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Key joins the rich getting richer

Published: 7:20AM Friday July 25, 2008 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

National Party leader John Key has debuted on the NBR rich list with an estimated wealth of $50 million.

The National Business Review has released its annual Rich List, and despite a global financial downturn the overall wealth of the list is up by nearly $6 billion.

NBR Editor Nevil Gibson says it turns out Key has a lot of property assets, a lot of shares in Merrill Lynch and investments elsewhere.

This year's list has a record eight billionaires, including the first woman Lynette Erceg.

Erceg's husband, liquor baron Michael Erceg, died in a helicopter crash in 2005. His company Independent Liquor was sold to a consortium of private equity firms for an undisclosed sum in December 2006. Market speculation at the time put the price at around $1.3 billion.

King of the stack yet again is multi-billion dollar businessman Graeme Hart.

He is now worth an estimated $6 billion, more than double the $2.75 billion last year's list estimated.

The Todd family are next on the list with a collective worth of $2.6 billion.

Despite the woes of Hanover Finance, the co-owners of the troubled company also made the line-up with Eric Watson sitting at 16th equal with $450 million, while Mark Hotchin is said to be worth $200 million.

Film maker Peter Jackson is 16th equal with Watson.

The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall is in 21st place with $436 million, and Trade Me's Sam Morgan follows at 29 with a net worth of $260 million.

Retailers Michael Hill and Rod Duke from the Briscoes Group, make up the 30s, coming in at number 34 and 39.

And if you are wondering how to get onto the rich list, the top three money making industries are investment ($19.815 bln), property ($8.824 bln) and finance ($2.66 bln).

Top 10
1) Graeme Hart  - $6 billion
2) Todd Family  - $2.6 billion
3) Eamon Cleary  - $2.1 billion
4= Christopher Chandler - $2 billion
4= Richard Chandler  - $2 billion
6) Goodman Family  - $1.64 billion
7= Lynette Erceg - $1.4 billion
7= Stephen Jennings - $1.4 billion
9) Wade Thompson - $750 million
10= Sir Michael Fay $700 million
10= Douglas Myers - $700 million
10= David Richwhite - $700 million