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New America's Cup Minister describes Dalton as a "man of integrity"

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 12 Nov 2020 14:53 PST 13 November 2020
Te Aihe, Emirates Team New Zealand - October 05, 2020 - Waitemata Harbour - America's Cup 36 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

The new Minister for Economic Development, and responsible for the America's Cup has defended the two key players in Emirates Team New Zealand and its event arm America's Cup Event Ltd - Grant Dalton and Sir Stephen Tindall.

In an interview Thursday morning (NZT) on the top rating breakfast show on NewstalkZB, the Hon Stuart Nash described ETNZ/ACE CEO Grant Dalton as a "man of integrity"

"The fact that Sir Stephen Tindall is involved gives me confidence that things are run well within the America's Cup and America's Cup Event Ltd," he added.

The new Minister in the Labour Government, which was recently re-elected in a landslide, says he did not believe claims in one of the three sets of papers released on Tuesday that the Ministry, for which he is now responsible had actively tried to have Dalton replaced as CEO of America's Cup Event Ltd.

In the interview the Minister was placed in the awkward position of having to defend the indefensible past history within his new portfolio and department, which ETNZ/ACE claim to have not acted in good faith in its relationship with the America's Cup champions, and rights holders for the event.

He also refused to discredit Dalton, ETNZ/ACE, but on the contrary was very definite in his support of both the CEO and ETNZ Chairman.

Nash's predecessor was ranked #4 in the then Coalition Government lineup, but was dumped to 23rd position and is outside the 20 member Cabinet. He is widely regarded as having under performed in several key areas. Nash's comments represent a 180 degree turn from those of his predecessor.

Nash repeated the comment, and supported by his Opposition co-interviewee Mark Mitchell, that those that accept public money are accountable for the spending of the funds and transparency of their business activities.

He said repeatedly that the disputes between ETNZ and ACE with MBIE will be the settled by Mediation using a process, jointly agreed by the parties, and that does not involve the Court system.

Those two matters of dispute involve the charge to ACE by ETNZ of $NZ3million ($US2.25m) to develop, and test by simulation, the complex class rule for the new AC75, and whether MBIE and Auckland Council have acted in good faith to ETNZ/ACE as required by the Host Venue Agreement to which all four parties are signatories.

The Mediation will take place next month in December 2020.

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