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“Paranoia” Driving Wealthy to Buy Homes in New Zealand

“Paranoia” Driving Wealthy to Buy Homes in New Zealand thumbnail
Rich American clients concerned about personal safety, global crises

Paranoia” is one of the primary factors motivating the wealthy to purchase secret getaways in New Zealand, according to one realtor, with concerns about personal safety and global crises driving the search to acquire a safe haven in a remote location.

During the Davos Economic Forum, economist Robert Johnson made headlines when he revealed that “hedge fund managers all over the world….are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”

Johnson highlighted growing income inequality as a driving factor behind the threat of civil unrest and economic turmoil.

The economist’s revelation was confirmed by realtors who handle luxury property in New Zealand who say that the world’s third safest country is a draw for the super rich due to its political stability and low crime rate.

“Yes, there is definitely a degree of paranoia when trouble erupts and they start looking for somewhere that is safe and stable,” Matt Finnegan, of Sotheby’s Realty in New Zealand told the Daily Mail. “It might be that the people who don’t particularly want to migrate here still want to have somewhere to run to in times of trouble,” he added.

Finnegan notes that rich clients from the US are voicing concerns about “personal safety” as a reason for buying property in New Zealand, while wealthy Brits have also, “expressed concerns about what is happening around them.”

His comments are echoed by Terry Spice, director of Luxury Real Estate, who told the Mail, “We certainly see increases in international inquiries to our portfolio of luxury properties throughout the country when a global crisis, civil or global conflict and economy weaknesses are discussed.”

“More and more high net worth individuals want a “safe haven” or “legacy asset” they can count on should things go wrong in their country of residence,” he concluded.

As we revealed yesterday, the potential for widespread civil unrest around the globe has never been greater, both as a result of growing wealth inequality as well as political factors such as disenfranchisement with governments, social alienation and lack of community.


43 Comments on "“Paranoia” Driving Wealthy to Buy Homes in New Zealand"

  1. Rodster on Fri, 30th Jan 2015 7:51 pm 

    Nailgun bitchez !

  2. Go Speed Racer. on Fri, 30th Jan 2015 8:30 pm 

    When Armageddon comes along, the Chinese Navy will go there and take the whole country and set the rich peoples homes on fire. Maybe next time instead of scheming their escape, the rich ought to show their social obligation to form a stable sustainable society. Since the rich shirk that obligation, they can try to escape but their escape plan, for sure, will fail. They should have tried being actual human beings, rather than rich psychopaths.

  3. Plantagenet on Fri, 30th Jan 2015 9:30 pm 

    The rich are building doomsteads all over the world. From Switzerland to the Caribbean to Jackson Hole to New Zealand if you get out in the country you’ll find rich folks and their doomsteads.

  4. adamx on Fri, 30th Jan 2015 9:38 pm 

    While New Zealand is fairly white, rich, and stable, it’s not THAT white, rich, or stable. If the excrement really hit the fan it would be hard. It’s an island, so any interruptions in trade would be difficult.

    I don’t know why they think the poor in New Zealand are going to be kinder to them than the poor elsewhere, either.

  5. Speculawyer on Fri, 30th Jan 2015 10:02 pm 

    Are they paranoid? Or is this a tacit admission that they know the current system is unfair to many?

  6. Makati1 on Fri, 30th Jan 2015 10:03 pm 

    The illusion of total safety anywhere is a just that, an illusion. Every part of this small planet has it’s negatives, depending on the types of chaos that occurs. The elite can run and pretend that they will be safe, but, as adamx said, there are the disadvantaged everywhere, even in NZ. The wealthy will be the main targets when the SHTF.

  7. Energy Investor on Fri, 30th Jan 2015 10:32 pm 

    Lol, We really do live in an egalitarian society in Kiwiland. It would be a safe haven as we can probably even feed ourselves when oil runs out. Plenty of good arable land, nice climate.
    Multicultural as well.
    There are plenty of wealthy Germans and Americans who have moved here already and own farms and all manner of real estate.
    The boating and skiing here is a plus as well as the scenery.
    Pack your bags and come on over.

  8. dubya on Fri, 30th Jan 2015 11:46 pm 


    Rich guy builds house, hires armed guard for $50,000 p.a. SHTF, rich guy flies to doomstead, settles into a life of Dom Pérignon. Armed guard shoots rich guy in head and settles into a life of Dom Pérignon.

    So as long as society is stable this works and is unnecessary. If the social order breaks down the preparation becomes worthwhile but then you have to do it all yourself. How good a shot is Rex Tillerson? Can the Waltons stay on 24 hour rotating watches?

    I really can’t see how this would work.

  9. PrestonSturges on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 12:40 am 

    >>> Armed guard shoots rich guy in head and settles into a life of Dom Pérignon.

    You saved me the trouble of typing that.

  10. GregT on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 2:06 am 

    “We really do live in an egalitarian society in Kiwiland.”

    As I mentioned before EI, my wife and I travelled the North Island the fall before last. We have been making our plans now for three years, and have spent a great deal of time and energy in an attempt to find a place for a sustainable future. We both agree that NZ would be ideal. Absolutely love your country. We are also fortunate here in Canada, especially on the West Coast.

    There has been an influx of Europeans in the last 10 years here, especially in the Okanagan. There are many places that have been built as compounds. Acreages surrounded by 12ft high concrete walls with security gates and surveillance systems. I have no idea who the people are that are building them, but I imagine that they must be filthy rich. Rumour has it that many are from Germany and Switzerland.

    The Gulf Islands in BC have also seen impressive developments in some very remote areas. Bill Gates is said to own an entire Island in the straits West of Campbell River. Michelle Pfeiffer and her husband built a compound at the end of Toba Inlet about 8 years ago, complete with a stand alone hydro generation station. There are many more elaborate ‘getaways’ all up and down the coast that would be inaccessible without fossil fuels, at least from the point of view of someone wishing to do harm. Most people have no idea that these places even exist, and they sure as hell wouldn’t spend the energy trying to find them, let alone get to them in a SHTF scenario. It would be pointless to do so. There will be plenty to rape, loot, and pillage in the cities to keep people going for quite a while.

  11. GregT on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 2:37 am 

    “Armed guard shoots rich guy in head and settles into a life of Dom Pérignon.”

    Armed guard now gets to live the rest of his life alone, but at least he has Dom to associate with. Kind of like Wilson, for Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

  12. Makati1 on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 5:39 am 

    Ah well, even Kiwi’s can be deluded, but if you think you can survive there … go for it … lol. All you need is a flood of unskilled rich people buying up your land and waiting for the end. By the time they realize that the S has HTF, it will be too late to “fly in”. Or the islanders will be speaking Chinese.

  13. Davy on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:24 am 

    Mak, why are you such a dick and have to put everyone down but you and your over crowded P’s? Obviously you are a failure and suffer the mental illness of jealousy and resentment. Go get help and deal with your problems we get tired of them here.

  14. JuanP on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:39 am 

    I can relate to this. If I was dirt rich I would buy a farm in New zealand and go there with my wife and closest friends. I think New Zealand is the best country in the world to go wait for the shit to HTF. I have always wanted to go there, it was one of my original intended destinations. I wanted to migrate to New Zealand, Australia, or Canada, but got stock in the USA.

    The same thing is happening in Uruguay. Almost every farm sold in the last decade has gone to foreigners. They can afford to pay whatever without any regard or concern for taxes or getting a reasonable ROI. Farm land in Uruguay today is between 10 and 15 times the price it was 15 years ago. No Uruguayans can afford that, not even Uruguayan 1%ers. If it was up to me, I would pass a law forbidding foreigners from buying Uruguayan land. New Zealand should do the same to. Anyway, I suspect that when the SHTF, those foreigners will be the first to get killed by the local populations.

  15. Cloud9 on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:48 am 

    You know what, if they can pull it off I am happy for them. Somebody needs to save the library in Alexandria. A repository of what we had needs to survive the Dark Age. New Zealand may serve the function Ireland served in the last collapse of western civilization.

    I’m stuck in a small town in central Florida with limited resources. I cannot get out. I cannot take my family with me if I could. So, I’m doing the best I can to ride out the storm here with the people I know.

    We may have to throw up mott and baily castles out here in the flat woods but we can do it if push comes to shove.

  16. Davy on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:50 am 

    I am a doomer and prepper. I tell people this and I am not ashamed. If the spooks tell me to shut up I will. I am not preaching violence nor revolution. I am just being myself similar to an oak tree being a tree. WTF else am I supposed to do? I do not claim to be an expert but I am good because of experience and duration of effort. My life has been philosophical and ecological. I saw these social and environmental problems in the early 80’s. In the last 10 years I have been fully in doom and prep mode. I am seeing results with my doomstead. I can give advice.

    Yet, I have much to learn because prepping is a generalized occupation much different from the hyper specialization we see today. You have to have a broad skill and knowledge base. This has to lead you to a proper location and adaptation per doom and prep. It has to be a spiritual passion as well as an enjoyment to excel and physically productive. Do not weaken though if you can’t progress to that point because anything is a good effort. We are all blessed with talents and place time arrangements. Capitalize on the above per your situation.

    Quit worrying about those exotic locations and arrangements of the rich. I know the rich as well or better than any here having once been a 1%er. Do not be impressed with plutocrats. Why do you think I left? There is no spirituality with it. Why do you think multiple sources from the Tao to the Bible speak of the meek inheriting the earth. It is not the physical being discussed it is the all-important spiritual. Find your spirituality first then the physical will follow. We are mortals and destine to die. We know not when except those with terminal illness. IMA without modern medicine that would not be known until near the end a likely better arrangement. A tree might fall on me today so I live day by day.

    I am getting to the point that these exotic locations are fine and dandy. This rich and their compounds are interesting but the real prepping and future is in smallish groups and communities of peoples engaged in common efforts for the betterment of the group. Forget the war lordism everyone likes to preach. Forget the mad max and the Hollywood cannibalistic collapse shit shows that excite our dark nature. Sure there will be some of that. Is that not part of human nature. There is also the boring simple daily tasks. There is also love, compassion, sharing, and community.

    Find that community or start one. Forget about your private army and impenetrable castle. All armies I know are eventually destroyed and castles breached. What survives is family and tribe. If this were not the case we would be extinct now. We may go extinct. Extinction is Natures privilege and not ours. I don’t care if we commit global suicide it is still Nature that got us here. We are not exceptional and there is no human manifest destiny. There is only Nature and we and you need to find your place in Nature. If you do Nature will work with and for you. You cannot fail. If you do die your spirit is calm because it is with Nature.

  17. ghung on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 9:32 am 

    Pretty simple, really. Once you’ve fouled your own nest, go buy another somewhere else. Nothing new there.

  18. Kenz300 on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 10:58 am 

    The top 1% want it all….. right wing media and the RepubliCON party are helping them get it……

  19. Joe Clarkson on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 11:35 am 

    who say that the world’s third safest country

    I wonder, which countries are the first and second safest?

    And what do they mean by safest? Pre-collapse safest or post-collapse safest?

  20. Joe Clarkson on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 11:45 am 

    Regarding the comment by Davy on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:24 am

    I guess this site is completely un-moderated and all comments are posted, but even so, a little courtesy and restraint goes a long way.

  21. steve on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 11:47 am 

    I think tying yourself to the land can be the downfall for a lot of people…the best thing to do is get yourself mentally and physically prepared….we just don’t know where the best place will be until we are in the thick of it…for me large populations scare me but maybe there will be safety in numbers.

  22. Davy on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 12:36 pm 

    Sorry Joe, but it is the truth and if it hurts your sensibilities tune it out. There is multiple examples on this site of foul language and name calling. I say nothing even though it is crude and disgusting sometimes. It is a free expression site. It is obvious we are tough guys here. Joe, find another site that is politically correct if you like.

    When rules are enacted I will follow them. If a moderator becomes necessary fine. In the meantime help me battle the idiot or mind you own business. This guy attacks me and my people on a regular basis. I am telling it like it is in the above comment. I have made multiple efforts at a truce and even friendship and the idiot has chosen his agenda instead. I have even asked him just to moderate the tone and he refuses.

  23. ghung on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 12:42 pm 

    Steve: “I think tying yourself to the land can be the downfall for a lot of people…”

    Why? Folks can always leave if circumstances require that. The trick is knowing when to go. At least folks in rural/remote locations will likely have more time to assess things while those in dense urban areas will busy reacting to change.

    I prefer to be where critical resource availability per capita is higher, though I agree about mental/physical preparedness,, and the safety in numbers is relative. Large herds tend to stampede when frightened. Small herds tend to pull together.

  24. Boat on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 1:01 pm 

    Juan, your a tough customer. Just kill those who look for opportunity to be successful. If your local and a stranger comes in with a more efficient way of doing things and makes money at it you would reward the poor with a license to destroy because they didn’t or cant?

  25. baptised on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 1:14 pm 

    Back in 2005 you could not become a New Zealand resident if you were over 55 years old. Maybe changed now? Plus a lot of money would probably buy you away around that law. Anyway I have a cousin that lives over there 1/2 the year and then she and her family must leave for the other 1/2.

  26. steve on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 1:58 pm 

    Ghung said “Why? Folks can always leave if circumstances require that.” Are you sure about that? I guess my point is that there are about six possible senarios of what will happen in collapse..some don’t matter what you do we are all dead and some mean moving out of the way and I mean quick…Imagine you are a French farmer before WW1…great piece of land away from everything then wham here comes the war…I would love to have your and Davy optimism but I am afraid we are all dead in a major collapse…how do you safely shut down all nuclear power plants and keep armies from attacking?

  27. shortonoil on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 2:09 pm 

    Don’t forget to stock up on antibiotics with a long shelve life, and pesticides. The insects, and parasites (and the diseases that they carry) are as likely to kill you as a hungry neighbor. There is hardly a tick between the tip of Florida, and Maine that is not carrying Lyme, and a few other nasty agents. If you’re crippled and sick, you aren’t going to last very long.

    Of course if things get that bad, no matter where you are, you probably aren’t going to last very long! It will probably come down to the luck of the draw more than anything. It seems unlikely that having money today will be much insurance towards one’s survival tomorrow. Money is only of value when you are in a society that recognizes it. When the monetary system breaks down, so will the society. That is what gives our present system cohesion.

  28. R1verat on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 2:21 pm 

    Steve I agree with your point about the nuclear power plants. Personally I think this will kill us all, no matter how well we prep. I also think about defense from looters & those that are bound to be seeking food & stability, once BAU goes to hell.

    I’ve stated on this site previously that the “lone wolf” won’t make it. That is why the idea of growing a “community” is one of my priorities. I lived thru Hurricane Katrina so have first hand experience on the scenario when society’s structure is shattered. I’ve also lived around the world so have a good idea about what makes certain areas more desirable than others.

    To me, bottom line is if you are not part of a community, you are screwed. Why would anyone be compelled to help a stranger? Especially someone that has not been fostering mutual reciprocity. I worry about how to deal with someone I know that may not be prepared to survive when the SHTF, then shows up at my door. How many people can one take in & feed?

    There comes a time when one can not carry all they need to survive & retain any quality of life. Thats when one must stand one’s ground. Moving to NZ sounds great to me, but I will either live or die where I currently reside. I’ve put too much effort into gardens, fruit trees, community building, etc.. & the idea of being a nomad, roaming the countryside with the goal of looting or killing to get my next meal doesn’t appeal to me on many levels. However if one can afford the cost to move, set up one or two places, then more power to them. As Josey Wales said, “…a man has to know his limitations.”

  29. Davy on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 3:08 pm 

    Damn Steve & RivRat, that’s saying something to call Davy Optimistic!!

  30. paulo1 on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 3:17 pm 

    Michelle Peiffer in Toba Inlet? Hah hah hah.

    I have been flying into Toba Inlet for 40 years, off and on. It is a cold and formidable place. I have seen the entire valley flood in 3 days of rain, including the Homestead at the head of the inlet; the only land not owned by the Province, Interfor, or that is designated and controlled Indian Reserve. That would be catwoman’s new home, I suppose. 10′ underwater, bitter natives controlling access, ice cold outflow winds in the winter with terrible snowfalls, nearest town 6o miles by air or boat. Have fun.

    There is also a massive run of the river hydro project in place operated by an American multi-national. This isn’t exactly free from influence or any safer than anywhere else.

    There was a damn good reason why the homestead was abandoned. As I write this I remember flying in cats, dogs, some sheep and pigs….oh, back in 1980? It has been done before and has been abandoned before as it will be again.

    Bill Gates owns Marina Island, off Campbell River. It has a few year round squatters and was logged off around 1980. I guess he could anchor his yacht there. He often does.

    Those BC ‘Gulf’ Islands with wealthy foreigners have been ripped off and burglared by Powell River and Campbell River locals for generations. I personally know one thief who outfitted a new home from the spoils from Hernando Island. They sneak over in a tin boat on foggy nights, do their thieving and get out before the watchman can show up and stop them. They also pack guns. With GPS the task is even easier. That was done by compass. I would assume it would be the same the world over.

    Rich people move in. Rich people are tolerated as long as there is no reason not to. Then, some resentful local rips them off or wrecks the place. Just down river from me there is a multi-million dollar custom home that is empty all but two weeks of the year. there is a family hired to let the chickens out and put them in, clean the dust up, and do routine maintenance. They are left alone because the original property owner was the current owners uncle. Times get tough no one will care about that. It will be stripped bare.

  31. GregT on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 4:11 pm 

    “Michelle Peiffer in Toba Inlet? Hah hah hah.”

    Sorry Paulo, my bad. BUTE inlet.

    My brother in law worked for a timber frame construction company in Whistler. They built high end multi-million dollar homes. The owner was approached by a group of ‘developers’. He was flown to LA where he met David Kelley, Pfeiffer’s husband. My BIL worked on the site for two summers before he left the company for other work. That would have been in or around 2009.

    “One of the odder pieces of information to come my way in recent months is that two mega homes have been built at Leask Cove in Bute Inlet, reputedly for the Hollywood bombshell Michelle Pfeiffer.”

  32. American Idiot on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 6:58 pm 

    GOOD…You only need one “accidental” nuke bomb to wipe out that idiot island.

  33. GregT on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:00 pm 

    “I personally know one thief who outfitted a new home from the spoils from Hernando Island. They sneak over in a tin boat on foggy nights, do their thieving and get out before the watchman can show up and stop them. They also pack guns. With GPS the task is even easier. That was done by compass.”

    Hmmm Paulo,

    By tin boat I assume that you mean something large enough to navigate 20km of ocean with the capacity to carry the ‘spoils’. A landing craft perhaps? Compass? GPS? Line of sight would seem a little bit easier, you can SEE Hernando from Campbell River. If it were me, I would much rather be on shore with a gun protecting myself from someone in a boat, than being in a boat with a gun, being fired upon from shore. Shooting fish in a barrel immediately comes to mind.

  34. shortonoil on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:22 pm 

    I’ve been hunting, and fishing wildress areas all my life. Once in Vermont I fell through a snow covered stream up to my chest in ice cold water. I was five miles from the truck, and it was 17 degrees below zero. I spent the night dancing around a fire against a rock cut drying out my clothes one piece at a time. In the morning a squirrel stuck his head out, and I shot it off. Beat any sirloin steak ever cooked. In case of a real collapse scenario, I would give the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer about 15 minutes! Her multi million dollar doomstead will make a very fancy crypt for her remains.

  35. GregT on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:31 pm 


    You do know where Bute Inlet is, right?

  36. Makati1 on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 7:52 pm 

    Cloud9, not many here know what a motte and bailey castle is. Go for it. It worked for the Europeans for hundreds of years in the 11th to 14th centuries.

  37. Revi on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 8:49 pm 

    The motte and bailey, or a variant of it may become the home of the future. I started thinking about 10 years ago that the kinds of dwellings we are in now won’t work if the world gets a little less stable. I think the kind of place to have is an inconspicuous earth bermed house. It’s bullet proof, can’t be burned down and offers some concealment.
    The Vikings were big on them:

  38. FriedrichKling on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 9:12 pm 

    When ecological apocalypse explodes upon the Earth, which it can at any moment as we drive 200 species extinct every 24 hours thus destroying the intricate chain of life, I HAVE NO INTEREST is attempting to meek out an existence as the Easter Island natives did. After cutting down EVERY TREE on the island, destroying the soil fertility, and causing the extinction of endemic wildlife, when the English arrived they discovered a disease and parasite ridden populace living in caves and forced into canabilism for survival. We never learn.

  39. Makati1 on Sat, 31st Jan 2015 9:22 pm 

    R1verat, you might find this interesting:

  40. Davy on Sun, 1st Feb 2015 6:34 am 

    Short, I too hunt and fished all my life. For the past 10 years I stopped all hunting and fishing for spiritual reasons. I am now a protector and creator of natural habitat on the farm I wished to increase my natural karma with the environment by not killing anything. If a collapse comes and I need to survive off the land I have no problem taking hunting up again as the Native Americans did in harmony with the land. I have no problem with hunting or fishing. My farm is a family farm used for hunting and fishing. I am tasked with enhancing the habitat for recreation along with my cattle operation.

    Short, your cold water story reminds me of my late 20’s and early 30’s when I was seriously into survivalist camping. I like to float Missouri streams for several days. One such trip was in the winter with 10 degrees and a strong wind. My canoe tipped and became hydraulically pinned between logs. Everything went into the water. That was the coldest I ever was. I had a dry bag with extra cloths but they were not enough. My friend had nothing dry so I had to give him some of mine. We built a huge fire and did the same dance you spoke about. I had some bad ass wool made by “King of the Mountain” it kept me warm even when wet. I highly recommend it for those of you that like extreme outdoor activities.

    This brings me to a prepper note. Folks clothing is another highly important prep item. I have redundancy of serval important clothing items. These are technical clothing that have specialty use. I generally don’t buy fashionable clothing. I figure good quality technical clothing looks good anyway. Buy clothing that will get you through several years. Buy something you can wear continuously for long periods. By tough and resilient clothing. We just don’t know what will come in the bumpy descent. Will there be shoes to replace the ones that wear out? This is something very important because I foresee allot of outdoor activity related to food gathering and gardening. You must also consider the possibility of being a refugee. I have a fortune in camping equipment from years of being an adventure camper. I am old now and just farm but that camping gear is part of my prep inventory.

  41. R1verat on Sun, 1st Feb 2015 8:31 am 

    Mak thanks for the link. Good info.

  42. JuanP on Sun, 1st Feb 2015 9:16 am 

    Mak, thanks for that link! That is an excellent article. I did a lot of strategic relocation studies a few years back for fun and was aware of the problem, but I had never seen all that info together in one place like that. It is a very good paper.

    As can be seen in that study, South America has only three nuclear plants, one in Brazil, , and two very small ones in Argentina. I wish there were none like in Australia and New Zealand, but my farm is very far away from all three in a very safe area. I would only expect dangerous radiation from an all out global nuclear war, let’s hope it never comes to that, because then all bets are off.

  43. shortonoil on Sun, 1st Feb 2015 11:49 am 

    I had some bad ass wool made by “King of the Mountain” it kept me warm even when wet.

    There is no doubt about it, it was my wool clothing that saved my life that night. Also, a water proof match kit, and a good knife. Survival is about knowing how to use a few things well. Too much stuff becomes a liability real fast!

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