super rich

PHOTO: SUPPLIED Queenstown is popular with the world’s super-rich.

Offering the world’s super rich New Zealand citizenship if they invest some of their millions here might sound like a good way to spark the economy, but commentators say it’s not clear that it would actually work.

The idea – since rejected by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – was floated by investment banker Troy Bowker, who said high-net-worth individuals should be offered a visa if they invested $50 million each in the country.

Xero founder Rod Drury also suggested allowing international investors to buy land in New Zealand if they committed to build projects quickly, as a way to boost the construction sector.

But while there are a number of high profile super-rich in New Zealand, whether their presence does the rest of us any good is unclear. History seems to indicate they are more likely to buy a golf course, farm, iconic slice of country,  mansion – or sometimes even land for a bunker – than to invest in job-creation.

Infometrics chief forecaster Gareth Kiernan said it seemed that many people who had qualified for residency on the strength of their investments were only doing enough to “tick the box”.


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