The clock is ticking for Team New Zealand. Without an immediate cash injection the syndicate are, in the words of boss Grant Dalton, "gone by the end of the month".
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and so the syndicate today invited the media to their Halsey St base in a thinly veiled attempt to make one last plea to the New Zealand tax-payer to keep the doors of the syndicate open.
Worried the "hysteria" and "negative rhetoric" around the rules for the next America's Cup is hingeing efforts to secure further bridging finance from the government, Dalton has stated his case to the for the team's continued involvement in the event.
Although Dalton said the syndicate has never been in a better position from a sponsorship point of view, the money he has lined up won't kick in until February next year once the venues for 35th America's Cup and qualifying series is known.
So Team New Zealand are reliant on government funds getting them through to February. Dalton says he has private money lined up to help tide them over in the meantime as well, but those donors aren't willing to hand over a cheque until the government is on board.
While privately the government have been receptive to continuing to invest in Team NZ, they're nervous about the public backlash in election year. So it rests on Dalton's shoulders to try and convince the New Zealand tax-payer it will be money well spent.
We were happy enough for the Government to back the San Francisco challenge. We were slightly less happy when the Government gave ETNZ $5 million to keep the team together. But that was a decision we could live with.
However a year on, we're going to say that enough is enough. If Team New Zealand hasn't been able to raise enough cash to stay together, then maybe it's time for us to forget our odd love affair with the America's Cup.
Bill English's Budget last month was pretty parsimonious. The economy is recovering, but we're not yet at the point where Bill English can fund everything on the wish list.
We're not sure how much Grant Dalton is asking for, but trying to hold the Government over a barrel this close to the election is a risky strategy. $5 million (for argument's sake) buys a lot of hip operations, or cataract surgeries, or grommets for children with glue ear. It funds a few teachers, nurses and police officers.
The America's Cup used to be a fantastic sporting contest. Who can ever forget that day New Zealand won the Auld Mug in 1995 (we will NEVER forget the hangover we had next day!), or the day we retained the cup in 2000. But those days are long gone.
New Zealand is still one of the best sailing nations in the world. Our world championship and Olympic success doesn't depend on Team New Zealand. As much as we love sport, there are better ways for taxpayer dollars to be spent, and if that spells the end of Team New Zealand, that's an unfortunate reality.