Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has confirmed that in exchange for the Government agreeing to fund Emirates Team New Zealand’s next America’s Cup challenge, the team will be required to have National Party branding displayed prominently on the sail.
Steven Joyce confirmed the arrangement today on TV3’s Firstline as he sought to reassure New Zealanders that Team New Zealand would be in a solid position to ensure that there wouldn’t be an exodus of talent from the team post this year’s disappointment in San Francisco.
“This Government is absolutely committed to ensuring National Party branding is on Team New Zealand’s next boat,” Joyce said. “I have no doubt that knowing that the representatives of Auckland’s wealthiest families will be just what the sailors need to realise that they don’t need to go overseas chasing lucrative contracts with other teams. They can stay right here in New Zealand and want for nothing, except possibly success or international recognition. But who really wants those aside from Peter Jackson?”
John Key has also indicated that he will personally back the challenge from his own wealth after joining Joyce in the Firstline studio , though Key’s backing will be in exchange for a portrait of the Prime Minister will need to feature on the boat’s code zero sail. Key said that he was “very excited about the hole thing and I’ve been practicing shaking hands and looking awkward in photos especially for it,” before he was quickly ushered out of the studio by Joyce.
Team New Zealand skipper, Dean Barker, wasn’t immediately available for comment as the journalist could not walk him from what appeared to be an alcohol induced coma in a gutter outside Shed 10 in Auckland.