INDEPENDENT NEWS

Sails Set For Start Of America’s Cup Action

Published: Tue 15 Dec 2020 09:08 AM
Hon Stuart Nash
Minister for Economic and Regional Development
The opening of the America’s Cup Village in downtown Tāmaki Makaurau marks the start of an exciting summer of action on and off the water, say Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash, and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.
Stuart Nash and Phil Goff have this morning taken part in the official opening ceremonies of the America’s Cup Village as part of the 36th America’s Cup, which includes TE POU – New Zealand House, on Auckland’s waterfront.
“The opening of the Village marks the beginning of an incredible summer of racing, as teams battle it out for the 36th America’s Cup,” said Stuart Nash.
“The Village will be a focal point for fans from around Aotearoa to experience the excitement of the Cup first hand. This is the culmination of huge amount of work from host partners Crown and Council, the Wynyard Edge Alliance, Emirates Team New Zealand, and the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa.
“The border restrictions that keep us safe from COVID19 could not have been imagined when we signed the hosting agreement in April 2019. The absence of large crowds of international visitors will make this event very different to earlier spectacles.
“However I know Kiwis are determined to celebrate our international reputation as a great sailing nation. We also take pride in the principle of manaakitanga and will ensure a warm welcome to visitors and participants. The America’s Cup Village will provide a focal point for this during the three month festival.
“Those who can’t get down to the waterfront to soak up the atmosphere will still be able to experience exciting Cup action, with every race broadcast free-to-air. I’m looking forward to the beginning of the America’s Cup World Series and Christmas Race, and seeing Emirates Team New Zealand defend the Auld Mug in March 2021,” Mr Nash said.
Mayor Goff said: ”We are about to witness another unforgettable America’s Cup in Tāmaki Makaurau, with the thrilling on-water action set to showcase our city to viewers around the globe.
“As one of the largest international sporting events held since the start of the pandemic, it represents a milestone for our city, New Zealand, and the world.
“It will be an opportunity to come together and celebrate all the things that make Auckland a fantastic place to live and visit, as well as a vibrant, world-class city.
“We salute the thousand volunteers who will help race fans and visitors navigate the village and downtown area – they show what having the Cup in our region means to Auckland; and we warmly welcome all the challenger sailors and their families to our city.
“On behalf of the event, I thank host iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei for gifting us the name TE POU for the whare that will be the beating heart of the Cup Village throughout our summer of yacht racing,” said Mr Goff.
“The Government is investing $136.5 million in the America’s Cup and associated events and infrastructure, and Auckland Council has allocated $113 million,” said Mr Nash.
“Long after the racing is over the social, economic, cultural and environmental infrastructure created for the event will be a significant asset for the city. It will leave a lasting legacy that taxpayers and ratepayers can be proud of.
“Beyond the racing itself, the legacy includes excellent downtown infrastructure and a number of environmental, educational and storytelling programmes that are being rolled out with the Cup events.
“The action on water and seeing these boats fly can be an inspiration to Kiwis all over Aotearoa in a number of areas including science, technology, engineering and maths – and programmes that make the most of this are being rolled out this summer.
“Around 150 schools have signed up to Kōkōkaha: powered by wind and will see kids from all over New Zealand get a hands-on scientific understanding of what makes these boats fly, and inspire them to develop the skills they will need for the future of work.
“Environmental and conservation programmes that look to restore, enhance and protect the marine environment are also introduced to help accelerate the sustainable transformation of our communities, our water and our whenua.
It’s crucial that we make the most of these opportunities to leave a legacy that we can all be proud of in years to come,” Mr Nash said.
The Village is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 15 December, in time for the racing to start on 17 December, until the final race day in March 2021.

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