The America’s Cup, like Apec, won’t bring riches to the country

by Bill Ralston / 14 November, 2017
RelatedArticlesModule - America's Cup

The America's Cup on display to the public in Napier. Photo/Getty Images

The tills will be ringing when the America’s Cup and Apec come to town. Won’t they?

Hallelujah! 2021 is coming, when we will all be rich and content. That is the year New Zealand is likely to host the America’s Cup regatta and, as well, Auckland gets to host the year-long jamboree of Apec, the political talkfest. The economic spin-off from these two events is said to be enormous. I have seen figures of half a billion dollars deriving from the America’s Cup, and 12 months of international ministerial junketing to New Zealand is bound to generate hundreds of millions in ill-spent foreign taxpayer dollars. We will all be rolling in loot in four years’ time.

Well, that is what we’re being told. Except I note that party pooper Ashley Church from the Property Institute has warned we are likely to be disappointed. He points out that during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, 133,000 fans visited here and spent some $387 million, but there was very little economic impact in the hospitality and accommodation sectors outside Auckland’s CBD.

What? How could that be? Church speculates it was because of the “displacement” theory: visitors who might otherwise come here put off their plans until the event was over because they did not want to be caught up in it. So, activity associated with the event replaced activity that would have normally taken place – rather than adding to it.

It is logical-thinking people such as Church who stand in the way of us Making New Zealand Great Again. Oh, wait, New Zealand has never been “great” in the first place. Okay, Making New Zealand Quite Good Again. Shane Jones should put that on his baseball cap next time.

Actually, Church agrees with me, arguing that the puny $5 million the Government invested in the America’s Cup is still worth it “because of the way it makes us feel about ourselves as a country”.

am not sure if Apec will have the same effect. Herds of presidents, prime ministers, ministers and bureaucrats tramping through our airports for 12 months does not give us quite the same warm, fuzzy feeling that another cup win would do.

Another downside of Apec and the America’s Cup is that it should be noted that if President Trump is re-elected, we would probably get a visit from him for at least one of those events, if not both.

This is an edited version of an article first published in the July 15, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

For Germany's refugees, home is still where the heart is
Wild Eyes: The website connecting Kiwi kids with the outdoors again
80369 2017-11-22 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Wild Eyes: The website connecting Kiwi kids with t…

by Sharon Stephenson

A website that creates “backyard missions” for Kiwi kids is dragging digital natives back outdoors.

Read more
New casual fine-diner Lillius opens in Eden Terrace
83392 2017-11-21 09:11:50Z Dining

New casual fine-diner Lillius opens in Eden Terrac…

by Kate Richards

Hospitality pros Shannon Vandy and Fraser McCarthy offer a new fine-dining eatery with a no-waste approach

Read more
Why #MeToo isn't taking off in Asia
83353 2017-11-21 00:00:00Z World

Why #MeToo isn't taking off in Asia

by Anna Fifield

Making sexual harassment unacceptable in Asia will require huge cultural shifts.

Read more
The rise of the social enterprise
83384 2017-11-21 00:00:00Z Business

The rise of the social enterprise

by Sally Blundell

A new breed of business, the social enterprise, is more intent on benefiting the community and protecting the environment than on maximising profit.

Read more
Best for who? The pressure on school leavers to choose university
83358 2017-11-20 15:22:07Z Education

Best for who? The pressure on school leavers to ch…

by Nicole Barratt

Thousands of school leavers will make big decisions this month, but a pressure brewing for years has skewed the decision-making process for some.

Read more
Dominatrix: The Renee Chignell story
83339 2017-11-20 12:58:50Z Crime

Dominatrix: The Renee Chignell story

by Donna Chisholm

Former teen dominatrix Renée Chignell was once NZ's most infamous woman. She talked to Metro in 2009 about one of the country's most notorious murders

Read more
Drugs in small town NZ: 'It's easier to get meth than cannabis'
83326 2017-11-20 11:23:30Z Crime

Drugs in small town NZ: 'It's easier to get meth t…

by Tim Brown

Meth is no longer a big city problem. Otago's sleepy Clutha District is awash with the drug - but there aren't enough addiction services to help.

Read more