John Key says America's Cup interest waning

Last updated 11:50 16/06/2014
Grant Dalton
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
ON A CASH HUNT: Team New Zealand's Grant Dalton needs to find more money to bankroll the syndicate.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

First Tour de France stage win for Lithuanian Flashback: Weight of a nation on his shoulders Vincenzo Nibali on track for Tour de France title Kiwi surfer Thompson deals out wave justice New Zealand sailors slam Rio water pollution Kiwi's team set California-Hawaii row record Rafal Majka wins brutal Tour de France stage Former Southlander has 2020 Games vision Taylor-Paige Stewart blow for NZ White Sox Mike Tyson to oversee Holyfield Hall induction

Prime Minister John Key believes public interest in the America's Cup is dropping and says Team New Zealand must find private sector sponsors and donors to fund another campaign.

''My sense actually is the public is waning on the idea a bit,'' Key told Newstalk ZB today.

''I think there's a few people saying 'we don't like the fact that this is a sport where the winner sets the rules'.''

Key reaffirmed that the government would not fund the next Cup tilt, saying it ''can't be a government-led thing''.

Key's comments came after TNZ boss Grant Dalton last Friday confirmed the team's resources would expire at the end of this month.

The government was prepared to allocate TNZ a further $2 million but wanted to see private sponsorship help tide the America's Cup syndicate over as they sort out a potential challenge for 2017.

Economic development minister Steven Joyce said he was ''well aware'' of TNZ's precarious position but wanted evidence of private funding before making any commitment.

They had gained ''significant'' sponsorships in the past week, Dalton said, which he believed met government criteria for survival money to get them through to February.

TNZ's first cup deadline is a US$1 million entry fee on August 8.

Dalton said ''there is no point paying your entry fee if you can't make it [long-term]''.

TNZ were ''constantly talking'' with the government.

The next round of talks will be crucial to a situation that is delicately balanced in an election year.

After being told by Joyce last week to ''go away and line up your money'', Dalton believed they had now met that criteria for public funding.

A sponsorship drive over the past week meant they fulfilled ''what we can put in the tin''.

Dalton claimed that long term TNZ are ''in better shape than ever with sponsorships''.

But he stressed that the major deals wouldn't materialise till February because they were based on European companies working to their financial year deadlines who wouldn't commit now, especially without the finer details of the cup venue.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Of these accolades, which would you like to win most?

Football's golden ball

Commonwealth Games gold

US Open tennis title

World Cup of Darts

Tour de France yellow jersey

British Open golf title

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content