Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Actually, I've always been really into yacht racing

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  • AndrewD,

    Combining 2 threads.

    A Cup in the hand is worth 10 overseas.

    A

    We haven't won it yet and yachting folk are whispering that Alinghi has a rocket.

    B

    If we do win it there'll be no ticker tape parade down Queen Street as there is no Queen Street at the moment

    C

    The last cup brought 500 million in which is not to be sneezed at. The tax off that will go some way to paying back the government's investment. It also meant some Italian kids at my kids school lifted our children's international awareness. In fact the general "joie de vivre" needs to have a value put on it because I remember it being a pretty good couple of summers full of balmy, barmy, good natured squiffiness on the waterfront.

    D

    Who goes to the Viaduct west of Sanford's except to get the Sunday fish at the market? Wouldn't a tram or monorail and an art gallery and seaside park as a destination be nice. Even a stadium. The last time Beaumont Street was an attraction was the good old days with the drag races back in the 70's and 80's. Oh and who says boy racers are a new problem.


    E

    Emirates are the money but they're gone in a month. Chelsea is better exposure.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The dreadful apartments have killed off Aucklanders' view of and access to the harbour from the central city.

    The "talk" Auckland City make about heritage corridors seems like crap to me - is the compensation for the apartment canyon (from Hobson St, down Custom Street to Beach Road) the maritime heritage corridor one can see if they stand in the middle of the Britomart Place dodging buses - this approach has not brought balance to the force.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    I find any nationalistic sport difficult to raise enthusiasm for. This is something that has grown since, oh, 1981.....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    JF;

    Since 1981?? OK, I can see the point there, but isn't it ironic that the ultimate purposeful national enthusiasm was Spain 1982??

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    like an english council estate, without the poor people

    But English council estates would be lovely without the poor people f...ing them up! Actually, after Thatcher had a lot of the underclass thrown down coal mines, many of them are quite nice. I have friends who live on quite idyllic ones.

    Seriously, if you've ever been to the Barbican in London, it's a 1960s system built deck access estate, just like the Mozart, only the people who live there are mostly wealthy. And it's a nice place to hang out. It's got residential in the middle, offices and pubs around the edges and even a preserved church and a large chunk of the city walls included.

    You can't buy smack there though apparently, unlike the Mozart.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Sailing is the opposite of rugby. Fun to do, boring to watch. Rather like golf, and I think it's the same demographic that take interest - at least an oldie can still hit a golf ball or steer a yacht. Of course soccer is more popular than everything else, anyone can play it pretty much anywhere, usually without getting seriously hurt in the body or the wallet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Mal McDonald,

    Hey NZdwellers....... on the subject of Yachting, er...please tell us whatever happened to Michael Fay & David Richwhite?

    Thats a +1 here on the Pelorus. The Moet Imperial is fine, but the standard stuff is Marque Vue

    London, UK • Since Feb 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Michael Fay & David Richwhite?

    Buggered off to Switzerland with their loverly lolly. A former colleague of mine once opined if they came back to New Zealand they should be hung for treason.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Unlike Bond, Fay / Rich White never ended up in prison.

    What about Lipton?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Buggered off to Switzerland with their loverly lolly. A former colleague of mine once opined if they came back to New Zealand they should be hung for treason.

    And it's dribble like that that makes me wonder why anyone stays -- though if this week's goden boys don't bring back that big silver ashtray, there won't be any room on the gallows for Messers Fay and Richwhite...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    I had read somewhere that Emerates sponsorship of TNZ ends the day the last race is sailed, so the cup would never go to Dubai anyway.

    To clarify, and I did check this with Mallard's office a few weeks back, it was firmly written into the deal the Government did with TNZ when it committed $35 million to the campaign that, should TNZ win in Valencia the next regatta would be held in NZ.

    It was the only way they'd had over the dosh. Hosting the Cup would bring substantial returns for NZ and the Government wanted a return for their support. Mallard says it's cast iron.

    Regard that how you will.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Of course soccer is more popular than everything else...

    True. But I still prefer football.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • nic.wise,

    @Simon Grigg: The kite fighting: I'd LOVE to see that. The Balinese, I think, would do that so well....

    Now, can we turn iraq etc into a kite fight? winner gets the oil.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Nic

    Last August on Ketewell Beach. The one above the flags on the second shot is over fifty metres long, and there were at least thirty that big.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Now, can we turn iraq etc into a kite fight? winner gets the oil

    Well, they certainly won't get much of the cradle of civilisation:

    http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/heritage/story/0,,2098275,00.html

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    Regardless of the fact that Auckland will probably mismanage any opportunity that comes its way, it's a bit tough to bad-mouth yachting as a sport. There are thousands of Kiwis, myself included, who sail in races and love the sport, and who have been enjoying the AC racing so far.

    I'd like to point out that as I approach 60 I am still able to compete in sailing races on a level footing with guys 1/3 my age, while my contemporaries who "love sports" sit on a sofa watching rugby, or play an occasional round of golf.

    Sailing is a genuine sport, with millions of devoted participants, involves subtleties of trim and tactics beyond the understanding of your average rugby-scrum headbanger, and has nothing to do with corporate downtown Auckland. If Team NZ wins the Cup, let's sail the next races at Lyttelton, and leave Auckland to fight about roads and house prices.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Kent Parker,

    Nobody says: I don't see newzealand.com anywhere.. Umm everytime our team is reported (on TVNZ anyway) it is referred to as Emirates Team New Zealand.

    This is a global event with global coverage. Any event involving countries at opposite ends of the globe is global. Eleven teams represents just under eleven different countries. Rugby union is global, and while it stirs up a passion in NZ, it would not get a ripple in Indonesia and probably gets less coverage than the America's cup globally.

    The media exposure the cup gets may not be mind bending, but it is over a long period. For Emirates it is like the glossy mag that sits for several months on the coffee table and is picked up and admired by slightly bored clients waiting for the doctor/lawyer/etc. Emirates represents, not a nation, but a multinational corporation. I can't see how having them as chief sponsor connects with having to have the Cup in Dubai, except for the large number of expat kiwis who work there.

    As I said, the team name is reported as " Emirates Team New Zealand". It was interesting that in the ETNZ vs BMW oracle race, 25 out of 34 sailors in both yachts were kiwis. We are a sailing nation and should be proud of it.

    Hawkes Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    We're not a sailing nation. We're a nation of lawn-mowing mortgage slaves.

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Hmm... think there'd be any money in organising say the Briggs & Stratton Cup?

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    __Buggered off to Switzerland with their loverly lolly. A former colleague of mine once opined if they came back to New Zealand they should be hung for treason.__

    And it's dribble like that that makes me wonder why anyone stays -- though if this week's goden boys don't bring back that big silver ashtray, there won't be any room on the gallows for Messers Fay and Richwhite...

    Yes, I think hanging is going a bit far.

    I'd settle for arrest at the border followed by a stiff term of imprisonment - although if former Fay, Richwhite shareholders wanted to work out their anger by putting the former company principals in the stocks and pelting them I'd be okay with that.

    In the real world, of course, Richwhite will buy his way out of his pesky insider trading rap like his fellow defendants have already.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    25 out of 34 sailors in both yachts were kiwis. We are a sailing nation and should be proud of it.

    Or we're a nation that provides sailors-for-hire.

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    __like an english council estate, without the poor people__

    But English council estates would be lovely without the poor people f...ing them up! Actually, after Thatcher had a lot of the underclass thrown down coal mines, many of them are quite nice. I have friends who live on quite idyllic ones.

    Seriously, if you've ever been to the Barbican in London, it's a 1960s system built deck access estate, just like the Mozart, only the people who live there are mostly wealthy. And it's a nice place to hang out. It's got residential in the middle, offices and pubs around the edges and even a preserved church and a large chunk of the city walls included.

    You can't buy smack there though apparently, unlike the Mozart.

    heh heh heh. I had 2 LOL cos that's the truth Ruth! As a former state house kid (no, I'm not John Key) you have to laugh (to keep from crying) at the state of state housing these days. The Govt/Chris Carter has such grand utopian visions of 'blended communities' yet you know it will all end in tears. Upwardly mobile kiwis do do not want to live next door to a state house full of Junior Gang Prospects. Carter's plans for Glen Innes and Hobsonville will be interesting to watch.

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    but back to topic:

    In the real world, of course, Richwhite will buy his way out of his pesky insider trading rap like his fellow defendants have already.

    I thought that's what they did when they 'paid' for the original challenge for the America's Cup? Despite what Ranapia said earlier, there is a still a stench surrounding Fay & Richwhite that hasn't been resolved. Probably due to the fact that no Govt is willing to investigate.

    FR are the merchant bankers who were charged with finding the best buyers when Labour decided to sell off the family silver. And those DumbR's in Govt thought it was acceptable for FR to errect a 'chinese wall' around their Auckland & Wellington offices ~ the result being that Wellington handled the sale and Auckland bought the frigging assets - and then later sold them at a huge profit. It's the same way that the new Russian and Chinese billionaires gained their wealth - buying state assets cheaply from a govt that doesn't know their worth and profiting immensely.

    NZ's most successful business man, Graeme Hart, got his start in exactly the same way. To quote Wikipedia "Hart gained a big break when he bought Government Print Agency for less than its capital value"

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Brian Gaynor wrote a brilliant analysis of the string of transactions through which F&R enriched themselves, usually at the expense of their shareholders. That's gone from the Herald website now, but this 2003 column is also instructive:

    A Fay, Richwhite consortium bought New Zealand Rail from the Government in 1993 for $328 million and changed the target company's name to TranzRail. The deal was a typical private equity transaction, with $223 million or 68 per cent of the purchase price funded by debt and the remaining $105 million by equity.

    One of the first priorities of a private-equity investor is to sell surplus assets to repay the acquisition debt and/or make a capital repayment to shareholders.

    TranzRail sold its 15 per cent stake in Clear Communication for $73 million and made a $100 million capital repayment in June 1995. This reduced the capital contribution of the original investors to just $16 million (additional equity had been issued to management between September 1993 and the share buy-back).

    New shares were sold to the public through an IPO in 1996 at $6.19 each and most of the funds used to repay borrowings. Part of this debt had been raised to fund the capital repayment to the private equity consortium.

    The rest is history as far as TranzRail is concerned. The company was engulfed in a sea of debt, Toll Holding acquired a controlling stake at a fraction of the IPO price, and a number of the former private equity investors have been subject to a long-running insider trading case initiated by the Securities Commission.

    Nice work if you can get it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    One of the first priorities of a private-equity investor is to sell surplus assets to repay the acquisition debt and/or make a capital repayment to shareholders.

    Yes they've become quite the thing in very recent years. Why are so many 'private-equity investors' buying up NZ companies lately? Because they know that once the Kiwisaver funds come rolling in they will have to buy something with all that dosh. Pay what seems like top dollar now, cook the books, pump the share price, and sell part of your shareholding in a few years to pay back your original investment. Or all of your shareholding if the company is actually a dog.
    It's a global trend, not a NZ thing, we're only just getting 'in' to it. Those financiers sure know how to turn a buck ...

    The biggest joke is 'public/private partnerships'. Especially when it's a piece of public infrastructure. Aucland's Vector Arena was majority paid for by Auckland City ratepayers. But they won't own the arena for another 40 years (at which time it will be obsolete and ready for demolition). In the meantime the private partner gets to run the arena for 40 years and keep ALL of the profits.

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

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