Stay up-to-date with The Insider, a weekly column featuring what's happening behind the scenes in business.
Mark Hotchin has added to an already impressive property portfolio - one of his companies paying just over $23m for an Auckland retail mall complex.
But the former Hanover boss has also recently sold a prized holiday home near Queenstown for $4.4m, less than three years after purchasing it for $3.95m.
Hotchin companies have bought almost $80m of property in the past five years, according to an analysis of property records.
The latest is a sprawling retail centre near Howick in East Auckland. The 18,860sq m freehold site is anchored by a Countdown supermarket and commands annual rent of $1.3m plus GST.
Marketing material says the Meadowlands Shopping Plaza is popular with its surrounding and established residential catchment, which includes the affluent East Auckland suburbs of Botany, Dannemora, Howick, Cockle Bay and Whitford.
Hotchin purchased the property through Uhl Limited, an entity that once formed part of the Hanover web of companies.
Hanover and United Finance froze around $554m of investor funds in 2008 and later sold loan assets to Allied Farmers, which then liquidated the assets in a fire sale with heavy losses for former Hanover retail investors.
Uhl also owns an office block in Auckland's CBD - 2 Kitchener St - which it acquired in two titles in 2017 and 2018 for $25.3m. The building was once home to Hanover's office.
The company also owns a commercial property on Great South Rd, which it bought in 2015 for $9.75m.
Hotchin-linked companies own multiple residential properties on Waiheke Island including an $8.2m bach at Palm Beach.
In June 2017, his Omara Property Group bought another holiday house on exclusive Streamside Lane, which fronts on to the fairways at Millbrook near Queenstown and is considered one of the country's most expensive real estate areas.
In March this year, just as the global Covid-19 pandemic took hold, Omara sold the Millbrook property for $4.4m, property records reveal.
In 2015 Hotchin was one of six former Hanover-affiliated people who reached an $18m settlement with the Financial Markets Authority, which had filed civil proceedings alleging untrue statements in certain Hanover offer documents.
These days Hotchin is clearly focused on property investment and has an enviable portfolio on display.
Borderline - airlines and opening up
Struggling airlines are taking different approaches to the art of persuasion in the border restrictions debate.
In New Zealand domestic flying is spooling up again with Air New Zealand's network restored to 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels over the school holidays.
Domestic flying at that level is rare outside Asia right now and across the Tasman the big internal market is spluttering along as states impose their own restrictions and the entire network has been hit by Victoria's strict lockdown.
Qantas is flying around a fifth of its normal services and has taken direct action to push for opening up of domestic borders in time for the summer holidays, with a campaign using donated print ad space from Nine and News Corp.
The campaign, which also targets customers directly via email, drives Australians towards a petition on the Qantas website that calls for "domestic border closures to be risk-assessed against an agreed set of medical criteria and a shared definition of what constitutes a Covid hotspot". The petition garnered tens of thousands of signatures within days.
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran took the more subtle approach when speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald - he voiced what has been a long-held view within the airline that work needs to be done to figure out how to live and fly with Covid.
Foran said it is clear that wiping out the virus completely is not a realistic goal.
"Elimination, which is a worthy thing to go after, is probably not sustainable based on what we're now learning, which is the vaccine is not going to be 100 per cent effective, not everybody is going to take it, and it's going to take years to get distributed," he said.
Meanwhile the group representing airlines, the International Air Transport Association, continues its campaign to open up.
This week it called for the development and deployment of ''rapid, accurate, affordable, easy-to-operate, scalable and systematic'' Covid-19 testing for all passengers before departure as an alternative to quarantine measures in order to re-establish global air connectivity.
The pre-flight checks are part of National's border strategy.
Both IATA and Gerry Brownlee will be hoping for a better strike rate than what was seen after a charter flight from India earlier this month.
Organisers said all the passengers who flew from Kochi needed to produce a negative Covid test before flying to Auckland. Five days after the flight touched down three passengers were reported by the Ministry of Health as testing positive.