A property near Queenstown, New Zealand, designed by Mason & Wales Architects.
‘How New Zealand became an apocalypse escape destination for Americans’, July 16, 2020, cnn.com
“In Queenstown — a picturesque ski spot that often attracts comparisons to Aspen, Colorado — rumors about foreigners investing in apocalypse-proof bunkers have been swirling for years.
Queenstown residents are skeptical about whether the secret, underground hideaways are actually as prevalent as such allusions would suggest. Unlike in the United States or Europe, where bunkers are frequently photographed and written about, there’s scant evidence to prove that any bunkers have actually been installed.
“For years, Queenstown has been an attractive destination for elite foreigners who may have reason to seek out a metaphorical bunker, safe from major political turmoil thousands of miles away. Notable US-based homebuyers include Silicon Valley billionaire and political firebrand Peter Thiel and disgraced former NBC News anchor Matt Lauer.
Now that the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, Queenstown is once again sparking interest as the perfect place to escape catastrophe — with or without a secret bunker.”
From forbes.com, July 3, 2008: ‘Southern Sanctuary; Want to be far from terrorism threats and have Bill Gates as a neighbor? Then New Zealand may be the place for you’
A lengthy list of elite buyers, locations, prices, and so on, but how cool is this for the toffs?
“Unlike Australia, New Zealand does not levy transfer taxes on residential properties. New Zealand abolished death taxes in 1992. There are also no property taxes, and land sales other than by people in the real estate business are exempt from capital gains taxes.”
‘Microsoft seeks new datacenter region in New Zealand; Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she welcomes Microsoft’s announcement to establish a datacentre region for cloud services in New Zealand’, May 6, 2020, rnz.co.nz
“With the development of this new datacenter region, Microsoft aims to fuel new growth that will accelerate digital transformation opportunities [cashless society? contact tracing?] across New Zealand,” the statement said.
“This means job opportunities in the near term for our construction industry and, in the longer term, for our ICT industry and local innovators. This also serves as a signal to the world that New Zealand is open for business and quality investment,” he said.
“Today’s decision by Microsoft means that the government, and New Zealand businesses and people, will be able to access the scale and security of Cloud services offered by a major global provider in ways we haven’t been able to before.”
Where will the wage slaves live? And on the right sidebar, a few Gates and Microsoft ads:
‘Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft to focus on philanthropy’, 14 March 2020
‘Microsoft has pledged to remove “all of the carbon” from the environment that it has emitted since the company was founded in 1975’, Jan. 17, 2020
And Microsoft goes full amerikan kinte-cloth:
‘Microsoft announces it will “double the number of Black and African American people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders in the United States by 2025’, June 23, 2020
Heard on the street in Aotearoa: a disgusted, but unnamed Maori male said to his friend:
‘There goes the neighborhood!’
Speaking of NZ long-beleaguered indigenous Maori’s, I thought I’d poke about a bit to see how they’re faring under Jacinda Ardern’s adminstration, and found: er…not so well.
‘Jacinda Ardern faces Māori wrath over ‘inhumane’ treatment of families; A damning report into child removals by Oranga Tamariki sets the stage for tough Waitangi visit for New Zealand PM’, theguardian.com, Feb. 2, 2020
“There’s been unprecedented breaches of human rights,” said Naida Glavish, the head of a Māori-led inquiry into the practices of New Zealand’s child services agency, Oranga Tamariki.
The investigation, which began six months ago, is one of five being conducted into the organisation, sparked by a documentary in 2019 that depicted social workers’ repeated attempts to seize a Māori baby from its mother shortly after birth.
The report details what families describe as racial profiling, widespread fear among Māori families that their children will be taken away, and abuses of power by social workers. It details incidents in which armed police, with dogs, were sent to seize babies from their families.
It also accused the agency of not allowing extended Māori families to care for children – an established cultural practice – when relatives thought that was the best option.