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PM Speech: Naming Emirates Team New Zealand Boat

Rt Hon Helen Clark, Prime Minister, Address at Emirates Team New Zealand Boat Naming Ceremony

at Auckland Viaduct Harbour 6.05 pm Thursday 19 October 2006

It's great to be back at the Viaduct Basin with a buzz in the air again around our America's Cup Challenge.

Seeing "New Zealand" in the water here, one can't help thinking back to past America's Cup regattas where Kiwis have made their mark.

The gleaming black hull and speed of Black Magic eleven years ago captivated us all as Team New Zealand won the Aulde Mug for the first time.

Auckland rose to the occasion a few years later to host the America's Cup regatta, and Team New Zealand successfully defended the title to everyone's delight that first time.

Now the action has switched to Europe, and I'm sure many New Zealand fans will be travelling to Valencia next year to take in the action first-hand.

Our government is right behind Emirates Team New Zealand, and proud to be associated with the challenge for the Cup.

We have provided sponsorship to the team for many reasons – not least the benefits for New Zealand if we are able to host the America's Cup again.

As well we are well aware of the opportunities to get exposure for the whole New Zealand brand from Team NZ's presence in Valencia.

That's why New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Tourism New Zealand are strategic partners of Team New Zealand.

They will be using the regattas to raise our country's tourism and business profile in Europe and the Middle East.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Tourism New Zealand have helped transform part of the Emirates Team New Zealand base in Valencia into a showcase for New Zealand innovation and to highlight what an attractive destination our country is for tourists.

This hospitality centre has already hosted more than 1000 guests during pre-regatta racing in Spain earlier this year – an experience they thoroughly enjoyed.

The base will again host influential business contacts during next year's racing, providing a chance to impress them with our fine food and wine, and innovation and technology.

Kiwi innovation obviously includes the marine industry – our yachts, the way we fit them out, and the technology New Zealand companies have designed to give our teams the edge on the water.

As well New Zealand is becoming known for innovative approaches in everything from biotechnology and wine, to information technology and creative products and services – and much more.

Through New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, our star exporters in some of these sectors will have the chance to invite guests to take in the action at Valencia. That's a great way to make an impression on influential clients and investors.

So as we raise our sporting profile at Valencia, we'll also be leveraging off that to benefit all New Zealand.

To Grant Dalton and the whole Emirates Team New Zealand project, we wish you all the best for the challenge and thank you for being part of the promotion of NZ Inc.


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