It is in everyone's interest for the next America's Cup to be held in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.
As negotiations over where Team New Zealand will agree to hold the next cup continue, Ardern told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB that she was confident an agreement that "ticks all the boxes" would be reached.
"It is in everyone's interest for this to remain in New Zealand. That's what I think everyone is focused on. It is about making sure that we maximise our economic benefit. Whatever infrastructure is built, it is to be able to be used in the longer-term as well…I think we can tick all the boxes."
One issue included in negotiations is Team New Zealand's expectation of a multi-million dollar hosting fee. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has ruled out paying that.
Ardern said she would leave that to the negotiators.
"We are in the middle of conversations, basically. There are three of us involved in the negotiation, as there should be. Council obviously has an interest. Central Government. And of course Team New Zealand."
National's economic development spokesman Simon Bridges yesterday said the Government should be very careful about paying hosting fees to Team NZ.
"The team has had a lot of financial and other support from New Zealanders over many years and the public will believe there should be some recognition of that by the team with the decision to defend the cup here," Bridges said.
"The Government and Auckland Council are already stumping up what looks like very large sums for the America's Cup bases - that should be the Government's main contribution.
"If any hosting fee was to be paid on top of that it should be shared between Auckland Council and the Government, as should the infrastructure costs. The Government can't look at this as another way to let Phil Goff off the hook with his responsibilities."
The Herald on Sunday yesterday revealed Team New Zealand top brass are looking at a raft of other possible destinations, including Sochi, in Russia, and Abu Dhabi. And it's understood the syndicate could receive up to US$80m ($116m) from a potential hosting deal in Abu Dhabi.
A Team NZ spokesman responded to the Herald on Sunday story with a statement that said it was not actively scouting other locations.
"But there has been overseas interest that have presented themselves but we reconfirm our desire to host the America's Cup in New Zealand and we are making good progress with both council and government."
Team NZ reclaimed the Auld Mug in June by beating defender Oracle Team USA 7-1 in the Cup match in Bermuda. The National Government put $5m into that campaign.