Friday, October 4, 2013

Bring On The Americas Cup Challenge

It is fantastic news that state support for Team New Zealand has been announced. The America's Cup is  far more than a rich man's yacht race for New Zealand.

Owning The Great Ponsonby ArtHotel and hosting  America's Cup fans, boat buyers and investors we are well qualified to comment on the real value of the America's Cup.

It is far, far more important. The original America's Cup defence was a transformation for the New Zealand marine industry and continues to be so today.  It also was a positive step in our nation's character development . Our confidence surged and again this serves us well today.

The Fonterra debacle which is heading to European courts and has the potential to damage New Zealand Inc. would have thrown us once and our media would be full of doom and gloom.

With the confidence we developed with the America's Cup victory and successful defence we as  people are better able to cope with these challenges.

Rod Oram's column below celebrates this  It is also the part of the narrative of our industrialism and our innovation.

Rod Oram’s Sunday Star column of September 22, 2013  The Year of the Cat has made a 21st century clarion call for nation building.  He writes “an even bigger challenge for Emirates Team New Zealand is to make New Zealand the global epicentre for its powerful technologies and skills”.

“The science and commercial benefits for New Zealand would flow far beyond sailing. The technologies have wide applications across the economy in hi-tech manufacturing energy infrastructure, construction and many other fields.”

In 1936 Michael Joseph Savage said, “Our objective is to turn New Zealand into a nations of buyers as well as consumers and to make science, machinery and money the servants rather than the masters of the people.”

Oram’s column is a 21 century  statement of our potential as championed by Savage. W.B Sutch and Norman Kirk were people of great vision who have shaped New Zealand. All would no doubt agree with Oram.

Oram in this most thoughtful and analytical of his columns wrote, “Auckland must play the same global role in high tech yacht racing not just for the sake of the America's Cup but to drive science business and wealth generation in our economy”.

Oram is correct. The challenge for New Zealand Inc is to come to an understanding, a consensus, and to commit. Government cannot be hands off, but must champion these industries and have a vision and take Kiwis with them as Norman Kirk did.  The government’s challenge is to maximise the benefits that these technologies can deliver and the industry that can be built. 

In 1939 Michael Joseph Savage said “We cannot leave our economic and social standards to the fluctuations of overseas trade conditions. New Zealand must establish our own standards and with these thoughts in our minds we set out to establish a nation in these southern seas”.
These are the foundations that  built our nation.  If our leaders champion what Oram has written we can lift our standards and  once again have the potential to provide have a security that once we all felt.