Rich List Editorial: NZ surfs an economic boom

Monday 5 July 2004

IT'S BEEN a poor year for the world's rich, according to the Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report. Not so New Zealand, although it doesn't rate a mention in the global stakes. The 2004 NBR Rich List reveals it has been another good year for wealth creation.

By The Landlord

We have consequently had to lift the bar ­ by a whopping $10 million ­ to keep the list as interesting and exclusive as possible. We have also concentrated on those who are active investors or are running businesses in or from New Zealand. This excludes some expat Kiwis who have been successful overseas and prefer to remain there.

The high rate of personal tax is often seen as a barrier to creating wealth. Some of the overseas-based Rich Listers make no secret of their "tax exile" status. The government is not sympathetic to them ­ and many may agree with that.

The tax reduction debate, for example, seldom sees even experts arguing for a cut in the margin for the top income earners as the most economically beneficial means of increasing investment. Yet few economists would deny it.

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