Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

America's Cup: Parliament pays tribute to Team NZ

Emirates Team New Zealand sails near the waterfront after coming in second to Oracle Team USA during the final race. Photo / AP
Emirates Team New Zealand sails near the waterfront after coming in second to Oracle Team USA during the final race. Photo / AP

Parliament has paid tribute to Team New Zealand and skipper Dean Barker "on behalf of four and a half million Kiwis" in the House this afternoon.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English moved that the House congratulate Team New Zealand for its efforts in the America's Cup in San Francisco after it lost the finals series to Team USA this morning (NZ time).

"While the result wasn't what we were hoping for, we send congratulations to Oracle Team USA and admire their fighting spirit and the ongoing improvements made to stay in the match and eventually take the cup," Mr English said.

"To Emirates Team New Zealand, you have made us proud and we have loved every moment of watching your boat Aotearoa literally fly around San Francisco Bay."

He said the team had conducted themselves with dignity and professionalism off the water.

"On behalf of four and a half million Kiwis, congratulations on a great campaign."

Video - Oracle praise Team NZ:

Video

Labour deputy leader David Parker said the country had followed Team New Zealand "on every tack, every gybe, every foil" but it "just wasn't quite enough on the day".

He added: "Can I pass on our admiration for how dignified they have been in defeat."

Mr Parker said that the event had not only brought New Zealanders closer together but also MPs: "Somewhere in a bar in San Francisco it's even brought Steven Joyce and Trevor Mallard together singing Dave Dobbyn songs like 'Loyal'."

"What a bugger, eh?" said Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei. "What a race - we got this close."

"Don't worry, is my message, because New Zealanders are still behind you Dean Barker, and all of your team and the amazing work you've done, no matter what the result."

"Well done to Team USA, it really was some comeback."

"To Team New Zealand, you did your country proud. Our hearts go out to at the time of great agony over the result, having come so close."

She said "technology was the winner on the day" and New Zealand could take heart from New Zealand boat-building in both Team New Zealand's and Oracle's yachts.

Ms Turei noted that New Zealand was still excelling in other sports, and pointed to the Football Ferns' victory in the Valais Cup in Switzerland, which included a victory over Brazil.

- APNZ

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