Power wielded by Team NZ CEO Grant Dalton under scrutiny amid MBIE investigation

As Team New Zealand comes under increasing scrutiny about the use of public money, the power wielded by CEO Grant Dalton in the circle of governance is firmly in the spotlight.

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The Team New Zealand boss is standing firm as the syndicate comes under increasing scrutiny about the use of public money. Source: 1 NEWS

Sources today have told 1 NEWS they're not surprised by this sort of blow-up over concerns about Team NZ’s governance, but Dalton stands firm.

"They're [questions] all answerable, they're being answered. A lot of them are already answered,” Dalton said.

The sources are also suggesting the team and the organisers of the regatta, America's Cup Events, are too close.

"First of all, they have independent directors, to a point you can't pull them apart. Are they too cosy? Maybe, but it is what it is and we own the rights, we're putting the event on,” Dalton said.

Some say the closeness is needed.

"It has to be, because it's done between two yacht clubs. There's no world body for the America's Cup. A couple of people have tried to set up for [it] and failed dismally. Thank goodness World Sailing isn't in there running it,” Sailing commentator Richard Gladwell said.

While MBIE stages its review into funding and spending, the teams are facing their own issues.

Luna Rossa and American Magic have scaled down construction of their bases, with the Americans struggling to just get a foothold in the country.

"We've got American Magic sitting over there on the viaduct. Their team members have to go through a two-week quarantine period. Currently they don't have the documents they can leave,” Gladwell said.

Team NZ are confident the timetable will be met.

"Absolutely, there's no reason it won't be. There's plenty of time. Well, there's never plenty of time. America's Cup, you can't buy time, but this will have no effect on that at all,” Dalton said.

A lack of challengers and Covid-19 hasn't helped. Visitor numbers expected for later this year and beyond are, are at this stage, minimal.