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Hart's wealth falls but still NZ's richest

NZN 28/07/2016 Edwin Mitson

New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart has seen his wealth plummet in this year's National Business Review rich list to $7 billion from $9b as the publication marks the 30th anniversary of its annual examination of the country's top businessmen and women.

The decline reflects the performance of some of Hart's debt-laden businesses, with the American car parts manufacturer UCI International filing for bankruptcy protection.

Singapore-based investor Richard Chandler is second, with his wealth put at $4.2b, up from $4b a year earlier, but below the $5b he achieved in 2012. The Todd family were third with their wealth assessed at $3.3b, up from $3.1b.

Some of the newcomers on the list include Geoff Ross, who sold his vodka business 42 Below for $138 million in 2006. While that wasn't enough to give him a place on the list, the share performance of Trilogy, a skincare and cosmetics supplier which he chairs, has elevated his status. Trilogy's shares have risen from 95 cents a share a year ago to $4.32 now.

Christchurch businessman Greg Tomlinson, who holds a 10 per cent stake in Heartland Bank, has also joined the list. He also retains a stake in a chain of 16 retirement homes he established, which were sold into an Australian joint venture.

Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film-maker Sir Peter Jackson is 15th, with his wealth put at $630 million.

Prime Minister John Key is joint 175th equal with wealth of $60 million, reflecting his previous career as a currency trader and investor.

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