After more than a quarter of a century, the NBR Rich List 2012 still draws a variety of strong reactions, many of them negative.
My description last year that we should treat those successful in business as “national treasures” was especially controversial.
It would appear many New Zealanders – probably even a majority – object to wealth, even though by world standards this country’s levels of prosperity are modest indeed.
The campaign against the government’s decision to sell part of its shareholding in a few power stations has been framed as a debate between selling “our assets” to the wealthy few – and even foreigners, to boot.
But this discounts the phenomenal success of KiwiSaver and the high level of investments and savings by the vast majority of households.
So is this antipathy to wealth only generated by a hardcore minority, who reflect the opinions of those on the political left, abetted by the media and academia?
The answer would appear to be positive, given the lack of understanding of how wealth is generated and the role of private enterprise in the economy.
The Rich List provides insights into what one group of New Zealanders – and some foreigners who have invested here – have achieved. This has been at a time when many have lost the bulk of their savings with unwise investments in finance companies.
The lucky ones were bailed out by other taxpayers, through government guarantees, at the cost of more than a billion dollars and more debt for future generations.
The government is now committed to programmes in financial literacy. The Rich List has already provided this over 26 years, through booms and busts.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- Winston's choice: Jacinda Ardern poised to become prime minister
- NZ's top tech companies generate $10b in annual sales in 2017: TIN100 report
- Kraft Heinz buys ANZ Cerebos assets for $A290 million
- Super Fund CEO pay rise 'too large,' Joyce says
- Nats baulking over Winston Peters' demand for more ministers
Most listened to
- Rob Hosking on Winston's choice
- IDC's Chayse Gorton on Kiwis' online vs offline shopping preference - and how it's out of step with the rest of the world
- NZSA chief executive Michael Midgley on how he will vote undirected Fletcher proxies
- Restaurant Brands' Grant Ellis discusses progress at the fast food group
- Rob Hosking says politicians need to understand the effect their promises will have on what the Reserve Bank has to do
- AMP Capital investment manager Jonathan Armstrong discusses why an expansion is right for Tauranga's Bayfair shopping centre
- NBR Radio: The best interviews, with Grant Walker — updated daily