Yachting New Zealand is concerned that the public may incorrectly consider the proposed Government spending on the Americas Cup as an investment in yachting and New Zealand sport in general.
To confuse the money spent in sport with the Governments' investment in what is primarily a commercial decision in relation to trade and tourism benefits Team New Zealand may offer would be a mistake.
Amateur sport in New Zealand from grass roots through to high performance at Olympic level receives considerably less Government support than many of our international counterparts and as the Graham taskforce 'Review of Sport' indicated is presently under-resourced. "Figures from Sydney 2000 show that the United Kingdom through primarily Government sources invested greater than 15 times more funding than New Zealand and yet we are expected to produce similar results"
comments Board Chairman, Arthur Stewart.
"Our current position is that many sports offer a return on trade and tourism in addition to the significant benefits participation in sport brings to New Zealand society. We believe New Zealand would benefit greatly if Government increased the spend in sport to reflect the level of Government support some of our international counterparts benefit from, and in doing so, acknowledge the contribution sport makes to New Zealand's economy, image and communities."
In the last financial year Yachting New Zealand received $143,000 to support the sport in New Zealand and $608,000 to support amateur high performance yachting. In the 5 years leading to Sydney 2000 the UK spent 55 million pounds on developing amateur yachting.
"We support the Minister for the Americas' Cup and Governments' principle to invest on a commercial basis in New Zealand based challenges for the Americas Cup. The Cup has far greater potential to bring trade and tourism return than any other international event New Zealand sport participates in"
says Stewart. "The Cup is a unique winner takes all trophy, including the hosting rights and with that remarkable return for tourism and trade to the winning country".
New Zealand was estimated to receive some $640 million in economic benefit from the 2000 event and figures not yet available for the 2003 event are expected to be greater.
Yachting New Zealand - Official Media Release
Date: Thursday 8th May 2003
Board Chairman, Arthur Stewart is available for further comment (0274) 995 429.
For further information contact:
Communications & Projects Coordinator
Yachting New Zealand
Phone: (09) 488 9324 ext 808