29 Jul 2011

Graeme Hart tops rich list again

6:17 am on 29 July 2011

Packaging magnate Graeme Hart is still New Zealand's wealthiest man, according to a newly published list.

The National Business Review published its 25th Rich List on Thursday.

Mr Hart again tops the list, with a $6.5 billion fortune, $1 billion more than 12 months ago.

In second place is Richard Chandler, who made $4 billion investing in energy, telecommunications and banking in several continents.

The Todd family ($2.7 billion) and investor and farmer Eamon Cleary ($2 billion) are in third and fourth positions.

The richest woman is Lynette Erceg, the widow of liquor baron Michael Erceg, with $1.5 billion.

New to the list are the Fulton family ($295 million) and Hogan family ($180 million), who dominate road construction and repair.

The founder and chief executive of Les Mills International, Philip Mills, also joins the list with $90 million.

Mr Mills is worried to hear talk of countries digging their way out of the current economic crisis by cutting back on health and education, and says he would be happy to pay higher taxes to have less pain going on in society.

Eric Watson, who co-founded the now defunct finance company Hanover with Mark Hotchin, is No 30 on the list.

The Monaco-based New Zealand businessman Owen Glenn, who is at 6th equal spot, says in reality his wealth is closer to half the $900 million listed.

He says New Zealanders should encourage those people with good minds so they don't leave the country and take their ideas and energy overseas.

The total wealth of all those included in the list is estimated at just over $45 billion, up from $38 billion last year.

When the first list was compiled in 1986, the threshold was just $5 million and the total wealth of those who made the grade was $5.3 billion.

NBR Rich List top 10

1 Graeme Hart ($6.5 billion)

2 Richard Chandler ($4 billion)

3 Todd Family ($2.7 billion)

4 Eamon Cleary ($2 billion)

5= Lynette Erceg ($1.5 billion)

5= Christopher Chandler ($1.5 billion)

6= Michael Friedlander ($900 million)

6= Owen Glenn ($900 million)

6= Stephen Jennings ($900 million)

7 Goodman Family ($850 million)

8 Sir Douglas Myers ($800 million)

9= Sir Michael Fay ($725 million)

9= David Richwhite ($725 million)

10 Spencer family ($650 million)