Property editor of the NZ Herald

Billionaire's playground: Drawcard for the super-wealthy

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Photo / AP
Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Photo / AP

Sultan of Brunei

Hassanal Bolkiah $20 billion

One of the world's richest royals, the Sultan of Brunei, is tied up with property in Queen St.

His assets include the old BNZ Tower opposite Shortland St, at the corner of Queen and Swanson Sts. The building, which had lost its main tenant, recently opened a New World Metro in its basement.

Hassanal Bolkiah, 65, has been in power for more than 40 years, ruling as the oil-rich country's Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Finance Minister and head of religion - with full executive authority and emergency powers.

Lowy family

Frank, US$4.4 billion

The Lowy family own the Westfield shopping malls in New Zealand and are worth about $4.4 billion.

The founder of the company is Frank Lowy, originally from the Czech Republic. His son, Steven Lowy, was in Albany for the opening of the $210 million shopping centre there.

Steven Lowy said the company was expanding across the world and drawing many executives from New Zealand.

A former director of Westfield New Zealand, John Widdup, was appointed to run Westfield America, in charge of 9000 shops in 59 centres worth US$18.7 billion ($24.2 billion).

Westfield also bought out one of New Zealand's top-40 companies, shopping mall owner St Lukes Group. The Australian family own 119 malls around the world.

Gina Rinehart

US$18 billion

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart is an owner of Fairfax, a media company with a strong presence in New Zealand.

Ms Rinehart is Australia's richest person and the richest woman in Asia-Pacific. Rinehart inherited her mining assets from her father, Lang Hancock.

Her second husband died in 1990 and she is fighting legal action from three of her four children over a family trust.

Rinehart is said to have invested in media companies, including Fairfax, in a campaign against Australia's mining tax. She also owns Australia's Ten Network. Fairfax's NZ interests include the Dominion Post in Wellington.

Graeme Hart

US$5.7 billion

Graeme Hart is New Zealand's richest person - Forbes estimates his wealth at US$5.7 billion.

The former tow truck driver made his money through his packaging empire Rank Group, which he conceived as an MBA student at the University of Otago.

Rank's past acquisitions have included Carter Holt Harvey, Swiss packager SIG, Alcoa's former packaging unit, Reynolds Consumer Products and Closure Systems International. He owns prime properties in Auckland.

Li Ka-shing

US$25.5 billion

The 83-year-old Hong Kong business magnate is considered the richest person in Asia - and owns important assets in New Zealand.

Two of his companies, Cheung Kong Infrastructure and Power Assets Holding, together own 100 per cent of Wellington Electricity.

Cheung Kong, the largest listed infrastructure company in Hong Kong, paid $785 million to Vector for the electricity network.

Ka-shing is the chairman of Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings, and through them is the world's largest operator of container terminals and the world's largest health and beauty retailer.

Forbes has listed him as the ninth richest person in the world.

Dato Tan Chin Nam

Dato Tan Chin Nam, one of the richest men in Malaysia, returned to the Karaka sales for the first time in many years in January, reportedly eyeing up the three-quarter brother to So You Think, a horse he bought for $110,000 and sold 50 per cent of for an incredible $30 million. He is a property developer involved in many big projects such as Malaysia's Shangri-La Hotel, shopping centres in Singapore and one of the biggest malls in the world, Mid Valley Megamall, Malaysia.

Jae Ho Huh

The Korean billionaire was set to build the tallest building near Auckland's Sky Tower. He paid $11.5 million for Bill and Diane Foreman's Takapuna house although he lives in the CBD. In 2006, his Dae Ju Housing Co failed to get resource consent to build the 67-level $450 million Elliott Tower, only slightly shorter than the Sky Tower, for the corner of Elliott, Albert and Victoria Sts.

Steven LowyGina RinehartGraeme HartLi Ka-shingShmuel Meitar

Last decade Israeli billionaire Shmuel Meitar bought a stake in iconic high country station Walter Peak. These days, he is referred to as the station's co-owner, and said to control an interest in around 26,000ha of New Zealand soil. Meitar is a technology leader, businessman and philanthropist who Forbes magazine lists as one of Israel's richest.

- NZ Herald

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