NZ government will honour Emirates Team deal

Gritting its teeth and clearly unhappy, the New Zealand government has confirmed it will honour a pledge by the previous administration to support Emirates Team New Zealand’s challenge for the 2013 America’s Cup.

The taxpayers will stump up NZ$36m (about £17.5m) at a time when they are facing both public debt and coping with the consequences of the earthquakes, still continuing, which caused death and destruction in Christchurch. The country is also more focussed on this year’s Rugby World Cup.

John Key’s government had taken legal advice to see whether it could break the contract, which was drawn up after the team reached the finals of the 2007 Cup in Valencia and comes out of not the sports budget but the ministry of economic development.

The country hopes that winning back the cup it first won in San Diego in 1995 and successfully defended in Auckland in 2000 would provide another significant boost to both the regional and national economy. ETNZ, not short of good legal advice, had drawn up a watertight agreement but had delayed the announcement sufficiently to separate it from the Christchurch disaster.

Talks at ministerial level in France have so far failed to elicit government support for either of the two challenger groups announced in that country and it would have been inconceivable that the British government would have given money to the British challenge abandoned by Sir Keith Mills last autumn. The Team Origin bid was very sceptical it could even attract funding from the National Lottery, which supports sailing in the form of the Olympic squad.

The 14 challengers, some yet to be named, have until the end of the month to stump up the first payments of their performance bonds and confirm, with a deposit, orders for the AC45 catamarans which will be used for the first set of regattas.

For the Volvo round the world race, Rob Greenhalgh will join skipper Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi team, having been on ABN Amro and Puma in the two previous races. And top French sailor Thomas Coville will exchange his Sodebo shirt for a set of Groupama oilskins for the Volvo.

In Charleston, Chris Stanmore-Major coped with storm conditions 15 miles – he had to turn the boat round and run in front of the weather at one stage - from the finish of the Velux 5 Oceans leg from Punta de Este, Uruguay, taking third place.

And in Barcelona Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss, sailed by Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak after Thomson was first hit by appendicitis and then stayed with his partner when their first child was born with a heart problem, finished the Barcelona two-handed round the world race in seventh place.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
tv

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
football

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe gives a strong performance in Horns
film

Review: Alexandre Aja's film is a Twin Peaks-style mystery

News
Apple CEO Timothy Cook
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
film
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes