Island landowners make the rich list

01:00, Aug 04 2010
CHURCH BAY FARM: The richest man in New Zealand, Graeme Hart, has this Waiheke pad.

THREE Waiheke landowners have made the Rich List in 2010.

Graeme Hart, the Spencer family and Bruce Plested are among 150 others who have been named as New Zealand's wealthiest.

The list is compiled each year by National Business Review and the threshold for qualifying this year has remained at $50 million.

LUXURY LAUNCH: Graeme Hart’s super-launch Ulysses can be seen cruising the Hauraki Gulf during summer.

Mr Hart is the richest man in New Zealand, worth $5.5 billion.

He owns Church Bay Farm and several properties nearby. Family investments include a holiday home for visitors, the vineyard and home previously built by former Fullers ferries director George Hudson, and the former Gordons' property on the Huruhi Bay side of Park Point.

The Spencer family, which owns Man O'War Station – 1800 hectares at the North-Eastern end of the island – is the country's ninth richest, worth $700m.


John Spencer was New Zealand's richest man for many years, making his money from a pulp and paper business.

The station has sheep, cattle and olive operations but is best known as the biggest wine operation on the island. Man O'War Vineyard recently received a gold medal for its 2008 Dreadnought Syrah and a silver medal for its 2008 Ironclad Bordeaux Blend at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London.

The Environment Court ruled to overturn a resource consent for the Spencers to build a home at Owhiti Bay last month. An application by the family to build a home in neighbouring Cactus Bay was also denied resource consent and an appeal by Man O'War Bay Holdings Ltd is yet to be heard in the Environment Court.

Meanwhile, Bruce Plested, owner of Pie Melon Bay and founder of Mainfreight, came in at 36th richest and is worth $120m.

Mr Plested is known as a big rugby fan and he has opened his property and home on several occasions for charitable causes.

These include a Hospice Garden Party, the Jassy Dean Garden Safari and a wine and food evening to raise funds for Waiheke High School viticulture students.

Mr Plested has also been praised for his work to keep his Waiheke land pest-free.

Mark Hotchin, who paid $13.8m for his property in Boatshed Bay in addition to other surrounding properties, wasn't on the Rich List this year because of financial issues.

Waiheke Marketplace