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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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  • 55-hectares of Buller land purchased to protect native species
    Two blocks of Buller land rich in native species have been purchased by the Crown to be protected in perpetuity as public conservation land, Minister of Conservation Poto Williams announced today. Acquired via the Nature Heritage Fund, one block is in the Punakaiki River valley adjoining the Paparoa National Park ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Strengthening the relationship with India
    The Foreign Minister says an historic visit to Aotearoa New Zealand by the Indian Foreign Minister provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship in areas like people to people exchanges and climate action. Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed Minister of External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar with a mihi whakatau ceremony and ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Construction starts on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project
    Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by Ngāti Tama, local councillors and board members, project representatives, and community to mark the official start of construction on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project, Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass. “The work started today will make sure ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Hundreds to benefit from additional maternal health support
    The Government’s Budget 2022 investment of $10.1 million over four years in maternal mental health will result in better and more widely available care for new and expectant mothers around the country. The funding will be invested to fill gaps in care identified by last year’s maternal mental health stocktake ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Planting forests that are good for nature, climate, and the economy
    Public consultation opens on how forests are managed through the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF), including: Giving local councils more control over where forests are planted   Managing the effects of exotic carbon forestry on nature Improving wildfire management in all forests. Addressing the key findings of the ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Trade Minister heads to CPTPP Commission Meeting
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor will travel to Singapore this week for the Sixth Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission Meeting. “Continuing to build on our export growth is a key part of the Government’s economic plan. Our two way trade with the CPTPP bloc accounts ...
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    1 day ago
  • Strong Government books leave New Zealand well placed amid global challenges
      Deficit half of forecast at $9.7 billion; Deficits as a percentage of GDP running better than during GFC Net debt at 17.2 percent of GDP lower than Australia, UK, US and Canada. Core expenses $2.8 billion lower than forecast. Increased expenditure during year due to COVID-related expenses through unprecedented ...
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    1 day ago
  • Ministers outline next phase of Milford Opportunities Project
    The Milford Opportunities Project is entering its next phase following a productive visit to Piopiotahi to hear directly from tourism operators, iwi and the unit undertaking feasibility planning, says Conservation Minister Poto Williams. In June 2021 Cabinet approved $15 million to fund the next stage of the Milford Opportunities Project, ...
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    1 day ago
  • Digital tools to make family violence support widely available
    Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan has officially launched a suite of new digital tools to support people affected by family violence. “Family violence is a scourge on our society and violent behaviour of any kind is absolutely unacceptable. We are taking the important steps to modernise ...
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    2 days ago
  • Plan for big boost in GP training numbers
    More support is being given to New Zealand medical graduates training to be GPs, as the Government continues its push to get more doctors into communities. “Growing the number of GPs is vital so we can fill today’s gaps and make sure we’ve got the doctors we need in the ...
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    2 days ago
  • 142,000 Kiwis helped by Healthy Homes Initiative
    Hospitalisations reduced by 19.8 percent School attendance increased by 3 percent Employment increased by 4 percent 100,000 interventions delivered, including insulation, heaters, curtains and repairs Nationwide rollout expected to be complete by the end of the year More than 31,000 children, pregnant people and 111,000 of their family members are ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence departs for Middle East
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare has today departed for the Middle East where he will visit New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed within the region, including in Operation Gallant Phoenix in Jordan and the Multinational Force and Observers mission on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. The Minister will also undertake ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government funds work to clean up six contaminated sites
    The Government has announced funding to clean up six contaminated sites to reduce the risk to public health and protect the environment.    “These six projects will help protect the public from health risks associated with hazardous materials, so New Zealanders can live in a cleaner, safer environment.” Environment Minister David Parker ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government partners with industry to reduce agricultural emissions
    New Zealand’s effort to reduce agricultural emissions has taken a step forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Government with agribusiness leaders, in a joint venture as part of the new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced. The Ministry for Primary Industries signed ...
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    4 days ago
  • Vosa Vakaviti sustains generations of Fijians
    The enduring strength and sustainability of Vosa Vakaviti is being celebrated by the Fijian community in Aotearoa New Zealand during Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti – Fijian Language Week, which gets underway today. “This year’s theme, ‘Me vakabulabulataki, vakamareqeti, ka vakaqaqacotaki na vosa Vakaviti’, which translates as ‘Nurture, Preserve and Sustain ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Russia’s annexation attempts
    New Zealand condemns unequivocally Russia’s attempts to illegally annex Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “We do not recognise these illegal attempts to change Ukraine’s borders or territorial sovereignty,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Russia’s sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are illegitimate, and have no legal ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government provides confidence to those seeking an adventure
    With our borders opened and tourists returning, those seeking out adventurous activities can do so more safely due to the steps we’ve taken to improve the health and safety regulatory regime for adventure activities, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has announced.  “We are seeing international visitor numbers begin ...
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    5 days ago
  • New hospital opens for Wellington children
    A new children’s hospital that officially opened in Wellington this morning offers the region’s children top-quality health care in one place, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Te Wao Nui has been built with a $53 million contribution from benefactors Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood, with the Government contributing another $53 ...
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    6 days ago
  • More single-use plastics banned from tomorrow
    Single-use plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and most plastic meat trays are among single use plastics banned from sale or manufacture from tomorrow. “This is the first group of the most problematic plastic products to be banned in a progressive phase out over the next three years,” Environment Minister David ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to NZDF Command and Staff College
    It’s a pleasure to join you today – and I extend a particular welcome to Marty Donoghue (a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control) and Athena Li-Watts (interning with me this week) who are also joining me today. On the face of it, some ...
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    6 days ago
  • Milestone of half a million mental health sessions delivered
    The Government’s flagship primary mental health and addiction programme Access and Choice has hit the milestone of delivering more than 500,000 sessions to New Zealanders needing mental health support. Health Minister Andrew Little made the announcement at ADL – Thrive Pae Ora in Cromwell which provides mental wellbeing support services ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government continues to future-proof arts, culture and heritage sector
    The Government has announced further support for the recovery and resilience of the arts, culture and heritage sector as part of its COVID Recovery Programme’s Innovation Fund. “We’re continuing to secure the recovery of our arts, culture and heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand by supporting transformational initiatives across the motu,” ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government steps up kauri protection
    The Government is delivering on an election commitment to protect kauri in our northern forests through the new National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) for the forest giant and the allocation of $32 million of funding to back the coordinated effort, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister (Biodiversity) ...
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    6 days ago
  • Russia’s Ukraine referenda a sham
    Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognise the results of the sham referenda in Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.  “These so-called referenda were not free or fair, and they very clearly were not held in accordance with democratic principles,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Instead, they were hastily organised ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt invests in New Zealand’s wine future
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has officially opened New Zealand Wine Centre–Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa in Blenheim today, saying that investments like these give us cause for optimism for the future. Funding of $3.79 million for the Marlborough Research Centre to build a national wine centre was announced in 2020, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Colonel Craig Ruane, Commander Robyn Loversidge, and James Wilding KC as Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The Court Martial Appeal Court is a senior court of record established under the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953. It is summoned by the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens measures to combat migrant worker exploitation
    Offence and penalty regime significantly strengthened New infringement offences for non-compliance Public register of individuals and businesses that are found guilty of migrant exploitation New community-led pilot to educate migrants workers and employers of employment rights Implemented reporting tools successfully brings exploitation out of the shadows Take-up of protective visa ...
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    1 week ago
  • Livestock exports by sea to cease
    The passing of a Bill today to end the export of livestock by sea will protect New Zealand’s reputation for world-leading animal welfare standards, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. “The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill future-proofs our economic security amid increasing consumer scrutiny across the board on production practices," Damien ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra measures to increase census turnout in 2023
    3500 census workers on the ground, twice as many as last census More forms to be delivered – 44% compared to 3% in 2018 Prioritisation of Māori and other groups and regions with lower response rates in 2018 Major work to ensure the delivery of a successful census in 2023 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Shining the light on screen workers
    Improved working conditions for workers in the screen industry is now a reality with the Screen Industry Workers Bill passing its third reading today, announced Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood. “It’s fantastic to see the Screen Industry Workers Bill progress through Parliament. The new Act will strengthen protections ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mental health resources for young people and schools launched
    Associate Minister of Education (School Operations) Jan Tinetti and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis have today launched two new resources to support wellbeing, and the teaching and learning of mental health education in schools and kura. “Students who are happy and healthy learn better. These resources ...
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    1 week ago
  • Progress continues on future-proofing Auckland’s transport infrastructure
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the latest progress on Auckland’s two most transformational transport projects in a generation – Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections. Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have named preferred bidders to move each project to their next phase, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports local innovation in homelessness prevention
    Ten successful applicants in round two of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund (LIPF) Close to $6 million allocated as part of the Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) Māori, Pasefika and rangatahi a strong focus Round three opening later this year with up to $6.8 million available. Government is stepping up ...
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    1 week ago
  • More medicines for New Zealanders, thanks to Govt’s Budget boost
    Health Minister Andrew Little is welcoming news that two more important medicines are set to be funded, thanks to the Government’s big boost to the country’s medicines budget. “Since coming into Government in 2017, the Labour Government has increased Pharmac’s funding by 43 per cent, including a $71 million boost ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers ACC change to support 28,000 parents
    The Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters Bill passes Third Reading – the first amendment to ACC legislation of its kind From 1 October 2022, new ACC cover to benefit approximately 28,000 birthing parents Additional maternal birth injuries added alongside new review provision to ensure cover remains comprehensive Greater clarity ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further cuts for East Coast tarakihi limits to rebuild numbers faster
    Commercial catch limits for East Coast tarakihi will be reduced further to help the stock rebuild faster. “Tarakihi is a popular fish, and this has led to declining levels over time. Many adjustments have been made and the stock is recovering. I have decided on further commercial catch reductions of ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to Colombia announced
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of diplomat Nicci Stilwell as the next Ambassador to Colombia. “Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with Colombia is fast growing with strong links across education, climate change and indigenous co-operation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “Trade is a key part of our relationship with Colombia, ...
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    1 week ago
  • 3000 more RSE workers to ease workforce pressures
    The Government continues to respond to global workforce shortages by announcing the largest increase in over a decade to the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE), providing 3000 additional places, Immigration Minister Michael Wood and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have announced. The new RSE cap will allow access to 19,000 workers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite
    Further sanctions are being imposed on members of President Putin’s inner circle and other representatives of the Russian political elite, as part of the Governments ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “Ukraine has been clear that the most important action we can take to ...
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    1 week ago