Labour MP Trevor Mallard is risking the politician's curse and has headed to Bermuda for the America's Cup.

The Hutt South MP and yachting enthusiast, who is paying his own way, appears to be the only MP headed to the event.

In previous years, Government ministers have had an uncanny knack of turning up in the Cup's host country on crucial, unrelated business.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce was famously accused of jinxing Team New Zealand in 2013 when, as Economic Development Minister, he arrived in San Francisco just as Oracle begun its comeback.


With Peter Burling's team holding a 3-0 advantage in the 2017 finals, Joyce is staying away.

Mallard has no such superstitions, saying the bad luck is all National's and he has closely followed every race since the 1980s.

But unlike some optimists, he is booked to stay until Thursday - the latest possible finish for the Cup. New Zealand can win the event as soon as Sunday.

"It would be lovely if we can win it by then," he said. "But I know from experience that I should not be quite that positive."

The MP had not initially planned to go to Bermuda but said he got swept up in the emotion of the races. He was quick to point out that he was travelling on his own money and was in cattle class for the long trip via Los Angeles and New York.

"I didn't see any ministers back here in economy."

As Sport and Recreation Minister, Mallard approved $36m in support for Team New Zealand's 2013 bid.

Following New Zealand's loss, the National-led Government decided against putting money into its 2017 challenge - aside from a $5m subsidy to keep Team New Zealand afloat while it put together another proposal.


That was mostly because the small island nation of Bermuda offered fewer commercial opportunities for local companies to leverage off a New Zealand bid.

With the finals series still wide open, National ministers were reluctant to make any promises about backing a 2021 bid.

"There's still a bit to go and I don't want to jinx it by getting ahead of ourselves," Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman said this afternoon.