From music royalty to rich listers, Ricardo Simich explores New Zealand's most powerful family dynasties.
The Richest Family
New Zealand's wealthiest man, Graeme Hart, and his family are worth an estimated $9 billion.
Son Harry has gone into business with his dad. The Harts have gone into the Fast Moving Consumer Goods business, buying and bringing together Hubbards, Hansells and Gregg's Sauces under the umbrella company of Walter & Wild, combining some of New Zealand's best-known food brands into a food manufacturing powerhouse.
Hart, who last year gave $10 million to Otago University to build a new dental school in South Auckland, was recently reported to have signed a contract for a $50m-plus New York penthouse in the prestigious new XI building nearing completion on 11th Avenue.
They're in Fashion
Dame Pieter Stewart has spent her career nurturing many facets of the fashion business from Christchurch before establishing New Zealand Fashion Week in Auckland in 2001.
Soon after, eldest daughter Myken returned from overseas and joined her mother on a mission to take Kiwi fashion to the world. After a two-year break, 49-year-old Myken is back as brand sponsorship specialist, as the event goes back to where it all started at the Auckland Town Hall.
Dame Pieter is a stalwart of classic elegance and calm, whereas Myken is more "street" — together they have taken Fashion Week from a trade and industry event to a showcase that engages thousands of delegates before inviting the style-savvy public to the party.
A movie should be made about the serendipity around the life of All Black legend Grant Fox and his son, golfing star Ryan.
The younger Fox married Anneke Ryff this year. His bride was born just hours after her future father-in-law was part of the victorious Rugby World Cup in 1987 — and her dad ducked in and out of the maternity suite to keep up with the game.
What do you do when your dad is one of the most beloved All Blacks of all time? Find a sport in which you can shine and can give your dad a good run for his money. Golf was it.
Weeks before Ryan and Anneke married, Ryan was victorious at the World Super 6 event in Perth. Who needs rugby money when in the first seven weeks of 2019, the 32-year-old has pocketed an impressive $509,000?
When Bob Alpe turned his Northcote general store into Alpe Travel, a tourism dynasty was born.
Son Chris went straight from school to work in the store, taking his first step in a career which saw him become one of the pioneers of modern-day tourism. In the 1980s he established Tourism Holdings.
Chris's sons Tim and Dan joined the family business, but wanted to do something a little bit different — and in 2001 they started a modest backpacker car business in Parnell.
Today Jucy Group is New Zealand's leading operator of camper vans and rental cars and boasts international success. It has entered the accommodation industry with hotels in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown under the brand JUCY Snooze.
The Alpe family now has an estimated worth of $145 million. Chris now spends much of his time on luxurious Vomo Island in Fiji, a resort of which he is a principal shareholder.
Dame Kate Harcourt is a bona fide New Zealand acting legend. Next came her daughter Miranda Harcourt, who started her mainstream fanbase with 80s soap Gloss and has become a legend in her own right — Nicole Kidman gave her a shout-out during a 2017 Emmy acceptance speech.
Now it's the turn of Miranda's daughter Thomasin McKenzie — the third generation in the thespian limelight. From 2012, the youngest scion from this acting dynasty has worked on an impressive resume. Her movies include The Changeover, which her mother co-directed and the critically acclaimed Leave no Trace, for which the 18-year-old actress was nominated for multiple awards. She will next be seen playing an Anne Frank-like character in Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit due for release in August, and is currently in London filming Last night in Soho.
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I had the most incredible experience this weekend at the Sundance film festival, for the premiere of my movie “Leave No Trace”! Started 2018 in snowy Utah, surrounded by endless love and support. Thank you @karen_walker for dressing me in such beautiful clothing! ❄️🤩
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The Adventurous Son
David Richwhite is the famous other half of merchant bankers Fay Richwhite and has amassed an estimated $950m amassed since the 1970s.
Intrepid son Topher is now making headlines — along with partner Bridget Thackwray he has won a legion of famous social media followers for Expedition Earth, a spectacular journey driving the length and width of the world.
Richwhite jnr said from the beginning, in North America early last year, that they were becoming aware of the stress that the expanding human population was having on the natural world. Since then the couple have formed a partnership with National Geographic and, most recently, partnered with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature during the African leg of their journey. Nearly halfway through their three-year journey across seven continents, they have gathered more than 200,000 Instagram followers, sharing spectacular images and videos that tie in with worthy causes they have found as they travel.
Father and Son
Musician Neil Finn's career started in the 70s and after more than 40 years in the business, he remains one of the greatest Kiwi songwriters of his generation. Co-fronting Split Enz with brother Tim, the 61-year-old cemented his Kiwi legacy well before he became the frontman for global sensation Crowded House in the 80s.
His son Liam, 35, made a splash early in his career with Betchadupa in 2000, before touring the world several times performing with Wilco, Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam and The Black Keys, as well as at numerous festivals.
When Liam married Janina Percival in 2015, his father wrote a song for the occasion. The Finns are good at that — last year after PM Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford had their first child, Neve, the Finns gifted them a song from their collaborative album Lightsleeper, called Hold her Close.
The Family Car
Sir Colin Giltrap started his automotive empire in 1966 in Hamilton. Fifty-three years on, Giltrap is one of the largest motor groups in New Zealand and Sir Colin's wealth is estimated at $400m.
Sons Michael and Richard, who share their father's passion, have overall management of the Giltrap Group in New Zealand with dealerships all over Auckland. The group's marketing plays very much on their beginnings in the Tron in 66 — but they have moved from their humble beginnings to showrooms overflowing with luxury brands such as Bentley, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
Rachel Hunter stormed onto the modelling scene in the 1980s and has been NZ's most enduring celebrity model.
Becoming a world-famous supermodel gracing magazine covers including Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone and marrying rocker Rod Stewart were all highs, but becoming a mother to their children Liam and Renee Stewart is the achievement that makes her happiest.
Both children have broken the mould on spoiled celebrity offspring, choosing careers born out of training and hard work. Renee, 26, is a dancer and has recently followed in her mother's footsteps completing 200 hours of training at the Sattva Yoga Academy in India to become a qualified yoga teacher. Ice hockey player Liam, 24, has recently embedded himself in Queenstown playing for the SkyCity Stampede.
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Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has been striding the halls of Parliament since 1978, with only short breaks.
The 74-year-old has lived and breathed the debating chamber — but daughter Bree is ploughing her own furrow.
She earned a performing arts degree from Toi Whakaari and has rapidly built an enviable CV with roles in Shortland Street, Funny Girls, Nothing Trivial, Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons and Fresh Eggs.
Theatre and stunt work followed and, in 2017, she was nominated for Best Actress in a Short Film for her work on Every Moment.
The closest she has come to politics was last year, when she starred in the political play called Burn Her. This led to the topic she likes to evade, talking about her famous dad: "I learned how to get stuck in the Beehive elevator very young — that's pretty much all I've learned," she said.
Horses for Courses
Sir Peter Vela has been a horse breeder, owner and administrator for more than 40 years, amassing an estimated $245m.
Nowadays it's Sir Peter and Lady Pam's daughters Petrea and Victoria who are making waves in the industry. Petrea is a director at New Zealand Bloodstock and, with Victoria, runs their hospitality. It's the event that starts the social year — The Karaka Million — held at Ellerslie each January, followed by the thoroughbred sales at NZ Bloodstock in Karaka.
It is there that both sisters shine, hosting breeders and buyers from throughout the country as well as some very wealthy international ones who come out to check the Vela action and their famous hospitality.
Safe as Houses
With a net worth estimated at more than $800m, Ted Manson started his family business with his father Colin in the 1970s.
More than 40 years later you may have noticed the fleet of Mansons' vehicles commuting between the numerous commercial building sites under construction by Mansons.
Ted has developed a reputation for being ahead of the curve with his certified green-star buildings — and has been applauded for his $160m investment in Auckland social housing.
The 64-year-old's legacy will be continued at Mansons TCLM — the initials are for Ted himself and sons, Culum, Luke and Mac, all directors of the family business.
And finally . . .
Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford has a special place in New Zealand history. She's only the second baby born to a sitting Prime Minister anywhere in the world and while it's premature to talk of a political dynasty, this will be one baby to watch . . .