Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government put their "best foot forward" in the combined bid with Auckland Council to host the next America's Cup after Team NZ confirmed today they've rejected the offer.
Ardern was asked about Team New Zealand's confirmation they will now start looking at overseas offers for hosting the 37th America's Cup, with the homegrown $99 million bid declined.
"The Government, on behalf of taxpayers, went into those negotiations in good faith, in the hope of being able to retain the competition here in New Zealand," Ardern said from Fieldays this afternoon.
"We wanted to have that home crowd, and for every Cup where we've held it, we've hosted.
"We have to make sure that not only we put our best foot forward and make every endeavour to hold and host the race here, we also needed to identify the point where it wouldn't be value for money for New Zealanders.
"The ball is in their court. We believe we've made a decent offer, and now it's for them to resolve where the Cup will be raced."
Ardern she was like every Kiwi in wanting the America's Cup to remain in New Zealand waters and urged Kiwis to tell Team NZ how they feel about the Auld Mug potentially being defended overseas.
"Make your voice heard. There are still negotiations being had, and if you feel really strongly about this in the same we did, let the team know.
"I, like every Kiwi, want to see that race hosted here. You can't replace a home crowd, and you cannot replace the huge strength of feeling that New Zealanders bring to that race. That's what makes it so exciting."
Asked if there was room for the $99 million bid to go higher, Ardern responded that wasn't the point.
"At some point, we have to say we can't justify investment beyond that for the taxpayer.
"We have to make a call about where that line exists. I could not hand on heart stand here in front of you and say that it would have been good value for money for New Zealanders to go beyond where we have. So I wouldn't do it."
She said she wouldn't go as far as saying that Team NZ "didn't give it a good run with us".
"The team themselves, I do think, want to race here. I do think they want a home crowd. That's the team. But of course there are other commercial imperatives that play."
Team NZ boss Grant Dalton said in a statement this morning Auckland is still an option despite the initial rejection.
"No matter where in the world we are, we will always be Team New Zealand. Our priority has always been to keep and defend the America’s Cup successfully," Dalton said.
"We certainly want to explore holding a regatta in Auckland and along with discussing the venue for AC37 with other nations, would like to work through that opportunity also."
Doha in the Middle East and Portsmouth in England have been touted as other possible hosting venues.