This page was produced by FT2, the advertising department of the Financial Times. The news and editorial staff of the Financial Times had no role in its preparation.
DISCOVER A GREAT LIFE... AT THE EDGE OF THE MAP
For most people who move there, the allure of New Zealand is its phenomenal variety. You can quickly slip from sophisticated urban culture into charming countryside, or discover a genuine wilderness, strongly protected by environmental legislation. In a land area about the same as the UK are fjords, glaciers, thermal resorts, island hideaways and a mighty chain of mountains.
New Zealand offers an enviable lifestyle – and you’ll find it’s just as easy to do business. You can grow your business in an environment with low corruption, strong institutions, settled markets, fresh attitudes, political and economic stability and a culture of entrepreneurship. It comes first for both ease of both doing business and starting a business in the World Bank 2017 rankings. Seemingly, all the world’s surveys of lifestyle and desirability are enthusiastic about New Zealand, and the liveability of its burgeoning biggest city, Auckland, sprawling between two big harbours with a gulf full of islands, and marinas bursting with boats ready for summers of warm winds.
‘For most people who move there, the allure of New Zealand is its phenomenal variety’
Why do people come, when they are successful back home? Liverpool-born author Nicky Pellegrino appreciates “the benefits of a big city (Auckland) without that feeling of being hemmed in back in London. I have two horses and there is room to ride them.”
Once upon a time this country’s distance from everywhere else was a problem. Now, it’s an advantage. Businessman Forbes Elworthy and his wife Bridget live mostly in Oxfordshire, but their Craigmore Station in New Zealand’s South Canterbury is also a central part of their lives. Forbes was a trader at Merrill Lynch once. He praises the insulation that distance brings “from the economic fashions and gyrations of the north.”
‘Almost three-quarters of expats reported an improved quality of life in a recent HSBC survey’
Peter Haughton emigrated from the UK to settle in Arrowtown, a historic gold-mining village near Queenstown, bordering a championship golf course. Haughton was with JP Morgan Chase for 19 years, and is now on three boards as a company director. “New Zealand is amazing for the children,” he says. “Compared with central London they have a much broader experience. Outdoor adventure at school here is amazing, and the general education is good.”
Two centuries on from European settlement New Zealand is again the land of opportunity. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has been a major investor, praising the country’s potential as a tech hub. He is not the only one. Hong Kong-based financier Michael Nock from investment house Doric Capital said earlier this year: “The thing that was always working against New Zealand – the tyranny of distance – is the very thing that becomes its strength as the world becomes more uncertain,” he says.
‘Angel investment activity in New Zealand has trebled in the last decade, and the country now has more angel investors per capita than the US’
Another strength is that the country lives up to expectations. Almost three-quarters of expats reported an improved quality of life in a recent HSBC survey. The number for their children was even higher at 85 per cent. Hospital healthcare is free; so is state schooling up until tertiary level.
Migrant investors are welcome, and unconditional residence can be granted to applicants after three years in some cases. On its high streets and in its malls, UK and US migrants mingle with newer citizens from South Africa, China and India. They come to the most prosperous nation on earth now, according to the annual survey by the Legatum Institute, a think-tank. New Zealand has been number one for six of the last ten years, with Legatum citing “Free markets, free people, and the world’s strongest society.”
It also ranked as the world’s freest economy in the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom. Angel investment activity in New Zealand has trebled in the last decade, and the country now has more angel investors per capita than the US.
Forbes Elworthy points to the fact that everyone who inhabits New Zealand has travelled to it. “Everybody brings a lot with them, from their own traditions, and they help refresh the country,” he says.
New Zealand seems to offer a lot to many of the world’s wealthy and well-qualified. It provides sanctuary for them and solutions for their investment needs. The connectivity of our age has banished its historical isolation, while many of the problems of the present world still seem thousands of miles away.
With so many great reasons to move yourself and your family to New Zealand, perhaps the real question is: Why not?