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Team NZ needs stronger governance structure - Joyce

Team NZ needs a stronger governance structure if it wants to be considered for additional sponsorship, Economic Development Minister Stephen Joyce says.

The team only had two directors at the start of the last America’s Cup, but that whittled to one when director and Queen’s Counsel Jim Farmer had to resign to participate in a safety review.

The review involved the Artemis incident where a sailor died.

Mr Joyce, speaking to the Paul Henry Show last night, says five or six directors is more appropriate and must include one or two the Crown has endorsed. Dean Barker and Grant Dalton are aware of this demand, he says.

In October Mr Joyce pledged $5 million in interim funding and is waiting for a formal application from the team for the next cup bid.

It’s unclear the role many will play for Team NZ in the future, including Mr Dalton.

Mr Joyce says the team is looking at making a few changes, including a new technology partner and a stronger management structure.

Mr Joyce says he has not seen audited financial statements of how Team NZ spends sponsorship money, nor has that been a requirement. He does not know how much Mr Dalton or Mr Barker are paid.

He says he measures the value New Zealand gets based on its investment in the team, not how the team spends its money.

The government is not an expert in yachting, Mr Joyce says.

When the agreement was set up with Team NZ, it specified how much money the government would contribute, not team expenses and salaries.

Mr Joyce has previously said the government will evaluate the benefits to the New Zealand economy after its $36 million investment in the last America's Cup.

Those findings are expected in March.

Comments and questions

It's an interesting debate whether you have to be an expert in yachting to win the America's Cup.

It took Peter Blake years and years and years of expensive, commercially sponsored campaigns before he ever won a Whitbread Round the World Race. And he never toppled his arch rival, a Dutch businessman who self funded his own campaigns.

As the CEO of TNZ, Sir Peter was a leadership, management and motivational guru.

That said, I doubt TNZ will find anyone who can hold a candle to Sir Coutts when it comes to the winning combo sailing chops, the will to win, and the smarts to manage both, all rolled up in a CEO. Blake was basically it.

A nicely arranged management board is probably the last thing TNZ needs to get that.

Having said that, I would predict that the Frenchman Frank Cammas will be in the aft end of boat the next winning AC boat.

I am appalled that the govt handed out 36 million dollars to the America's Cup team without setting in place suitable
control and management procedures.
If this is the way government distributes our hard earned dollars,then a serious rethink is very necessary.
paleo martin

My opinion is just - "I am appalled that the govt handed out 36 million dollars to the America's Cup team". A rich boys sport deserves nothing.

I've tried being a law abiding citizen in NZ and paying my taxes.

But the laws are being made up by the same people who tell us what to do and how to spend out money and then take a part.

It sounds a bit like we are slaves to do what the Government wants.

Use to Vote Act but think the Greens may be more "Pro Freedom" now than the current Act party.

Mr Joyce's comments re the funding of our America's Cup team leaves us concerned as to the competence of our government;no controls or management put in place!
This must be a prerequisite for any grants,but this govt seems to ignore this basic management requirement.
If that is so, a change at the top level is necessary.

The structures for the last Cup attempt were set up under Labour, not the current Government

In which case let's be honest - who of us are surprised there was little in the way of accountability and appropriate governance?

Great to get this debate alive. Lets sort out early a governance/management structure that fits the quasi govt/corp setup that is TNZ.
Can't wait for AC35. Why not pitch to Larry/Russel to hold it in Auckland harbour ? !!

How can the headline say Joyce calls for a stronger management structure in Team NZ when the actual article says Joyce is calling for a stronger GOVERNANCE structure?

Surely we can rely on NBR to understand the difference between governance and management? And isn't there the danger of an implied slur?

'It's unclear the role many will play for Team NZ in the future, including Mr Dalton' ....

...could well be right on the mark if todays dislosures by Cameron Slater's WOBH blog have any credence.

Please, spare the taxpayer: Team NZ needs another government to back it.

You get a $50k government grant and you have to file a tonne of paper work that is analysed to the cent. You get $36m and its see you later. Just remember to invite me to the party.

The paper work war is justified because it is taxpayers money.

These guys have on two or three occasions run the team into the ground. Not keeping any money to fund post cup. The government continues to bail out the mismanagement will they not learn.

The Government owes the real tax payers about $100 dollars each back just for this bad project.

Come on Stephen, help them make the same mistake we did when we lost the cup. Appoint a banker.

Actually, there's a big difference between a grant and a sponsorship. It's not normal for sponsors to impose either governance or management conditions on their largesse. They're more interested in exposure, and will nail their sponsored property to the wall if there's any slip up there.

If you can come up with something that puts brand NZ in front of zillions of people, in a way that makes it look fun, sophisticated and bloody awesome, maybe they'll give it to you, too.

My wife has been invovled in corporate sponsorship, I can tell you that all large sponsorship came with reporting requirements, often the appointment of a person on the governance board etc. Because it was an INVESTMENT of the company money and therefore the shareholders had the right to expect it would achieve its goals etc.

I have no problem with accountability for grants, but lets get real, spending $40k on compliance for a $50k grant and having to spend stuff all on a $36m investment seems to be the wrong way round.

I am astounded that Joyce apparently does not understand the need for appropriate controls and reporting over funds advanced to the America's Cup Team.
Surely with his business experience he must know that this must be a prerequisite,even if his boss doesn't.