Time is running out for the coalition Government to get the America’s Cup bases up and running for the Cup Defence in Auckland, National’s Economic Development Spokesperson Simon Bridges says.
“Economic Development Minister David Parker needs to get his act together pronto,” Mr Bridges says.
“Council and Government officials seem to be in a stand-off with the Prime Minister and Mr Parker and it is not difficult to see why.
“Mr Parker has said on these matters that he ‘doesn’t want to be dictatorial’ but it seems his high handed approach in the face of both Council and Government officials who have differing views to him is causing delays that may well jeopardise the running of a successful Cup event in Auckland.
“It’s also very surprising that no estimate of costs to Government of the America’s Cup are included in the Treasury’s Half-Yearly update. Does the Government really not have any idea yet what it is up for?
“While it may feel like there is plenty of time, the reality is that with planning, designing, consenting and building infrastructure we are well into the eleventh hour before midnight. There will come a point when decisions will be too late and that would be unforgivable.
“I was conscious as Economic Development Minister in the previous Government how tight the timeline was and this was going to be the top priority for me to sort prior to Christmas.
“Now we are heading for decisions in all likelihood a couple of months into the New Year. Officials are obviously tearing their hair out with all the time delays. It’s time for the Government to make a decision.”