Air NZ and Team NZ

August 8th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

is a supplier to New Zealand’s America’s Cup arch-rivals Oracle.

The airline is listed on the United States yachting syndicate’s website as a supplier with 28 other companies, some of them international firms but most from America.

Why wouldn’t they be? I expect Air NZ to supply services to anyone willing to pay.

Emirates Team New Zealand are on course to race Oracle for the Auld Mug and support for a rival outfit by the airline – which is mainly taxpayer-owned – is puzzling an avid fan of New Zealand’s challenge.

“It’s strange to think that the national carrier of New Zealand is helping the competition, let alone the New Zealand Government holding a majority stake in the company,” said supporter Kurt Bennett.

So we have a story based on one fan’s puzzlement?

Air NZ is not helping the competition. They are not training the crew up. they are providing seats on planes.

The Government also owns about 73 per cent of Air NZ, which because of exclusivity arrangements would be prevented from joining Emirates in backing the New Zealand challenge.

Exactly. So how is this a story?

Mr Bennett said he understood that but did not think it was appropriate for a company such as Air NZ to support another country, let alone the direct competition to Team NZ.

They are not supporting another country. They are providing a service.

Air NZ said it was not a sponsor of Oracle, just a supplier, but did not provide details of the nature of the deal. “It’s worth noting that Emirates Team NZ and Oracle are both users of Air NZ services. Oracle and Emirates have people based in New Zealand and Air NZ is the only carrier to offer direct services between New Zealand and San Francisco,” a spokeswoman said.

Maybe Mr Bennett thinks Air NZ should ban all foreigners from their flights, in case any of them are sportsmen or sportswomen who compete against NZ atheletes?

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21 Responses to “Air NZ and Team NZ”

  1. Paulus (2,633 comments) says:

    Stupid Herald again, trying to fill up their paper even if it is crappy.

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  2. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    This is becoming the norm – personal outrage masquerading as news.

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  3. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    We really deserve better:

    1.

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  4. anonymouse (717 comments) says:

    I am assuming that they raised the same points with Dell Computers who are listed as a exclusive supplier to “Team NZ” – or is balance not a required feature of print stories these days…..

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  5. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    Oops…. Fingers are too fast for the keyboard… Not! 8O

    We really deserve better:

    1. Mr Bennett is a just another moron who cannot understand business and sponsorship.

    2. The Hoorald has plummeted to a fresh nadir in the area of finding a ‘newsworthy’ article for their ‘newspaper’.

    It must be another day ending in ‘Y’…

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  6. CJPhoto (222 comments) says:

    Not quite that simple – to be listed as a ‘supplier’ they must be giving something in return, either cash of cheap/free airfares.

    Having said that, what is the issue. AIRNZ have a direct flight from San Fran to Auckland and they want to market that the people in the US, therefore you get your name on the boat they support. It would be pretty dumb to ‘support’ ETNZ as that is providing ‘marketing benefit’ to AIRNZ without any expenditure.

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  7. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Wasn’t Oracle’s boat (or their 45s) built in NZ and their crew did some training in Auckland?

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  8. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Great idea on the ban. We could ban foreigners who are taking up valuable seats that would otherwise be available to NZers. Banning foreigners will thus make seats cheaper for ordinary kiwis struggling to afford their first overseas trip.

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  9. woodburner (30 comments) says:

    So this guy is mad that Air New Zealand is supporting a oracle on a presumably commercial basis, but has no problems with Team NZ being sponsored by Emirates… seems a bit odd.

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  10. OneTrack (3,121 comments) says:

    Next up in urgent breaking news, the colour of Kim Kardashian’s fingernail polish. On the spot report from random bystander.

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  11. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    So we have a story based on one fan’s puzzlement?

    Did they actually seek out that comment or did they see it on Twitter?

    Mr Bennett said he understood that but did not think it was appropriate for a company such as Air NZ to support another country, let alone the direct competition to Team NZ.

    More perverted patriotism. There are no countries in the America’s Cup just as there are no countries in Formula one. It’s a rich mans toy sport, all power to them but claiming some misguided nationalistic pride out if it is a bit weird.

    The most important thing to take out of this is that the Government shouldn’t own majority shares in an airline.

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  12. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    WHAT THE???

    The Herald are doomed.

    Imagine sitting in a meeting at the herald.

    “any great exclusives today?”

    “yeah boss, i found this one guy who googled oracle! it turns out they fly on air nz when visiting umm nz”

    “sweet mother of god! now thats a story! everyone else take note! this is why grant is earning $400 a week! Outstanding work son”

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  13. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    There was a time when every aspect of an America’s Cup challenge (from design, to sails, to construction, to crewing) had to originate in the country of the challenger/holder.

    While the US lead the way in terms of money, technology and sailing skill, that was fine for the US. But when the cutting edge of technology and skill, coupled with the backing of the likes of Douglas Myers (yes, more than Fay) and Michael Fay et al, shifted to New Zealand, and money came via commercial sponsorship, the rules changed.

    Remember what the “Swiss” subsequently did to Team (red socks) New Zealand?

    Emirates have deep pockets…much deeper than Air NZ. The ETNZ brand has been good for both.

    As for Bennett and his crap…situation normal.

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  14. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Is there even any other options for SFO -> AKL than Air New Zealand ? I’m not aware of anyone else on the route. You could do Qantas via Sydney but that’s a chore.

    I don’t really under the boat racing thing, but I went to the ETNZ Xmas party last year (I work for a sponsor), they seem a fairly decent set of chaps and the food and drink was top notch.

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  15. jams (48 comments) says:

    I sat next to one of the Oracle sailors on a AKL -> SFO flight last year (they fly premium economy if you’re interested). We had a good chat and he said that he was spending 1 week in Auckland and 2 weeks in San Fran at that point, that’s a fair bit of flying. There’s no way you’d want to fly through LAX or SYD to just avoid flying Air New Zealand. And the wine is better then you get on any of the other Airlines.

    All the teams have a fair few kiwis, I’d say Air NZ is probably a supplier to all of them.

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  16. OneTrack (3,121 comments) says:

    Dime 12:36 – I think your $400 is wide of the mark but everything else is probably exactly right.

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  17. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    one track – closer to $200?

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  18. Michael (910 comments) says:

    Air NZ and Oracle have a contract that gives Team Oracle a volume discount for flights between and SFO and AKL. Just wondering how that qualifies as news…

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  19. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    Pretty much.

    Air NZ can’t be seen to have anything to do with Team NZ – Emirates would go bananas, it’s a no-go zone. So the fact they sell seats (at a discount rate or not) to another syndicate is a total non-story. Weird, in fact.

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  20. calendar girl (1,244 comments) says:

    12:24pm – “The most important thing to take out of this is that the Government shouldn’t own majority shares in an airline.”

    In general terms I agree with your sentiment, but Government shareholding is not related in any way to Air NZ’s bulk discount arrangement with Oracle (good on Air NZ for stitching up commercial deals like that).

    However, Government itself shouldn’t be paying $30 million of taxpayers’ money (or some such ridiculous sum) in so-called sponsorship of a team in a minority “rich boys’ sport” competing 10,500km away.

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  21. Steve (North Shore) (4,565 comments) says:

    “rich boys’ sport” that will be back in NZ. And no, it will not be on Wellington harbour, it will be in the City of Sails(Sales)

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