Wealthy few


Queenstown’s entries in tomorrow’s National Business Review Rich List are tipped to include three major CBD landlords, two entrepreneurs/benefactors and a Jack’s Point co-developer. 

Expect Malta-based Irishman Eamon Cleary – who owns several Queenstown and Arrowtown commercial buildings – to have his fortune pegged again at $2 billion. 

That places him third in NBR’s annual wealth league table, after Graeme Hart, at $5.5b, and the Todd family, at $2.7b. 

Tipped to jump from $60m last year to $75m is Skyline Enterprises director/large shareholder Barry Thomas, who stepped down as chairman after 33 years last September. 

The tourism, casino and property group – which runs the Bob’s Peak gondola – owns seven Queenstown CBD sites. 

Another CBD landlord, John Davies – a tourism/transport heavyweight who chairs ski area operator NZSki – is understood to leap from $50m to $65m. 

The biggest-moving local Rich Lister will be original Jack’s Point co-developer George Kerr, who’s propping up beleaguered Timaru financier Allan Hubbard. 

Kerr, who divides his time between Queenstown and Sydney, is tipped to jump from $130m to $180m. 

The other two local Rich Listers, jewellery magnate Michael Hill and investor Sir Eion Edgar, are expected to remain at $170m and $95m, respectively. 

Hill, who hosted and sponsored the past three New Zealand Open golf tournaments at his private course near Arrowtown, is fighting to retain the event. 

He also sponsors an international violin competition. 

Edgar – whose sharebroking company, Forysth Barr, recently opened a branch in Queenstown – was the driving force behind the first Winter Games last year. 

He’s hoping to restage it next year.