NBR explains changes to this year's 'Rich List'

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Mon, 3 May 2021, 12:47PM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

NBR explains changes to this year's 'Rich List'

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Mon, 3 May 2021, 12:47PM

There have been a few changes to NBR's annual rundown of the wealthiest people in the country.

Rather than simply focus on wealth for wealth's sake, the editorial team made a call this year to drop the word "rich" from the long-running "NBR Rich List" moniker.

List editor Maria Slade said in the aftermath of Covid-19, it was time to rethink the purpose of the ranking system.

"So, we created The NBR List to put equal focus on profit and purpose.

"The NBR List honours people who are building enterprises, growing New Zealand's fortunes, creating jobs and giving back.

"We didn't ask him to say it, but expat American agribusiness investor Tom Sturgess encapsulated the sentiment when he remarked to our reporter: 'Money is like manure, you pile it up, and it just stinks the joint up, you spread it around, it does good.'"

The list, which returns after a one-year hiatus caused by Covid-19, features a total 100 Kiwis operating across five categories (Property, Make & Sell, Investment, Agribusiness and Tech & Services).

While familiar names like Graeme Hart, the Todd and Goodman families and the Mowbrays lead the Top 10, there are also a few newcomers among the 100 that might catch readers by surprise.

The NBR List top 10

1. Graeme Hart - $11b
2. Todd family - $4.3b
3. Goodman family - $3.1b
4. Mowbray family - $2.5b
5. Michael Friedlander - $2b
6. Rod Drury - $1.95b
7. Talley family - $1.2b
8. Bob Jones - $1.1b
9. Bruce Plested - $1.02b
10. Jim and Rosemari Delegat - $1.01b

Newcomers include rocket man Peter Beck; Alison's Pantry and Mother Earth manufacturers Bernie and Kaye Crosby; Jonny Hendriksen, founder of video ad company Shuttlerock; and brothers Chris and Stephen Harris, who sold their gaming studio Ninja Kiwi for $270m in March.

To reflect the shifting focus of the list, this year also features a "ones to watch list" that includes Colin Neal and his investment vehicle Polar Capital; South Island venison growers the Whyte family; and Cin7 inventory management system creator Danny Ing.

Also, worth mentioning are the philanthropic efforts of some of the influential business people included this year.

Douglas Pharmaceuticals managing director Jeff Douglas and veteran investor Sir Christopher Mace's contributions to a $6.2m fund to buy iconic Elliot Bay in the Bay of Islands and return it to the public conservation estate.

HW Richardson transport group owners, the Richardson/O'Donnell family, are behind a $33m dementia care village.

The editorial team behind the project made a decision this year to exclude those based overseas who contribute little to the New Zealand business community.

The biggest departure due to this rule was New Zealand citizen and Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.

The market cap of Thiel's spook software outfit Palantir is large enough to challenge Hart's position as the richest New Zealander.

Asked about other high-profile departures, Slade said they "include US-based fund manager Ric Kayne, who has built a few golf courses here but otherwise runs his business interests overseas; the Simunovich family who are mostly offshore-based now; and Lyn Erceg, the widow of liquor baron Michael – she is very wealthy, but does little in the NZ business community".