The pipeline of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money for the America's Cup hasn't been frozen despite claims of fraud, spying and misspent public money.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is looking into claims of misspending by Team NZ and counter-claims of spying on Team NZ by America's Cup contractors.

The Government is spending $136.5m - including a $40m host fee - into hosting the 36th America's Cup, but Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said the pot had not been frozen while MBIE's review was ongoing.

"We haven't considered that yet," he told reporters this afternoon.


"I'm happy to get advice from MBIE on that. At the moment, their priority is to find out exactly what's going on so we can get back to organising the America's Cup over summer."

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He said the money had been set aside to be spent from now until the event, but he did not know how much had been spent already.

Asked if it was in his interest to know how much was yet to be spent, he said: "I'll get advice on that."

He conceded there could be "theoretically" tens of millions of taxpayer dollars being spent while an active review was conducted into whether public money had been misused.

"Allegations have been made. There's a dispute between the parties. MBIE's job is to get to the bottom of it and work out what the truth is, and then we'll take action," Twyford said.

Auckland Council has also committed $113 million to the event.

Team NZ and America's Cup organisers are at the centre of an inquiry commissioned by the Crown over the spending of public money, including allegations of a "reclassified" $3 million loan and claims of fraud involving a Hungarian bank account.


A June 22 letter from MBIE and the Auckland Council, obtained by the Herald, outlines allegations around the handling of public money, worries about public safety, and concerns that the event organisers, America's Cup Events (ACE) and Team NZ, are in breach of obligations.

Team NZ has denied any impropriety and said no public money had been misused.

"Emirates Team NZ and ACE categorically deny any wrongdoing and consider that they have already addressed the concerns of MBIE and [Auckland] Council, and their adviser Beattie Varley," Team NZ said this afternoon.

Team NZ confirmed the organisation had been defrauded by scammers and had sent money to Hungary.

Dalton told media a European hacker had gained access to material belonging to a European-based television contractor, including details of contracts and when payments were due to be made.

Team NZ received an email which they thought had come from the contractor advising of a new Hungarian bank account to which they should make the payment into.


A seven-figure sum was subsequently paid into the account and the alarm was only raised weeks later when the contractor asked about the missing money.

Dalton said the hacker had changed one character in the contractor's email address when contacting them about the new account.

Police were now involved in New Zealand and Europe but only part of the money had been recovered.

Twyford wouldn't say whether he thought that was embarrassing for Team NZ.

Police have confirmed they are investigating with the help of officers based in Europe and Hungarian authorities.

Team NZ said the claim that ACE had loaned them $3m was incorrect because they had been paid $3m for services.


"It is a valid charge in relation to the management and delivery of the events for the significant time spent by ETNZ team members for event-related matters.

"When analysed, that time is in fact in excess of $6 million but has not been fully charged (and will not be fully charged) in order not to have a detrimental effect on ACE's budget. Further details of the time spent by ETNZ team members on event-related matters will be provided in due course."