Who runs property in this country? Here are more than 40 of the most influential people and groups - the ones who make things happen, working in government, financing, planning, designing, constructing, leasing, managing, owning and running the buildings you work in, new housing estates for the next generation, shops, and the places we go to for entertainment.
Despite property's high profile, many of these key people aren't household names. They like it that way.
Thanks to the three industry experts who critiqued the list and provided valuable input.
• Kiwi Property in trading halt, $200m offer launched to repay debt and expand
• Market ponders future for a post-fire Fletcher Building
• Retirement boom: Ryman reveals plans for 20 new villages in 'record' expansion
INSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVES [NZX presence]:
1. Clive Mackenzie, chief executive, Kiwi Property Group
As head of the NZX-listed company with $3.3 billion of property and a market capitalisation of $2.3b, this migrant from South Africa, who came here aged 26, now runs this country's largest listed landlord. Its biggest asset is Sylvia Park, where a major intensification is planned. But a far larger scheme is intended for a 51ha Drury site where Kiwi will spend hundreds of millions, while further expansion is planned for the LynnMall shopping centre.
2. Ross Taylor, chief executive, Fletcher Building
Fletcher has had its share of problems, most recently the fire that set back construction of the NZ International Convention Centre. Australian-born Taylor was appointed in 2017 and relatively quickly developed a new five-year strategy to sell some businesses, restructure and enhance others, while using his less combative, personable style to lead this business employing about 10,000 people. That's half as many as it had just a few years ago. Taylor heads this country's biggest builder and one of the larger housing developers, as well as manufacturing, supplying and distributing building materials.
3. Gordon MacLeod, chief executive, Ryman Healthcare
Sure, the business is retirement. But it's also a huge property player, with a market capitalisation of $6.4b and 20 new villages planned in New Zealand and Australia. Ryman Healthcare chief executive Gordon MacLeod - or "Gordy", as he calls himself - is a man of proud Scots heritage, a whisky connoisseur and proud Cantabrian, and makes for a formidable presence with his height and stature. The man who listens to Disturbed, Guns N' Roses and Shihad drives a red 2014 Holden HSV V8, and wears tartan for formal occasions.
4. Graeme Stephens, chief executive, SkyCity Entertainment Group
Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, this chartered accountant and keen wildlife photographer was thrust into the limelight with last month's disastrous fire at the NZ International Convention Centre. Stephens had expected to welcome potential attendees such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to the convention centre for the Apec Leaders' Week in November 2021. Now, all that is subject to investigations and the hope that the project can be repaired. Across the Tasman, SkyCity is also developing its Adelaide property in a $300m-plus venture. At SkyCity's AGM last month, Stephens revealed he was not a betting man, but if he was, his money was on the Australian project beating the NZICC to completion - and that was before the fire.
5. Scott Pritchard, chief executive, Precinct Properties
The surf lifesaver is running one of this country's biggest investor-developers, with a $2.4b market capitalisation. Precinct is late with the $1b Commercial Bay project near Auckland's waterfront, but that is looking more likely by the day and might have some surprise retail announcements in the next few months. Early last month, the business he heads opened new premises for about 1600 Defence Force staff in its Bowen Campus in Wellington. By next March and April, Pritchard will be resting easier when Commercial Bay's shops, waterfront-facing dining areas and offices open. By then, the business he runs will control a two-block office enclave where 10,000 people will work - New Zealand's most densely occupied land and most concentrated workforce.
6. Greg Miles, chief operating officer, Scentre Group
Straight-talking Australian Greg Miles should have cause to celebrate Christmas this year. By then, the business he works for will have opened the largest real estate project it has worked on in Australasia since Scentre was spun out of Westfield in 2014: the $790 million redevelopment and vast expansion of Westfield Newmarket. Thumbing its nose at online shopping, the 230-shop, 2800-carpark, two-block shopping bonanza will include Auckland's first David Jones department store, multiplex cinema, rooftop dining with signature restaurants, new-to-New Zealand retailers and valet shopping. But Scentre has much more in store for Auckland: the long-awaited expansion of its Westfield St Lukes and Westfield Albany, where tall towers of apartments and offices are planned.
7. John Dakin, chief executive, Goodman Property Trust
John Dakin heads the biggest NZ listed industrial property business, with links to Australia where the Goodman family is based. Greg Goodman is group chief executive officer of the global Goodman Ltd, Goodman Funds Management and a director of the kiwi trust's manager. The kiwi trust has about 1 million sq m of floor space with 10 big tenants it calls "customers", who lease its portfolio of big warehouses, logistics and supply centres and corporate office parks. NZ Post Group, DHL, Coda, Fletcher Building, Foodstuffs and Fliway Transport are some of its bigger tenants - oops, customers. Dakin, a former Property Council chief, reckons the reason he's in the sector goes back to his childhood: "I was the only child in my family not to win a ribbon at the Hunua Calf Club competition in 1973, hence I am in commercial property and not farming."
8. Glen Sowry, chief executive, Metlifecare
As one of the largest listed retirement village businesses, Metlifecare has 25 properties and is on an active development and acquisition trail, delivering 182 new places in four villages in the last financial year. Sowry, who once worked in the media, runs a business with assets valued at $3.5b, up 7 per cent in the last year.
9. Julian Cook, chief executive, Summerset Group
This retirement business bought six new sites in the last year in Blenheim, Rangiora, Cambridge, Milldale, Waikanae and Whangārei, and has opened new villages at Avonhead, Kenepuru and Richmond in Tasman. Total assets grew to $3b, up 24 per cent in the last year. Cook, a former merchant banker with degrees in languages and science, was a champion athlete in the discus and hammer throw events in the 1990s.
10. Mark Francis, chief executive, Augusta Capital
This business, established in 2003, is changing from an investor to a property funds manager, specialising in syndications. Total assets as at March this year were $2b. Mark Francis is the son of long-time property investor Peter Francis, and Augusta now manages 74 properties here and in Australia.
11. Miles Wentworth, interim manager, Vital Healthcare Property Trust
Vital owns medical and healthcare properties here and in Australia, and at the October 31 AGM, told unitholders it might list on the ASX to get access to a wider spread of investors. It has a $1.8b investment portfolio and Wentworth, previously of Auckland, now lives in Australia.
12. Peter Mence, chief executive, Argosy Property
Qualified engineer Peter Mence runs this diversified business with more than 9000 shareholders and a $1.6b portfolio, with investments in the office, retail and industrial sectors. By value, 72 per cent of its properties are in Auckland.
13. Earl Gasparich, chief executive, Oceania Healthcare
Gasparich, formerly chief financial officer at Qualcare, joined Oceania in 2014. The lawyer and chartered accountant runs a business which now employs 2600 staff, provides homes to more than 3500 residents and a further 2654 hospital beds and suites, and has 46 sites throughout New Zealand. Total assets are now $1.4b.
14. Bill McDonald, chief executive, Arvida Group
This retirement village and aged care business with a $1.3b total asset base has $69m worth of development work on, and is conservatively geared at only 27 per cent. It has big new projects under way at Waimea Plains in Richmond, St Albans and Park Lane in Christchurch, Lauriston Park in Cambridge, in Tauranga and Havelock North.
15. Simon Woodhams, chief executive, Property For Industry
This long-standing business first listed on the NZX in 1994, has more than 5000 shareholders and 94 properties and is valued at more than $1.3b. It's extremely active, leasing 72,000sq m or 11 per cent of its portfolio in the last year to 14 tenants. Woodhams was appointed only in January this year and was previously a PFI general manager. He has a bachelor of commerce from Canterbury University.
16. Philip Littlewood, chief executive, Stride Property
Stride has more than $900m of real estate in its diversified portfolio spanning shops, offices and industrial. Last year it owned 26 properties rented to 378 tenants. It is headed by Littlewood, who joined in 2014.
1. Ted, Culum, Mac and Luke Manson, Mansons TCLM
The three-generation Mansons TCLM family business is New Zealand's largest private developer, with a possible $950m fortune. The business has used an audacious and winning formula of developing huge Auckland CBD commercial premises, sometimes spanning an entire block, with little or no tenant pre-commitment, leasing, then selling part-way through construction. Those sales have been for as much as $247m, in one case this year at 155 Fanshawe St in Auckland. Culum Manson said in mid-October that the business was working on buildings with a projected end valuation of around $1b and he had six years' worth of work planned. Grandfather Colin and his son Ted founded the business and now Ted's sons Culum, Luke and Mac run it. The philanthropic Ted Manson Foundation and NZ Mortgages & Securities are in themselves influential and associated entities. Soon, Mansons will move into upmarket new green star-rated premises on St Georges Bay Rd in Parnell, where they have been based for some years.
2. Friedlander family, Samson Corp
With wealth nearing a possible $2b, Sir Michael Friedlander has been a quiet but extremely powerful force in the Auckland property market for more than 70 years, forming Samson Corp in 1946. Latterly, the company has been a huge architectural influence, creating landmarks including Ironbank on Auckland's Karangahape Rd, highly commended in the World Architectural Festival, Parnell's Geyser, which took Institute of Architects awards, Cumulus, which also won local awards and D72 on Dominion Rd. Son Daniel Friedlander is Samson's chief executive and Marco Creemers is project director of sustainability and new developments.
3. Sir Bob Jones, Robt. Jones Holdings
With assets worth more than $2b here and in Australia, Jones' property empire was founded by Bob Jones, now Sir Bob, in 1961. Robt. Jones Holdings says it is "now New Zealand's largest private CBD office building owner, and specifically, the largest in Auckland and Wellington with 26 buildings in total." Jones' business houses around 800 tenants, many government departments, major international, national and professional businesses. "The hallmark characteristics of RJH buildings are either corner sites or free-standing towers, both ensuring maximum natural light and our maintenance standards are recognised as of the highest possible standard. The company is also noted for its free provision of art work to lessees and inclusion in the building foyers."
4. Peter Cooper, Cooper and Company
The creator of Auckland's 18-building, multibillion-dollar heritage restoration Britomart project, Peter Cooper founded Cooper and Company in 1989. It develops and invests and has offices at Newport Beach in California, in Auckland and Southlake, Texas. Britomart is now getting a 104-room, 10-level hotel on the site of Better Burger and The Britomart Country Club. At some point, Cooper's business will also develop big new buildings on the sites that are now pop-up premises between the former Central Post Office/Britomart transport hub and the Westpac/EY building.
5. Mark Gunton, chairman/founder, NZ Retail Property Group
Proud westie, Southland farmer, retail specialist, Costco magnet - not many developers have that combination. Mark Gunton founded NZ Retail Property Group which created and built the original Westgate town centre, expanding that across a further 56ha of greenfields land and drawing the likes of Kiwi Property and Stride Property to create huge new retail centres. In June, the world's second-largest retailer after Walmart - Costco Wholesale - announced that it would buy and build on Gunton's land. Gunton also owns the lease on the Crown's 13,777ha Argyle Station, a Southland deer, sheep and beef property.
6. Graham Wilkinson, director, Generus Living Group
This fast-talking, high-energy cop-turned-developer owns perhaps the largest privately-held retirement village chain in New Zealand, branded the Generus Living Group: Ranfurly in Mt Albert, Pacific Coast at Papamoa and Christchurch's Holly Lea and The Russley. Wilkinson also has extensive tourism interests via the hotel sector, particularly around Queenstown, the area where he lives. After developing and buying hotels and apartments, he got involved at the Peninsula Club retirement village at Whangaparāoa and was in a consortium that bought and ran three other Auckland villages and one in the Bay of Plenty. When those were sold to Australians, he developed his own villages with a character and individuality that he felt was lacking elsewhere. He is also president and the longest-serving member of the influential Retirement Villages Association of New Zealand.
7. John Darby, founder, Darby Partners
John Darby has hosted royalty - Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge when they visited New Zealand in 2014. The qualified landscape architect still takes pride in using that title, and has most recently teamed with American billionaire Ric Kayne to create one of the world's top golf courses at Te Arai north of Auckland. Darby has an impressive list of luxury projects to his name: Millbrook Resort near Queenstown, Steamer Wharf Village in Queenstown, Denarau Island Resort in Fiji, Ōmaha Beach north of Auckland, Clearwater Resort at Christchurch, The Hills Golf Course outside Arrowtown, Jack's Point on Lake Wakatipu, Te Arai north of Auckland, Wyuna Station and Blanket Bay Lodge near Glenorchy, and Amisfield Winery near Arrowtown are listed on Darby's website. He is now working on plans to sell 9ha of Jack's Point as a town centre, guessing it could fetch $100m.
8. Mark McGuinness, managing director, Willis Bond & Co
Having developed many new Wellington buildings, McGuinness' business has the sole and exclusive rights to develop apartments in Auckland's fast-changing Wynyard Quarter, home to America's Cup 2021 bases. What a win that's been for him, selling luxury places to the rich and famous who regard that area of the city as simply the best. He co-founded the business in 1988 and has more than 30 years' experience in real estate investment, development, funds management and private equity. Family interests founded and own builder LT McGuinness. All up, McGuinness is building about 600 luxury apartments on Auckland's waterfront. The 113-unit Wynyard Central and 51-unit 132 Halsey blocks are finished. Next up is the 91-unit 30 Madden, designed by Studio Pacific Architecture.
9. Ric Kayne, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, United States
He's already spent an estimated $100m creating one of the world's best golf courses in New Zealand. Now, American billionaire Ric Kayne plans to spend a further $50m-plus developing two new public courses north of Auckland. Kayne, working John Darby and world-class golf course designer Tom Doak, created the private links-style, invitation-only Tara Iti course near Mangawhai, 80 minutes north of Auckland. It's the course where ex-President Barack Obama played last March with former Prime Minister Sir John Key. Kayne's Tara Iti is ranked as the sixth-best course outside the US. In June this year, Kayne was named as recipient of the 2019 Kea Friend of New Zealand award for his contributions to New Zealand society, the economy and tourism. Kayne is on the NBR Rich List with $1.9b. His next big play is the adjacent land so look out. As they say in golf, "fore!"
10. Simon and Paula Herbert, Empire Capital
Simon and Paula Herbert are big-time marina investors, but they also eclipsed New Zealand residential property records last year when they sold their stately Remuera mansion for $25.5m and bought a Cremorne St property for just under $30m. The Herberts' Empire Capital owns the Bayswater Marina, Hobsonville Marina's lease, Pine Harbour Marina, Fuel NZ, L175 at Pine Harbour and Dredging New Zealand. A major mixed-use apartment plan for Bayswater Marina has been before Auckland Council's urban design panel for consideration lately. The marina is a 10-minute ferry ride from the Auckland CBD, making it a major transport hub and ripe for development. Upscaling all their ferry terminal marinas is on the Herberts' agenda.
11. Ellie and Grant Porteous, Deacon Holdings, managing director/owners, G.J. Gardner Homes
This couple are the powerhouse behind the prominent franchised group house builder G.J. Gardner. It's New Zealand's busiest new housing business by far, putting up 1462 new residences valued at more than $531m in the past year. Data from BCI New Zealand showed it built almost twice as many dwellings as its nearest rival, Mike Greer Homes, which built 750 new places worth $214.2m in the July year. G.J. Gardner's average new dwelling cost $363,790 and was an average size of 190sq m. Its business equates to 5.1 per cent of the New Zealand new-housing build by dollar value, BCI's data showed. Grant Porteous is a keen sportsman and backs charities via epic bike rides. Married for 22 years, the couple are keen boaties and travellers.
12. Brett Russell, managing director, Dominion Constructors
Winning many major building contracts, Dominion could well be the largest privately-owned New Zealand builder. It was started by Brett Russell's father, Alf, and describes itself as "a family-owned construction company, which has been trading for over 40 years. Proud to be a 100 per cent New Zealand owned and part of the Russell Group of companies, Dominion has expanded from its beginnings as a concrete structures specialist to now employ more than 200 people and operate four divisions."
13. Justin Wyborn, Dean Farmer, Angela Bull, Ross Green, Noel Lane, Emma Gibbs - Viaduct Harbour Holdings
This $1b-plus business, which owns land around Auckland's Viaduct Harbour and other properties, is now being run by its second generation, having been founded by Trevor Farmer, Ross Green, Alan Gibbs, Adrian Burr and Mark Wyborn. Chief executive Angela Bull, Justin Wyborn and Dean Farmer are now instrumental in the business, which owns and leases land beneath apartments, offices, restaurants, hotels and other businesses. Bull previously ran property for supermarket giant Foodstuffs. Tappenden and Tramco are associated businesses.
14. Peter and Rolf Masfen, Masfen Group
This well-established business has retail, medical, industrial and office properties. It is headquartered on Shortland St and is a quiet but influential force with assets estimated to be around half a billion dollars. They specialise in re-purposing buildings like the ex-Palmers and Fox Outlet in Northcote, now a big medical centre. A recent project is at 31 Highbrook Dr, East Tamaki, where the business got consent to convert existing 3800sq m premises to medical use, leasing to a dentist, Mercy Radiology, a pharmacy, physiotherapist and doctor. Glamuzina Architects designed that big project.
15. Ben Cook, Cook Property
Long-term property ownership is Ben Cook's aim, with assets here and in Australia. In Auckland he owns buildings around the Britomart, on Shortland St, in Newmarket and Viaduct Harbour. Cook set a national house price record when he paid $24m in 2015 for John and Rose Dunn's waterfront home.
16. Ian Cassels and Caitlin Taylor, The Wellington Company
Established in 1990, this business been involved in the redevelopment of Wellington's urban environment and historic places, holding residential and commercial developments. Cassels was born in Northern Ireland to Kiwi parents and is a Victoria University maths and philosophy graduate.
17. Chris Aiken, deputy chief executive, urban development agency Kāinga Ora
Having proven his success at Hobsonville Point, the former Kitchener executive who also worked with David Henderson of Princes Wharf fame, is now bringing his skills to other parts of Auckland. Hobsonville Point is owned by a subsidiary of Housing NZ Corporation and an intensive and partly-affordable community is well under way there. Aiken is now involved in new projects, such as the Northcote urban regeneration development. Last month the Government set up Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities, a new Crown agency which consolidated Housing New Zealand, its development subsidiary HLC, and parts of the KiwiBuild Unit.
18. Smale family, Smales Farm
One of Auckland's biggest property plays is at Takapuna, where over the years a greenfields site has been transformed into a new commercial and dining hub. The family-owned Smales Farm at 72 Taharoto Rd is bounded by the motorway and has its own bus station, making it highly desirable for development. The business is now headed by Paul Gunn, formerly of Viaduct Harbour Holdings, and has $1b plans to build 1400 apartments in eight tower blocks up to 30 levels high.
19. John Sax, Southpark Corporation
As one of Auckland's largest industrial landowners, this business has been responsible for many developments in the 30-plus years since it was founded, although it has been slow to exercise its Māngere vision for the residential Market Cove project. Among other activities, Sax took over Patrick Fontein's Kensington Park development at Orewa. The business says: "Southpark is one of Auckland's largest industrial landowners and has been responsible for the re-development of sites such as the former Affco, Hellaby Works, Shortland Works, Taniwha Works, Pikes Point, Roscommon Quarries, Kensington Park housing project in Orewa and more recently, Waterloo Business Park in Christchurch."
20. Nigel McKenna, chairman and founder, Templeton Group
Once bankrupt, Irish migrant and prolific developer Nigel McKenna was last month heading an entity negotiating to take over Todd Property Group's land development and property investment assets. McKenna heads Templeton Group, which joined Ben Gough's Tailorspace and Alvarium Investments. Templeton is due to control half the stake, with influence over Napier's Hospital Hill site, Long Bay, Pegasus near Christchurch, Kāpiti Coast Airport and Stonefields' retail centre. McKenna previously worked on the Viaduct, was the development manager for Metropolis and the DFS Customhouse Galleria, worked on Dockside and Shed 5 in Wellington, Beaumont Quarter in Auckland, North & Stratis at Lighter Quay and The Quadrant Hotel.
ALSO OF INFLUENCE
Barfoot and Thompson, Harcourts, LJ Hooker, Ray White and Bayley Corporation also have property power, as do sector chiefs Real Estate Institute chief executive Bindi Norwell and Property Council chief executive Leonie Freeman.
Auckland Council bosses John Duguid and Penny Pirrit and commercial agencies Colliers International, CBRE and JLL are also major forces in the sector.
On the Government front, leaders are Housing Minister Megan Woods, Associate ministers Nanaia Mahuta and Kris Faafoi and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage - the final four on the list of 40.