Team NZ chairman Keith Turner resigns as government funding evaporates, time constraints weigh
Emirates Team NZ chairman Keith Turner has resigned from the board of the yachting syndicate, saying the loss of government funding meant the entity needed a smaller board with new governance structures and the role had been taking up too much of his time.
Tauranga-based Mr Turner also said the loss of the Auckland qualifier meant Team NZ couldn't rely on government funding.
Documents filed with the Companies Office show he ceased being a director of Team New Zealand on April 27.
"The whole competition has been changing in the last month, and the scale of the project had to be downsized," Turner said. "I took the initiative on my own to help the changing of the board."
Team New Zealand said in a statement it is reviewing its governance requirements, saying it recognises that private funders should have a greater role in setting the direction for the company. Until those arrangements are decided, Team New Zealand won't replace Mr Turner.
Mr Turner said the chairman of Team New Zealand has to work very closely with the chief executive, and would be better suited to someone based in Auckland. Still, had the government continued to fund the syndicate "I would have felt compelled to stay."
He's optimistic about Team New Zealand's skills and capability, which he said can keep them in the running to win the America's Cup.
"If the team can get itself properly funded and get itself on a stable footing, there's a chance of them winning the cup," Turner said.
Mr Turner was appointed chairman last year, replacing Gary Paykel, after Team NZ set up new governance structures.
"We thank Dr Turner for his significant contribution during his tenure and recognise the heavy demand that has been placed on both Dr Turner and the other directors," Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton said in a statement.