Patrice Dougan

Patrice Dougan is a NZME. News Service reporter based in Auckland.

Dotcom to approach Team NZ over funding

Kim Dotcom has offered to support a new cup challenge. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Kim Dotcom has offered to support a new cup challenge. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom plans to approach Team New Zealand next week to discuss funding an America's Cup challenge.

However, the Mega millionaire said he does not intend to be the sole sponsor of the team. Instead he plans to "convince'' the Mega board to donate towards the bid, as well as fundraise for the team.

"I definitely want to support Team NZ, but I'm waiting for everyone to just chill for a moment, I'm sure they're going through a phase of depression after this loss,'' he said.

"But in about a week I want to start reaching out, and I'll do that with a business partner of mine, and a friend of mine, who has supported Team New Zealand in the past and will facilitate meetings after that.''

He described the sailing competition as a "very expensive sport'', and funding it a "very expensive exercise''.

"When I say I want to support Team New Zealand, I will be a sponsor, not the primary sponsor, so there needs to be other sponsors participating,'' he said.

"But I think I can help with the fundraising efforts and I can make the whole activity of Team New Zealand much more visible internationally and try and help with additional funding.''

He couldn't put a figure on the potential funding.

"I first have to understand what the whole budget is, how much is required, and then I need to probably form an alliance with some of my business partners to put together a significant amount, but like I said we would be a sponsor and not the only sponsor.''

Mr Dotcom was speaking after launching a campaign with internet provider Orcon, which aims to push for cheaper, faster and unlimited broadband in New Zealand.

The internet millionaire said the campaign was aligned with his political views and the aims of the political party he plans to launch later this year.

His political plans were primarily around a "bright digital'' future for New Zealand, which included bringing pricing in line with Europe and the United States.

"I think that New Zealand can do much more to be a significant player in the internet economy, I think it's going to be the biggest driver for jobs in New Zealand once we make those adjustment, and I'm very passionate about changing what's wrong in New Zealand, what's currently causing New Zealand to be so far behind and actually be third world when it comes to internet and connectivity,'' he said.

While Mr Dotcom will not be able to stand for Government himself, as he is not a New Zealand citizen, he said he will be organising the "movement'' and putting forward candidates to run for Parliament.

The name of his party is "still secret''.

- NZ Herald

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