3 News has obtained more than 2000 pages of documents from the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) and Immigration New Zealand (INZ) on Mr Dotcom’s residency and attempt to purchase the mansion for US$18 million – claimed to be New Zealand’s most expensive house.
In a letter from his lawyers to the OIO, it was claimed Mr Dotcom should be allowed to purchase the property because he would support the local food industry. It said he would be “purchasing all bakery, meats and other food items from the local area”. It said the Megaupload founder liked the food so much that while he was living in Hong Kong, the “quality foods” were being “exported to him for his enjoyment”. He was getting Waiwera spring water exported to him in Hong Kong.
Mr Dotcom promised he would install fibre optic cables in Coatsville so he – and his neighbours – could enjoy fast internet. He also said he would install the cables to another Northland property.
The OIO called the offer an “enhanced service for New Zealand” with “the benefit to those neighbours significant, given they do not have access to a fibre optic cable”.
His “philanthropic pursuits” were a big part of the application, claiming his projects included:
- a $50,000 donation to the Christchurch earthquake fund
- a $50,000 donation to an injured Tongan schoolboy rugby player
- an intention to contribute to the MANA project – which contributes to the official charity of the All Blacks
- a $600,000 donation to the Auckland New Year fireworks display
In his application for residency, Mr Dotcom’s advisor told Immigration New Zealand that he “witnessed significant contribution to the New Zealand economy beyond just job creation such as high levels of tourism spending, purchase of significant assets”.
He also said Mr Dotcom would bring his rich associates to “create more spin off” for the economy and INZ agreed, stating he would attract other “high net worth individuals”.
His advisor also claimed he had paid $1 million in GST and indirectly created 18 jobs whilst being here before he became a resident.