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Lifeboat NZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 am, January 25th, 2017 - 100 comments
Categories: class war, disaster, International - Tags: , , , , ,

Very interesting piece in The New Yorker:

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich

Some of the wealthiest people in America—in Silicon Valley, New York, and beyond—are getting ready for the crackup of civilization.

It’s long and covers many topics, but NZ features:

By January, 2015, Johnson was sounding the alarm: the tensions produced by acute income inequality were becoming so pronounced that some of the world’s wealthiest people were taking steps to protect themselves. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Johnson told the audience, “I know hedge-fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”

In fact, the influx had begun well before Trump’s victory. In the first ten months of 2016, foreigners bought nearly fourteen hundred square miles of land in New Zealand, more than quadruple what they bought in the same period the previous year, according to the government.

Before my trip, I had wondered if I was going to be spending more time in luxury bunkers. But Peter Campbell, the managing director of Triple Star Management, a New Zealand construction firm, told me that, by and large, once his American clients arrive, they decide that underground shelters are gratuitous. “It’s not like you need to build a bunker under your front lawn, because you’re several thousand miles away from the White House,” he said. Americans have other requests. “Definitely, helipads are a big one,” he said. “You can fly a private jet into Queenstown or a private jet into Wanaka, and then you can grab a helicopter and it can take you and land you at your property.” American clients have also sought strategic advice. “They’re asking, ‘Where in New Zealand is not going to be long-term affected by rising sea levels?’ ”

New Zealand’s reputation for attracting doomsayers is so well known in the hedge-fund manager’s circle that he prefers to differentiate himself from earlier arrivals. He said, “This is no longer about a handful of freaks worried about the world ending.” He laughed, and added, “Unless I’m one of those freaks.” …

Turns out that Trump lackey Peter Thiel is one of these preppers:

Peter Thiel Gains New Zealand Citizenship as Tech Elites Prep for Doomsday

The New Yorker has published a fascinating article about Silicon Valley tech titans who are buying up property in New Zealand as they prepare for the apocalypse. The super rich are worried about the poor grabbing “pitchforks” to overthrow the wealthy, and it turns out these elites aren’t just buying homes. Some, like Peter Thiel, are even getting citizenship.

Today, The New Zealand Herald is reporting that Peter Thiel has citizenship in New Zealand, a fact previously unknown to most in Silicon Valley. The revelation only came after the newspaper started to investigate a 477-acre property that Thiel had purchased in the country in 2015. The newspaper had inquired about why Thiel hadn’t gotten official approval to buy the property under foreign ownership laws. The paper was told that Thiel didn’t need it because he was a citizen. …

Wassamatter Peter – isn’t Trump going to make America great again?

Seriously though, how do we feel about becoming a lifeboat for the super-rich to run out on the problems that they created?


100 comments on “Lifeboat NZ ”

  1. Stunned Mullet 1

    😆

  2. Ad 2

    I have mixed feelings on taming global capital into retirement here.

    Peter Thiel is following in the footsteps of some like Mutt Lange who has brought his private capital to form a larger conservation effort than any local individual has ever done in New Zealand. Overall, it’s good.

    Others like James Cameron have ensured that the Wellington film industry doesn’t stand or fall on Peter Jackson. There are plenty of other examples who have bought into our wineries, and doing a tremendous job for our global reputation through their own marketing.

    I certainly prefer individuals to companies – they are easier to hold to account in the media.

    And I certainly like the myth-reinforcement of our security/isolation: any land they buy as essentially retirement homes sure won’t have industrial-scale dairy farms on them.

    Instead they will bring their rich families to consume our spectacular wines, hire our guides, and engage our interior designers, artists and landscapers. Before we get all Downton Abbey about it, we’re a service economy. We give good service.

    Plus of course a whole bunch easier to propose interesting local investments while they are here fly fishing, than having to traipse over to Honolulu for a whole day of golf. Infinitely prefer to domesticate them here.

    There’s a whole bunch of on the other hands …. including a few criminal nut jobs like Kim DotCom.

    But overall I’ve liked what I’ve seen, particularly in Wanaka and Hawkes Bay.

    • weka 2.1

      Sorry, but what’s the similarity between Mutt Lange and Peter Thiel apart from they both have lots of money? Are you saying that Lange came here as a doomsday escape?

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Foreign US billionaire leisure capital retiring here.
        In Wanaka.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          Right, so not what the post was about. Rich people from overseas have been buying retreat/retirement places here for a very long time.

          • Ad 2.1.1.1.1

            Peter Thiel is half the post.
            Entirely to point.

            Do something useful Weka.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.1

              you really are a nasty shit sometimes Ad.

              • Once was and others etc

                =1
                bUT’S WHAT IS WORSE (OOPS apologies for the caps), one that’s utterly oblivious to the bleeding obvious – which might be all that needs to be said about where the ‘left’ has gone wrong.

                No worries tho’ eh? Bullshit (dressed up as ego) and Jellybeans. She’ll be right on the night

    • ropata 2.2

      Unfortunately our main immigrant class is cashed up Chinese students and “entrepreneurs” (not billionaires) who are buying up Auckland and pricing out the locals. Inequality FTW

    • Sapani 2.3

      “we’re a service economy. We give good service”

      Cheers. This is correct. It is of tremendous advantage for NZ to have Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel and the question is how can he help advance and benefit NZ even more. Peter was very supportive post-Chch quakes.

  3. Bill 3

    There is no lifeboat. (Something that can float away from disaster)

    There might be an air-pocket or two (if we’re going with the sinking ship analogy) – but this planet; this world is it.

    And sure, I expect some richer people to dash backwards and forwards and all around the show looking for a safe haven when CC bites in ways that can’t be ignored anymore. Good luck to them. They’ll ultimately be as successful as Bangladeshis trying to get through that fucking fence into India…no way out.

  4. red-blooded 4

    Well, I guess it’s all part of the, “Me first – I’m special” culture that sees extreme wealth as worthy or meritorious and doesn’t mind if others live in extreme poverty (because obviously they’re just not special enough to merit anything better).

    Some interesting comments in this piece from The Spinoff:
    “According to the NZ Internal Affairs guidelines, “if you don’t meet the [five-year] requirement, you might still be able to get citizenship if: you’ve been here for at least 450 days in the last 20 months, or you can prove New Zealand would benefit from having you as a citizen”.

    Click through for some “special consideration” elaboration, and the DIA advises:

    You need to give evidence that shows how New Zealand will benefit from your citizenship, eg:
    -you’re a talented musician or sportsperson and want to represent New Zealand internationally
    -you’re a member of the New Zealand Defence Force and need citizenship to be deployed overseas.

    Your wider circumstances (like time you spent in New Zealand before the last 5 years) are taken into account.

    ….As far as I can tell, it is an interpretation of the “public interest” exception mentioned above. That is: the minister may “authorise the grant of New Zealand citizenship to any person … if the Minister is satisfied that granting a certificate of New Zealand citizenship to the applicant would be in the public interest because of exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian or other nature relating to the applicant”.
    http://thespinoff.co.nz/society/25-01-2017/new-zealand-citizen-peter-thiel-5-awkward-questions-and-10-peculiar-facts/

  5. Wensleydale 5

    It’s funny that they think they’re going to be safe here. When the shit hits the fan, nowhere will be safe. When someone yells fire in a crowded building, people will trample each other to death making for the exits. A global meltdown will simply be a much larger version of that, and all the luxury boltholes, private security and helipads won’t stop the desperate and fearful from tearing you apart if they feel it’s the only way to save themselves. Sorry to disabuse you of your fanciful notions, rich people.

    • weka 5.1

      If you have to be somewhere in a hard crash, NZ is without a doubt one of the better places to be. Because of its geographical isolation, because of its relatively low population, because of its remnant democracy, and because we’re a nation of gardeners who can probably relocalises food growing pretty quickly if all else fails. No nuclear plants to blow up either. We should probably eat the dairy cows before the billionaires though.

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.1

        I’d go with the tasty, tasty billionaires. Cows can keep giving you milk as long as there’s grass. Billionaires just keep giving you unpleasant political opinions, which is a lot less useful than milk (or anything else).

      • D'Esterre 5.1.2

        Weka: “We should probably eat the dairy cows before the billionaires though.”
        Nah, billionaires first. I hear tell that humans taste WAY better than cows.
        If there’s a hard crash, NZ will be no more comfortable a place to be than anywhere else. Much of our best arable land has been built on, and therefore permanently lost for food production. Guess those billionaires will come in very handy to stave off hunger….

    • Bill 5.2

      It’s the rich who are going to be “the desperate and fearful” though.

      By the time the bulk of them bolt, those of us here will either have adapted after some fashion or other and be quite settled in, or we’ll already have died.

      And, assuming I’m not dead, they’re welcome to try “tearing me apart” 👿

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    Better rich americans then moslem refugees

    [You need to explain to me why that statement isn’t out and out religious bigotry (bordering on racism) to avoid getting the boot from here Puckish. edit. Apologies. That’s boxing you in. Either explain or offer up something indicating genuine acknowledgement and understanding of what your comment is.] – Bill

    [sub-conversation now moved to Open Mike, please reply there everyone – weka]

      • Red 6.1.1

        Self evident I would have thought re bringing needed capital and global networks, self sufficient day one, cultural fit, zero security risk etc, simply attributes not judging as human beings Thiel may be a prick for all i know

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          why would someone with money be more valuable to NZ than a doctor or a teacher or a gardener or a builder?

          Very rich people don’t bring zero security risk. Nor will they ever be self sufficient, they are generally completely dependent on other people doing the work for them.

          • Red 6.1.1.1.1

            I agree what they do is important when here but I suggest on balance a billionaire with intention to invest in his new home land bringing financial capital , ideas, global influence and networks may have a little more to offer, thus creating jobs, paying taxes to fund more teachers and doctors etc On climate change re bill let’s just stop every thing and use cc as an excuse, on this topic I see ,Judith Curry Georgia tech tenured professor of climatology resigned her position and tenure the other day, wonder why

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Maybe that would be true if it worked like that. But it doesn’t. Rich people spend small amounts of their money in the local economy, most of it is spend in the global economy that serves other rich people. I’d rather have the doctor directly.

              • Red

                I suggest that is more a belief buttressing an ideological view than a truth Weka

                • weka

                  I was reading the figures about local vs global economies the other day. Will probably do a post on it at some point, but I would still guess that wealth people don’t spend their money in local economies that much.

                  • Red

                    Be great if PayPal was a nz company, the guys is an angel investor from what I believe, in also early on Facebook, so with that background in picking and growing winners I certianly think he would be good for nz Not so much worried about his personal consumption habits

        • Bill 6.1.1.2

          ‘global networks’ – bwahhaha!

          There’s a wee detail about CC you’re over-looking there Mr Delusion. See if you can figure it.

    • Better rich American sociopaths than Muslim refugees? Personally I’m not keen on having either, but a rich American sociopath can do way more damage than a broke Muslim fascist – just witness the assholes standing behind Trump while he ended US aid to foreign family planning organisations.

    • Bill 6.3

      This isn’t a comment. It’s a moderation note.

      You’re gone. I was away for several hours, which gave you more than enough time to justify your comment or take “the out”. But you decided to attempt to ‘sail on through’.

      Here’s how it is Puckish. Everyone knows that “Muslim” is stupidly equated with brown skin. That’s point one. Point two is that refugees are variously Christian or “whatever gods children” …

      But in your oversight or ignorance (which you ample time to reflect on) – you essentially said ” Fuck off Nigger”

      Six months.

    • NZJester 6.4

      As long as someone is not an extremist in their religion I would welcome them here no matter their religious beliefs. Extremists, however, need to be kept out as they always try to force their religious views down everyone’s throat. More people in the US have actually been killed by terrorist acts committed by Right Wing Christian extremists than Muslim ones.

  7. Ovid 7

    There was a study done in 1987 called New Zealand after Nuclear War (PDF 85MB) – which was paid for out of French reparations for the Rainbow Warrior – it explored how NZ would fare in the event of a northern hemisphere war. Generally speaking, bad things would happen here too – especially if Australia was hit with an electro-magnetic pulse.

    Edit: here’s the TL,DR version: http://imgur.com/a/6dSGg

  8. Paul Campbell 8

    Someone on metafilter commented on this one: “this time we really will eat the rich”

    The problem of course is that the rich are the 1%, they wont last long come the survivalist end times

  9. Jum 9

    Please read On the Beach by Nevil Shute and watch the film.

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    Toby Manhire asks some questions and provides some more background.

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/society/25-01-2017/new-zealand-citizen-peter-thiel-5-awkward-questions-and-10-peculiar-facts/

    • weka 10.1

      that’s good, and the bit about the citizenship criteria is essential reading.

      As far as I can tell, it is an interpretation of the “public interest” exception mentioned above. That is: the minister may “authorise the grant of New Zealand citizenship to any person … if the Minister is satisfied that granting a certificate of New Zealand citizenship to the applicant would be in the public interest because of exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian or other nature relating to the applicant”.

  11. Wayne 11

    Seriously, how could you stop people doing this?

    Most/many of them will qualify as permanent residents if they want to.

    In any event non-residents can buy property. Labour has suggested greater restrictions on such purchases, but not to the extent of a total ban. No-one has seriously suggested that.

    We don’t stop people building what they want subject to the RMA.

    In short in a free society people can have all sorts of beliefs, and we accept that they can.

    • weka 11.1

      Other countries stop people without citizenship or residency from owning land, no reason why NZ can’t too.

      • Bob 11.1.1

        “no reason why NZ can’t too”
        No reasons apart from ANZCERTA and the China FTA…

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          Please explain.

        • WILD KATIPO 11.1.1.2

          The only reason I would buy a house in China is to launch a scientific excursion to finally track down and bring back for science a Himalayan Yeti.

          Apart from that ?… meh … nah.

          There’s no Yetis in the Southern Alps so why do the Chinese want to buy houses here… more to the point ,… why cant we buy houses in China under a ‘ FREE’ trade deal?

          Conversely there are Sasquatches in the Pacific North West of America and we New Zealanders CAN buy houses over there to bring back one for science yet there are no Sasquatches over here and Americans STILL want to buy houses here.

          And that’s WITHOUT any ‘ Free’ trade deals AT ALL with America !!! .

          So I don’t think the issues are either the bountiful numbers of either Sasquatches or Yetis overseas , – it seems more a question of just WHAT do we DO with all these immigrants ???

          And while the Asians come here in hordes and buy small houses , the Americans don’t , – but buy hordes of our land and really really BIG houses …

          All the while knowing full well that they both will end up by being both Yeti – less and Sasquatch – less when they immigrate here …

          Funny old world ,…. innit…

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.3

          So, no reason whatsoever then. Both the reciprocating countries in those out restrictions on foreigners owning land so they would have nothing to complain about.

          Also, this is actually proof of how bad for NZ these FTAs are so we should probably drop out of them anyway.

          • Bob 11.1.1.3.1

            “Both the reciprocating countries in those out restrictions on foreigners owning land so they would have nothing to complain about”
            Australia don’t ban New Zealanders owning land, even if you have never stepped foot in Australia: http://firb.gov.au/resources/guidance/gn04/
            Also China had their land sovereignty built into the FTA page 846 https://www.mfat.govt.nz/assets/_securedfiles/FTAs-agreements-in-force/China-FTA/NZ-ChinaFTA-Agreement-text.pdf
            New Zealand did no such thing.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.3.1.1

              Australia don’t ban New Zealanders owning land

              I said restrictions. Australia requires that a foreign owner build a new house rather than buy an existing one. This possibly reduces the amount of speculation in housing to some degree.

              Also China had their land sovereignty built into the FTA page 846

              And so they have nothing to complain about if we applied the same to our land.

              And, at the end of the day, we’re the ones who get to make decisions about how our country is governed – not China or anywhere else. If the populace want a full ban on foreign ownership then that is what there should be. If that’s restricted by an FTA then we need to drop out of that FTA as it’s contrary to the will of the people.

              • Bob

                “I said restrictions. Australia requires that a foreign owner build a new house rather than buy an existing one”
                And I gave you a link explaining New Zealanders are exempt from this restriction.

                “And so they have nothing to complain about if we applied the same to our land”
                Yes they would, as I pointed out to Weka above, Article 145 of the China FTA prevents changes to investment law banning Chinese Nationals unless it is a blanket ban. My understanding is we are unable to complete a blanket ban as ANZCERTA prevents us from banning Australian foreign nationals from purchasing New Zealand property (I haven’t been able to track down the article that covers this, however the blanket exemtion for New Zealand citizens in the Australian ban seems to back up my understanding).

                In searching through this I believe I may have found a loophole to allow a ban of sorts to happen. If we reduced the threshold on sensitive land to anything over 200sqm, this would mean almost all foreign purchases would be required to go through the OIO process to complete purchase. Australian Citizens are not exempt from OIO purchases, so this would allow a blanket requirement to occur. We would then simply need to increase the requirements for approval under an OIO request.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes they would, as I pointed out to Weka above, Article 145 of the China FTA prevents changes to investment law banning Chinese Nationals unless it is a blanket ban.

                  And so we make it a blanket ban.

                  My understanding is we are unable to complete a blanket ban as ANZCERTA prevents us from banning Australian foreign nationals from purchasing New Zealand property

                  Then we need to either renegotiate that or drop from it. Trade agreements should not remove our sovereignty.

                  I think we should drop from all FTAs anyway as they’re proving to be bad for NZ society as we get re-colonised by foreign rich.

                  • Bob

                    “I think we should drop from all FTAs anyway”
                    And there-in lies the fundamental difference between yourself and New Zealand’s two largest political parties. I’m not saying you are wrong, just that both National and Labour will not pull us from ANZCERTA or the China FTA, so neither can ban foreign ownership of property. Any talk of doing so by any party is fairy-tail stuff until they can become the largest party in parliament.

    • AB 11.2

      Easy – make wealth a disqualification for citizenship or residency. As it always should have been due to the toxic political and celebrity culture the wealthy bring with them. Not to mention their raging sense of entitlement and general distaste for democracy – fear of the latter being one of the reasons they would think of coming in the first place.
      People with skills and not too much money are the best immigrants. The very wealthy generally don’t have, or no longer have, skills. They just have the capital to get others to work for them.

  12. Thiel got NZ citizenship? What happened to the fucking “good character” requirement?

  13. Wayne 14

    Psycho,

    As you would obviously know, we don’t screen people for ideological beliefs. You are surely not suggesting we start?

    Under your view, would it be Madonna “yes”, Jon Voight “no”.

    • As you would obviously know, we don’t screen people for ideological beliefs. You are surely not suggesting we start?

      Well, that comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But only partly – a “good character” test that lets people like Thiel in isn’t a very useful test.

  14. mickysavage 15

    Reminds me of John Key’s “vision” for New Zealand.

    Nearly a year ago the Herald reported him as saying this:

    “John Key is positioning New Zealand as an Asia-Pacific “Switzerland” – a beautiful and wealthy bolthole for high net-worthers seeking to escape from an unstable world.

    Key believes that free-flowing terrorism is here to stay. To the Prime Minister, this simply makes New Zealand more attractive and will result in more high net-worth consumers wanting to come here – a theme he is developing in business briefings.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11611816

    I thought at the time that this explained what he wanted to achieve in politics. He is a bit of a laugh, he is fine about socially liberal things as long as they do not go too far, he is a monarchist but will propose a flag change to show that he is relaxed about the constitution. He is fun to have a beer with, he will welcome selfies with drag queens and support the occasional greenwash policy to make sure that his environmental credentials are not too badly tarnished.

    But his role in politics clearly was to look after the 1%.

    Key wants to turn New Zealand into a haven for the 1%

  15. Keith 16

    John really really sounded like he meant it when he said he didn’t want New Zealanders to be tenants in their own country……….but he lied. Who would have thought, especially from that man.

    The same man who toiled behind the scenes to do his bit to ensure we are a “bolt hole” and tax haven for the likes of rich pricks…..like Key.

    In respect of America’s rich elite coming here, Fuck right off, you’ve created the awful mess, remain behind to either clean it up or be victims of it! It makes my skin crawl to think their money will buy influence here especially with corrupt party’s like National and then start to create mini USA’s here.

  16. Mrs Brillo 17

    Gee, thanks, John Key.

    Selling off my country to the foreign 1 percent and condemning our children and grandchildren to a life as coolies and shoeshine boys to them.

    Meanwhile, you bugger off somewhere else in case our book of recipes for cooking the rich starts off with the Key Surprise.

    Well done you.

    • greywarshark 17.1

      Mrs Brillo
      Key can’t stand that plain old NZ dish of flummery. And the Kiwisine we’ve cooked up just for him, Jeesh Keesh Surprise and Rotten Egg Souffle with the key ingredient of…guess what ?

  17. Sabine 18

    oh man, we get all the best of the rich

    https://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/education-libertarian

    just another rich fuckwit how with all the money in the world is still nothing more then a very miserable and unhappy human being.

  18. One Two 19

    There is/was no intention to answer for the disasters ‘capitalists’ have created..

    It simply migrates, while squeezing out those ‘undesirables’ at the next location

    Should a mass resettling in NZ eventuate as it looks certain to (in time), it will not be good for the overwhelming majority of the peoples in NZ

    Far greater inequality than current times , will be the outcome!

    • ropata 19.1

      It’s not immigration it’s colonisation. We are a bit player in the game of global empire building. Personally I’d rather be a flunky of the USA (Obama preferably) than a vassal state of the PRC

      • One Two 19.1.1

        …rather be a flunky of the USA…”

        Look more closely at the USA, who founded it and why that nation has been at war its entire colonised existence

        As for the PRC comment , I won’t presume xenophobia but it could be interpreted that way

        Being a ‘flunky’ relegates your existence to slave status, so why resign to such an outcome?

  19. Paul 20

    The super rich have been taking advantage of NZ’s reputation as a neoliberal hellhole for a while.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2931325/Super-rich-buying-property-New-Zealand-bolthole-case-west-goes-meltdown.html

  20. Whispering Kate 21

    The super wealthy have been coming down here for years – Eastern Europeans and USA citizens included. There is a beautiful Lodge up in the Bay of Islands which has been graded very high in world rankings and its owned by a super wealthy Russian. They have tunnel vision, see this land as a safe bolt hole from nuclear fullout, what a laugh that is, somebody on here has mentioned the novel “On the Beach” by Neville Shute. What a humdinger that was. The only problem with us down here is that we will have a long and lingering wait for the eventual destruction of us all. I am of the opinion being right in the middle of the big bang is a far better way to go, no thoughts of the horror to come.

    US citizens have for years been building underground bunkers, very paranoid lot they are and they have a right to be, always meddling with foreign states’ affairs and inviting trouble. Its no bloody wonder they are paranoid. One of these days one of those failed states will take a right old pot shot at them and it will serve them right. Why we should be making our country available to them after they have shat in their own nest is beyond my comprehension. Anything detonating in the Pacific Region will not protect us – thick as bricks they are the lot of them. The world is all we have got and nobody will be safe bless their hearts.

    • To true Kate.

      Time to shut the door on the super rich people from the USA.
      They are just parasites in one form or another and will use the country to further their ends.

      Boot the shits out.

    • Jenny Kirk 21.2

      Totally agree with you Whispering Kate.
      Travel further north from the Russian Ogligarch’s place – and you’ll find big gated lifestyle blocks attached to large farms – not owned by NZers, but managed on behalf of the 1% off-shore. Often on the coastline – so they also have access to our foreshore and fish, shellfish – which, when the crunch comes, they won’t share with the 99%.
      That is, if there is anyone left to eat it.

  21. Puckish Rogue 22

    Can’t blame them, I mean when you consider that:

    English speaking
    Stable government
    1st world nation
    An Island
    Temperate climate
    Agricultural based
    Compared to most a fair distance from the northern hemisphere

    We are a desirable location

    [See here] – Bill

  22. Siobhan 23

    Scrolling through the real estate pages its pretty clear that these people are not buying houses to survive any sort of apocalypse. So unless some wanaka builders come forward talking about retro fitting mansions with steel shutters, panic rooms, self contained medical units etc I think we should all ignore the apocalypse talk. Which is, after all, just a click bait distraction.

    Remember the editors of The New Yorker publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton for President..they are probably going to be heavy on apocalypse stories for the next 4 years or so.

    This is a conversation about massive wealth inequality and greed. The rich are just doing what rich people do, trying to find amusing things to spend their money on. There are people right now, from Scotland to Hawaii to New York to Ibiza having this very same conversation. The question is, why are we allowing this to continue.

  23. Carolyn_nth 24

    I know! Let’s get a politician to campaign to build a wall around NZ to keep these over-financialised, economic refugees out of the country!

  24. Ethica 25

    Rich immigrants with their high fences, private jets, huge environmental footprint and right wing politics are not contributing anything to NZ. A thousand motivated refugees would provide more diversity, reciprocity and build thriving local economies. Yet which group readily gets citizenship and a fawning press?

  25. Tamati Tautuhi 26

    Well John Key wanted to turn New Zealand into the Financial Hub of the South Pacific, appears we only got part way there with our Tax Haven Status and the Panama Papers?

    • tc 26.1

      Nope job done with no CGT, restrictions on land acquisition, tax havens and very relaxed immigration criteria.

      They knocked that off early doors in their treasury bench tenancy.

  26. NZJester 27

    Most of them are all falling for the 100% pure NZ lie. Come doomsday this place will be so badly polluted. But I guess that the main reason for them moving here might be due to a lot fewer maniacs with guns roaming around taking what they want. Most of them will probably be bringing their arsenals with them illegally as the come into private airstrips or by private boat and be the maniacs with guns here.

    • tc 27.1

      They’re uber wealthy not stupid. Sure they’ll take precautions but mostly look to fit in and get on with life.

  27. I reckon these rich nature loving Americans aren’t scared of an economic and political meltdown… their scared of these things cos they pissed em off wrecking their environment so they want a big rural property where these things aint…

  28. D'Esterre 29

    “The super rich are worried about the poor grabbing “pitchforks” to overthrow the wealthy….”

    In virtue of what would they think that the poor in NZ won’t similarly rise up against the wealthy? They’ll get a nasty surprise….

  29. infused 30

    If shit hit the fan worldwide, money would save no one.

  30. Gabby 31

    Who was the previous owner?

  31. Lloyd 32

    Nothing wrong with letting billionaires into the country as long as our tax structure is changed to make sure they are only millionaires in less than 10 years….

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  • Over $300m returned to COVID-hit travellers
    The Government’s Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to COVID-19, Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says. “Working with the travel sector, we are helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Hundreds more schools join free lunches programme
    An additional 88,000 students in 322 schools and kura across the country have started the school year with a regular lunch on the menu, thanks to the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. They join 42,000 students already receiving weekday lunches under the scheme, which launched last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Govt’s balanced economic approach reflected in Crown accounts
    New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected. The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The operating balance before gains ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
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    1 day ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
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    3 days ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
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    4 days ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
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    4 days ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
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    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
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    1 week ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Entries open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards
    It’s time to recognise the outstanding work early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura do to support children and young people to succeed, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says. The 2021 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards are now open through until April 16. “The past year has reminded us ...
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    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature benefits three projects
    Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan. “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most ...
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    1 week ago
  • Improvements to the Holidays Act on the way
    The Government has accepted all of the Holidays Act Taskforce’s recommended changes, which will provide certainty to employers and help employees receive their leave entitlements, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood said the Government established the Holidays Act Taskforce to help address challenges with the ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ’s credit rating lifted as economy recovers
    The Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and faster than expected economic recovery has been acknowledged in today’s credit rating upgrade. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) today raised New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to AAA with a stable outlook. This follows Fitch reaffirming its AA+ rating last ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
    Tena koutou e nga Maata Waka Ngai Tuahuriri, Ngai Tahu whanui, Tena koutou. Nau mai whakatau mai ki tenei ra maumahara i te Ru Whenua Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga mate ki te hunga mate Apiti hono tatai hono, Te hunga ora ki te hunga ora Tena koutou, Tena ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices
    The Minister of Justice has reaffirmed the Government’s urgent commitment, as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto, to ban conversion practices in New Zealand by this time next year. “The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched a new Creative Careers Service, which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives, across three regions over the next two years. The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Honey exporters busy meeting surging demand
    Overseas consumers eager for natural products in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have helped boost honey export revenue by 20 percent to $425 million in the year to June 30, 2020, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.   “The results from the latest Ministry for Primary Industries’ 2020 Apiculture Monitoring ...
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    2 weeks ago