Documents reveal how Peter Thiel was granted New Zealand citizenship

Thiel delivers speech on US presidential election at the National Press Club in Washington

His status was first reported by The New Zealand Herald newspaper last month, and the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs on Wednesday released 145 pages of redacted documents detailing how Thiel became a citizen in response to public pressure.

That was in 2011, the year he was granted citizenship by the New Zealand government even though he did not fulfill the residency requirement and had no immediate plans to live in the South Pacific island nation.

Thiel called the nation "a great place to start a business" but noted that "a thriving technology industry needs deep pools of capital for start-up companies as well as networks of experienced investors".

Citizenship was granted by the then minister of internal affairs, Nathan Guy, although Mr Thiel wasn't living in New Zealand and didn't intend to. He visits a total four times before applying for citizenship.

The idea, said Biddle, "that Thiel would act as an worldwide steward of high-tech industry between New Zealand and Silicon Valley, is perhaps undercut by the fact that Thiel kept his citizenship secret for half a decade".

"I have consistently found New Zealanders to be open and friendly, with a "no nonsense" way of getting the job done".

Mr Thiel's connection to New Zealand is mostly financial.

Thiel's application was supported by letters from a number of prominent New Zealand businessman, including Xero founder Rod Drury and Trade Me founder Sam Morgan.

In the January 30 issue of the New Yorker, Thiel was revealed to be one of many super-wealthy "doomsday preppers" who plan to ride out a crashing world economy and social disruption by absconding to private compounds in New Zealand.

While Peter Thiel made an early bet on Donald Trump, writing a seven-figure check to his campaign and later joining his White House transition team as a key adviser, the billionaire venture capitalist didn't get where he was by not hedging his bets.

"It's clear what the benefits to Mr Thiel are - he can buy sensitive land without Overseas Investment Office approval, which he has done".

That claim last night attracted ridicule, with Labour Party immigration spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway noting this pride was well-concealed despite his application having being approved in June 2011.

Thiel's political views are best described as libertarian.

Born in Germany, Thiel moved to the United States as an infant and became a naturalized American citizen.

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