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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard


Emirates Team New ZealandAmerica’s Cup Victory

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON (Minister for Sport and Recreation): I seek leave to move a motion without notice in recognition of Team New Zealand retaining the America’s Cup.

SPEAKER: Is there any objection to that course of action being followed? There is none.

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: I move, That this House congratulate Peter Burling and Team New Zealand on their magnificent victory in the 36th America’s Cup.

In the long and rich history of the America’s Cup, Team New Zealand stands tall as one of the most successful participants. In an event where many have tried and failed, Team New Zealand sailors, designers, and innovators have made us proud. You don’t need to be a sailing expert or superfan to appreciate the skill, courage, innovation, and heart that this team has displayed throughout this regatta.

I want to acknowledge the extraordinary group of people that make up Team New Zealand—in particular, Peter Burling, who has shown himself to be a world-class skipper with nerves of steel. On behalf of all New Zealand, I congratulate Peter, Grant Dalton, and the whole team—those on the water and those off it—for their tactical brilliance, determination, and sheer hard work. I would also like to acknowledge Luna Rossa, who put on a remarkable performance, especially given all of the constraints they have had to go through as a visiting team during COVID. Jimmy Spithill is a world-class sailor and a fierce competitor who it has been an honour to see sail in our waters. To all of the Luna Rossa syndicate and their fans, we thank them for being part of this regatta and putting up such a terrific challenge.

Following a hard year, Team New Zealand has provided the country with huge optimism and excitement. To be able to show to the world that in the midst of a pandemic, our country can host an event like this and have thousands gathered together on the Auckland waterfront to celebrate is something that we can be proud of as it was beamed around the world. In addition to this pride, there remains a strong economic spinoff and benefit to New Zealand from the America’s Cup, even in COVID times. The facilities in the Wynyard Quarter, funded by the New Zealand Government and the Auckland Council, are a legacy that will be there for generations to come. This includes upgraded public spaces and access to the waterfront, additional berths for recreation and tourism, sheltered waterspace for existing and future water-based events, and long-term infrastructure for our marine industry. There is also an enormous amount of innovation and science that lies behind the success of Team New Zealand. At every level, we have seen technology used in a way that people never thought they would see in sailing, and that’s happened right here in New Zealand, driving job creation and innovation.

I want to acknowledge the partnership between Team New Zealand and mana whenua, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. They have worked closely together for some time, including gifting the name of Team New Zealand’s yacht, Te Rehutai. This translates loosely to “sea spray”, and it is in recognition of the power of the ocean to invigorate and energise our strength and our determination. Strength and determination is what we have seen from Team New Zealand during this regatta, and I want to express again the admiration of this Government and of this House to them for their work, and our pride in such an inspiring performance.

SPEAKER: The question is that the motion be agreed to.