As Joyce releases boosterish reports about America's Cup payoff, Taxpayers' Union complains about funding "rich man's sport"

There's some New Zealand signage in there somewhere

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Chris Keall


The right-wing Taxpayers' Union is unimpressed by reports released by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce this afternoon, which show "NZ Inc" gained "leverage" from the America's Cup.

The reports say the $36 million chipped in by taxpayers had an estimated positive impact of $87 million amid media coverage, and NZTE showcases helping NZ companies to sign new deals.

“Like Team New Zealand, the Minister gets eight-ninths of the way there.  The analysis is based on the questionable assumption that private money would not have flowed into Team New Zealand without taxpayers coughing up. In addition, it says that without the money going to fund Team New Zealand, none of the other syndicates would not have spent any time training in Auckland," says Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams.

“Of course politicians like Mr Joyce will claim to have ‘created jobs’ by spending other people’s money. The jobs and economic activity lost, due to the tax taken from the economy in the first place, is ignored."

"Even a sport full of the richest men in the world doesn’t turn down government money," Williams says.


NZ's America's Cup social media campaign a massive hit on ... Google+
A new NZTE report, released today by Steven Joyce, seeks to quantify the economic and media reach of Emirates Team New Zealand's America's Cup campaign - including social media.

And in the social media rankings, it seems the America's Cup had easily the biggest impact on Google+.

I know what you're thinking: Google+ is like the gym - everyone belongs, not many people visit everyday.

But according to the official stats, the America's Cup social media campaign got more than 5 million impressions on Google+, versus 342,000 on Twitter and 446,000 on Facebook: 

That's a vague and surpising result that will have the social media wonks stratching their heads, and wondering what's amiss.

Check out the full NZTE leverage programme report here. At times it looks more like a sales brochure than a report, but there are some interesting stats.

A longer, more formal report from ME Spatial that finds finds that from $36 million chipped in by taxpayers, there was an estimated positive impact of $87 million to the New Zealand economy. Check it out here. These numbers are something of a dark art; ME Spatial seeks to give it a bit of formality with lots of graphs and so forth.

Personally, I'm not convinced it had a lot of impact outside of the host city (it was hard to find any mention in other US national media most days). But that's better than a kick in the head, given San Francisco (incorporating Silicon Valley) is the trend-setting tech and VC capital of the US. Xero and other companies got some good piggyback exposure, helped by an NZTE showcase.

Visting San Francisco around America's Cup time, I was impressed by the massive display at the airport. Surprisingly, it gets no mention in either report.

And lastly I'd add that if the government chips in $36 million next time, let's get a little more signage on the boat.

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