Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Tourism and SportsTourism
The Minister of Tourism and Sport has warned today that if Auckland interests do not put aside "petty tribalism" the potential benefits of the America's Cup will not be realised.
Addressing the Wellington Skal Club - a group of tourism industry leaders - Mr McCully said he planned to have a further meeting tomorrow with those involved in the America's Cup in Auckland to discuss his concerns over the hosting of the event.
"Over the past few months I have been working with those groups in the Auckland Region, and have been encouraged with the leadership which has been shown by many of the Mayors and other civic leaders. But with the closing of America's Cup entries next week we will start getting down to the business end of the process and that is going to require the level of leadership and teamwork to be lifted to a new tier," he said.
Mr McCully said the next few weeks will see a test of leadership in the Auckland region.
``This event will showcase New Zealand on the international stage and provide great returns for our country in terms of worldwide profile. We must work together to ensure that profile is a positive one,'' he said.
``There is no way around the fact that both the hosting of the event and the development of the marketing opportunities will require a combined effort. As with anything else in life, the quality of the rewards we reap will be a direct reflection of the quality of the investment we make,'' he said.
``This will call for a level of cooperation and teamwork which exceeds that normally evident between Auckland region's territorial and other authorities.''
``The rewards are worth it. This is potentially a billion dollar event for New Zealand. I will be stepping up my efforts on behalf of Central Government and I will be urging the leaders of the various interests in Auckland to do the same without delay.''