The tiny number of super-rich investors who come to New Zealand generally add value to the country far beyond whatever initial investment is required of them to gain residency, Prime Minister John Key said today.
He was defending the decision to allow Megaupload internet file-sharing entrepreneur Kim Dotcom to gain residency despite convictions in Germany and Hong Kong, which it was decided were minor in nature and should not affect his permission to live in New Zealand in return for a $10 million investment in government bonds.
Key said it was “not for me to opine” on whether Dotcom had broken American law by establishing Megaupload, but that the Investor Plus category of migrant had been, on the whole, valuable to New Zealand.
He cited New York billionaire Julian Robertson, who has developed tourist resorts in New Zealand and made the largest single art collection donation in Australasia, film-maker James Cameron and Paypal founder Peter Thiel, an investor in kiwi accounting software company Xero, as examples.
“Having high net worth individuals come here is a positive, in my view,” he said at his weekly post-Cabinet press conference. “There will never be massive numbers. There aren’t that many of them.
“The vast bulk of people don’t come in the super-rich category, if you’re talking about how people get citizenship,” Key said.
Wealthy migrants needed to show they would bring benefits to New Zealand and were committed to the country.
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