New Zealand Government Indicates Interest In Backing Team NZ In Another America's Cup
New Zealand's government signaled on Thursday that it is "prepared to back another challenge for the Auld Mug," according to Cecile Meier of FAIRFAX NZ NEWS. NZ Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce praised "the efforts of Team New Zealand at a software summit in Canterbury" on Thursday. Joyce said that New Zealand's involvement in the America's Cup "had lifted the country's profile hugely." Joyce: "We're pretty keen to back the yachties if they're keen to have another go." 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" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 10/3).
TEAM NZ SEEKING ASSURANCE: FAIRFAX NZ NEWS' Duncan Johnstone reported Team New Zealand said that it needs "some assurance on their future within a fortnight to avoid being stripped of their intellectual property and sailing crew." Team NZ skipper Dean Barker, Managing Dir Grant Dalton and COO Kevin Shoebridge "will now sit down and map out what would be required to keep Team New Zealand on life support." Long-term sponsorships will "need to be found but the immediate target is to keep key people on the books and avoid them being poached by rivals." Most of the Team New Zealand contracts are "about to expire, making members vulnerable to offshore raids." Dalton said, "I now have to deal with the vultures coming after my guys. This is a brutal game. It's like trying to take organs from a person when they aren't actually quite dead" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 10/3).