America's Cup: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern disappointed as New Zealand loses hosting rights, didn't want to be drawn into bidding war

While disappointed at losing hosting rights for the next America's Cup, the NZ Government wouldn't be drawn into a bidding war by Emirates Team NZ, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Sports Minister Grant Robertson.

Emirates Team New Zealand have confirmed Barcelona will host the 2024 defence of the 'Auld Mug', taking the 37th Cup challenge away from Kiwi waters, where it was retained last year.

Since June, the America's Cup clearly would not be defended at home, after Team NZ rejected the Government's offer to host, and sought overseas options in the likes of Spain, Ireland and Saudi Arabia.

The Prime Minister has outlined her disappointment over Team NZ's decision, after an offer in the hundreds of millions was rejected. 

"I probably feel the same as many New Zealanders," the Prime Minister says. "I am disappointed around the decision that's been made on where the America's Cup will be held.

"As Government, we certainly stumped up sufficient funding for it to be hosted here, we wanted it hosted here, so for it to depart is a disappointment."

Ultimately, New Zealand simply lacked the finances Team NZ needed to mount a confident and credible defence at home.

Peter Burling drinks from the America's Cup.
Peter Burling drinks from the America's Cup. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Up against the foreign offers, Sport Minister Grant Robertson insists New Zealand would not be held to ransom by Team NZ.

"From our perspective, it wasn't a bidding war," Robertson says. "We'd put $136 million into the hosting of America's Cup 36 and we had an offer on the table of close to $100 million with the Auckland Council.

"We felt like that was a reasonable offer, but we weren't going to get ourselves into a bidding war.

"Unfortunately, as the Prime Minister said, the decision has been taken to take it offshore, [which] is incredibly disappointing."

Prime Minister Ardern also expressed the disappointment of New Zealand fans, who'll now have to watch the Cup defence from their couches, rather than on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.

But the Government is confident its offer was more than enough to keep the Cup in New Zealand, regardless of the decision to take it overseas.

Team New Zealand celebrate with the America's Cup.
Team New Zealand celebrate with the America's Cup. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

"I know there'll be a lot of emotions around it," she continues. "New Zealanders will have their own view on that question.

"For us, we wanted it hosted here, because New Zealand treats it like a national event. I don't think any other country in the world treats the America's Cup in the way that we do - we all celebrate it.

"At the same time, we have to consider all of the other costs that we have. We put enough on the table for it to be hosted here, but ultimately, a different decision was made.

"I want to acknowledge that there will be members of Team New Zealand who may have taken different views, who wanted to be here, but ultimately a call's been made by the leadership."