'We're working hard to get what Team NZ needs' – Phil Goff on America's Cup future

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is promising to do everything he can to deliver Team New Zealand what they want for the 2021 defence of the America's Cup.

Following yesterday's surprise announcement from the Auckland City Council about the future of the America's Cup village, Goff appeared on Breakfast to reassure Team New Zealand that he is doing everything he can for a successful cup defence in 2021.

"We're really working hard to actually get what Team New Zealand needs for a successful competition," he said.

"You don't always get what you want, but we're going to bend over backwards to give you what you need."

"We're listening to Team New Zealand, we're trying to accommodate their needs - but in the end, we've also got to do what's best for Auckland and New Zealand."

Goff was also confident that he'd be able to deliver a proposition that will keep the cup in New Zealand, rather than see it head offshore, with Italy mooted as another possible hosting option.

"I don't think that's on the cards at the moment."

"You can't totally rule that out, but there's been no suggestion made to us in any of our discussions with Team New Zealand that they want or intend to go elsewhere."

"We've got to deliver these sites that are purpose fit for Team New Zealand, we'll do that."

Auckland's Mayor is desperate to finalise plans for the 2021 challenge. Source: Breakfast

'Open doors for people in Tonga' – Pita Taufatofua on inspiring the Pacific's next generation of Olympians

Tongan Winter Olympian Pita Taufatofua has spoken about his objective at this year's PyeongChang games, hoping to show the next generation of Pacific athletes what's possible for them.

After making the switch from taekwando to cross-country skiing following his participation at the 2016 Olympic in Rio de Janeiro, Taufatofua is Tonga's sole representative at this year's Winter games in PyeongChang.

However, speaking to media yesterday, Taufatofua says his participation is more of a symbolic statement, rather than that of a medal prospect.

"The goal was to qualify, and in doing so, to open doors for the kids who are watching - in Tonga in Polynesia and the Pacific - to show them that there's more opportunities, to show them that there is a Winter Olympics," he said.

"On a personal level, my goal was to qualify and I achieved that goal."

"From a bigger level, for something that was much bigger than myself - it was what can I do with this? How can I inspire someone to be at the next Olympics."

The cross country skier is Tonga's only athlete in PyeongChang this year. Source: 1 NEWS



'I won't medal on Friday, but in four years someone from Tonga might' – Tongan flagbearer aiming to create history in PyeongChang

Tongan Winter Olympics flagbearer and cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua is hoping his performances in PyeongChang will inspire athletes in not just his home nation, but all across the Pacfic for future games to come.

After making the switch from taekwando, the sport that he represented Tonga in at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Taufatofua will this year be the island nations sole participant in PyeongChang, hoping his efforts serve as an example for future Olympians.

"The truth of the matter is that I've had a short time on snow, I won't medal on Friday," he said yesterday.

"But in four years someone from Tonga might, in eight years someone from the Pacific might."

"More importantly, these kids from the Pacific who are watching now, they'll have access to something they never knew existed before, and to me, that's why I'm here."

Pita Taufatofua is hoping to inspire the next generation of Pacific athletes at the Winter Olympics. Source: 1 NEWS