Tauranga MP and National Party economic development spokesperson Simon Bridges says time is running out for the government to get the America’s Cup bases up and running for the cup defence in Auckland.
“Economic Development Minister David Parker needs to get his act together pronto,” says Simon.
“Council and government officials seem to be in a stand-off with the Prime Minister and Mr Parker and it is not difficult to see why.
“Mr Parker has said on these matters that he ‘doesn’t want to be dictatorial’ but it seems his high handed approach in the face of both Council and government officials who have differing views to him is causing delays that may well jeopardise the running of a successful Cup event in Auckland.
“It’s also very surprising that no estimate of costs to government of the America’s Cup are included in the Treasury’s half-yearly update. Does the government really not have any idea yet what it is up for?
“While it may feel like there is plenty of time, the reality is that with planning, designing, consenting and building infrastructure we are well into the eleventh hour before midnight. There will come a point when decisions will be too late and that would be unforgivable.”
He says he was conscious as Economic Development Minister in the previous government of how tight the timeline was, and had intended to make it the top priority to sort prior to Christmas.
“Now we are heading for decisions in all likelihood a couple of months into the New Year. Officials are obviously tearing their hair out with all the time delays. It’s time for the government to make a decision.”
Economic Development Minister David Parker says caution must be taken when taxpayers’ money is at stake.
“We have been asked for tens of millions of dollar of taxpayers’ money and we are not going to commit to that until we are convinced that it’s in the interests of taxpayers to spend that money,” says David.
“If National had wanted to resolve this earlier they could have when in government.”