Here’s hoping the Team New Zealand mob have kept enough of the taxpayers’ money in a kitty for a small farewell party.
That thought struck the member for Eketahuna North while he mused on the team’s latest bleat about its money problems.
Without an immediate cash injection – according to Grant Dalton – the syndicate will be “gone by the end of the month”.
A fortnight hence Team NZ could be sunk.
Or so it seems, because the Herald reported:
With their bridging finance fast running out Grant Dalton yesterday reiterated the team’s dire financial position, warning without an immediate cash injection from the Government the syndicate would be “gone by the end of the month”.
“If we go, there ain’t no coming back. The start-up price of a team from scratch is so astronomical that it will never happen in this country.”
Alf happens to be sublimely indifferent to the fate of the boaties. If they can make it by themselves, good on them. If they can’t, too bad.
Here’s how the Herald reported things in another report:
Dalton says he has private money lined up to help tide them over in the meantime, but those donors aren’t willing to hand over a cheque until the Government is on board.
While privately Dalton says the Government have been receptive to continuing their investment in Team New Zealand, they’re nervous about the public backlash in election year. So it rests on Dalton’s shoulders to try to convince the New Zealand taxpayer it will be money well spent.
But with Oracle Team USA widely criticised for tabling a protocol stacked in their favour, the task of trying to convince New Zealanders entering the 35th America’s Cup is a worthwhile endeavour has become all the more difficult. The general reaction from Kiwi fans was ‘tell Oracle to go and get stuffed’. That approach won’t hurt Oracle, it will only hurt Team New Zealand, says Dalton.
As a somewhat indifferent supporter of the team, Alf is pleased to learn that
… Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has just ruled out any immediate cash injection for Team New Zealand.
Joyce is sounding reluctant to bail out the syndicate, although he isn’t as unequivocally disinclined to help as Eketahuna constituents would like.
In the first-cited Herald report we learn:
While sympathetic to the team’s plight, Joyce believes if sponsors aren’t yet willing to take the risk, then neither should the taxpayer.
He indicated the Government would consider giving a further $2 million.
“My view is if the sponsors are going to join in then at least put some money on the table now so we all know there are committed commercial sponsors for an America’s Cup challenge,” he said.
“Taxpayers have already put $5 million on the table, we’re prepared to give more but this cannot be a government-funded challenge. This must be a private sector-funded challenge.”
Frankly, your long-serving member reckons Steven had a bloody nerve coughing up $5 million for another tilt at the America’s Cup.
That money would have been better spent on many things including some that would directly help the good people of Eketahuna such as a new roof for Alf’s garage that would provide a bit of local employment for a day or two.
Some money for a Grumble family reunion would be welcome too.
This money apparently would be available if the Grumbles had a pint or two of indigenous blood pumping through their veins, because then they could dip into the whanau ora trough.
True, dear old Tariana Turia refutes the suggestion that it can be used for family reunions, but she did say:
“It is really important if families are the problem that they come together to look at the issues that have been confronting them and to resolv them.”
But let’s get back to Team NZ and news of the syndicate inviting the media to their base in Auckland to talk about their flagging finances.
They have made their pitch.
Now they should look elsewhere for the money they need in a hurry.