The Grand Regatta likely to accrue $1 billion
The Government has agreed to further funding for America’s Cup infrastructure as certainty about the number of challengers moves a step closer.
Economic Development Minister David Parker said that the State Cabinet has approved additional funds of $22.5 million, following higher than forecast costs for wave breaks and dredging work.
This follows the announcement on Friday (November 30, 2018) by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) that an additional eight notices of challenge had been received by the deadline.
An acceptance process will determine how many challengers will compete in the Prada Cup alongside Luna Rossa, American Magic and INEOS Team UK.
The extra funding is subject to Auckland Council on Thursday (December 6, 2018) also agreeing to increase its contribution. It would take the Government’s contribution to the Auckland waterfront development to $136.5 million.
“This investment will ensure we deliver a great regatta in 2021, and negotiating to remove the tank farm off Wynyard Point will help revitalise the waterfront,” Mr Parker said.
The 2021 event has been estimated to bring in an estimated $550 million to $1 billion to the economy, return significant tax income to the Government and provide wonderful opportunities to showcase our country, people and innovation.
Carbon Fibre Technology
Many of the people who developed ETNZ’s carbon fibre technology have gone on to develop carbon composites for Rocket Lab rockets and new technology from the R and D programme has flowed through to the general marine industry.
“The development will provide a legacy for Auckland and for New Zealand for years to come. The Government’s investment represents a significant contribution to the major, multi-billion dollar rejuvenation of the Auckland waterfront that will be enjoyed by the city and visitors for generations – and by future America’s Cup defences,” Mr Parker said.
He said that a detailed design and costing process for the Wynyard-Hobson infrastructure had been completed by Wynyard Alliance contractors as is standard for construction projects in order to finalise cost estimates against budgets.
It is possible that if the final number of challengers is five or less, then savings can be made by opting to base them all on Wynyard Wharf and dispensing with plans to extend Hobson Wharf.
No final date has been set for the number of challengers to be determined. But ETNZ CEO Grant Dalton has said the organisers want to act quickly to tell the Auckland Council and Government the total number of teams.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff issued the following Statement:
On Thursday, November 6, 2018, Auckland Council will consider providing a further $14.5 million to complete the infrastructure needed for the holding of the America’s Cup defence in 2021.
The Government has today approved its share of the extra funding required and the additional investment comes as a result of more accurate and detailed construction costs following final design work and the granting of resource consents.
The final costing includes a contingency of nearly $10 million against the risk of any unanticipated costs.
Economic Development Minister David Parker and I are satisfied that costs have been pared back as much as possible while still ensuring the successful hosting of the America’s Cup. The eight new notices of challenges on top of the three confirmed original challenges points to a likely full occupation of the team bases. Any competitors beyond the first six challenges accepted, as signalled from the start, will have to make their own base arrangements.
While requiring a significant investment by central and local government, the Cup will create thousands of jobs and enable Auckland and New Zealand to showcase our environment, sporting skills and cutting-edge technology to the world.
Image Source: Auckland Council