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Dalton and Barker’s property millions

If Team New Zealand needs a loan, should the yachting syndicate look internally?

As debate rages over Team New Zealand’s funding shortfall, property records show Team NZ managing director Grant Dalton and skipper Dean Barker are sitting on a property empire worth about $14 million on 2011 valuations.

The suggestion Messrs Dalton and Barker should sell up for the good of the team might be a little unfair given Team NZ is competing in a sport bankrolled by the super-wealthy and the pair clearly don’t belong in that club.

But the Kiwis might be forced to consider such options if Prime Minister John Key was right in asserting this morning that public interest is fading in the America’s Cup.

(NBR subscribers weighed in with a Business Pulse poll.)

As it happens, Mr Dalton has just come into some money. He and wife Nicola have sold a 5.08ha section at Aulyn Drive, Karaka, on Manukau Harbour’s Pahurehure Inlet, which was offered for sale at $965,000.

The property is fenced into eight paddocks and its 2011 rateable value was $950,000.

Harcourts agent Lynn Lockhart confirmed to NBR ONLINE the property had sold but she would not discuss further details.

The jewel in the property crown for Mr Dalton, who turns 57 on July 1, is his $7.65 million property in Remuera’s exclusive Victoria Ave. It is a 5-bedroom 1900s weatherboard house, with a floor area of 911sq m set on a 1981sq m section.

The property, which features a swimming pool and tennis court, was bought for $4.80 million in December 2004, when its rating valuation was $4.505 million. (The 2011 valuation is $7.65 million.)

In Queenstown, Mr Dalton is selling a 4331sq m undeveloped section at the Peak Estate development, with sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.

When Mr Dalton bought the Pinnacle Place property for $2.22 million in 2007, it was thought to be the highest amount paid for a single house site in the resort town’s history.

The biggest of 12 properties in the blue ribbon, gated estate, it has a rateable value of $1.68 million.

Just down Queenstown Hill from Pinnacle Place is Mr Dalton’s holiday home on Belfast Terrace, bought in 2003 for $1.41 million. The property’s current valuation is $1.03 million.

Omaha investment
Meanwhile, Mr Barker and his wife Amanda (former Black Sticks hockey player Mandy Smith) own a 769sq m property at Omaha, north of Auckland, with a rateable value of $2.30 million, bought for $2.32 million in 2006.

BDR Properties Ltd – part-owned by Mr Barker – owns a 392sq m industrial property in Manukau, which Auckland Council values for rating purposes at $750,000.

The Team NZ skipper is also on the title – with an Anna Riechelmann, thought to be his sister – of a Dignan St, Point Chevalier house.

The 163sq m 1920s weatherboard house, on 696sq m of land, was bought in November 2006 for $927,000, with a 2011 rateable value of $1.01 million.

Last Friday, Mr Dalton said the team’s next America’s Cup bid would be scuttled without immediate financial backing, because it needs to pay $US2 million entry fee by August.

The issue is the Kiwi team’s corporate sponsors will not commit money until they know the event venue, which is not expected to be announced for months.

The government gave Team NZ $36 million to contest last year’s America’s Cup – which was won by Oracle Team USA after one of sport’s greatest comebacks – and have handed over $5 million in bridging finance.

But Prime Minister John Key poured cold water on an immediate cash injection from taxpayers, saying on radio this morning the government can’t lead Team NZ’s financial backing.

That comes after Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce told the Herald on Sunday, “It is time for a bigger contribution from the private sector.”

Blogger David Farrar argues $5 million is more than enough for taxpayers and “if the team folds, then the team folds.”

Part-way through the America’s Cup, with Team NZ ahead, the Wall Street Journal praised the taxpayer-backed syndicate for scrimping in a sport dominated by the super-rich.

Mr Dalton told the newspaper the New Zealand crew is almost all countrymen, sailing at bargain salaries.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz

More by David Williams

Comments and questions
22

reality when Dalton was appointed by the Board after the failed campaign which saw the Kiwi boat needing a simple plastic bucket from the 2 dollar shop to help our Submarine boat it was obvious he has furnished himself with fees all the way thru since being appointed

What kind of salaries are these guys on?

Salary bands, just like any government department, listed company etc has to be disclosed before more money is spent by the government.

The claim of confidentiality is rubbish.

Their individual wealth is irrelevant. If they had won the cup no one would be talking this rubbish.
I dont care if they compete this time or not, and I dont subscribe to the economic benefit argument. NZ's marine tech capabilities are well known and dont need further promotion especially related to boats that will never be built other than for this event.
Keep the debate rational and objective please, and dont let envy and tall poppy syndrome get involved, as usual

But they want taxpayers money. Why should we not know what they are paid . All other top civil servant incomes are disclosed. It would also help if they did not stuff up the last cup event. I don't think anyone else would want Barker or Dalton as they should have won the cup when it was staring them in the face. They are not tough enough.

To be fair, I can't subscribe to your assertion of 'envy and tall poppy syndrome'. As a successful business owner already employing more than forty people, and currently paying millions in taxes and levies, i just don't feel we can justify having 30 proven losers on the payroll as well.

I totally agree. They are not public servants. They are simply receiving some public funding towards a project that can be assessed on its own merits in terms of returns to NZ. If you want to stop the public funding, then be prepared to accept the dropping of "New Zealand" from the team name (a la Luna Rossa).

And all these bleeding hearts going on about their salaries are notably quiet when it comes to salaries in the private sector, claiming market value. Well the same applies here. All of Team NZ could easily get bigger salaries sailing for another team.

These people are professional sports people and employees of ETNZ - this is their job. They are not charities! Why on earth should they put their hands in their pocket to prop up the business, or take a pay cut if they can command the salaries elsewhere. Their salaries are determined by the market - and if we want monkeys then we should pay peanuts.

This decision is about whether the people of NZ want to sponsor a Kiwi entry in the Americas Cup or not - and based on the cost vs. the returns (win or lose) the business case either stacks up or it doesn't. If ETNZ folds, I"m pretty confident these boys wouldn't be out of work for long...

Ya reckon these guys are only employees.

This is a very clever business. Good on them for coining it...they are amongst the best in the world, and deserve it.

Ya reckon these guys would be picked up else where....how is that relevant to continuing to support the sailing dream?

You're right, it's probably not relevant! I think the average pundit here is confusing the issues. I have no view on whether Barker / Dalton et al are the right guys, and what professional sailors are paid is not relevant. The simple reality is that if ETNZ can't provide investor confidence (people, skills, whatever) then no one will invest and ETNZ will fold.

It does look like NZ is over the sailing dream...

They should never have lost the last series. To ask us to back them again is plain silly. If we had new people at the top including a ceo and skipper they might have had a better chance to get NZ behind the team.

Risk your own capital first to fund your salaries please.

There are plenty of other sports that represent NZ succesfully on the world stage who don't get anything like this kind of tax payer handout.

If you take a rough gauge and say; someone earning $65,000 for the year, to pay out $5m to these sailing guys means 3,100 of those kiwis have to work a full year to pay for the $5m. Who wants to front up to those 3100 people and tell them "hey, all that tax you paid over the last 12 months we have given to a sports team to go sailing in a competition run by billionaires who stack the odds. We didn't give it to your kid's school, or fix the pothole in the road you use everyday, nor buy new sheets in the hospital you had to go to last March. We gave it to some millonaires!!'

I'm sorry but I'd want my money back!

Just becasue these sailing people choose one of the most expensive sprots there is to play does not make it the tax payers issue. Isn't this what we have SPARC for?

The only time we hear anything from this team is when they want more government funding. I'm still waiting to read a report on why we failed to win the cup when we were 8-1 ahead? Surely considering the government injected $36m we are entitled to know why we lost and what would be done differently this time around?

Time to move on ... who would throw more millions at the same people who blew the last event so spectacularly!

I have no issues with people negotiating and subsequently receiving a large salary, however I object to using public money when there are more urgent needs in the community that are crying out for funding

It matters little what their salaries are, it is fair to say they could command more elsewhere. The underlying suggestion that somehow their personal wealth has been accumulated at the expense of the public is untested, and not a given.

The country/government/revenue service got significant cash and promotional benefit from the cup activities. Well beyond the 2-5M they are seeking. They could structure this as a (suspensory) loan to the syndicate repayable when their funding kicks in, or any other mechanisms that ensure the taxpayer is de-risked.

If the issue is "corporate welfare", why isn't the millions being paid to Fonterra, Tait and other companies that clearly don't really need it, also being questioned?

To much hyperbole and rhetoric, and not enough positive constructive thinking, and action.

Who would hire them after they blew the last series? I doubt anyone would. When you play at the top level you need mental toughness and they did not have it in San Francisco. I am talking about the ability to put your foot on someones throat and keep it there. Tiger has it, Nadal has it and Spittal has it. In fact most Australian sportspeople have it. That ability to never say die and fight to the end.

Lead by example ? : If John Key & Company contribute some of their millions then getting the NZ taxpayer to contribute may be partially justifiable. By the way - do Baker & Dalton pay tax in NZ on their overseas earnings ?

the large number of comments on this topic confirm the passion out there in New Zealand and the majority seems to be saying lets leave it here. We had a great opportunity to take the cup and blew it. The team was not good enough and therefore lets go back to the drawing board. If Dalton and Barker were replaced by people who looked like potential winners then the public might get on board. In rugby, cricket, league and football they would have gone by now or have been pushed away.

Who backs yachting when the specialists in a world level event do not know all the race rules including the finish deadline time rule. The rule book knowledge is critical. It does not even need skill. There should have been a time-watch calculation to the finish line, then work on a dash straight to the finish instead of match racing the competition who delayed the race. The team was ahead and faster when that race was lost due to failure to finish in a deadline time. Who throws millions at the people who do not know the rules first and have worked out how to use the rules in the strategy to win? Its just a rich game where the racing team must be backed first by a corporate billion dollar multinational. If not backed with such immediate financial strength, then its already lost in this era of technology and science. This speed bump in funding in the stormy world of sailing is a bad omen.

NZ is the only country where winning the cup means something; the rest of the world either doesn't know of the event or couldn't give a sh*t.