Kim Dotcom reveals New Zealand city that’s becoming millionaires’ doomsday hide out
Controversial internet mogul says ‘about a dozen people from Silicon valley’ have moved to Queenstown under the radar
By Daisy Hudson
Silicon Valley millionaires are increasingly buying up land in Queenstown to prepare for a doomsday event, New Zealand’s own resident web mogul says.
But whether that could boost the country’s technology industry is yet to be determined.
Controversial multimillionaire Kim Dotcom recently set up home in the resort, making the move from Auckland with new wife Liz.
In his first interview since the shift, he said he was not the only one moving in.
He knew “about a dozen people from Silicon Valley that have homes in Queenstown that haven’t even been on the radar, not been in the media, and that number is just increasing”.
They saw Queenstown as a bolt-hole to escape to if things became dire elsewhere.
“For a lot of people that I’m talking to in the tech industry, and the Silicon Valley, it’s kind of like a back-up; you know you have a back-up server when your main server goes down, so they have a back-up for their lives, for their families,” Dotcom said.
“I think that will increase, because one thing that the smartest people in the world have in common is an understanding that the world as it works today is not sustainable.
“I take things like that very seriously. I know a lot of my friends in Silicon Valley see it the same way. It’s a general feeling that, globally, we have to expect more crises rather than less. And you want to be in a part of the world where you are as far as possible away from it.”
But Dotcom said the impact on the IT sector from having the top tech minds in the country might not be as significant as one might expect.
“I don’t see New Zealand right now as being able to compete in the tech sector, simply because the entire country is connected to the rest of the world with just one submarine cable.
“You know, once we have a more competitive infrastructure, meaning numerous connections to the rest of the world, yes, New Zealand could be a tech hub.”
As for Dotcom, he was happy with a more ‘‘chill’‘ change of pace in Queenstown.
He is living in a multimillion-dollar mansion that once housed Tom Cruise, and had his eye on real estate investments.
Meanwhile, he was still waiting to hear if he will be extradited to the United States over the practises of his former business, Megaupload.
Last year the High Court upheld a previous ruling that Dotcom was eligible for extradition on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.
He has challenged the ruling in the Court of Appeal.
Despite his long-running legal woes, Dotcom remained positive, and focused on family.
His five children with ex-wife Mona Dotcom moved down a few months before he and Liz made the move south.
So what about rumours he and Liz are expecting their own bundle of joy?
“We don’t comment on that.”