Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn’t concerned that the spying allegations that have rocked Team New Zealand will affect the country’s hosting of the 2021 America’s Cup.
Team NZ boss Grant Dalton has revealed he confronted an alleged spy before terminating a contract because confidential information was leaked out of the team’s Auckland headquarters.
The America’s Cup defender claims contractors who had full access to the team’s base leaked sensitive information which came back to him from Europe.
Ardern said she wasn’t overly concerned at this stage.
“We’re all committed to making sure we do a fantastic job of hosting the America’s Cup. That’s where everyone’s efforts are going in to,” she said.
“Obviously there are some issues that are being looked into presently by MBIE, but I don’t want to be drawn too much on them because at the moment it’s speculative.”
One of Team NZ’s rival challengers has denied any involvement in the scandal.
Sir Ben Ainslie, an Olympic superstar, has told NZME that his America’s Cup challenging team are in the dark over the allegations.
INEOS Team UK skipper Ainslie told NZME they haven’t received anything and CEO Grant Simmer says they are certainly not involved.
“There’s no comment from us as we’ve got no insight into what’s happened,” said Ainslie, who turned around Oracle’s fortunes as they scored their famous comeback win over Team NZ in San Francisco seven years ago.
Fellow European syndicate and challenger of record Luna Rossa could not be reached for comment.
Dalton, speaking on The Mike Hosking Breakfast this morning, would not say how many people they thought might behind leak allegations, but confirmed that they were not dealing with a single person.
“It’s hard to believe it would be a plant. But, you know, when you get inside an organisation like ours and you’ve got pretty much free access, you know, it can do things to people.”