Havelock North entrepreneur Rod Drury has topped the Bay contingent of this year's National Business Review Rich List.

The software tycoon is one of seven from Hawke's Bay who made the cut on this year's list, which was released yesterday.

Mr Drury's accounting company Xero, which he founded and holds a 16 per cent stake in, has had a turbulent time in the past 18 months resulting in a $220 million deficit from his net worth of $780 million in 2014.

When asked by the National Business Review if he has any other major investments he said "I'm all on Xero".


Property developer Jonathan Wallace was one of the Bay's biggest movers in the past 12 months - more than doubling his net worth from $50 million to $110 million. He attributes his vast wealth to "getting the basics right". He started his property portfolio at the tender age of 21 and continues to drive his growth from his Havelock North home.

"I like living here, it's a great place."

Starting at the Whakatu freezing works, Craig Hickson made his millions in the meat industry. He now owns several processing plants throughout the country.

He and his wife Penny founded Progressive Meats in 1981 which he describes as "very Hawke's Bay proud".

Born in Canada, the meat merchant moved to the Bay at just three-months-old.

Sneaking into second place for the Bay's wealthiest is the Cushing family, with a net worth of $175 million.

The father and son dairy duo of Sir Selwyn and David Cushing increased their net worth by $20 million in the past 12 months despite the headwinds in the sector.

"You just have to grin and bear it," Sir Selwyn said.

Andy Lowe continues the lasting legacy left by his father Graeme. The Lowe Corporation owns the country's largest privately owned animal by-product processor.

The company bought Silver Fern farms hide processing plant in Napier and the family's fortune is now worth $160 million.

The family is heavily involved in the Hawke's Bay community, sponsoring the Lowe Corp Rescue Helicopter and initiating the Cape Sanctuary wildlife restoration project.

Another on the list, Sir Graeme Avery, led the formation of the Hawke's Bay Wine Country Tourism Association and the local farmers' market.

His contributions have lead to a knighthood in 2014 and a spot in the New Zealand Business Hall of fame.

An avid sports supporter, he also founded the AUT millennium Institute of Sport and Health and his worth has risen to $85 million.

Sir Julian Robertson, an international investor with strong Hawke's Bay connections is the region's closest tie to a billionaire. The American philanthropist increased his worth from $3 billion in 2014 to $4.4 billion in 2015.

Sir Julian's property portfolio includes The Farm at Cape Kidnappers. He has extensive involvement in funding education, environment and medical research.

New Zealand's homegrown rich listers collectively surpass $55 billion this year and when the New Zealand-based international billionaires are included the figure swells to $68.9 billion.