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.
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.