New Zealand Emerges As A Safe Haven for the World’s Wealthiest
For years, wealthy families and investors flocked to New Zealand to seek a safe haven from global turmoil. This year, the island nation cemented its reputation as a safe and stable oasis by facing down multiple threats to its economic and social fabric.
Billionaire venture capitalist, Peter Thiel, was probably the most noteworthy ultra-wealthy investor in New Zealand. Theil once said he considered New Zealand to be “the Future” and owns a 193-hectare plot in Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand since 2015. In 2016, entrepreneur Sam Altman revealed to the New Yorker that he had an arrangement with Thiel to escape to his New Zealand estate in a “systemic collapse scenario.”
Tech entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones flocking to New Zealand’s shores. The number of British migrants to the island has increased substantially in recent years, according to the Financial Times. Meanwhile, the Malaysia-based Tiong family is one of the country’s largest land owners. American businessman Tom Sturgess has lived in New Zealand since 1996.
Investors seem to be betting on the country’s political neutrality, geographical isolation and economic stability. Nominal GDP grew 3.2% and 2.2% in 2018 and 2019 respectively. After a mass shooting in Christchurch last year, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden substantially tightened the country’s gun laws. This year, the government’s efforts to clamp down on the COVID-19 outbreak have been so successful that there have been only 21 deaths altogether and the virus has been officially declared “eliminated” since late-April.
According to the OECD’s Better Life Index, New Zealand ranks amongst the top ten for life satisfaction, community spirit and healthcare. The country seems to be striking the perfect balance in its efforts to attract global wealth and talent.