iHug partner joins rich list faces

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 28/07/2012

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Queenstown's rich list club is made up of many well-known names and faces, but a relatively unknown rich-lister has invested in a luxury house in the resort for his boutique accommodation club.

Nick Wood, one of the partners in pioneering internet service provider iHug, owns Distinctive Holiday Homes, a "destination club" based in California, the National Business Review Rich List reported.

Members pay US$15,000 (NZ$18,700) to join, plus annual fees of US$5900 to have holidays at a string of luxury international homes - one of which is in Queenstown, the NBR said.

When contacted by The Southland Times a company employee in the California office said Mr Wood "was not real keen on interviews," and said "Good luck getting hold of him."

Mr Wood, along with his brother Tim, recorded a wealth estimated at $NZ120 million.

That total would put him in good company with Queenstown's other rich listers, who have a combined total wealth estimated at near $1.7 billion.

Topping the list is Irish-Kiwi landlord Eamon Cleary, the eighth-richest man in New Zealand, with $1.2 billion. Cleary's wealth estimate dropped by $800 million since the last rich list was published last year.

Arrowtown jewellery magnate and golf course owner Sir Michael Hill comes second on the local rich list with an estimated $250 million in the bank.

Dropping below the $100 million mark, but still doing very well, were stock market tycoon Sir Eion Edgar with $95 million, NZSki and transport don John Davies with $90 million, and Skyline boss Barry Thomas with $80 million.

The Wallis family of Wanaka had an estimated fortune of $70 million.

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- The Southland Times

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