Golf course owner wants more taxpayer funding

Stuff reports:

The Government needs to significantly up its investment if the New Zealand Open tournament is to boom to the levels Sir Michael Hill dreams of.

Hill, who owns the tournament’s home course, The Hills, said the event was on the verge of being something “truly extraordinary” and he expected its popularity, growth and contribution to New Zealand’s tourism market to snowball.

But for the event to take off it needs television coverage and Hill thinks the taxpayer should foot the bill.

One of the tournament’s main drawcards is Hill’s course and the breath-taking Arrowtown surrounds.

Without television coverage, their impact is obviously reduced.

The Government already puts in $900,000 to the event, which offers a $900,000 purse but costs closer to $1.8m to run.

Television coverage would cost about $600,000 and the highlights package and live streaming the event organisers are already springing for costs $200,000.

Hill said the $400,000 shortfall should be covered by the Government, but he also said organisers were grateful for the contribution they already received.

I can think of many better things for my taxes to be spent on than televising a golf tournament. The taxpayer is already funding half the costs of the tournament, and now they want us to pay for the broadcasting costs also!

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