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


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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Comments and questions

NZTE report on one of the areas of foucs - Technology Leverage Programme

40 companies particpated this reults in 15 new introductions, 3 possible leads. That is appalling surely it should have been 2 - 3 new introductions per comapny (80-120) and say at least 20 possible leads. similar results for other sectors.

As per usual focus on the inputs and no focus on the output or results. If i had to go to 10 conferences to get one possible lead I would be bankrupt.

There should be no taxpayer funding of Team NZ. Let Team NZ test real public support by crowd funding.

not sure about this. Over in central europe and Balkans when sailing was in Valencia. Could not find locals who knew what americas cup was, much less results. Money buys a lot of space in sailing magazine if Brand NZ is what we want to promote.

Taxpayers shouldn't fund sports.

Or arts, culture, a government news or broadcasting agency (like Pravda, RT or ITAR Tass).

Totally correct -
I suspect there is another expenditure looming for Joyce on behalf of the government to be foisting these reassuring words as to what is plain a total waste of taxpayers money.

Too many whingers in NZ. The anthem says it ALL : God defend NZ - from fun and frolic as well? Can't wait till AC35

If you take the square of the economic inputs and the hull, then yes. Yes it is.