Swanky Auckland and Queenstown mansions are prized assets for the world's rich elite.
Over the past decade that's led Hollywood celebrities, billionaires and Chinese moguls to slug it out with local rich listers to secure the country's most luxurious homes.
And while 2019 marked a slowdown due to a new foreign buyer ban , the past two years still produced incredible sales.
These included top-end purchases by Lord of the Rings star Karl Urban, a Chinese e-commerce boss and marina developers Simon and Paula Herbert, who incredibly bought and sold nearly $60m worth of Auckland mega-mansions in one month.
• Premium - Revealed: Buyer of NZ's most expensive house sold this year - magnificent $24m island paradise
• Sold after seven years: NZ's most expensive home getting new owner
• Premium - Ranked: 2019's most expensive national NZ property sales so far - results might surprise
In this three-part series, the Herald used public records and data by analysts Valocity to uncover the most expensive sales and identify the rich listers who bought them.
Sale price: Estimated $14.75m
10 Jackson Cres, Mahurangi, Auckland
Seller: supermarket barons John and Lisa Smith
Supermarket multimillionaire John Smith proves there is big money in groceries.
He went from stocking shelves in his dad's store as a kid to owning his own New World and Pak'nSave supermarkets. And he has now sold 2019's most expensive home.
Smith's clifftop mega-mansion north of Auckland sold in November for close to its $14.75m asking price, selling agents Sotheby's said.
All that is known of the buyer's identity is they are a Kiwi expat.
It seems apt this international man or woman of mystery should take over a mansion that looks like it was built for James Bond with spectacular views and garaging for nine Aston Martins and even a helicopter.
Sale price: $12m
20 Omaha Block Access Rd, Leigh, Auckland
Buyer: financiers Hugh and Carmel Fisher
Seller: Family of the late John Courtenay
Rich listers Carmel and Hugh Fisher made the year's next biggest purchase, snapping up another gorgeous clifftop property north of Auckland.
The Fishers - who are on the NBR Rich List with an estimated $100m fortune - said they were planning a lodge to sit atop their new peninsula land, near Warkworth.
It means guests could in future enjoy the nearby waters billed as one of the country's top dive and fishing sites where you can "watch the dolphins play in the surf or catch a Kingfish from your own shoreline".
Carmel Fisher founded Fisher Funds, which had $7 billion under management at the time she sold out in 2017.
The couple are also no strangers to big property deals, buying Auckland's Chateau de La Sur Mer on Clifton Rd for $22m in 2016.
Sale price: $10.5m
27 Hanene St, St Heliers, Auckland
Buyer: investors Michael and Pauline Reid
Seller: The Rendell Family
Another clifftop mansion and more rich listers.
The latest NBR Rich List pegged Michael and Pauline Reid as worth $220m and this year they dedicated $10m of that to buying 27 Hanene St.
Their mega-mansion allows guests to step from the lounge room door straight onto patio banana lounges where its possible to sun yourself while taking in grand "200 degree views" of Rangitoto Island and Auckland city.
Their new home is just two doors down from the Reids' other - even more vast - mega-mansion on the same street, which carries an Auckland Council valuation of $23m.
Hanene St is just one block back from the St Heliers waterfront and packed with clifftop, luxury homes soaking in the harbour views.
Michael Reid is director of United Pacific Corporation, a major investment company specialising in buying others businesses and commercial property.
Sellers the Rendell family - famous for founding the Rendell Department Store on Karangahape Rd - paid just $700,000 in 1984 for the property, before building the current home on the site in the 1990s.
14 Aumoe Ave, St Heliers, Auckland
Buyer: tech entrepreneurs Douglas and Anna Brooker
Seller: The Allen Family
Fabric importers Beverly and Maurice Allen took a road trip through California in the 1970s and returned to Auckland full of inspiration to build this unique home in 1983.
The Californian styling is not out of place either. The home sits just above Kohimarama Beach, one of the trendiest coastal areas in Auckland.
However, now the much-loved home has passed to Anna and Douglas Brooker, who previously worked for IBM and has owned his own software company since the 1970s.
Media reports also pin Douglas Brooker down as a champion aerobatics pilot, who has been involved in two minor crashes in his vintage Spitfire aircraft.
9 Bourne St, Mt Eden, Auckland
Buyer: Wenxi Zhang
Seller: Waihau Bourne Ltd
Nestled beneath Mt Eden, 9 Bourne St was described by its selling agents as a "Queen" among homes and of a style that was more often seen in Sydney or Melbourne.
Wenxi Zhang bought the five bedroom mansion with swimming pool and gated gardens from a company, whose shareholders are listed as Nigel Smith and Wayne Derrick.
74 Korora Rd, Oneroa, Waiheke Island, Auckland
Buyer: Paul Key
Seller: KA No3 Trustee Limited
A trust linked to Mark Hotchin, the head of failed finance company Hanover, sold this beautiful Waiheke pad that comes with its own helipad, tennis court and guest quarters.
The trust paid $3.4m for the property in 2014, soon after selling a separate Waiheke home for $14m - the country's most expensive property sale that year.
It is understood an expat buyer paid $9m for the 1.8ha Korora Rd estate after Hotchin did considerable renovations.
Finance company Hanover failed in mid-2008 with close to 16,000 people losing investments totalling more than $500m.
671 Riddell Rd, Glendowie, Auckland
Buyer: Yifei Sheng
Seller: Andrew and Annie Shiu
Buyer Yifei Sheng picked up a five-bedroom waterfront home in East Auckland at 671 Riddell Rd for a cool $9m.
It's just around the corner from one of New Zealand's most expensive homes - the colossal mansion owned by billionaire Graeme Hart at 671 Riddell Rd, which carries an Auckland Council valuation of $40m.
98 Domain Rd, Speargrass Flat, Queenstown
Buyer: unnamed North Island buyer
Seller: Roger and Glenys Shallard
A North Island buyer paid just over $8m for this Queenstown home that sits on an elevated patch of land and provides a spectacular yet intimate vista of the nearby mountain ranges, its Sotheby's selling agent said.
The same buyer also paid $1.95m for a home on an adjacent block at 100 Domain Rd, making the true cost of the purchase more than $10m.
The deal was the most expensive house sale in the South Island this year .
60 Argyle St, Herne Bay, Auckland
Buyer: dental surgeon Azlan Daud
Seller: Lucca family
Lucca family patriarch Roy Lucca lived until he was 101 and was a well-known figure in Ponsonby.
Now his family have sold the classic Craigmore House - which sits on one of prestigious Argyle St's biggest blocks - at 2107sq m - to dental surgeon Azlan Daud.
Some local campaigners feared at the time of sale the old villa was being sold without a heritage protection that would stop any future buyer from demolishing it. Marketing material also stated the land was zoned for subdivision.