I was shocked as both a substantial Auckland ratepayer and central government taxpayer, to read that the Auckland City Council and the government have contributed over $250 million of our money to the staging of the Americas Cup.
The justification for this largesse is the assertion that the eyes of the world will be on us and the publicity will be good for tourism.
That is simply untrue. Only when Alan Bond snared the trophy, thus becoming the first non-American holder, was there meaningful world attention.
After that there was high interest in Australia for their losing defence and likewise subsequently here with Michael Fay’s near miss challenge, indeed so much so, on his return he received a ticker-tape Queens Street parade, something I don’t recall ever occurring before or since.
When a challenge was held a few years ago in San Diego, our own journalists reported the locals were totally oblivious to it going on in their city.
There’s now only one country in the world that think it’s an important sporting event and that’s New Zealand.
Elsewhere, it scarcely gets a mention. The serious British press will give the result at best two paragraphs, so too everywhere else where it might be mentioned, although most will totally ignore it.
Participants are purported here to be representing their nations. That’s a fiction, they mostly being wealthy individuals representing themselves.
It’s time the Auckland Council and central government woke to the fact that this extraordinarily boring event carries absolutely no global interest and desist wasting public money on a few individuals private indulgence.
I was in the US during the last America’s Cup. I mentioned it to a few Americans, none of them had any idea of what the America’s Cup was.
That’s because Americans are totally ignorant on matters beyond a two hour drive. And even more, ignorant of the world around them. Dont be surprised. Once the Cup gets going the mood always changes.
I meant “Hear, hear”. 🥴
I went for a brisk early morning walk in Kiel, Schleswig Holstein several years ago. It was about 6.30 a.m. and outside a bar a drunken Kraut was so pleased to see a New Zealander he bought me a beer.
“New Zealand” lead the America’s Cup 7 – nil!!!
Is this the same government who has simultaneously banned international tourism indefinitely? Still what they were three years ago – a bunch of amateurs who can’t see anything other than the first line effects of anything they do.
The only time I would consider watching a yacht race of any kind, is if my friends and I were given bazookas and allowed to take pot shots from the shore. (hmmm now THAT would bring in tourists-anyone up for it?)
On a serious note-it is particularly loathsome for governments to tax the poorest struggling individuals or families to fund a ego driven yacht race being held on the other side of the world. The AC doesnt generate money-if it did the private sector would be funding it directly.
Not sure what country you live in but in NZ we dont tax the poorest as they already get free weekly money, power/energy payments in winter, cards that get them to dr’s for $19 opposed to $69, accomo credits, free lunches for there every growing families. NZ govt actually tax those who work the hardest. It’s becoming evident with labour/green coalition that they want the hardest brightest workers to pay more and the slackers to not. To wrap it up see the Greens want to even tax your overall wealth at 1% per million per year, what a rort. I’d rather the Americas cup get my money than non workers (unless its due to sickness or a between jobs)
I have to endorse your commentors thoughts regarding the win in San Diego .Having also seen the final race and sharing the festivities on the saturday night the local newspaper when reporting it the next day said “a mile away from Point.lomma you wouldnt know there had been a series of races ” says it all !! Also how can the syndicate claim $1.5 mil in covid relief ..They dint lose revenue !!
Just another example of local and national government investing in things they know nothing about.
It is not their core business.
Perhaps stick to their knitting! 🤪
In respect of a sporting activity . Obviously Sir Bob doesn’t enjoy motor sports (which this racing now is on the water) .Many of us who like adrenaline sports do as witnessed at packed Herne Bay coffee shops during the last racing series.
In respect of offshore interest . I was in a bar in the middle of no where in Italy . They were watching reruns of the Prada vs Team NZ and shouting (in Italian) .
In respect of spending $250m. Yes that seems a lot however I suspect a lot of this is on capital improvements and the legacy value of these improvements have driven very good outcomes for residents of Auckland (e.g: The viaduct and North Wharf) . It is a fantastic area for recreation and entertainment. Unlike Wellington, Auckland has weather where we can enjoy our leisurely walks around these areas. Having said that the cost of doing works, similar to any public works beggars belief how much it costs and then blows out again.
I would rather council spends money on our environment as opposed to marketing etal as that is what differentiates our community and why we choose to live here (then saying higher paying Sydney etc) . We need the better housing and public areas.
I suppose thatyour noisy friends were shouting “disattiva quella cosa infernale”. What sort of motors do those funny boats, for we have paid a quarter of a billion dollars, have?
How does Grant Dalton live like a “Rock Star”.
Now we know, with our City Councils 250 MIL. Not to mention the governments contribution over the last 13 years. How much has that been?
Over 250 million plus at least. Time for a full independent audit and the outcome made available to the public.
The America’s cup is a rich man’s sport.
I have no problem with the likes of Bill Gates and Co. spending their own money on indulgences such as yachting. And yes, when Fay Richwhite did the ‘ 87 challenge that was great.
But since then it has been a debacle with the NZ government making a few select sailors multi millionaires.
Time to stop.
Well written Bob. I’ve been going on about this for years now. Having lived in the USA for 4 years in the early 1990’s and having travelled to almost every state, I can confirm that people over there have hardly ever heard of the Americas Cup. In fact I was there for Michael Fay’s ill fated challenge in 1992. It barely got a mention, in fact everyone I knew was oblivious to the races going on. A mate who arrived over for a few weeks from New Zealand bitterly disagreed with me at the beginning of our tour throughout the Country.
We decided to settle the argument and conducted a survey asking everyone we came across whether they had had ever heard of the Americas Cup. We would have asked 100s of people over a 2 month period. Only one person we came across had heard of it, he lived on Lake Michigan.
America’s Cup is a huge waste of money, but relative to the enormous sums that are about to be wasted in the next few years, it will pale into insignificance. Today, I write my final sermon about this nasty flu.
There was an amusing item on the news during the 1990s, which for some reason I remembered today.
At the 1996 BRIT Awards, Michael Jackson was singing his Earth Song. Jackson concerts were massive choreographed affairs. Jackson was typically surrounded by actors dressed in ancient style clothing, kneeling at his feet, worshipping him. Wearing all white and bathed in light, Mr Jackson transformed the lives of those onstage, and heals the world.
Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of the band Pulp, was in the audience. He is most famous for the song “Common people” – a nice ditty that could be an ode to our “progressive” friends. Check it out.
Anyway, Cocker leapt up on stage, and did an idiotic impromptu dance, including a clothed moon to the audience.
Jackson said he was “sickened, saddened, shocked, upset, and angry” by the invasion.
Cocker, for his part, was immediately taken to a police station and kept there until 3am on charges that he was going to “assault some kids,” but of course this was absurd, and no charges ensued.
Afterwards, Cocker explained himself.
Basically, he was protesting that Mr Jackson was holding himself out as the Messiah. It was a valid and effective protest, in my view.
Anyway, about this nasty flu. This will be my final post about it. No one wants to discuss it anymore. I’ve depressed myself on the topic. However, the economic fallout from corona is the biggest event in a generation, so it deserves further analysis, as tedious as it is.
It is interesting study of mass psychology. As a maverick, I often find the way most people think to be strange. In ancient times, no doubt I would have been cast out of the group, and left to starve alone. Ha.
Anyway, at the beginning of the crisis, the Swedes stood alone. They correctly concluded that this nasty flu would become endemic (it has). While the world was lost in mass hysteria, the Swedes were cold, calculated, rational and dispassionate, as Nordic people typically are. Gradually, every country in the world will open their borders, and learn to live with the virus. Everyone will eventually take the Swedish road.
Only NZ and Oz now stand alone, fighting the inevitable spread of this nasty flu. The question is why do we choose this path?
One reason for this is that there is always hope. An elixir of life, a magic potion, could miraculously save us all. However, most scientists say a vaccine won’t stop all deaths from this nasty flu. The people who have died here of corona so far are typically over 90 years old, with terrible pre-conditions – and will still probably die of corona, even with a vaccine. Most people realise this, although its almost unspeakable to say it. When you bring it up, they whisper that you are right, but Fortress NZ should continue, in any case.
This brings to me the second possible reason why we continue down this policy dead end – the huge economic damage is penance for our soon to be committed communal sin. In this unconscious world view, we must suffer terrible economic hardship before we open our borders. We must sacrifice our economy, because the inevitable deaths of people demand this sacrifice. The Swedes didn’t take this approach, but their pagan and Protestant roots are different.
I have a third possible reason for the policy continuing. We need someone to blame for changing it. Everyone knows what needs to be done, but no-one wants to be responsible for doing it. Some think that after the election, Ms Ardern will open the borders.
This would be rather ironical. The woman who some seem to believe is a latter-day Messiah, would get the chance to play her role in history. She would be sacrificed to the mob, in the most almighty backlash in history, even though everybody secretly knows opening the borders must happen. If Ms Ardern is the great leader her supporters claim her to be, this is what she will do.
However, my prediction is that Ms Ardern won’t do the right thing. I think that she is a weak person, so she will maintain Fortress NZ policies permanently. The autistic savants in the Health Ministry will continue chanting their fixed and murderous ideological view, supporting her in this folly.
Instead, Ms Ardern will introduce Think Big Mark 2, to try to replace the tourism industry’s obliteration overnight with something else. It will be a disaster. The America’s Cup wasted funds will simply be a rounding error in comparison.
I have nothing further to say about this nasty flu – I will now go full on Disney, and Let It Go.
“One reason for this is that there is always hope. An elixir of life, a magic potion, could miraculously save us all.”
Putting things together, we see that long before the Wuhan strain was released, the Euro-American strain of Covid-19 had already spread worldwide. The Wuhan strain (just like SARS before it) is dangerous, especially to the elderly, but not particularly contagious, whereas, the Euro-American strain is quite contagious, but not particularly dangerous. If classified, the Euro-American strain would be classed as another strain of the common cold. Because it wasn’t dangerous the Euro-American strain spread worldwide without being noticed.
There is the intriguing possibility that exposure to the Euro-American strain of Covid-19 may endow resistance to the more dangerous Wuhan strain. That this may indeed be the case is suggested by the large number of people that appear to be naturally resistant to the virus. These people being resistant due to their previous exposure to the Euro-American strain.
Of course, establishing the truth of this is very important.
If true, then the Euro-American strain of Covid-19 could be natural vaccine against the Wuhan strain, just like cowpox was natural vaccine against smallpox.
Also, if the dangerous strain is not particularly contagious, then it is much, much easier to control.
San Diego no, it was San Francisco.
Which proves the point of course, even the finest of minds cannot even recall let alone care where the thing is held.
I was there as I was in Bermuda. Only a handful of locals cared it was on in both places. In Bermuda the entry fee was US50. This proved a useful screening process to keep out the munters. The problem with the NZ event is that it is free so expect plenty of wide eyed idiots from rural NZ hicking themselves around the Viaduct.
Well said bob
I went to a ticker tape parade in Auckland when Peter Blake won the ‘cup’
Pam , I like your style.
Best and most coherent comment on this page.!
Seems like every time the cup is contested punch drunk pops his head back up to try to diminish one of sports greatest challenges. NZ’s achievements over the past 20 years in this event has been a source of true pride for such a small nation. Get a life! We are about to witness an event that will engage the nation , in a time when the world is a truly scary scary place. Let’s get behind this incredible effort and applaud another round of public infrastructure spending that will greatly enhance Aucklaand’s water front. I for one consider our tax payer money well spent. Enjoy!
By far, tourism NZ would benefit far more by simply sponsoring a big US sporting event. If tourism is what NZ wants in the Covid environment?
I like your idea Sane.
Maybe a bare-knuckle , no-holds barred , winner takes all , cage fight between Trump and Biden !
With all his contacts , Bob could promote it !