Embattled Emirates Team New Zealand, the subject of complaints of financial mismanagement which are now being probed by government investigators, also claimed nearly $1.5 million under the wage subsidy scheme.

According to the register published by the Ministry of Social Development, Team New Zealand applied for both rounds of the scheme - the first iteration and its extension - and received $1,478,529 to cover 126 employees.

The yachting syndicate headed by Grant Dalton are defenders of the America's Cup and scheduled to defend their trophy early next year in an Auckland event that has attracted $250m in central and local government funding.

The wage subsidy scheme is the centrepiece of the Government's economic response to Covid-19, allowing businesses negatively affected by the pandemic to receive $585.80 per week to continuing paying each full-time employee. It has seen more than $11b paid out to date.


Eligibility for the first round of wage subsidy, covering 12 weeks from the start of border closures in mid-March, required applicants to attest they were experiencing Covid-related declines in revenue of 30 per cent or more compared with the year prior.

The wage subsidy extension, covering an additional eight weeks, required applicants to claim they were experiencing a Covid-related decline in revenue of 40 per cent or more compared with the same period last year.

Team New Zealand did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

This week Dalton went public with complaints about "spies" who had made "highly defamatory and inaccurate allegations regarding financial and structural matters".

This morning the Herald broke news of a letter written by senior officials from Auckland Council and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to the team expressing concern over "serious matters" including fraudulent payments to a Hungarian bank account.

Subscribe to Premium