At least four of the country's richest people live in Tauranga and the Western Bay, according to the latest National Business Review Rich List.

Topping the local NBR Rich List was Colin and Dale Armer who came in at number 58 overall. The pair are owners of a dairy farming business based in Te Puke. Mr Armer, a former Fonterra director, and Mrs Armer have an estimated wealth of $240 million.

NBR said Mr Armer and fellow Fonterra shareholder Greg Gent made headlines in 2015 for their campaign to shrink the Fonterra's board size from 13 to nine.

Up next were brothers Peter and Gerard Gillespie, who have a joint estimated wealth of $220 million. Peter Gillespie and his wife live in Mount Maunganui and the brothers have investments in the wider Tauranga area.


NBR reported that the brothers have interests in a new motel and shopping complex in Tauranga. Last July, Peter and local developer Paul Spillane bought the Golden Grove Holiday Park for $3.65 million.

In February, Tauranga City Council agreed to recommend the popular Girven Rd camping ground be established as a special housing area, which was approved by Housing Minister Nick Smith in March.

Property developer and philanthropist Paul Adams, with an estimated worth of $135 million also made the NBR list.

The NBR said in the space of a year, Mr Adams had gone from media-shy to a man continuously in the headlines not just as a developer, but for his work with the Civic Amenities Group and as one of the parties aiming to take over social housing in the city with the not-for-profit Accessible Properties.

The NBR Rich List, released yesterday, featured a largely unchanged top ten wealthiest people - worth a combined $24 billion.

Graeme Hart remained the richest man in New Zealand, but his wealth took a $2 billion hit this year.

His wealth fell from $9 billion in 2015 to $7 billion this year, amid concern over some of his debt-heavy business, NBR reported.