Regional New Zealand could see more of the America's Cup should Team New Zealand win the Auld Mug and defend it here.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce told TVNZ's Q and A program this morning that while it was early and the trophy was still up for grabs, with Emirates Team new Zealand marooned on match point with eight wins to Oracle's three, it was likely those behind the team would try and spread the regatta around the country if they won.
''Talking to the America's Cup team, the Team New Zealand guys, they're very aware of involving the whole country, as I think they were last time, and you will recall the late Sir Peter Blake was very focused on that, and they're very much focused on Sir Peter's legacy as well. So I don't think you'll have any issues in that regard. They'd be seeking to involve the whole country if it comes to the point where the Cup is won and we're holding a defence.''
Joyce said it was too early to say how much the Government would contribute to an America's Cup defence as they would need to look at things such as infrastructure costs and Auckland's contribution.
He has previously said they were already looking into the logistics of a defence.
Costs would be different to just supporting the team through a one-off financial contribution such as the $36million given to the team this time around, he said.
''We'll just have to have those conversations once this regatta is over, and, as we know, it's taking a little time to come to its conclusion.''
Prime Minister John Key has previously said it would be more expensive.
Joyce said all those involved would also like to see more teams represented if possible though that would not necessarily be up to the Government.
''But the reality of it is I think everybody would like to see more entries than has been possible in the current regatta, but that depends on a whole range of things, like the format, what sort of yachts they're going to race and all that sort of thing.''
New Labour leader David Cunliffe agreed with Joyce, saying it was too early to commit to Government funding for a defence but said there would likely be a ''net economic advantage'' in doing so.