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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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  • Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items
    Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. The proposals are to phase-out: some hard-to-recycle PVC and polystyrene ...
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    1 day ago
  • PM comments on Auckland COVID-19 case
    After 102 days we have our first cases of Covid-19 outside of a Managed Isolation or Quarantine facility in New Zealand. Shortly I will ask Dr Bloomfield to set out the details of the case. While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned ...
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    1 day ago
  • Significant investment in Raukūmara Pae Maunga to prevent Raukūmara forest collapse
    An iwi-Crown approach programme to restore the Raukūmara forest on the East Coast of the North Island and boost employment opportunities for whānau, particularly rangatahi/young people, will receive $34 million funding, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced. “Raukūmara Pae Maunga is a partnership with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, and ...
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    2 days ago
  • New partnership central to delivering more Māori housing
    Government agencies and partners are working closer together to provide more Māori Housing through the Te MAIHI o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action (MAIHI). MAIHI is a kaupapa Māori approach that drives a system change to give effect and impact on Māori ...
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    2 days ago
  • Manawatū Gorge replacement highway drives forward
    Site work is soon to begin on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway, the project to replace the former SH3 route through the Manawatū Gorge, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Phil Twyford was today in Woodville at the signing of a formal agreement by members of the Alliance ...
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    2 days ago
  • Pacific Ministers meet to discuss regional economic priorities
    The Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) begins today and will focus on the major economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the Pacific.  FEMM is an important congregation of Economic Ministers and senior officials from around the region, and for the first time, the annual meeting will be ...
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    2 days ago
  • Formal apology and payment to George Nepata
    Cabinet has approved a formal apology and ex gratia payment to former soldier George Nepata, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. This payment is to recognise the New Zealand Defence Force’s failure to provide Mr Nepata with a safe system of work in April 1989 when, as a result of an ...
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    2 days ago
  • Report into Iain Lees-Galloway’s expenditure
    A report undertaken by Ministerial Services into Iain Lees-Galloway’s ministerial expenditure has found no evidence of any inappropriate transactions or spending. Ministerial Services undertook a line by line review of all his expenditure, including staff and spouse expenses for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.  “I commissioned ...
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    2 days ago
  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
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    3 days ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
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    3 days ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
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    3 days ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
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    3 days ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
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    3 days ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
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    3 days ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
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    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
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    5 days ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
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    5 days ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
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    5 days ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
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    6 days ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
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    6 days ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
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    6 days ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
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    6 days ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
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    6 days ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
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    6 days ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
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    7 days ago
  • New training centre to upskill workers
    A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Government will contribute $10.84 million from ...
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    7 days ago
  • Subsequent children legislation to change
    The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today. “There are times when children need to go into care for their safety – the safety and care of children must always be paramount,” Minister Martin said. “But ...
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    7 days ago
  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
    A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.  Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by ...
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    7 days ago
  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
    Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand ...
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    7 days ago
  • Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses. The disadvantages that older people face in the workplace was highlighted in the whole of Government Employment Strategy.  In order to address this, a Mature Workers Toolkit has been developed and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
    New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “In these challenging times, our close collaboration with Australia is more vital than ever,” said Mr Peters. Mr Peters and his Australian ...
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    7 days ago
  • Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory
    The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said. “The fifth and last robot ...
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    7 days ago