Stop the presses! We're famous! American billionaires are buying land in New Zealand, in preparation for the end of the world. In the right circles in Silicon Valley, 'New Zealand' is now code that someone mega-rich is a Doomsday prepper.

Who'd a thunk it?

Just living here, in plain old New Zealand, we've been Doomsday preppers without knowing it. This whole time, we thought our terrible traffic was just bad planning. Nope. It's deliberate training for the infrastructure collapse that will come with nuclear winter. Just living here counts as doing Outward Bound.

Who knew? All those episodes of Country Calendar weren't accidentally boring: they were designed, crafted, to slow our metabolism to the new pace of life, post-apocalypse.


In America, you have to buy a disused missile silo, stock up on ammo, knit food from your own wastes, etc, but here, we pretty much just wake up and we be prepping. We're a remote tribe of natural preppers.

We are the Doomsday Grammar Zone, and everyone wants in.

For example, there's a new Kiwi in town, and we might want to rewrite the Rich List.

His name is Peter Thiel. You may have heard of this local boy done good: he made his billions from PayPal and Facebook; and at the Republican Convention last year, he spoke on stage in support of Trump.

Previously regarded as American, Thiel purchased 193 hectares in Wanaka in 2015, but didn't need our government's permission, because he'd obtained New Zealand citizenship.

So is he Trump's ambassador to Wanaka, or is he our ambassador to Trump?

As a Kiwi, what flag design did he like? Does he know a good graphic designer?

Can we get him to go to the Sevens? (If you want to prep for Doomsday, the Sevens is a good way to experience a weekend of isolation with limited food.)


The irony is, New Zealanders don't prep.

What we do is go shopping for water the day after the earthquake.

But deep down, we know we're only going to need three days' worth, and that's if we want to make things like flavoured jelly, or ice for cocktails.

Becoming a New Zealand citizen, however big a deal it is for many, is not something Peter Thiel flaunted in his speech to the Republican Convention.

"Of course, every American has a unique identity," he said on stage.

"I am proud to be gay," he said, alluding to pride he demonstrated by financially destroying the publisher that outed him. (Thiel bankrupted Gawker via a lawsuit he funded - long story - on behalf of wrestler Hulk Hogan.)

"I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American," he said, with all the conviction, unique American identity, and pride, of a citizen of New Zealand.

Perhaps he thought understatement is the Kiwi way, making it simultaneously more Kiwi and more American not to boast of his Kiwi passport.

But surely, brandishing his New Zealand passport on stage at the Republican Convention would have been a powerful argument for Trump: "Look at what Obama has driven me to! America's economy is so terrible, I've taken out New Zealand citizenship! Have any of you even heard of New Zealand?"

(A few nervous looks from the other mega-rich Republicans who have purchased land here. Russian delegates ask for a translation.)

"All this passport gets you is a shorter queue flying to Australia! Just fly Business and you achieve the same thing!"

And then, with a sigh: "One hundred percent pure! Go the All Blacks!"

(Of course, to that audience, saying 'Go the All Blacks!' might have led to confusion. You either say Black Lives Matter, or All Lives Matter, so 'All Blacks,' said together, would have made their heads explode - and not from being punched while explaining how alt-right is distinct from Nazism.)

In his speech, Thiel trivialised the Democrats as being all about trans people's rights to toilets: "But fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline, and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump."

That's right, Peter Thiel used the word 'honest' in a sentence referring to Donald Trump. You'd think at Facebook, they'd have a dictionary app.

Just this week, Trump said 3 to 5 million illegal votes prevented him winning the popular vote - a statistic that is incorrect, by about, let's see, 3 to 5 million. That's alternative honesty.

And Trump thinks the Women's March only outnumbered his inauguration crowd, because of holograms.

But if Melania buys a lifestyle block, it's time to worry.