Government 'keen to back' new TNZ challenge

CECILE MEIER
Last updated 17:45 03/10/2013
Team New Zealand
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HARD LUCK: Members of the Team New Zealand crew wave to the crowd after losing the America's Cup to Oracle.

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The Government signalled today that it is prepared to back another challenge for the Auld Mug.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce praised the efforts of Team New Zealand at a software summit in Canterbury today.

New Zealand's involvement in the America's Cup had lifted the country's profile hugely, he said.

"We're pretty keen to back the yachties if they're keen to have another go."

The technological edge had driven the outcome, Joyce said.

"[The team] had undoubtedly a technological edge in the first week and a half, and the other guys caught up and achieved the technological edge in the last week and a bit, and literally that was the game, set and match."

This kind of event was an opportunity to associate New Zealand's brand with hi-tech, design, cleverness, and the ability to work as a team.

"The team did a fantastic job," he said.

International venture capitalists were particularly interested in investing in New Zealand companies as a result of the skills displayed during the challenge.

"It's a great time to be in business in New Zealand."

Joyce joked about Kim Dotcom's offer to sponsor Team New Zealand.

The internet mogul announced last week on Twitter that he would become a Team New Zealand sponsor and bring back the Auld Mug.

Joyce said he welcomed Dotcom's offer to fund the next challenge.

"If he could just pop up to San Francisco and perhaps lay the challenge on the table, that would save us all a lot of hassle - in so many different ways."

The United States is trying to extradite Dotcom to try him on breach of copyright charges. He denies any wrongdoing.

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- Fairfax Media

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