MP doubts Rich List relevance

KELSEY WILKIE
Last updated 12:00 01/08/2014
National Party candidate Ian McKelvie at the Feilding saleyards.
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ
NATIONAL: Ian McKelvie.

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Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie has made the list of the wealthiest individuals in the country.

His estimated $50 million net worth landed him 163rd equal in the National Business Review Rich List 2014 released yesterday.

McKelvie has been labelled a dark horse for managing to stay under NBR's radar until this year.

But McKelvie is dismissing the list.

"I think there's probably hundreds and hundreds of people missing off the list, if I'm on it."

He said he did not think the list was relevant or reliable. "I don't think it's justifiable . . . they've got little grounds for the information used.

McKelvie said a lot of the assets referenced by the NBR were owned by trusts.

"From a family perspective, it probably is correct but there's a few of us."

He ranked No 1 in the parliamentary property-owning stakes. National's Nicky Wagner and Prime Minister John Key tied for second with more than $20m of real estate each.

McKelvie's land holding is estimated by NBR to be nearly as big as Feilding. His properties include a family home and separate section on the southwestern shores of Lake Taupo, commercial buildings in Palmerston North, an apartment in Wellington and family farmland owned via various entities.

Another newcomer to the list is the Gillespie family, previous owner of Palmerston North-based company EziBuy. They landed 59th on the list with a reported $200m of wealth.

Brothers Gerard and Peter Gillespie, who founded the company, sold the business to Australian supermarket giant Woolworths last year for $350m.

The list had 13 newcomers, with their combined wealth totalling $1.5 billion. It's the second time Rangitikei-raised technology entrepreneur Victoria Ransom has been on the list.

This year she was the top-ranking woman with $300m, thanks in large part to her social media company Wildfire, which she sold to Google in 2012. Ransom is 36th equal - moving six spaces back from last year.

Manawatu's Higgins family returned to the list with $150m, at 73rd equal, moving back three places. The Higgins Group is a construction and contracting company that employs more than 1100 staff.

The collective wealth of the list totals $63.3b.

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- Manawatu Standard

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