The simple fact is that there is a viable funded option to hold the America’s Cup defence in Auckland, but the Squadron’s agent, Team New Zealand, point blank refuses to consider taking up that option and holding the Cup defence here. Team New Zealand has refused all attempts by Kiwi Home Defence to engage since our first funding proposal was sent to the team and the Squadron well over two months ago.”
“We believe they haven’t had any discussions with Auckland Council, the New Zealand Government, or other New Zealand funders since missing their first venue announcement date on 17 September, or since missing their second venue announcement on 17 November.”
“The only apparent venue activity is the team shopping ‘around the clock’ for international locations. It is clear from the team’s own actions and omissions that it is not having any of these discussions in New Zealand and that it currently has no intention to defend the Cup in New Zealand.”
“The Commodore says there is no viable New Zealand defence proposition. With the greatest of respect, given his agent’s refusal to engage with New Zealanders, how would he know?”
“Our research tells us that the firm funding of $40 million we have offered to support an Auckland defence, along with the generous support proffered by the Auckland Council and the Government, plus the team’s own funding including sponsorship, entry fee, television and other income, will be more than sufficient to hold a successful defence here.”
“If Team New Zealand will not do so, the Commodore and Squadron must step in and positively engage with all funders and supporters and confirm the viability of hosting and successfully defending the 37th America’s Cup in New Zealand. We will write to the Squadron again offering those discussions. The Commodore must explain why the Team is around the clock offshore at the cost of Squadron members and all New Zealanders missing out.”
“Failing a genuine attempt to hold the Cup Defence here, the discontent of Squadron members, yachting enthusiasts, and Team New Zealand supporters, will only grow.”