The Lord of the Rings and Kim Dotcom put New Zealand on the map for wealthy tech moguls seeking a safe space to hole up when disaster strikes. The Trump presidency kicked the bolt-hole craze to levels where Kiwi lawmakers had to put the brakes on the trend among the ultra-wealthy.
New Zealand's isolation, lack of global enemies, lovely climate, and perks for luring tech workers have sealed its reputation in the Bay Area. Via Bloomberg:
The Investor Plus Visa, which requires a minimum investment of NZD$10 million ($6.7 million) over three years, attracted 17 U.S. applicants in fiscal 2017, after President Donald Trump’s election. Previously, it averaged six applicants a year.
More than 10 Americans from the West Coast have bought multimillion-dollar properties in the Queenstown region in the past two years, said Mark Harris, managing director of the local Sotheby’s real estate office.
In August, partly in response to Americans gobbling up swaths of prime real estate, New Zealand’s government banned foreigners from buying homes, with the restrictions set to take effect in coming months.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, ignited an uproar when he was granted citizenship after spending just 12 days in the country, prompting allegations that New Zealand’s passport was for sale. Thiel, 50, owns a $13.8 million home on 477 acres (193 hectares) in the lakeside town of Wanaka, with views of snow-capped mountains, and purchased another property in Queenstown, outfitted with a safe room.
Hats off to the lovely illustrations by Steph Davidson that accompany the piece.
• The Super Rich of Silicon Valley Have a Doomsday Escape Plan (Bloomberg)
Crafted from four fake Christmas trees, chicken wire, green mesh, and a fog machine, Treezilla — a smoke-breathing Godzilla tree — is really something to behold! Its creator, Steven Newland of New Zealand, recently sold it in auction for $415 NZD (approx. $269.58 USD). A bargain! It’s really something. Watch it in action: And, apparently, […]
NZ Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick was giving a speech in favour of stricter carbon emissions standards when the 50-year-old National Party Climate Critic Todd Muller heckled her; without missing a beat, she fired back "OK Boomer" and moved on to making a rather good and eloquent point about need for intense action on climate.
New Zealand is one of the Five Eyes countries (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, NZ) who collaborate on mass surveillance, and it has a notoriously off-leash, invasive surveillance apparatus that has been caught spying on NZ Greenpeace, the NZ Green Party, the Mana Movements and anti-TPP activists; the state was also caught giving private corporate spies […]
We’re living in the age of Big Data. As the driving force behind everything from Google’s famed algorithms to self-driving cars, massive sets of complex data can be found at the heart of some of today’s most exciting and important technologies. The Ultimate SQL Bootcamp Certification Bundle will give you the skills and tools you […]
So you missed Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Well, there’s one more holiday milestone coming up: Green Monday, on Dec. 16. It’s one of the busiest online shopping days for the simple reason that it will be 10 days before Christmas, which is when last-minute shoppers start to stress. Our advice? Don’t wait for that […]
Weighted blankets are officially a thing. And if you’ve ever tried one, you know there’s a reason for the fuss. Parents have known for generations that swaddling a baby has a profound calming effect, and the gentle pressure that blanket weights provide can have the same effect on restless sleepers. Pretty much all parts of […]