Cavalier is too mild a word for the ambivalence the Prime Minister showed for dipping his hand into the taxpayer's pocket for Emirates Team New Zealand and doling out five million bucks. Careless would be a more appropriate description.

There are legitimate arguments for and against taxpayer involvement in keeping the team together. Those against say it's nothing more than corporate welfare, those for argue along the lines that to make money you've got to spend it, and the regatta in this part of the world will bring in bucket loads from this rich man's sport.

It also showcases New Zealand, from the skill of our sailors to the superb marine technology developed here which literally leads the world, and that's not to mention the attention it draws to this country when it comes to our biggest income earner, tourism.

But this is a commercial sport, if you've got any doubt about that, you only have to look at the grand prix catamarans whizzing around on their foils, festooned with advertising logos.

The Prime Minister shows where his loyalty lies.
The Prime Minister shows where his loyalty lies.

So Cabinet sits down this week and decides to kick in five million bucks as bridging finance for the team because Bill English somewhat incredibly declared "they don't have any cash and they want to retain the team at a time when they're vulnerable to being recruited by other challengers".

That may be so, which just goes to show there's no loyalty to New Zealand, so should we as taxpayers show loyalty to them?

Our most successful America's Cup skipper Russell Coutts, at one point said to be on a cool ten million bucks a year, cut and run and who can blame him?

If you take the strapped for cash argument, weigh that against the collective $14million property portfolio six years ago of the then skipper Dean Barker, who defected to the Japanese, and the current campaign boss Grant Dalton, and we know what's happened to property prices since then!

And surely it's as much in the interests of the team's sponsors, particularly Emirates who've attributed it's international brand recognition to Team New Zealand more than anything else, to stump up to keep them together to ensure their brand is brandished at the next regatta.

We still don't even know whether that regatta will be held in this country, although it'd seem the defender races will be.

So what of the first $5 million paid out to keep the team together, which wasn't entirely successful, after the San Francisco debacle? The Prime Minister, who chaired this week's Cabinet which came up with the second five million, said he hadn't seen a detailed description to what happened to the last payout but he says this time round it's going to be paid by instalment so "it's clear where it's going and what it's used for".

His spin doctors were quick to point out that's exactly what happened to the last five mill, pity they didn't brief the boss!