Fulton family tops Rich List in the South

New Zealand's annual Rich List reflects accumulated wealth beyond $100 billion for the first time.

The combined total net worth of the rich-listers came in at $100.8 billion, up from $79.9 billion last year.

A dozen people or families in the South, with business interests or strong links to Otago and Southland, made the National Business Review list.

Dunedin civil construction company's Fulton family came in first at $450 million.

Invercargill's Richardson family, who have transport, property and tourism interests, was valued at $320 million, while former Mainland Poultry co-owner Michael Guthrie was valued at $300 million.

Jeweller and golf course owner Sir Michael Hill was valued at $280 million and the Hagaman family, which owns Scenic Circle Hotels, at $210 million.

The Skeggs family of Dunedin, through the Skeggs Group, founded in 1952, which was involved in fishing, property, tourism and wine, was assessed at $190 million, while Sir Eion Edgar, Forsyth Barr's former chairman, and family of Dunedin is at $150 million.

Ron Anderson, co-founder and joint owner of Dunedin-founded Arrow International, was listed at $145 million, while retirement village developer and property investor Graham Wilkinson was valued at $140 million.

Queenstown tourism and property investor Sir John Davies, a former mayor of the town, made the list with $130 million.

Also at $130 million was Barry Thomas, founder and former chairman of Skyline Enterprises in Queenstown.

Retirement home developers and operators brothers Doug and Ian Hurst, of North Otago, were valued at $110 million.

The Fletcher construction family, originally from Dunedin, came in at $105 million.

Dunedin's Smith family, brothers Sir Julian and Nick, who publish the Otago Daily Times and have numerous other media interests, were valued at $80 million.

American Peter Thiel, a New Zealand citizen, with a lakefront property near Wanaka, was fourth on the Rich List, at $3.6 billion.

New Southern entrants were Dave and Karen Ellis, whose business milks about 4500 cows, including in the upper Waitaki; they were assessed at $80 million.

Two southern identities fell below the $50 million threshold, and were delisted.

Dunedin-raised investment banker Alistair Jeffrey made his first fortune in Australia founding lending and asset management business Bluestone but NBR reported his $90 million 2017 listing had been halved.

Also delisted were South Canterbury dairy farmers Aad and Wilma van Leeuwen, rated last year at $60 million but whose dairy herds have been struck by Mycoplasma bovis.

The richest person on the list was again Graeme Hart, who added $1.5 billion to his fortune, which now sits at $9 billion.

There are 34 newcomers on the list, contributing a total $5.89 billion to the overall amount.

Among the newcomers was basketball star Steven Adams, who, with a net worth of $50 million, was the only New Zealand sports star to make the cut.

The wealthiest newcomer on the list was American investor Ric Kayne, whose value in New Zealand was measured by NBR at $1.8 billion.

-Additional reporting by BusinessDesk


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