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The America’s Cup- Adding up the scorecard for New Zealand Inc

by Grant Dalton on 16 Apr 2013
Emirates Team New Zealand, NZL5 takes to the air again on its second day sailing in Auckland. Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz

Emirates Team New Zealand leaves soon for San Francisco to begin the battle for the 34th America’s Cup.

The team has attracted major sponsorship from offshore; top international brands that are happy to invest large sums of money and partner with a New Zealand sports team. We are proud of that.

Here Grant Dalton reflects on the 2013 challenge, the team’s achievements in getting where it is today and its place in the New Zealand marine industry.

• New Zealand’s America’s Cup challenges are not about sport alone. Our focus is to win the America’s Cup and bring it back to New Zealand but we are also an integral part of the New Zealand marine industry.

• The team is part of a 'strategic alliance' – the marine industry, the team, the government – which has as its objective the growth of the NZ marine industry as a source of jobs, technology and exports.

• We support specialist trades - boatbuilders, sailmakers, spar makers, riggers, electronics, hydraulics, marine engineers, and more - on which New Zealand’s international reputation as a centre of marine excellence was built.

• Team employees have paid directly $22.4 million in PAYE tax over the two years on the MedCup circuit, five Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas, The Volvo Ocean Race and the America’s Cup. This figure does not include tax paid by companies and their employees contracted to Emirates Team New Zealand to supply services and build the yachts.

• Luna Rossa was based in New Zealand only because of a technical agreement with Emirates Team New Zealand. Luna Rossa built an AC72 here, (except for the hulls which had to be built in Italy) contracting many of the same companies that were contracted by Emirates Team New Zealand.

• Emirates Team New Zealand required more than 130,000 hours of outsourced labour to build the two AC72 yachts in addition to more than 120,000 hours of labour from internal resources.

• ETNZ also contracted 13 machine and fabrication shops in New Zealand to manufacture thousands of custom parts for the AC72s.

• ETNZ has also engaged a much wider supplier network in NZ to provide many other products and services to support the AC72 build and assembly process.

• The NZ marine industry has felt the effects of the international recession and the high value of the new Zealand dollar. Reflecting this, marine exports were valued at $644 million in 2011 down from $850 million in 2008. By 2021 exports are forecast to reach $1540 million.

• Work associated with the America’s Cup (from Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa and the defender Oracle) have been a factor in many companies’ ability to retain staff in a recession.

• The team is at the leading edge of yacht design and technology, accumulating a wealth of intellectual capital dating back to Fremantle in 1987.

• The team employs designers and engineers of international repute: a priceless asset for New Zealand in a world where knowledge is paramount.

• The team has invested more than 140,000 hours in designing the two AC72 yachts we have built, and that design process is continuing.

• A mini-super computer is needed to cope with the volume of calculations required to evaluate and select the fastest design features for various aspects of the boat.

• The team takes its role as a standard bearer for the New Zealand marine industry very seriously. Every time we race, the industry’s work is under intense scrutiny from public and the media. The Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup regattas represent the top of the sport. It is no place for second best.

• By performing well in high-profile regattas, the team provides invaluable publicity for the New Zealand marine industry. It also projects a positive image of New Zealand and New Zealanders.

• Our design contract with Luna Rossa and the substantial Luna Rossa work secured by New Zealand companies is a product of this international image. In addition, Oracle, the America’s Cup defender, built the AC45 catamarans in New Zealand and major parts of their AC72s.

• Emirates Team New Zealand is unique. It is the only commercially funded team to have survived from Valencia 2007. By commercially funded we mean a team that derives the bulk of its income from commercial sponsorship.

• The other teams competing at San Francisco this year derive the bulk of their income from billionaire backers with minor commercial sponsorship. In fact, none has significant commercial backing.

• Times have been tough since Valencia 2007. Sponsorship has been hard to come by. What sets ETNZ apart from the other teams seeking commercial funds is the Government investment which gives us, and potential sponsors, confidence.

• Our offshore sponsors pay in Euros – money coming into New Zealand that is spent mostly in New Zealand. This money employs people and retains priceless expertise and intellectual property in New Zealand.

• In addition to our cash sponsors, a network of more than 100 companies – some large some small - provide goods and services either at no cost or heavily discounted. Without them we could not compete effectively.

• We strive to represent New Zealand well in everything we do. We know that the majority of New Zealanders take pride in our successes and feel as badly as we do when we do not succeed.

• We hope we can bring back some of the magic of 1995, 2000 and 2007 in San Francisco starting July 7.



(Footnotes: The reference to the 640 farms is the statistic that NZ Marine industry produces the exports equivalent to 640 dairy farms.

The initiative referred to is the launch of the 'Friends of NZ Marine Industry' for the network and referral of business to New Zealand, which was launched at this function.)


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