12 Jun 2020

Border exemptions granted to America's Cup syndicates

6:18 pm on 12 June 2020

Border exemptions have been granted to two America's Cup syndicates, to ensure the event can go ahead in 2021.

The Team New Zealand base on Auckland's Viaduct Harbour.

The Team New Zealand base on Auckland's Viaduct Harbour. Photo: Emirates Team New Zealand

The government is allowing more people into New Zealand under very strict conditions in what they are describing as a very small step in loosening the border.

American Magic will bring 102 staff and 104 family members into the country and INEOS Team UK has 86 workers and 128 family members and one nanny.

The minister for economic development, Phil Twyford, said it would mean the America's Cup could go ahead next year.

"Without these people coming in now to set up their bases, continue with the design work and testing of boats on the water, the entire America's Cup competition would have been in jeopardy," he said.

Twyford said the cup was important to a lot of New Zealand, but the decision was based on the economic impact.

He said the syndicates were expected to invest more than a $100 million directly into the economy during their 10-month stay in New Zealand.

"That is very important for jobs and to boost the economy," he said.

He also noted the government and Auckland Council had made significant commitments and investments in building infrastructure for the event.

Twyford told Checkpoint while the government was "extremely motivated" to ensure the Cup went ahead, no one could assume it would, considering the pandemic.

"If we can't welcome international visitors to come and be spectators and enjoy the event then the economic gains would certainly be less than the original projections, which were about $1 billion."

But the event would be hosted in New Zealand whether or not international visitors could come to watch it.

The America's Cup syndicates would have to stay in hotels run by the government for the quarantine period.

The series of events will conclude with the final match for the America's Cup being held in Auckland in March 2021.

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