Mega-landlord Ron Goodwin says a national conference for property owners has furthered his knowledge of the sector.
Goodwin, 74, has 37 Auckland and Hamilton properties generating $14,500 a week in rent. He was at the Property Investors Federation conference which ran until Sunday.
"New Zealand landlords are ordinary, hard-working, honest, decent, thrifty, frugal people from all walks of life who just want to build up a nest-egg for their retirement, or for their family or whatever," he said.
Goodwin had this month advised landlords not to be "too kind" to tenants, which drew strong criticism from many quarters and sparked a landlord versus tenants debate in the Herald.
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He said the publicity had resulted in widespread praise for his views.
"Ever since you published those articles, I have been overwhelmed with phone calls and emails and people bailing me up at the conference and in shopping centres and carparks thanking me profusely for what I said and for sticking up for landlords in the press," he said. "I make money from my rental business to gift to truly good people whom I know well and who are doing their utmost to help seriously unfortunate and disadvantaged people anywhere in the world.
"For example, at this very moment my eldest grandson is in Nepal at his expense, helping the poor people there with the earthquake recovery. He has taken a year off work to do this instead of saving up a deposit for his own house as soon as he could.
"My eldest granddaughter, who is a trained nurse, has recently returned from months in Kenya at her entire expense. She has been there relieving some of the terrible suffering of refugees ... in conditions beyond the comprehension of New Zealand's gripey tenants and the protesters we had outside the conference."