As the New Zealand government ponders its commitment to the 35th America's Cup, the rules and details of which are neither agreed nor announced at this stage, two new reports show that the NZ investment in last year's edition of the high-profile global event has yielded economic rewards, both directly and still to flow.
The 34th America’s Cup Regatta in San Francisco delivered a range of direct and indirect benefits for the New Zealand economy, so state two independent reports released last week.
Athlete - Boat: Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Oracle Team USA, Event: 34th America’s Cup, Finals - Race 8, Location: San Francisco Bay, USA, About the shot: It was a close race, and on the windward leg ETNZ had a slight lead. As the two boats approached each other with Emirates on port and Oracle on starboard, Emirates tried to tack on top of Oracle, but their wing articulation hydraulics failed and they couldn’t trim properly. They started to capsize and it seemed to unfold in slow motion. Fo - Abner Kingman
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce released both an independent evaluation of the Government’s investment in Emirates Team New Zealand and an evaluation of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s (NZTE) leveraging programme in San Francisco.
'The economic benefit from our investment in Team New Zealand is considerable. From a NZ$36 million taxpayer investment, the evaluation shows an estimated positive impact of NZ$87 million to the New Zealand economy,' Mr Joyce says.
Team New Zealand obtained 66 percent (NZ$118.3 million) of their total revenue of NZ$179.8 million from international sources. Team New Zealand needed to source at least $2 for every $1 of Government support and exceeded that with $3.68 secured for every $1.
In total NZ$153 million or 85 percent of the total campaign budget was spent in New Zealand.
'One of the key benefits of the America’s cup challenge was the lift it provided to New Zealand’s profile, particularly in North America over the period of the regatta,' Mr Joyce says.
'With New Zealand continually in the international media over the 55 days of racing, figures show that the tourism, education and construction sectors, as well as the marine sector also felt the positive impact of government investment.
'The reports show that New Zealand agencies successfully leveraged participation in the races to improve international awareness of New Zealand as an innovative place to do business. The recreational marine industry also enhanced its ability to attract and retain highly skilled and professional workers, wanting to be involved New Zealand’s campaign.'
The 212 companies that participated in the NZTE’s America’s Cup business leveraging program also reported a range of benefits.
'New Zealand design, manufacturing, and technology were on display both on and off the water, and told a compelling story about who we are and what we can deliver. The audience reach of media coverage about New Zealand business was measured up to 86 million,' Mr Joyce says.
'Activity during the Cup has contributed to trade and investment deals so far worth $200 million for New Zealand and a further $120 million of new sales opportunities and investor interest.'
Following the regatta, the Government committed to an interim investment of NZ$5 million to retain key team members for the next challenge. A decision on any further government investment will be made following the delivery of a business case by Team New Zealand to the Government.
'One of the things I have made clear to team representatives is that the Government must have confidence that a strengthened governance structure has been put in place before it will consider a further investment of taxpayers’ money in another challenge,' Mr Joyce says.
'I look forward to having the opportunity to evaluate progress in that regard.'
The government says a decision will be made following the receipt of a business case from Team New Zealand, along with the details of the 35th America’s Cup protocol. www.med.govt.nz/majorevents/news/americas-cup-evaluation-reports