Google co-founder Larry Page has gained New Zealand residency, the government confirmed – becoming just the latest tech billionaire to tie himself to the island nation.
Page, 48, the eighth richest man in the world, raised eyebrows in New Zealand when he flew into the country with his son to seek emergency medical treatment for the child, despite the country’s borders being closed due to the pandemic.
Jacinta Ardern, the prime minister, was drawn into the row that ensued and insisted that she was unaware of Page’s visit – and pointed out that they would rarely refuse a medically-essential emergency landing.
On Thursday, the government of New Zealand confirmed that Page had been granted residency. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment told Stuff about Page’s status.
New Zealand has in recent years earned a reputation for attracting tech billionaires keen to purchase a bolt hole in case of an impending apocalypse. The climate, remote location, natural beauty and political stability have lured some of the world’s wealthiest – among them PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and multimillionaire film director James Cameron.
‘Saying you’re buying a house in New Zealand is kind of a wink, wink, say no more,’ Hoffman told The New Yorker in 2017. Page has been riding out the pandemic in Fiji with his wife Lucinda Southworth, 42, and their two sons, aged 12 and 10.