Next Step To Team NZ Retaining America's CupPrime Minister
"Team NZ will have the whole country behind them as they show the rest of the world how New Zealanders can succeed," Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today at the handover of Team NZ America's Cup Base at Freemans Bay, Auckland.
"Today's opening of the new base is a culmination of partnership and team work, enabling Team NZ to centre all of its sailing activities in one location. It marks another milestone on Team NZ's journey to successfully retain the America's Cup in 2000.
"Our 'can do' spirit as a nation is epitomised by Team NZ. They're showing the innovation, determination and excellence that New Zealanders are proud to be known for. We are a small but smart competitor capable of taking on the world and winning.
"All of Team NZ's defence and America's Cup 2000 activities are being completely funded from commercial sponsorship and licensing. Government is filling its role and has already given $10 million to the Auckland Regional Services Trust to develop Auckland's harbour, which will be a lasting legacy for Auckland.
"Government is doing its share to make the necessary legislative changes to ensure that America's Cup 2000 is the best it can be, and good progress is being made on air space and water space management legislation which we expect to be enacted before the end of the year.
"Next year will be 'Our Year' with a unique opportunity to showcase ourselves to the world with the America's Cup, Apec and the Millennium celebrations. We are rightly proud of what we have and we must be ready to capitalise on the attention next year will attract.
"As Team NZ takes on the world they will know they have three and a half million New Zealanders on board with them, backing and cheering them all the way to the finish line," Mrs Shipley said.