Few farmers on the rich list

There’s good news in the National Business Review’s 2010 Rich List.

It’s behind the pay-wall or in the print edition so I’ll restrict the copy and paste to the opening paragraphs:

It may surprise some people that, despite perceptions to the contrary, wealth is no easy come, easy go phenomenon. Of course, there are exceptions, such as those who have heavily borrowed to create property empires.

You will find a few have dropped off this year’s Rich List but others have joined. The country is not littered with abandoned mansions, repossessed yachts and collapsed businesses.

Private philanthropy – helped by permissive tax advantages – has largely continued.

If you think being equally poor is better than being unequally rich you won’t be cheered by that. But if you realise that you don’t help the poor by hurting the rich this is encouraging.

It means most of our wealth generators have got through the recession relatively unscathed which is good for them and gives a glimmer of hope for the wider economy.

Another positive sign is the growth of wealth earned from intellectual property and ideas. Those are both assets which generally aren’t disadvantaged by our geographic isolation.

The hard work most of the rich listers undertook to earn, and retain, their wealth isn’t detailed but there is information on their philanthropic activities which reflects well on their generosity.

The list doesn’t purport to be exhaustive but even so I’m always surprised by how few farmers appear on it.

That could be because farming wealth may be in the hands of  individuals, families,  trusts  or private companies and therefore harder to calculate.

It could also mean, that in spite of fears that corporate farming is taking over the country, the family farm is still alive and well – if not making enough to earn its owners a place on the rich list.

8 Responses to Few farmers on the rich list

  1. Perhaps Elle, though our our local rag carries a report from well known and respected dairy farmer Euan Templeton that begins …
    Winter greetings to all readers. This contributor is not long back from Rarotonga …

  2. homepaddock says:

    Depends on how you define rich. The NBR uses $50m for the cut-off for its list and you don’t need that to have a holiday in Rarotonga.

    Overseas travel used to be the preserve of the wealthy when that meant having a lot less than $50m. Now its relatively cheap and trips to our near neighbours are possible for many New Zealanders.

  3. robertguyton says:

    Yes, good on him. It’s a good opportunity to soak that cowsh*t out from under his fingernails and relax those knotted shoulder muscles.
    Like John Key, Euan recognises the value of holidaying on a Pacific island, letting the worries of the world wash, wash, wash away.
    Meanwhile, in Nightcaps, huddled over a smokey brown-coal fire …

  4. JC says:

    “Meanwhile, in Nightcaps, huddled over a smokey brown-coal fire …”

    … lives a New Zealander with the same option for a Rarotonga holiday, airfares and 5 nights for $995.00.

    For a pensioner in Nightcaps thats a holiday every two years saving just 5% of his pension and for a couple with children on a lowish wage easily covered by Working For Families every year.


  5. JC ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !

    Never been to Nightcaps huh?

  6. JC says:

    “Never been to Nightcaps huh?”

    Don’t need to. From the magic of Wikipedia I can tell you that its a typical Southern or inland North Island place which is losing population, has more children and old people than the average and has a lower cost of living despite receiving the same pensions, benefits and WFF as cities/towns with much higher costs of living.


  7. robertguyton says:

    JC – does your magical Wikipedia tell you how many people from such towns holidayed on a Pacific Island this winter?
    Care to hazard a guess?

  8. JC says:

    “JC – does your magical Wikipedia tell you how many people from such towns holidayed on a Pacific Island this winter?
    Care to hazard a guess?”

    No. But the NZ Statistics Dept tells me that249,300 people left NZ to visit various Pacific Islands. In the case of the Cook Islands 12% of the total number of Cook Islanders resident in NZ visited home for average periods of 7-10 days in 2008, ie, every decade statistically 100% of the NZ Cook Island population gets to travel home.

    As you know, Pacific Islanders are even poorer than the good people of Nightcaps, but they still manage (after giving 10% of net wages/benefit to their churches) to find the money to take the family on an overseas vacation every few years.


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