I'm ashamed of some of the reactions we have seen from New Zealanders in the days following the announcement that the America's Cup competition is heading to Barcelona.
Those reactions have revealed us as churlish and childish, rather than as a nation that celebrates the innovation, talent and aspiration which have seen New Zealand punch well above its weight.
During the past few days, we have betrayed ourselves as a bunch of disgruntled whingers.
There was even the shameful suggestion at Parliament, that the name "New Zealand" should be removed from the Emirates Team New Zealand's name unless the Cup is defended at Auckland's Viaduct. Other commentators have said they would prefer we lost at home rather than win overseas.
What on earth has become of us?
I can understand frustration and disappointment, in that we never really got to enjoy last year's America's Cup in the way we would have liked. But given the pandemic, none of that is anyone's fault.
It's also worth remembering after the last Cup there wasn't much appetite for Emirates Team New Zealand to delve too deeply into the Government's pockets to fund the next defence.
Also note the Prime Minister's remarks around her disappointment were framed in terms of the cost of hosting the event, rather than mounting a successful defence.
It is a hard consequence of the Cup going offshore in that it represents a significant lost opportunity for New Zealand businesses. But that isn't the team's responsibility. If that opportunity really was that important to the Government, then perhaps they could have found a little more money rather than, say, blow $51 million thinking about a cycleway across Auckland's harbour.
But if we accept Government support can only extend so far – then surely, we must also accept Grant Dalton and Emirates Team New Zealand's decisions when it comes to financing a successful defence, rather than rely on the assurances of folk such as Mark Dunphy.
He revealed his hand early on when his offer to fund the defence carried with it the condition Dalton be excluded. I don't think the stench from smelling a rat over that one ever left the room for me.
Then there is Grant Dalton himself, who has been accused of treason, along with other
contemptuous insinuations which probably trace back to baseless scuttlebutt fomented by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) officials. This led to an apology from MBIE after a public rebuttal from Sir Stephen Tindall and others, and left lingering questions about MBIE officials, their motives and competence.
But still Dalton is a guy people love to hate. Maybe this is because he isn't a public relations-friendly teddy bear who smiles and offers reassuring platitudes and empty promises.
In my view, Dalton is a tenacious, determined guy who gets things done. He has managed to raise the money, and build and maintain a team to compete, win and defend the Cup against the seemingly bottomless pockets of other teams.
And as the saying goes: time heals everything. And for what it's worth, I reckon Barcelona will be a magnificent venue for the America's Cup defence.
Perhaps once our passions subside, we might think about how Tourism NZ and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade might leverage off Barcelona to remind the world our beautiful little country exists.
We might recover our pride in the Emirates Team New Zealand success story and how it exemplifies the power of NZ innovation. We might remember that Emirates Team New Zealand is populated by talented and hardworking Kiwi designers, innovators, and sailors.
And we might even learn to appreciate the talents of Grant Dalton. Because he's a bloke who gets s**t done.
• Tim Beveridge is host of The Weekend Collective on NewstalkZB.