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National, Labour open to Cup funding

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/06/2017
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While the champagne's still flowing and Team New Zealand is celebrating Prime Minister Bill English thinks it's too soon to talk about funding an America's Cup regatta in 2021.

He admits it could be a hard bargain and is happy to leave discussions until further down the track.

"In the past there's been some fairly large contributions from government and the public like to see that there's some real value for New Zealand," he said on Tuesday.

Mr English doesn't want to see the government take too big a role in New Zealand hosting the next cup, saying fundamentally it's the team that should drive what happens.

But he said he imagines the government would work closely with Auckland Council on the event if it does come to fruition.

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Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has already declared that the city has no money to pay for the America's Cup, saying transport and housing are priorities.

Labour leader Andrew Little was a little more open to the idea of the government chipping in, saying the America's Cup offered more benefits than racing.

"We could showcase not only the technology and the boat building prowess but actually just New Zealand itself and what we have to offer," he said, talking up the economic development and tourism opportunities.

"It's not just about the race itself but the spinoff benefits that we want - to show the rest of the world what we can do and and expose that to the rest of the world."

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