• Murray McCully

"The America's Cup will benefit Auckland and all New Zealand," Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and Tourism Minister Murray McCully said at the launch of the New Zealand Cup Village today.

"The America's Cup is not only a chance for New Zealanders to celebrate our sporting prowess, it is also a huge opportunity to promote New Zealand as a dynamic tourist and business destination," Mrs Shipley said.

Mr McCully said the spin-offs for New Zealand tourism from the America's Cup were enormous.

"The series is already being profiled in many of our major markets, and we want to make sure that years after this event has taken place that New Zealand is foremost in the minds of those high spending visitors we want to attract to our country.

"I have also met with a number of syndicates and sponsors and it has reaffirmed to me that the America's Cup is a fantastic opportunity to profile ourselves to the world and it is essential we do it right," Mr McCully said.

Mrs Shipley said New Zealand was looking forward to welcoming the syndicates and their supporters.

"It is fantastic that ten of the expected 13 syndicates have already signed up to the Village, including Team New Zealand.

"While I know that New Zealanders are keen to see the America's Cup retained, we also want a fair contest that is run efficiently and effectively. The organisers of this event, with support from the New Zealand Government, are doing everything they can to ensure that happens. We also want visitors to enjoy the regatta and their New Zealand experience."

Mr McCully and Mrs Shipley commended Auckland for the great progress that was already being made to ensure New Zealand was seen as a great host nation for the America's Cup series.

"The New Zealand Cup Village is also to be commended for its work with TRADENZ, the Tourism Board and Auckland City Council in bringing together the America's Cup Trade Promotion Roadshow, which will tour the United States and other countries, not only to promote the Village but also to promote New Zealand as a destination," Mrs Shipley and Mr McCully said.