While in New Zealand, CSQ sat down with Brett O’Riley, whose five-year run at the head of ATEED is coming to an end later this year, to talk about the similarities between Los Angeles and Auckland, American investment in New Zealand, and the kiwi’s under-the-radar passion for American muscle cars.
CSQ What draws Los Angeles and Auckland together?
Brett O’Riley Los Angeles, Auckland, and Guangzhou are sister cities and in 2014 we formed a tripartite economic alliance. Then in 2015 we held our first summit in Los Angeles, bringing in businesses from the other two cities. The second summit – about 800 people – was held here in Auckland in May of 2016 and the third annual is later this year in Guangzhou. Beyond our tripartite, there are many shared connections between LA and Auckland through Hollywood – entertainment is a $1B industry for us and we just signed a joint venture deal with Warner Bros and Galaxy Pictures in China – and technology – we have a tech ambassador in Los Angeles and recently opened an AR/VR Garage here in Auckland.
CSQ Have you noticed a trend in U.S. investment and if so, why?
BO We’re seeing a rise in the number of people out of the United States wanting to invest here for a couple reasons. Not only do we not have an estate tax of any kind we also do not have capital gains taxes. People are seeing New Zealand as a viable option for retirement.
CSQ Are there some specific examples of Americans investing in New Zealand you’re proud of?
BO I look at people such as Ric Kayne, William Foley, and Julian Robertson and see Americans who have taken insight and knowledge from a larger market as well as an appreciation of quality and have applied that to our local setting, showing respect to the environment in doing so.
CSQ During our time here, we see New Zealand’s market for cars – specifically American cars – as 1.5 or 2x of market value?
BO There is a lot of people who are importing American cars now. One of the things I’ve promised my 15-year old son when I retire from this position later this year is that I will buy him an American muscle car. We’re seeing a lot of US, left-hand drive vehicles around here.
CSQ You can keep them left hand?
BO Oh yeah.
CSQ Are there experiences and events built around these cars?
BO Yes. The Beach Hop – an event where thousands of people show up on the beach with their American muscle cars. One of the advantages to owning such a car in New Zealand is how close you are to the open road … you can live in the heart of the city and be on an open road in the countryside in 15 minutes.