The New Zealand High Court has ruled that a confidential draft audit report on finances for the America’s Cup event cannot be made public.
Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) immediatly twitted . . .
As Justice Moore has concluded, these allegations in the interim report were unproven and unanswered and publication of them was not in the public interest.
We fully expect to be totally cleared from these vexatious allegations and put this distracting sideshow behind us.
America’s Cup defender ETNZ and and its event arm America’s Cup Event Limited (ACE) had applied for the High Court injunction against the NZ Herald publisher NZME over a month ago.
ETNZ wanted to prevent NZME from publishing a draft copy of a confidential audit done for the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation (MBIE), which in a letter had raised “serious concerns” about spending by ACE.
Team New Zealand said it did not want confidential information released, including team salaries which would be valuable for rivals who may try to poach staff after the March AC36 regatta.
The lawyers for NZME had argued there was public interest in the report, even though the findings were interim and still subject to negotiation.
The full interim injunction order against NZME by Justice Moore has not yet been released, but in a redacted version he stated:
I accept there is a legitimate public interest in the public knowing how taxpayer-sourced funds have been applied, spent or treated.
But there can be no legitimate public interest in the publication of allegations, some anonymously sourced, where the public is denied the full picture because those who are the subject of the accusations have not yet answered them.
The MBIA has already announced that it had suspended public funding to ACE for the America’s Cup event.
On their FaceBook page, Team New Zealand posted an image of two AC75’s on the Hauraki Gulf – the Kiwi boat Te Aihe and the American Magic challenger, Defiant, with the tag . . .
It’s only going to get more exciting from here on in.