Let’s see if we’ve heard this right.
The Marine Industry Association is calling on the Government for support in the wake of Team New Zealand’s failure to win the America’s Cup.
Presumably they are banging on about financial support.
They want taxpayers to help them make more money.
Radio NZ told us of this brazen bid to dip into the corporate welfare trough earlier today.
The item also tells us the association took a punt – and lost.
The association aims to double the sector’s exports to more than $1.3 billion in the next seven years, largely based on the America’s Cup being hosted in New Zealand.
Executive director Peter Busfield says Oracle’s win on Thursday means that export target will now be tough to achieve.
So what’s that got to do with taxpayers?
The boatbuilders’ bet on the cup coming to NZ, then worked out a plan to double their money.
They backed the wrong boat. The defenders (who also benefited from Kiwi boat-building expertise) ensured the cup will remain in the US.
The Radio NZ item noted that the NZ industry was involved in designing and building the boats used in San Francisco, including Oracle’s.
But this Busfield bloke says the sector has also been hit hard by the high dollar and the global downturn and may need help from the Government.
Lots of other sectors have appealed for help too.
Your Government (and Alf is proud to be part of the team) typically tells them to go and get lost, or words to that effect, when they bleat for help, although it sometimes makes exceptions – the Tiwai smelter is an example.
But as the Radio NZ report today pointed out, the Government has already ruled out any further assistance to the industry, although it will consider funding another America’s Cup challenge, if one eventuates.
Frankly, Alf reckons we should not bother. Now we’ve got our lives back at 8am each morning, let’s keep it that way.
On the plus side, the America’s Cup did ensure we were rid of Trevor Mallard for a while.