Record 15 new names join New Zealand's rich list worth more than $55 billion

Former Team New Zealand skipper Sir Russell Coutts is one of the big movers onto this year's list of richest New Zealanders, thanks to a sizeable bonus he netted for helping Oracle nab the Amerca's Cup in 2013.

The National Business Review rich list, released today, adds a record 15 new names (13 in 2014, and 12 in 2013) to the list and brings a combined wealth of the newcomers to a little more than $1.2 billion.

The total wealth of the rich list is more than $55 billion, and when adding New Zealand-based international billionaires, the figure jumps to $68.9 billion.

Russell Coutts

America's Cup champion Sir Russell Coutts is one of the big newcomers to the list, and New Zealand's highest paid sportsman pockets an annual salary of $13 million form Oracle Team USA.

Sir Russell, also netted a bonus for helping Oracle win the America's Cup in 2013, but has made significant wealth through the property market with multi-million dollar investments in Whangaparaoa and Queenstown.

The team Oracle CEO, worth $50 million and who comes in a equal 180 on the list, famously skippered Team New Zealand to America's Cup victory in 1995 and retained it five years later, he then controversially left for Swiss-based Alinghi, winning the cup again in 2003.

Graeme Hart
Graeme Hart Source: 1 NEWS

Other big movers on the list include IT innovator Malcolm Dick, who returned to the list at number 80, after selling Callplus, the company he founded in 1996 and New Zealand's third largest telco and broadband provider, to Australia's M2 for $250 million.

Mr Dick's former partner Annette Presley, a co-founder who had a 35.5 per cent stake in Callplus, also returned to the list.

New Zealand's richest man businessman Graeme Hart added $2 billion to his net worth, while software entrepreneur Guy Haddleton, number 43, went from $90 million last year to $300 million this year.

Sir Peter Jackson

Regular big players on the list such as film giant Sir Peter Jackson came in at number 14 (worth $630 million), while Xero CEO Rod Dury was at number 18, and worth $550 million.

Supermodel Heidi Klum with Warriors owner Eric Watson at the NRL Season Launch

Hanover Finance shareholder and NRL club Warriors co-owner Eric Watson was number 21 on the list, and doesn't appear to be contributing to the $18 million settlement Hanover reached with the Financial Markets Authority. He is also involved in a bitter dispute with business parter Sir Own Glenn, but his wealth continues to grow, from $400 million last year to $500 million this year.

Fellow Warriors co-owner Sir Owen Glen was at 23, worth $450 million, while jewellery magnate Sir Michael Hill, number 47, saw wealth drop from $300 million in 2014 to $290 million this year.

New Zealand Business Hall of Famer and founder of Hawke's Bay's Sileni Estates Winery Sir Graeme Avery was worth $90 million and came in at 131 on the list.


The head of the Todd family, Sir John Todd, wsa number three on the list and worth $3.16 billion. Sir John died last night at his Wellington home last night following a time of ill health. He was 88-years-old.

Prime Minister John Key was reported to have a net worth of $55 million and was at equal 173 on the list, but told NBR, "if I was really focused on it, I wouldn't be in politics".

The richest New Zealand-based international was industrial magnate Alexander Abramov with a net worth of $5.96 billion.

TOP 10

1. Graeme Hart $9 billion

2. Richard Chandler $4 billion

3. Todd family $3.16 billion

4. Erceg family $1.6 billion

5. Michael Friedlander $1.4 billion

6. Christopher Chandler $1.3 billion

7. Goodman family $1.2 billion

8 Stephen Jennings $980 million

9. Sir Douglas Myers $930 million

10. Sir Michael Fay $870 million


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Elon Musk taunts government agency that accused him of duping investors

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is apparently taunting the government agency that accused him of duping investors just days after negotiating a settlement to keep his job.

Musk jabbed the Securities and Exchange Commission on his Twitter account, the same agency that went after him for an August 7 tweet in which he declared he had secured financing for a Tesla buyout.

The SEC alleged that Musk hadn't locked up the estimated $25 billion to $50 billion that it would have required to pull off that deal.

In a Thursday tweet, Musk praised the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" for "doing incredible work."

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Tesla shares declined 2 percent in extended trading after Musk's tweet.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Source: Associated Press


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Biofuel made from industrial waste gasses used for first time on commercial flight

Sir Richard Branson has welcomed the first commercial flight powered partly by a new form of biofuel converted from alcohol.

Virgin Atlantic's Boeing 747 aircraft landed at London Gatwick with a fuel blend containing 5.0 per cent biofuel made from industrial waste gases converted into ethanol.

Sir Richard, the airline's founder, guided the aircraft towards a stand after it touched down on Wednesday.

The billioniare told reporters it was "a historic day".

"The fuel is cleaner than normal jet aviation fuel," he said.

"From the globe's point of view, if all fuel could be recycled fuel it would make a massive difference from a climate change point of view."

The biofuel, produced by start-up firm LanzaTech, is certified to make up as much as 50 per cent of a plane's total fuel supply.

The "sustainable" fuel delivers a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of "at least 65 per cent" compared with conventional petroleum fuel, according to LanzaTech.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger urged the Government to take the "critical next steps" of approving a change in legislation to allow such companies using carbon capture technology to be eligible for financial incentives, and to support investment in the first plants to produce the fuel.

LanzaTech is aiming to open three UK plants by 2025, producing enough fuel to fly all Virgin Atlantic's UK outbound flights in a 50/50 mix.

LanzaTech chief executive Jennifer Holmgren said: "We have shown that recycling waste carbon emissions into jet fuel is not impossible, that waste carbon needs to be thought as an opportunity not a liability, that carbon can be reused over and over again."

Melbourne, Australia - April 26, 2016: View of Virgin aircraft approaching to landing at Melbourne Airport during daytime. Virgin Atlantic is a British airline with its headquarters in the United Kingdom.
Virgin Australia plane (file picture). Source: istock.com

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Westpac bank Source: 1 NEWS

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