36th America's Cup

Economic Development Minister David Parker, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Emirates Team New Zealand on 26 March 2018 announced they reached an agreement in principle for the hosting fee, division of costs, and the location of the 36th America’s Cup in 2021.

Economic Development Minister David Parker, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Emirates Team New Zealand on 26 March 2018 announced they reached an agreement in principle for the hosting fee, division of costs, and the location of the 36th America’s Cup in 2021.

The location – known as Wynyard Hobson - has evolved from several options. It will see bases on Wynyard Point and Hobson Wharf, entailing only a 6,600 square metre intrusion into the Harbour (at Hobson Wharf), compared to other options which would have seen intrusions of up to 22,800 square metres.

It also represents a major cost reduction for taxpayers and Auckland ratepayers.

Vision: Ignite the passion – celebrate our voyages

The America’s Cup has a special place in New Zealand’s recent history, and not just from a sporting point of view. Whether hosting it here or competing for it overseas, moments from the America’s Cup - celebration and heartbreak - are seared into our collective memory. The Cup has captured our imaginations and provided an opportunity to take our skills, culture and innovation to the world.

With this in mind, those planning to attend or get involved in the 36th America’s Cup can expect a lively, exciting and inclusive event. Kiwis are renowned for getting behind major events and this will certainly be no different.

The underlying principles of 36th America’s Cup are:

  • Manaakitanga (a warm welcome for our visitors and all participants);
  • Kaitiakitanga (guardianship – actively caring for our place, our environment and our people); and
  • Kotahitanga (collaboration).

Host Venue Agreement

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Auckland Council, Mana Whenua, and America’s Cup Event Ltd (a subsidiary of Emirates Team New Zealand formed to run the event) are working together on a comprehensive programme to prepare for America’s Cup in a way that will ensure a great event with maximum shared benefits for New Zealand.

The infrastructure being developed for the 36th America’s Cup will provide a stage for the races and associated events, leaving a waterfront destination that Kiwis and visitors love.

The Wynyard Edge Alliance has been formed to develop the infrastructure required to support AC36 and other associated works in the Auckland downtown area.

In March 2018, a Host City Appointment Agreement (HCAA) was signed between ACE, ETNZ, MBIE and Auckland Council confirming Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau as the location of the 36th America’s Cup.  This was followed with a Host Venue Agreement signed in April 2019.

The Host Venue Agreement and Host City Appointment Agreement has been released under the Official Information Act and MBIE is now making this document publically available. You can find both Agreements, with some redactions to preserve commercial sensitivity, and an executive summary of the Host Venue Agreement at the links below.

Economic impact

MBIE commissioned Market Economics to evaluate the potential economic impact of an Auckland-based 36th America's Cup.

In summary it estimated the following:

  • From 2018-2021 provides between $0.6 - $1.0 billion in value add to New Zealand’s economy and an employment boost of between 4,700 and 8,300. The range reflects different assumptions around the number of syndicates competing, visiting super yachts, international tourists and the cost of hosting.
  • Impacts positively on sectors like services, manufacturing (mainly around boat building and super yacht refits) and tourism, including food, retailing and accommodation.
  • The cost-benefit analysis for the period of the 36th America’s Cup (excluding any future benefits associated with any new infrastructure, or ongoing benefits to the marine industry) ranges from 0.997 to 1.14. This cost-benefit ratio is for the economy as a whole; the costs included relate to all parties, including for example the Crown, Auckland Council, syndicates, Emirates Team New Zealand, retailers and tourism providers.

The economic evaluation does not capture any of the broader benefits associated with hosting an event of this scale, including showcasing New Zealand to international audiences (and associated reputation impacts), high performance sport outcomes, and participation and engagement of New Zealanders that may have “feel good” effects (increasing national identity and pride).

The study does not account for environmental impacts and is confined to the economic benefit only. It makes no assumptions around location or whether there are any incursions into the harbour or not. It does not, therefore, take account of any loss of value from reducing the available harbour space. Any investment decisions will take into account a broader range of considerations than just the economic, including environmental, social and cultural values.

The study is consistent with Treasury guidelines for studies of this kind. This is one input into the discussions between government, Auckland Council and ETNZ. Any decision needs to stack up for ETNZ, and the New Zealand ratepayers and taxpayers.