Gough family Canterbury's richest

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 18:09 26/07/2012

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The Goughs can claim the title of Canterbury's richest family again this year, with an estimated wealth of $300 million, The National Business Review's Rich List for 2012 shows.

The Gough family own Gough Group, which has built the family's wealth for more than 80 years from the sale of heavy machinery.

This month, Ben Gough revealed he had control of 50 per cent of the company's shares.

The National Business Review ranks the Goughs as the country's 33rd richest at $300m, down from its estimation of $310m last year, when the Goughs were ranked 20th.

At the top of the list in New Zealand is Russian steel magnate Alexander Abramov with an estimated fortune of $7 billion, ahead of the country's usual top dog, Graeme Hart, a packaging industry tycoon with riches of $6b.

This year, the NBR introduced foreign investors who invest "significantly" here and at times reside here.

The second-richest family in Canterbury is the Stewart family, estimated to be worth $270m, the same as last year, and ranked 39th in the country.

Well-known members are Robert Stewart, the owner of commercial refrigeration manufacturer Skope Industries, based in Addington, and his brother, Mark Stewart, who manages the family's investments.

Because the NBR is using place of birth to determine which region can claim which richlister, Canterbury's richest person is entrepreneur Alan Gibbs, worth $440m, although he is not likely to be regarded as a Cantabrian by residents and has lived most of his life in the North Island and overseas.

Eric Watson, born in Christchurch and educated at Xavier College, is the fourth richest in Canterbury and 40th in the country at about $260m, but he has also lived much of his adult life in the North Island and overseas.

He is followed by David Teece, fifth in Canterbury and 51st in New Zealand. He is an economist who lives in California and is estimated to be worth $190m. He bought part of the old Lane Walker Rudkin in 1999.

The sixth richest in Canterbury is more familiar business figure Kevin Hickman, who co-founded the highly successful retirement village company Ryman Healthcare. His wealth is about $150m.

Prominent property investor Philip Carter is ranked seventh in Canterbury and 98th in the country with a wealth of about $95m this year, up from $90m last year, which earned him a ranking of 48th nationally.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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