Wellington, March 17 NZPA - The New Zealand Olympic Committee and Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey believe Auckland could have won the right to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games if the Government hadn't sunk the bid by refusing to fund it.
Prime Minister John Key said yesterday the games would have run at a projected loss of $600 million.
"It's very, very expensive and we can't see the economic pay back...the loss was so great we couldn't justify it," he told reporters.
But NZOC secretary-general Barry Maister told NZPA the committee was disappointed by the decision because it believed Auckland could have won the bid and successfully hosted the games, although he understood the Government's position.
"We're disappointed, but not totally surprised," he said.
"We know we could have done it."
Mayor Harvey said Auckland should have put in a bid.
"I've always thought we should be in the race, and I think we would get the games for Auckland," he said.
"We thrive as a nation on tourism, and we thrive on showcasing who we are and what we are."
Auckland Mayor John Banks was also disappointed, but told NZPA there was simply no money.
"In the context of the global recession it was always going to be a big ask," he said.
"The cost benefit analysis at this time does not stack up. There is no spare cash from the ratepayers and the Government is borrowing $240m a week for the next 200 weeks."
Mr Maister said he hoped New Zealand could host a future Commonwealth Games after 2018.
The feasibility study had shown it had the capability and the capacity to win a bid.
Christchurch hosted the games in 1974 and Auckland in 1990.