Team NZ hosting fee? 'We won't do that' - Mayor

Phil Goff has categorically ruled out paying Team NZ a 'hosting fee' to ensure the America's Cup defence takes place in Auckland.

It's been reported the syndicate has been offered big money to take the regatta overseas, and the Government has confirmed Team NZ is after a "significant" hosting fee to keep it in New Zealand.

But the city's Mayor is dead against it.

"I can't spend money that we don't have, and I'm not intending to," Mr Goff told The Nation on Saturday.

"That would not be my top priority when I've got huge priorities right across the city on behalf of Auckland. That's what Aucklanders tell me - we want the cup here, we really want to host the cup, I want to host the cup - we will pay a fair share to the infrastructure.

"I'm not up for hosting agreement fees that were never paid in 1999... or 2003."

He said he doesn't mind Team NZ "having a go", but he doesn't have "$116 million, or anything like that, or a fraction of that".

"If the demand was we had to put another $116 million in, my answer is no. We won't do that."

Mr Goff doesn't think Team NZ will pull out if Auckland doesn't pay up.

"We've got the best waterfront in the world to do this. They are patriotic New Zealanders, they want to have the cup here."

A number of former Team NZ members have defected to overseas syndicates, including skippers Dean Barker and Russell Coutts.