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Peter Thiel’s citizenship and consequent questions of corruption

Written By: - Date published: 6:28 pm, January 28th, 2017 - 52 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, bill english, im/migration, peter dunne, Politics - Tags: , , , , ,

Matt Nippett (and other journos) have been looking at the question of how Peter Thiel gained citizenship of this country.

Nippett has done several articles in the NZ Herald that summarise the situation reasonably adequately – probably because they appear to all be from their business pages.

MP: How did Thiel get NZ citizenship?
Peter Thiel a NZ citizen since 2011
PM backs Peter Thiel’s citizenship
NZ a ‘secret of good life’ for US tycoon

In the latter article from today, he summarises

Thiel revealed that his first visit to the country was in 1993, for an adventure tourism jaunt in Queenstown, and he was looking to buy property both there and in Parnell.

But despite this public declaration of love, and a pipeline splurge of local investment (he appears to have invested more than $40 million in Xero and other local ventures in the 12 months before and after being awarded citizenship), he didn’t make mention of his freshly-minted diplomatic status as a Kiwi.

News of this citizenship has caused waves in Wellington and abroad. Questions have been asked as to why he was granted “exceptional circumstances” dispensation,….

And that is the key point that the rather daft industry apologists like Eric Crampton writing in Spinoff choose to ignore in his article with a typically long-winded title yesterday.

Peter Thiel is one of the world’s foremost tech sector venture capital players, with deep links across the field. And he is interested in citizenship. The residence requirements for normal paths to citizenship simply will not work for an international investor who spends much of his time abroad. And maintaining residence while spending substantial amounts of time in Silicon Valley – the basis for his exceptional potential value in helping New Zealand tech firms build links to there – is not easy. Ministerial discretion looks like the only option. Citizenship would encourage him to deepen his links with New Zealand’s tech community, and in so doing help to bring them to the world.

Who could say no? It was a great bet consistent with the public interest provisions for grants of citizenship. The government makes a lot of bets on the tech sector, including some often pretty unwise subsidies for research and development.

I have no real issues with giving him citizenship. I work in the tech sector, have been aware of what he has been doing for years, and have no real issues with having relatively harmless skilled nutbars investing in and developing tech industries here. After all I have worked for them, beside them, and have dealt with them through decades of exporting tech to a world wider than the tiny market in NZ. Geek nutbars come from all countries, including NZ 🙂

However what I do have a problem with is the point which Eric Crampton, Bill English, Peter Dunne, and others appear to be avoiding as if it was a rotten carcass that it currently smells like. How the apparent 1 use of the discretionary powers of the Minister in the Immigration Act 1977 section 9 (1) (c) came to be used for Pete Thiel’s citizenship, and why this action wasn’t transparent to the public.

At the very least, Nathan Guy – the minister who at the time granted it, should have made a public declaration of the use

Now lets consider what the undisclosed “exceptional circumstances” of “other nature relating to the applicant” could be.

  • Could they be a big donation to the National party to help it fight the 2011 election? After the various ways that National has concealed their donations using anonymous trusts over the last two decades
  • Could they be some kind of personal support for the rather gormless Nathan Guy?
  • Could they be some immigration official getting a kickback to place a document in front of the gormless Nathan Guy to sign?
  • Could they be a hidden kickback to support the government’s rather inept export tech policies, like shoving seed private investor money into a government supported venture capital fund?

As it stands right now, and at least until until February 15th 2  or an earlier release to similar questions being asked by journalists under the official information act, we simply won’t know.

And how many more immigrants have been passed into NZ using this same discretionary power and why? This isn’t a question for Winston Peters. This is a question of the transparency and clarity to the public about how the exceptional circumstances of our immigration process are being used and why.

Quite simply, if the ministers of any government right or green or left or conservative choose to hide or not reveal the use of exceptional powers granted under acts of parliament, and it can be so easily be construed as being a way of hiding corrupt practices, then we the public need to strip those powers from our ministers. Right now we need to have a public review of the decisions made under this section of the immigration act to see how widespread this potentially corrupt practice is.

The misuses of ministerial powers are particularly the case in immigration where part of the criteria now appears to be how much money you have and can pay to get a NZ passport. This isn’t a new problem, I can remember similar issues arising all the way back to when Aussie Malcolm was minister. However the level of secrecy on this is disturbing – even if it does turn out to be innocent.

 


 

  1. As Nippett clearly points out, there is no other apparent avenue for granting Thiel citizenship. He doesn’t meet any of the criteria.
  2. From the same article.

    This morning Lees-Galloway said he lodged written questions in Parliament with Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne seeking to know when Thiel was granted citizenship, under what grounds and whether the venture capitalist billionaire was a resident for tax purposes.

    The Herald understands, due to the Parliamentary break, the questions will be required to be answered by February 15.

52 comments on “Peter Thiel’s citizenship and consequent questions of corruption ”

  1. Sacha 1

    I can see how Thiel’s influence in US tech and VC circles would be attractive to a government but I agree the lack of transparency about these decisions is a real problem. What are the reasons for the other 2-300 exceptions per year?

    It doesn’t help when righties immediately leapt into the fray conflating residency with citizenship – which Fran O’Sullivan continues with her Herald article today: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11790138

    • Fran O'Sullivan 1.1

      No conflation Sacha. Investor Plus which does pave the way for permanent residency is also seen as a first step to fast track citizenship – it’s advertised as such in the offshore world. And it would not be advertised as such if it has not been occurring.
      Fran

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        Thank you Fran. Was about to add some of your comments from Twitter.

        Let’s see what those exceptions are made up of, is all I want. Had no idea this backdoor existed in our migration system. If it’s a matter of Ministerial discretion then let’s see the reasons published.

      • Sacha 1.1.2

        What is your sense of why people like Thiel and the others mentioned in Matt Nippert’s latest story want NZ citizenship rather than residency?

        • mickysavage 1.1.2.1

          OIO benefits innit?

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.1

            And ability to stand for public office.
            Otherwise, I guess it’s just irrevocable permanence?

            I’m guessing Fran may have some other explanations from her professional interaction with the issue.

            • dukeofurl 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Or donate handsomely to political party. Was he lining up as ACTs saviour, his interests arent so much the clean green etc as no taxes, no regs

        • Incognito 1.1.2.2

          Arise Sir Peter??

      • lprent 1.1.3

        Fran, just read your article. I think I made my objection to what happened in this case pretty clear.

        I don’t have a real issue with bringing people into residency or citizenship when it is justified. I do have very strong objections to doing it quietly. It opens a portal to various types of creeping corruption wide open and over successive governments (as you pointed out).

        The best approach to dealing with that is to simply either make the process transparent after it is granted so any journalist, member of the public or opposition member can look at who is being granted fast-track access and the presented reasons for it to happen OR not give the minister any latitude to creep the processes without public scrutiny. Then the minister responsible has to take the political fallout at the time it is done. That kind of negative feedback process tends to strongly improve decision making.

        Sure this will deter some of the potential applicants. But you have to ask yourself why in the hell that matters? If they want to be part of this country then they should stand up and be counted.

        As for the businesses who currently make a buck facilitating this business and possible reductions in their business – well they cane get fucked. The NZ Government isn’t entrusted by the citizens of this country to make businesses for people. It is there to run the country for the benefit of our citizens as a whole… Individual people and businesses shouldn’t be a consideration compared to long term policy.

        • Fran O'Sullivan 1.1.3.1

          The answer maybe to simply gazette all citizenships – they used to be via “naturalisation”. And if fast-tracked say so.
          Haven’t supported those hawking citizenships – just pointing out it is a fact.

  2. Penny Bright 2

    As I predicted – ‘Corruption’ IS becoming a significant election issue ….

    Penny Bright

    2017 Independent candidate
    Mt Albert by-election.

  3. Fran O'Sullivan 3

    The whole thing is very interesting.

    When I was researching my piece I came across this reference – which is the loophole I referred to.

    https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Citizenship-Become-a-New-Zealand-citizen-Part-5?OpenDocument

    If you don’t meet the criteria
    If you don’t meet the criteria, you might be able to apply for special consideration if:
    you can’t learn English
    you haven’t been in New Zealand for enough days in the last 5 years — but you’ve been here for 450 days in the last 20 months
    you can’t clearly show that you intend to keep living here
    you don’t meet the good character requirements, but you have evidence that you think proves you should be granted citizenship anyway
    you have exceptional circumstances relating to a recent conviction or time in prison, or
    you can prove that making you a citizen would benefit New Zealand.

    That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.

  4. Fran O'Sullivan 4

    When I was researching my piece I came across this reference – which is the loophole I referred to.

    https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Citizenship-Become-a-New-Zealand-citizen-Part-5?OpenDocument

    If you don’t meet the criteria
    If you don’t meet the criteria, you might be able to apply for special consideration if:
    you can’t learn English
    you haven’t been in New Zealand for enough days in the last 5 years — but you’ve been here for 450 days in the last 20 months
    you can’t clearly show that you intend to keep living here
    you don’t meet the good character requirements, but you have evidence that you think proves you should be granted citizenship anyway
    you have exceptional circumstances relating to a recent conviction or time in prison, or
    you can prove that making you a citizen would benefit New Zealand.

    That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.

    • Sacha 4.1

      “That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.”

      Sure does, and it’s why I support gazetting as you suggest or otherwise publicising the reasons that discretion is exercised.

    • Jan Rivers 4.2

      Would anyone regard this loophole as problematic? As citizens we could expect to be able to find out how the rules operate in relation to any aspect of legislation. To do this the Citizenship Act part 9 should have been amended to include additional parts 9 e) and f) which would address the route to citizenship granted through business migration and these other loophole cases outlined on the DIA website respectively.

      Those business and loophole cases should properly be cast as secondaryt legislation / regulations to which a person would be directed to from the main act. Otherwise the legislation and DIA’s citizenship website make it impossible to ascertain what the actual rules are.

      Agree 100% on transparency on why special cases are approved.

  5. jcuknz 5

    Whatever and why-ever the reasons for granting, the country has come up ‘trumps’ with a man who is a supporter and I guess friend of the new American president.

    I do not see why there is any need for making a song and dance about the granting when it happened. Lots of officials knew about it and nobody leaked ? Journalists too I expect but none wrote about ? or News Editors didn’t see it as worthy news.

    But now folk suffering from EDS are yelling blue murder …. LOL

    edit … Sorry Penny but try another record.

    • Anne 5.1

      It should also be noted the character references of the “new American president” are distinctly unsavourable to say the least, and he has surrounded himself with equally questionable individuals so the true character of this Mr Peter Thiel needs to be urgently brought into question:

      Networks of influence: Key, Peter Thiel & the GCSB

      Now why did the former minister of Internal Affairs, Nathan Guy see fit to fast track this man’s citizenship in relative secrecy? Clue: John Key/Peter Thiel and an outfit called “Palantir” whose co-founder was Peter Thiel… and who appear to have been intimately associated with the NSA and other cyber intelligence-gathering agencies.

      Bearing in mind, we now know some of these agencies’ activities were well beyond the law (both national and international) and our recently (and suddenly) departed prime-minister must have known it, I think we might be close to getting some answers.

      Oh dear, what a tangled web etc.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Oops… I see I made up a new word there… unsavourable. Quite like it and perfect for Trump. 🙂

  6. keepcalmcarryon 6

    Well I do have a problem with this.
    Since when should we instil special citizenship rights just due to wealth? Assuming of course that Mr Thiel isnt shotputting for NZ at the next olympics or personally training Iraqi soldiers for us?
    Maybe money talks for residency- which Im uncomfortable with in its current sleazy National party form by the way- but money buying citizenship rights is a big step beyond.
    Are some people in this life now really deemed to be more deserving than others of basic rights due to their net worth?
    Think about that.

    • Sacha 6.1

      Thiel offers influence rather than just wealth. However, the lack of transparency in this discretionary process means that us citizens have no way to know why he has been made one of us. Not good enough.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.2

      “Since when should we instil special citizenship rights just due to wealth? ”

      NZ does it continually (both sides of the house, I believe), and it is a terrible idea.

      The wealthy as a group lack compassion, are prone to act unethically, do not act to help others and damage economies.

      The exact opposite of who we should be choosing to join us. Give me a Syrian refugee any day.

      • YNWA 6.2.1

        I agree, Thiel’s research into injecting young blood into the old to increase their lifespan is genuinely creepy

    • lprent 6.3

      Peter Thiel might have a lot of things that he is a nutbar on. But as a tech head geek with an MBA who has spent the past 25 years helping to develop a local export industry based on exporting, I’d say that he is damn useful.

      I am pretty sure that if the matter had come up in public then he’d have gotten a pass, probably with reasonable amounts of acclaim based on what he wanted to do here.

      It has been pretty clear that he has been actively getting involved in developing our local tech industries with skills rather than just money. These are pretty valuable for the organizations that he has been involved with and invested in. If nothing else from what I have heard, he has been pretty effective at cutting out the junk ideas that plague startups and forcing the jumps in capacity to get into the export markets at scale.

      This is valuable for the country as a whole because it helps to generate skilled jobs across a whole export industry with very good margins. Those in turn help support jobs across even more industries and services sectors. This is important in NZ because while we are a relatively wealthy country, it is a agricultural and resources based wealth that doesn’t support many real jobs.

      The problem isn’t that Peter Thiel got citizenship. He would have anyway because the tech industry would have pushed it through regardless of what anyone else thought – in the same way that James Cameron got pushed through by the local film industry.

      The problem is that there if a loophole in the legislation that just begs for secret corrupt practices, and he isn’t the only person who has gone through it. From what I have heard, not that many of the others have done more than make token investments or investments that do fuckall for the country. Effectively they brought their non-resident residency and/or citizenship for money and none of us knew that it was happening.

      That is a recipe for corruption, if not now, than a few decades down the track. That is unacceptable and anything done using that system needs to be public and transparent.

      • Adrian 6.3.1

        ‘ doesn’t support many real jobs’ , is pretty bloody insulting Lprent to all of us who create and do these ‘ not real ‘ jobs.
        If you are inferring that the only real job is sitting on your backside staring at a computer then you really do need to get out more and maybe prune a few hectares of grapevines or harvest some trees to establish a world class wine company or build some houses with that milled and machined wood from those trees.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1

          You do understand that it will be the person sitting behind the computer screen that will make those job obsolete don’t you?

          And, yes, I have done those jobs.

          So, I really do suggest you get off your high horse as it’s really, really wobbly..

  7. Whispering Kate 7

    Whatever information the journalists get from the OIA will not answer their questions, sensitive stuff will be redacted as it always is. The Immigration Act will have to be changed through a law change via the Parliament to remove the corruption taking place. I agree with Penny the Government whoever it is needs to clean its act up and rewrite laws that stand for everybody. This is no different to handing over bribes for services/favours you require – it stinks.

    • Craig H 7.1

      Immigration Act or Citizenship Act, or both? There are a lot of humanitarian reasons to grant residence and/or citizenship in cases when normal criteria are not met – do we want to take that discretion away?

      • Whispering Kate 7.1.1

        Craig, no matter how many donations these people make and/or propping up businesses, it is minuscule in comparision to their over all wealth, citizenship should not ever, under any circumstances be bought – its bribery. That part of the discretionary clause should be removed. We are becoming a third world country where laws do not mean a thing and dictatorship reigns.

  8. Craig H 8

    Hey Lprent, can you please update your original post to correct Immigration Act 1977 to Citizenship Act 1977? It seems a minor point, but residence is easier to cancel and more prone to future government meddling than citizenship (as shown by the Australian government), so while there are similarities, it’s still good to be accurate.

    From memory, the main beneficiaries of the special citizenship clause are sportspeople looking to represent NZ before the usual 5 years after the grant of residence, or because they have spent a lot of time outside NZ active in their fields so don’t meet the ‘time in NZ’ requirements.

  9. Ross 9

    So if Labour were to form the next government and subsequently decided to give Kim Dotcom citizenship, we wouldn’t hear a peep out of National because that would be rather sad and hypocritical?

    • Wayne 9.1

      Don’t be ridiculous. No-one in the middle of extradition proceedings will get citizenship, irrespective of who the govt is.
      Let’s say he is not extradited. He also has the problem of existing convictions. Convictions don’t necessarily stop a person getting PR but they can stop citizenship. There are many cases where that has occurred.

      • Ross 9.1.1

        Wayne,

        You clearly have a short and rather selective memory. Remember Bill Liu? He was given citizenship (by Labour) despite not being squeaky clean. It can and does happen. And I recall that National grabbed that story like a dog with a bone. I don’t know why this is so different. Both cases involve following due process. Indeed, both have an unpleasant odour. Justice shouldn’t only be done, it should be seen to be done. I’m sure you’ve heard that a few times.

        • Ross 9.1.1.1

          Furthermore, Kim Dotcom has lived in NZ for 5 years so could legitimately apply for citizenship and apparently intends to do so.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11790650

          • Wayne 9.1.1.1.1

            Ross,
            How is any govt going to explain giving KDC citizenship in the middle of the most high profile extradition proceedings NZ has ever seen.
            It is not going to happen.
            If he is not extradited he could get get citizenship, but that won’t be before 2020, since the extradition proceedings have a good 3 years to run before they reach finality, one way or the other.

  10. Keith 10

    Slightly removed from this matter but nevertheless critical to overall transparency is to put the cleaners through donations to political parties.

    Any donation must be public, published no matter how slight, in other words no loop holes and it must show the individual or individuals who are the donors.

    There is too much opportunity or risk to end up like the US and have rich men controlling society. I would argue that we may well be on the road to that already with the shadowy secretive structure of National Party donations and what those donations may be buying!

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      +111

      There is too much opportunity or risk to end up like the US and have rich men controlling society.

      I’d say that we’re probably already there. It may not be quite as obvious us the US is but it’s plainly obvious that the government has only ruled for the rich for quite some time.

  11. HDCAFriendlyTroll 11

    Laws that allow discretion are always trouble because it means humans making subjective decisions and humans are dumb, especially when it comes to making subjective decisions.

    And when the discretion involves politicians, well, that just makes things a thousand times worse.

    First thing I would do it change so that it’s a judge that makes the decision.

    I would get rid of the phrase “public interest”. It’s vague and nobody really knows what it means anyway.

    I’d spell much more and as much as possible the “conditions for entry” e.g. The person is wiling to invest over a million dollars in the country (hey, if we’re going to allow people to buy their way in we may as well make transparent, right?), they’re a CEO of a company and that company is willing to invest and create jobs etc. This would keep any discretion to a minimum.

    • Whispering Kate 11.1

      If they want to invest a million dollars so be it, we will welcome it, but they have to wait in the queue like all other applicants, if they do not wish to do so, then we don’t want their type in this country, thinking they can buy everything their wishes desire including our precious citizenship. God this country is getting a very bad stink around it and its bloody depressing.

  12. mpledger 12

    When the Dems lost the presidency, the only redeeming feature was that it would be Dems who would desert the sinking ship, with some of them washing up here, rather than Republicans. To have Dem lose and RWNJs end up here as well is depressing.

  13. Craig H 13

    An interesting OIA regarding residence granted under the investor categories – a breakdown by nationality over the past 10 years.

    https://fyi.org.nz/request/4992-nz-immigration-investor-residencies-granted#incoming-16408

  14. veutoviper 14

    lprent, I understand your stance re Peter Thiel’s usefulness in helping to develop a local tech export industry in NZ based on exporting; and in doing so actively with skills rather than just money, in terms of your wide experience in this area.

    A lot of the focus on Thiel’s tech experience over the years has been on his involvement with PayPal, Facebook, Zero etc – eg reasonably safe, non-controversial organisations, and other such start-ups.

    However, I find this somewhat at odds (an understatement!) with the other side of Thiel’s tech involvement both here and overseas – namely his co-ownership of Palantir with its development of data-mining technologies and apparent involvement here in NZ with the GCSB and SIS, and Five Eyes, and in the US in particular with its millions of dollars worth of contracts with US federal agencies in respect of these data-mining technologies.

    As mentioned in the earlier post on Thiel a few days ago, Karol did an excellent backgrounder post in 2013 on Thiel’s involvement with Palantir here in NZ.

    Networks of influence: Key, Peter Thiel & the GCSB

    As mentioned in Karol’s post, major concerns were raised with John Key in Question Time in Parliament on 13 June 2013 by Russel Norman re Palantir and Peter Thiel (including Key’s relationship with Thiel). As the link in Karol’s post no longer works, here is a new link
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/50HansS_20130612_00000269/norman-russel-questions-for-oral-answer-questions-to

    Before he employs diversion tactics by calling Norman “Noddy”, Key’s comments about his connections with Thiel are interesting vis a vis Thiel’s citizenship – in particular, “ I would describe my relationship as cordial. I have met Mr Thiel on a few occasions—I would have to go to check exactly, as I said, if the member wants to ask me. I have never had a discussion with Mr Thiel about Palantir or about intelligence matters. He is someone who happens to live a certain period of time in New Zealand. “

    Since that time, Palantir has not disappeared from NZ. It still has offices etc on The Terrace in Wellington. There are plenty of interesting articles on their activities in NZ if you google “palantir nz”. a number of these also refer to John Key and his knowledge etc of Thiel.

    Of possible greater relevance currently is the plethora of media articles worldwide in the last month or so since Thiel’s relationship with Trump became known. These provide background on Palantir, Thiel, Palantir’s millions of dollars of contracts with US intelligence, military, and border control agencies – and the types of data-mining technology developed by Palantir which could see Palantir gain huge profits from their use in implementing Trump’s policies on immigration, deportation of illegal immigrants etc.

    Here a just a few of the links available by googling “Peter Thiel Palantir”

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/21/14012534/palantir-peter-thiel-trump-immigrant-extreme-vetting

    http://fortune.com/2016/12/22/trump-thiel-palantir/

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/12/transition-adviser-peter-thiel-would-directly-profit-from-mass-deportations/

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/06/peter-thiel-must-tread-carefully-between-trump-and-his-super-secret-start-up-experts-say.html

    http://vator.tv/news/2016-11-25-peter-thiels-palantir-raises-another-20-million

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/12/what-is-peter-thiels-endgame-for-palantir

    Presumably the actions in just the last 24 hours by US border agencies to refuse entry or return to the US of refugees and other people from the various countries which Trump has decreed to be prohibited may well be as a result of Palantir data mining technologies.

    So while Thiel may be a good guy who helps start-ups etc here in NZ and elsewhere, the cynical side of me wonders just how much this picture of Thiel is a red herring designed to deflect from the other side of his tech interests and developments via Palantir.

    It goes without saying that I find it appalling that NZ citizenship was granted to someone involved in such technologies – and the lack of transparency in granting that citizenship.

    • Anne 14.1

      Thankyou veutoviper for the detail and references. See my 5.1 where I mention Palantir. Just the tip of the iceberg I would say, and there may be more revelations to come on this one. That is, if out Fourth Estate is up to it.

      Where’s Key? Still hiding in his Hawaii mansion?

      I don’t have time to study your comment and references until this evening but good work…

      • veutoviper 14.1.1

        Thanks Anne. Had missed your 5.1. I understand that David Fisher is now on the Herald team helping Matt Nippert so here’s hoping re our Fourth Estate.

        • Anne 14.1.1.1

          So while Thiel may be a good guy who helps start-ups etc here in NZ and elsewhere, the cynical side of me wonders just how much this picture of Thiel is a red herring designed to deflect from the other side of his tech interests and developments via Palantir.

          It goes without saying that I find it appalling that NZ citizenship was granted to someone involved in such technologies – and the lack of transparency in granting that citizenship.

          The picture your references paint veutoviper are indeed ominous. His close links to virtually all the US intelligence agencies plus numerous other very powerful US government bodies and giant private corporate entities suggest to me he could be an extremely dangerous person.

          I am a cyber-communication illiterate, but the fact he has NZ citizenship tells me he could also have the potential to gather intimate details on thousands of NZers who, for one reason or another, are deemed further down the track to be a threat to the US regime. Those of us who have been openly hostile to Trump and his sycophants on public forums such as this one would no doubt be on ‘the list’.

  15. Rae 15

    He came here to hide from the pitchfork (or more likely gun) toting masses. He is one of these crazy paranoid preppers, who knows he might even have dug himself a concrete bunker somewhere here. I do not for a single minute believe he came here for the sake of NZ, that is just something he has to do with a bit of his chump change in order to stay. He has come here to protect his privileged position and anyone saying otherwise is, in my view, fooling themselves.
    The guy has extreme libertarian views, to the point where he has posited that women having the vote stand in the way of a libertarian agenda. (I expect he does not see the irony of the idea of libertarianism for some). Someone like him that has zero altruism in their system, he is here for number one.
    Tell me this, would any other person, sans billions of dollars, displaying the same nutty tendencies get a free run. Didn’t think so.

    • stever 15.1

      Yes, Thiel believes that capitalism is held back (a bad thing in his book) by democracy, and democracy should therefore be replaced by the sort of authoritarianism that Trump so well-demonstrates.

      “his long-held ambition of saving capitalism from democracy”

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/21/peter-thiel-republican-convention-speech

      He brings money to poor old NZ, yes…but is that really a price worth paying (let alone the principles at stake), and instead does it not in fact make him a person who is not fit and proper to be a NZer?

      • TootingPopularFront 15.1.1

        He could be a member of parliament and PM if he has NZ citizenship – if this is National’s new plan, to have a Trump enabler to replace the Merrill Lynch whizz kid, NZ is in a great deal of trouble.

  16. Sacha 16

    Nathan Guy tells RNZ Checkpoint that officials will be releasing the reasons for approving Thiel’s citizenship application later this week.

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