COMMENT:

Do we honestly want America's Cup trouble? Do we honestly want any bad publicity around being open, hospitable and accommodating when it comes to international events?

Why are the America's Cup entrants having trouble getting into the country?

The answer is obvious, we are locked down.

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But there are exemptions. Exemptions for essential workers and jobs that provide material benefit to this country. They enter, isolate, and then bring skills, money and expertise we want and should encourage.

The film industry wants to get to work here because of our health gains. Other specialist jobs have been allowed exemptions.

Why, then, is the America's Cup having trouble? Why are foreign entrants speaking out? Why are they frustrated? Why are they potentially calling on Team New Zealand to step in and help? Why are we even here?

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So far this week, the two men who appear to hold the answers aren't talking: Phil Twyford and Iain Lees-Galloway. Sadly, in my view, both have reputations for ineptitude that well and truly precede them.

Phil Twyford. Photo / File
Phil Twyford. Photo / File

Could it be as simple as that? A couple of blokes who have previously been shown up as incompetent are displaying those traits again? The fact they won't talk, is that part of the Government's new "gagging and we can dismiss" policy? Is it the arrogance that comes with lockdown laws that have two voices - Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson - telling us what we can do, who can do it, and when?

Or could it be as we reach level 2 those who have been hidden away for a couple of months re-emerge? And with the re-emergence comes the ineptitude of old? Could it be the issues that plagued this government before Covid-19 - like lack of delivery - are back front and centre?

When it comes to actually doing stuff, as in more than just announcing another handout, they're stuck. They're slow. They're indecisive.

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Need we remind ourselves of the value of the America's Cup? And need we even raise the importance, in this new era, of the value of reputation?

So once again, why are we here?

What sort of look is it that those who want to participate in yachting's oldest prize, and bring with them the spectacle, audience, and money that goes with it, that their introduction to the country is paperwork, no answers, frustration and pleas for help?

And their greeting party and points of official contact are made up of people called Lees-Galloway and Twyford?