Newcomers 2017

NBR RICH LIST 2017: From advisers to President Donald Trump, to techonology and manufacturing chiefs, this year's Rich List welcomes newcomers from all around.

Nineteen people crossed the $50 million threshold to join the Rich List this year.

Click on the Rich Listers' names to view their profiles. Scroll down for video.  

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Peter Thiel

$3.7 billion

Worth more than the market cap of the New York Times, Peter Thiel would have been a famous investor eventually. But it was his $US500,000 bet on Facebook for 10.2% of the social network that will go down as one of venture capital’s all-time greatest punts.

Soichiro Fukutake

$1.4 billion

Soichiro Fukutake

Ranked by Forbes as one of Japan's 50 richest people with a real-time wealth of $US1.15 billion, Soichiro Fukutake has called New Zealand home since 2009 when he moved here semi-permanently with his family. Even Forbes lists Auckland as his residence.

Brendan Lindsay

$595 million

Having nurtured his 'baby' from a backyard operation into a multi-million dollar export business, Brendan Lindsay can be forgiven for getting a little choked up after selling Sistema Plastics to American interests for $660 million.

Peter Harris

$210 million

Peter Harris’ 22.8% CBL Insurance stake is worth $180 million – not bad for someone who worked at a wool scourer in his school holidays.

Michael Guthrie

$200 million

As the largest shareholder in Mainland Poultry, Michael Guthrie's 76.6% stake in the business has been speculated at about $300 million, although $200 million is a more accurate figure.

Hutchison family

$200 million

Auckland financier Alistair Hutchison is probably better known in Samoa than he is in New Zealand but his 19.5% stake in CBL Corporation – worth $160 million – has catapulted him into this year's Rich List.

Hugh Jones

$155 million

A lifelong love of aviation has paid off handsomely for Hugh Jones, whose decision to sell the bulk of his majority shareholding in publicly listed Airwork Holdings to Chinese interests has netted him $120 million – with a residual stake worth upward of $30 million.

McPhail family

$150 million

Gordon McPhail

As the founder of one of New Zealand's most recognised and diverse horticulture businesses, Murray McPhail is more than happy to be in charge of 'special projects' while his two sons (Gordon, pictured, and Richard) assume control of LeaderBrand.

Murray Bolton

$142 million

Former Brierley Investments and Skellerup chief executive Murray Bolton has an eclectic mix of investments ranging from a lion park in Northland to the lion's share of Corporate Cabs. However, his real wealth lies in a little-known international direct debit billing company.

Chris Liddell

$120 million

Being appointed as a strategic adviser to US President Donald J Trump has come at a cost for expatriate Kiwi businessman Chris Liddell with the mandatory disclosure of his potential wealth for all to see (along with his modest salary).

Mowbray family

$120 million

Splashing out $32.5 million to buy the 12-bedroom Coatesville mansion previously leased by Kim Dotcom has guaranteed the three Mowbray siblings (Nick, pictured, Anna and Mat) a place in New Zealand real estate folklore.

Plaw family

$100 million

As New Zealand's biggest-selling brand of windows and doors, Vantage took up the naming rights for the Black Sticks in 2017. But few would connect Vantage with the low-profile Plaw family.

Chris Heaslip

$56 million

As a co-founder and chief executive of the listed technology company, Pushpay, Auckland accountant Chris Heaslip is riding a financial rollercoaster, which has seen the value of his 11% shareholding fluctuate between $37 million and $80 million over the past year.

Carmel & Hugh Fisher

$55 million

From their palatial Takapuna clifftop mansion overlooking Rangitoto Island, Carmel and Hugh Fisher have every reason to be proud of the $7 billon funds management business they created from scratch in 1998.

Sir Graeme Harrison

$55 million

Induction into the Business Hall of Fame in 2017 is the latest in a long list of accolades for Sir Graeme Harrison, who founded ANZCO Foods, the giant multinational meat company that exports to more than 80 countries.

Eliot Crowther

$52 million

As an executive director and co-founder of Pushpay, Eliot Crowther has come a long way from his days selling heat pumps and other equipment for HRV, the home ventilation company.

Brian Fitzgerald

$50 million

A highly seasoned investor and financier with his proverbial finger in a multitude of pies, Brian Fitzgerald's (pictured here in his Strategic Finance days) interests range from a half share in Wellington's historic Backbencher pub opposite Parliament to the redevelopment of the Hilton Lake Taupo and a plethora of Auckland property developments.

Murray Holdaway

$50 million

As the co-founder and chief executive of Vista Group International, Murray Holdaway has reaped the rewards of creating a globally successful management software business that has a market value of more than $450 million.

Wendell Phillips

$50 million

As the founder of The Building Depot chain of hardware stores, Auckland businessman Wendell Phillips has kept a low profile – until now. But as a part owner of Sistema Plastics, he is firmly in the spotlight.


• New Zealand Herald/ (Brendan Lindsay, Peter Harris, Nick Mowbray, Brian Fitzgerald)
• Fairfax Media NZ (Sir Graeme Harrison)
• Jerry Yelich-O'Connor (Chris Heaslip)

For full coverage, visit the NBR Rich List 2017 home page.

For full Rich List access, get a 30-day free trial to NBR here or subscribe here.

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