Navigation for News Categories

New Zealand film director Peter Jackson poses upon arrival to attend the World Premiere of the film

Sir Peter Jackson.
Photo: AFP / ANTHONY HARVEY

New Zealanders have made a token appearance on this year’s just-released Forbes Billionaires list.

Graeme Hart, as usual, stands out by far as the richest New Zealander, with an estimated US$10.6 billion (NZ$17.7b) from his large packaging interests.

The publicity-shy Hart is ranked 1152 on the list, and has long held the title of New Zealand’s richest man, along with a back story of his rise from tow truck driver to billionaire through a series of debt funded corporate deals.

Last year, Hart took delivery of a 102-metre super yacht, Ulysses, fitted out with a hangar, helipad and glass stairways, among much else.

Graeme Hart with his father, as the billionaire was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.

Graeme Hart with his father, as the billionaire was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.
Photo: Supplied

Trailing nearly a thousand places below him with US$2.9b is Singapore based Richard Chandler, with interests in Indian business finance, Vietnamese healthcare, and an Israeli electric plane maker.

The highest profile Kiwi billionaire is film maker Sir Peter Jackson, ranked 2124, with an estimated $1.5b, started with box office takings from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies, and topped up with the $1.6b sale of Weta Digital to US interests in 2021.

A new entrant to the rich list is Australian-based Charles Gibbon, ranked 2601, with $1.1b.

Educated in the South Island, Gibbon worked in the UK and Australia in investment banking, but his $1.1b worth came from an investment in Australian software firm, Wise Tech, which he chaired and has remained a director.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

Download from Apple App Store
Download from Google Play Store