• Jenny Shipley

Transport Minister Jenny Shipley says the Coalition Government has agreed to move to ensure adequate controls are in place to manage spectator craft at events such as the America's Cup.

Mrs Shipley today met Team New Zealand to discuss planning for the America's Cup regatta.

She says the Harbours Act, which dates from 1950, does not provide adequately for events of the scale of the America's Cup and because of the importance of the event Government had agreed to amend the Act to provide such powers as will ensure the America's Cup is a great sporting and spectator success.

"The Government has agreed that changes are needed, and I expect to introduce legislation to Parliament before the end of the year. Our goal will be to ensure public safety through effective 'crowd control' for this major event," Mrs Shipley said.

"While I am optimistic that most boaties have the sense to co-operate with the organisers of an event such as this, we are looking at providing the necessary framework for enforcing good behaviour, such as policing 'no go' zones for spectator craft so that the event can be a great success for all concerned. These extra enforcement powers would apply only for the duration of specific events designated by the Minister of Transport, such as the America's Cup.

"All interested groups will have the opportunity to comment on the proposals through the select committee process.

"The America's Cup has the potential to bring very big benefits to New Zealand, and we all have a vested interest in ensuring the regatta is a success. Government is looking forward to working with the organisation to make sure this is achieved," Mrs Shipley concluded.