20 Apr 2015

Government funding for Team NZ 'very unlikely'

3:49 pm on 20 April 2015

The Government is "very unlikely" to put more money into Team New Zealand after Auckland lost hosting rights to one of the cup qualifying rounds, Prime Minister John Key .

The decision was made by America's Cup competitors on Friday. They agreed on the details of the 2017 race programme and all racing would be held in Bermuda.

Emirates Team New Zealand battled it out against Oracle Team USA but lost the series.

Emirates Team New Zealand battled it out against Oracle Team USA but lost the series. Photo: AFP

Grant Dalton has said without the funding, he cannot guarantee Team New Zealand will compete.

Mr Key told Morning Report the Government was probably "at the end of the road."

"We've put in $5 million, but to put in more money really required I think for us to see that there would be value for the New Zealand taxpayer.

"And with an event 100 percent in Bermuda, it's just very hard to see how we get much of an economic return from that."

Yachting commentator Peter Lester said it was not a surprise that Auckland won't be hosting any qualifying rounds of the America's Cup.

Although Team New Zealand was challenging the decision, the racing is likely to stay in Bermuda, he said.

Mr Lester said any arbitration panel would be heavily weighted towards the Cup's defender, Oracle, and he doubted Team New Zealand will succeed.

"Although I think Team New Zealand has a case, whether they can win that case in the America's Cup arbitration panel, I have my doubts."

Richard Gladwell, New Zealand editor at Sail-World.com, told Morning Report Team New Zealand has private financial backers and would look at what other money it can get.

It was in a situation where the other teams were against it and would be keen to see it out of the Cup, he said, but aficionados saw it as bearing the hopes of getting the Cup back on the track it should be.

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron said there was a risk the America's Cup would not ever return here if Team New Zealand cannot mount a challenge in the next series.

Commodore of the yacht squadron, which is the official challenger club, Andy Anderson said New Zealand's participation could simply peter out.

"We saw it in Australia where a number of individuals got in behind it and mounted a good challenge for a number of years and then we haven't seen Australian participation since then."

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