New Zealand Rich List released - the big winners and losers who are collectively worth over $80 billion

The annual National Business Review Rich List has been released, with 19 newcomers making their way onto the list - the biggest jump since 1995. 

Last year's top rich-lister Graeme Hart's wealth rose $500m to $7.5b, coming in again at number one. 

Recent New Zealand citizen Peter Thiel was a notable newbie, clawing up to the second spot with $3.7 billion to his name. 

Mr Thiel gained citizenship after being in New Zealand for 12 days. 

NBR described the 2017 list as "evidence of diversification" of the economy, with the list sourced from a range of sectors such as technology, aviation, and food production. 

The total value of the Rich List jumped 10 per cent since 2016, worth over $80 billion, with the newcomers worth $6.44 billion collectively. 

NBR editor Duncan Bridgeman said "boom times" had continued for the rich. 

"The rich get richer and the rich are having a really successful period at the moment."

Founder of ANZCO Foods Sir Graeme Harrison made the list with $55 million.

Hamish Kennedy's wealth jumped by $180m to $230m with the sale of fruit-sorting company Comac.

Ian McCrae had the biggest fall, a loss of $225m seeing him drop down to $125million.

Former PM Sir John Key is on the list with $65m.

Top 10 New Zealand Rich Listers

Graeme Hart - $7.5 billion

Peter Thiel - $3.7 billion

Todd Family - $3.5 billion

Richard Chandler - $2 billion

Erceg family - $1.65 billion

Sir Michael Friedlander - $1.6 billion

Goodman family - $1.475 billion

Christopher Chandler - $1.4 billion 

Stephen Jennings - $1.1 billion

Sir Michael Fay - $920 million

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It's fair to say most Breakfast viewers weren't wild on the idea.

It's fair to say most Breakfast viewers weren't wild on the idea. Source: Breakfast


'There's been some pretty direct feedback' – Bill English may tweak immigration proposal after backlash

In April the Government announced plans to crack down on overseas workers by making big changes to the Skilled Migrant Visa, but after criticism from regional employers and Canterbury mayors, it may be considering a u-turn.

The changes would mean raising the minimum median annual income requirement to $48,859, make it harder for families of workers to enter the country, and those on temporary work visas who earn less than the median income could only work for three years before a stand-down period. 

However critics in industries such as hospitality and farming say it is already hard enough to source workers. 

Prime Minister Bill English said on TVNZ 1's Breakfast he wants the "right balance of skills".

"There's work there, plenty of jobs, they're doing their best to recruit Kiwis where they can, but there's still gaps and they need the skills and are a bit concerned some of the rules are a bit tight."

He said there was a strong demand for workers, but they "also want to make sure New Zealanders get the jobs they should be able to get".  

Mr English said the incoming changes would not be scrapped, but they would listen to the feedback given. 

The new plan will be revealed in the next few weeks. 

There were fears the Government's plans may affect industries like hospitality. Source: Breakfast