New Zealand is a very small country with a population a little over 4 million. It is also a beautiful place that provides an exhilarating mix of nature, first world quality life standards, and wonderful weather. It’s also a first pick for survivalists across the planet. This, first and foremost, isn’t new. It has been a while that the South Pacific island has been considered a safe shelter by preppers. Now tech companies are moving over and there are a few reasons for why it’s been already dubbed Utopia.
But what do survivalists and preppers have to do with the tech industry? And why are so many tech tycoons moving to New Zealand?
Fact is that, indeed, a great number of billionaires, not only from the Silicon Valley, but from all over the US and Great Britain are moving to or at least buying property in the remote island. But how many? LinkedIn co-founder and chairman (and venture capitalist) Reid Hoffman estimates that about 50-plus percent of Silicon Valley’s bigwigs have invested in the island.
Pay Pal Peter Thiel has bought a large property there and gained citizenship. However he did so under special circumstances
Besides its remoteness, vast agriculture, and many natural resources, New Zealand’s tech industry is well established, diversified, and developed. It has a great wireless infrastructure and covers from health to content, from teles to geospace.
Many local companies have gained international recognition in areas such as wireless charging (PowerbyProxy), robotics (Rex Bionics), cloud accounting (Xero), and security (Gallagher).
More importantly, it’s still booming at a 9% yearly growth rate (exports have been growing at 14%).
The University of Auckland, just like Stanford, is becoming a breeding ground for startups that are popping up all around it in an economy that is considered one of the most stable in the world.
Transparency International rated New Zealand #1 together with Denmark as the least corrupted country in the world to do business with.
These and many other fantastic attributes of the land of kiwi should be enough to attract people and businesses to move over.
But let’s get back to survivalists and preppers. Survivalists and preppers are two similar terms but they don’t like to be related to each other. While the first are more related to military tactics and extremism the former is much lighter on its approach.
Preppers are concerned with different scenarios: natural disasters, biochem accidents, terrorism and monetary economical cataclysm is just some among them.
Some tech industry moguls, as a matter of fact, fit in one prepper category or another. However, it isn’t clear why tech heavyweights and others are heading or considering to head towards New Zealand.
The phenomenon isn’t so new to the point one can say it’s due to the latest political and economical facts but it has increased a lot during the past few months.
The fear of human resources capital shortage and the level of uncertainty with the maintenance of the world order as we’ve known it for the past half century does play an important role, but it can’t be considered a lone motif.
The crescent wealth inequality in the West is a factor for social disruption. There’s a fear that the foreseen AI revolution could backlash the Silicon Valley by taking up jobs.
A CEO of a large company in the Bay Area who preferred to stay anonymous said that: It’s not necessarily a prepper mentality overall, but rather one that is “logically rational”.
Preppers are considered by many a little off, especially after National Geographic did a documentary series about them. However, many people take them seriously.
As far as the companies and the professionals moving to the austral zone, even if there’s no single clear reason, the causes and explanation are still in question.
By the way here’s an inside tech joke: When asked about doomsday, LinkedIn’s Hoffman said “There’s good news and bad news. Good news is that if it happens I have a bunker in New Zealand. The bad news is Thiel is my neighbor.”
What do you think about preppers? How much of a “prepper” are you? And what about companies fleeing because of an advent of chaos? Share your thoughts and opinions with us through our Facebook page or in the comments below.