Grant Dalton is chief executive of the New Zealand Team and American Cup Events, the company that was awarded taxpayer funds to host the event. Photo / Jason Oxenham
The New Zealand team has issued a “public condemnation” of government departments for giving taxpayer tens of millions of dollars in funding, accusing him of inappropriate behavior and calling for a review.
The syndicate today released a series of documents including letters to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as well as Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
America’s Cup Event, a company run within the headquarters of Team New Zealand that shares Grant Dalton as its chief executive, has been awarded up to $ 40 million in taxpayer funds for the 36th place in the world’s oldest international sporting competition.
Earlier this year MBIE launched an investigation into ACE’s handling of money, partly as a result of allegations made by the whistleblower, former contractor Mayo & Calder.
“In the face of the unsubstantiated and libelous accusations again against ETNZ / ACE and its directors, we feel that we must now set things straight by trying to respect the process that is due in this saga throughout the year,” the New Zealand Team said in a statement. unsigned.
“We wanted to avoid public condemnation like MBIE but because of their actions to hide their completely inappropriate behavior through this protracted contract process, we now feel obliged to release a series of letters addressed to MBIE and the minister asking MBIE to account for them. . action. “
According to the New Zealand Team “these letters describe a very different story from the one currently being presented”.
The Herald reported today that the Serious Fraud Office appears to be looking at taxpayer funding for the America’s Cup.
MBIE previously confirmed that its chief executive, Carolyn Tremain, had had “discussions” with SFO director Julie Read. The SFO confirmed the discussion. Neither side will explain who started the discussion.
The statement by the New Zealand Team reiterated comments made to the Herald that “it would welcome any intervention by the Ombudsman or the Public Service Commission to see MBIE action through this protracted process”.
In a statement, MBIE chief executive Caroline Tremain said after receiving allegations about trouble at ACE, the ministry “used the contractual terms of the Host Place Agreement to engage Beattie Varley to conduct an audit”.
Tremain notes Horton’s comments that ACE’s initial approach to auditing was unhelpful.
“MBIE always treats all parties involved in the process with respect and strongly denies the many issues raised in the letter from ACE,” said Tremain.
He revealed that the mediation that was originally announced to cover the dispute over a $ 3 million design fee had been expanded to cover “matters of parties acting in good faith”.
Mediation is finally expected to begin in December. “MBIE looks forward to the end of this process.”
In August, an audit report by forensic accountant Beattie Varley – commissioned by MBIE – sharply criticized governance at ACE and the New Zealand Team, but concluded investigators saw no evidence that taxpayer event funding had been misappropriated.
In July, the New Zealand Team and ACE went to the High Court in Auckland to prevent the Herald from publishing details of Beattie Varley’s previous report.
New Zealand Team Leader Sir Stephen Tindall described Beattie Varley’s latest report as “total justification”.
He refused to answer questions or be interviewed. According to reports by GoodsTindall called MBIE’s chief executive, Carolyn Tremain, to ask about the nature of her discussion with the SFO, but she declined to say.
ACE chairman Tina Symmans also declined all interview requests.
No one from the Government was willing to comment on the recent reports, with Ardern’s spokesperson saying that was being handled by MBIE.