Jared Savage is the New Zealand Herald's investigations editor.

Property tycoon convicted of drink-driving

Michael Friedlander. Photo / Supplied
Michael Friedlander. Photo / Supplied

One of New Zealand's richest men has been caught drink-driving.

Property tycoon Michael Friedlander has appeared in the Auckland District Court after recording 492 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when stopped on Shore Rd in Remuera on April 14. The limit is 400mcg.

The 75-year-old pleaded guilty at his first court appearance in early May and was disqualified from driving for six months.

With an estimated personal fortune of $700 million - believed to be much higher by some property insiders - Friedlander was fined $490 and ordered to pay court costs of $132.

Considered one of the most influential businessmen in New Zealand, the Auckland lawyer was last year ranked in the top 10 of the NBR Rich List. He is one of a handful of people who have featured on the list of rich and powerful every year since 1986.

The Remuera resident has amassed a huge portfolio of prime real estate over 40 years, believed to be hundreds of properties, through the Samson Corporation.

A consultant at law firm Keegan Alexander - where he was a partner for 40 years - Friedlander was last year made Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community.

He is a well-known philanthropist through the Friedlander Foundation, as well as donating generously to the Liggins Institute, the Auckland Art Gallery, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Jewish community.

Friedlander declined to comment.

- NZ Herald

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