Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Z
February 15, 2018 2:54 AM   Subscribe

Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand: how an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific. A Guardian long read, by Mark O'Connell.

"In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election, the theme of American plutocrats preparing for the apocalypse was impossible to avoid. The week after the inauguration, the New Yorker ran another piece about the super-rich who were making preparations for a grand civilisational crackup; speaking of New Zealand as a “favored refuge in the event of a cataclysm”, billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, a former colleague of Thiel’s at PayPal, claimed that “saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more”."
posted by carbide (74 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
I found this section particularly interesting, especially the colonialist aspect of a utopia:
When we met in her office at the Auckland University of Technology, the legal scholar Khylee Quince insisted that any invocation of New Zealand as a utopia was a “giant red flag”, particularly to Māori like herself. “That is the language of emptiness and isolation that was always used about New Zealand during colonial times,” she said. And it was always, she stressed, a narrative that erased the presence of those who were already here: her own Māori ancestors. The first major colonial encounter for Māori in the 19th century was not with representatives of the British crown, she pointed out, but with private enterprise.
posted by carbide at 3:04 AM on February 15 [52 favorites]


After reading the article I still don't know why they are doing it, but New Zealand sounds like a very charming place.
posted by value of information at 3:06 AM on February 15


This as yet another entry in the list of the ways the ultra-rich try and fend off mortality isn’t it? There’s no amount of money that will fend off a revolution that wants to put your head on a pike so some of them live in fear of it & spend a ridiculous portion of their time plotting to survive a revolution instead of doing to work to prevent such a revolution ever being a likely end-state of their own society.

Their wealth is nothing without the society that acknowledges their property, yet these people spend their time fearing it instead of engaging with it.
posted by pharm at 3:12 AM on February 15 [59 favorites]


“That is the language of emptiness and isolation that was always used about New Zealand during colonial times"

Yeah, it's a terra nullius view. But the author of the article leans heavily on the isolation language too ("New Zealand, the furthest place from anywhere"). It's always amusing how foreign writers do that - I assume when he writes "anywhere" he means the UK, because the country is of course accessible by "overnight flights from California." I can smell the genteel condescension from here, mate.

Going back to the subject of the article, the New Zealand utopia thing bothers me. Like, the argument goes that New Zealand has abundant natural resources, stability, etc. But there's no acknowledgement that the natural resources are maintained through determined (Māori and governmental) conservation and stewardship; that stability exists because of specific political structures that Thiel apparently finds anathematic.
posted by Paragon at 3:46 AM on February 15 [38 favorites]


New Zealand as libertarian utopia seems about as accurate as Australia as evangelical homeschooler utopia - picking a couple of things that seem to be what you want and conveniently ignoring that they're countries that, overwhelmingly, have no time for that shit. Indeed, that's why New Zealand can be so laissez faire about regulations, because they don't have to account for libertarians taking advantage of their nice social democracy.
posted by Merus at 3:48 AM on February 15 [17 favorites]


As someone stuck on this increasingly toxic little island for now, I really wish Lord RM had worn a condom back in the summer of '68.
posted by Wordshore at 3:58 AM on February 15 [12 favorites]


I think it's really very considerate of the 0.0001% to telegraph their intent to self-sequester on such a relatively small island in the event that their ongoing shenanigans render their native lands uninhabitable. Should allow for quite substantial efficiencies in pitchfork and torch re-use.
posted by flabdablet at 4:12 AM on February 15 [15 favorites]


Wordshore? After I visited NZ back in 2009 I fell in love with the country. I would certainly move there if I was even slightly allowed to.

That said, I recognized and felt very personally the problems between the original population and later settlers. My solution was to try and learn Maori and be useful somehow, but even I felt the real tension between the two groups.

But of course, you must be referring to something else.
posted by Laotic at 4:23 AM on February 15


I suspect Wordshore meant Britain, what with the hoping that the younger Rees-Mogg had never been born. He doesn't look like he's buggering off to NZ until after he's fucked here up.
posted by Dysk at 4:30 AM on February 15 [11 favorites]


But the author of the article leans heavily on the isolation language too ("New Zealand, the furthest place from anywhere"). It's always amusing how foreign writers do that - I assume when he writes "anywhere" he means the UK, because the country is of course accessible by "overnight flights from California." I can smell the genteel condescension from here, mate.

New Zealand is close enough to Australia that my brother was able to get there within one day by boat.

....I had an interesting thought, though - what is the tax situation like in New Zealand? I suspect if there was a way you could tax the hell out of these fuckers, it would drive them out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on February 15 [9 favorites]


May Te Ua Haumēne watch over the people.
posted by winna at 4:37 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Climate change + nuclear winter: nowhere to hide from that. Unless maybe they build biospheres guarded by robot armies. Even then... gotta eat something.

I think Elon Musk's take--go to Mars--is more likely (and that ain't very likely).
posted by mondo dentro at 4:54 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


feh. new money. the real players are buying up land over the guarani aquifer.
posted by logicpunk at 5:13 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Careful now. Next thing you know Peter Thiel will launch multiyear lawsuit to destroy this publication. Free speech are for billionaires donor class only.
posted by Carius at 5:16 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


a group of people on the internet form a club, who publicly vow, if society collapses, to hunt down and murder Peter Thiel

Any such club would absolutely need to call itself Roko's Basilisks.
posted by flabdablet at 5:22 AM on February 15 [20 favorites]


I would buy a home in New Zealand if I were a billionaire, just because like the place. I would gladly house sit for any billionaire out there who needs a person to care for their NZ place (or any place, really) until Doomsday.
posted by pracowity at 5:22 AM on February 15


It sounds like you'd move to New Zealand if you were a multi-thousandaire, though.
posted by Merus at 5:24 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


if society collapses

i mean
closing the barn door after the horse has escaped, innit?
posted by halation at 5:26 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


I'm sure I read a different but similar article, where somebody asked the question "how much are you paying your gardener?" to the tech-lords who are setting up these fallback estates. Because they are not paying their staff enough to ignore societal breakdown.
posted by The River Ivel at 5:33 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election, the theme of American plutocrats preparing for hastening the approach of the apocalypse was impossible to avoid.

Fixed.

I am reminded of a story from Max Brooks' book World War Z, in which a billionaire converted his Long Island estate into a fortress and invited all his celebrity pals to ride out the zombie apocalypse -- with everyone posting on social media and livestreaming the while.

The complex was overrun, not by zombies, but by desperate people who realized that these people had a safe retreat. The story is told by a security guard who declared he was hired to shoot zombies, not people, and left them to their fate. He marveled at the folly of them flaunting their safe haven, when they could just have kept it quiet and survived, but figured they couldn't not -- an exclusive refuge was of no value if the rest of the world couldn't know they had it.

We know about New Zealand now, don't we?
posted by Gelatin at 5:45 AM on February 15 [40 favorites]


This reminds me of the ship full of useless people in Hitchhiker's Guide. So the apocalypse happens and your startup gods, your techbros, your brogrammers emerge from their bunkers to disrupt the...what, caveman-level technology space? None of these guys have actual useful skills. Why in the world do they think their money will be worth anything in the event of societal collapse? You'll just be schmucks with bunkers trapped on an island with no way of getting off.

Wait, is there a way we can convince them the apocalypse is happening so they flee to their bunkers, then we just cut off New Zealand (sorry, Kiwis, just think of this as your "For the greater good..." scene in Star Trek) and watch the fun?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:51 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Peter Thiel, in the meantime, is moving to LA.
posted by chavenet at 6:07 AM on February 15


We know about New Zealand now, don't we?

If things get bad enough, there's a big red target now painted on this country, that's for certain.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 6:09 AM on February 15


Guns and gold folks, guns and gold.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:14 AM on February 15


then we just cut off New Zealand

You're kind of missing the point of the Golgafrinchan B Ark. It's not where they filmed Lord of the Rings, they sent it somewhere else. Someone needs to convince Thiel to take up this idea again.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:20 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


In the case of societal collapse, it seems a bit foolish to keep your hideaway halfway around the world. A bunker is useless if you can't get to it, or in this case, the locals can get to it first. Although I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't have fortified hangars and a couple of Mad Max style vehicles to plow through the chaos on airport runs to/from the estates.
posted by Badgermann at 6:21 AM on February 15


So let me get this straight: governments are like criminal gangs because they tax billionaires and other "honest citizens"; the long-term fix for this is for billionaires (I'm sorry, "cognitive elites") to seize power and "redesign governments to suit their ends."
posted by thelonius at 6:24 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


A bunker is useless if you can't get to it, or in this case, the locals can get to it first.

You must have missed this charming piece. (previously)
posted by Laotic at 6:38 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Yeah, if these guys are so concerned about society going tits up, maybe they could, you know, STOP ACTIVELY TRYING TO MAKE SOCIETY GO TITS UP.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:59 AM on February 15 [21 favorites]


I hadn't heard of Jacinda Ardern before reading the FPP, and now this Guardian piece from yesterday.
posted by maniabug at 6:59 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


See Bob the Angry Flower's Atlas Shrugged 2: One Hour Later for a take on how this will play out.
posted by Harald74 at 7:17 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


So NZ is going to become the country where the world's one percent of one percent of one percent rule the rest of humanity? I thought that was supposed to be Switzerland or Utah?
posted by Beholder at 7:18 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I think Elon Musk's take--go to Mars--is more likely (and that ain't very likely).

Mars is basically nuclear winter at all times, but if you step outside you asphyxiate. It would be easier and safer to build a sealed nuclear bunker on Earth.

New Zealand is one place to go if you think global nuclear war is likely. It won't protect you from the nuclear winter (pack a decade+ worth of food, and somehow the means to protect it) but with its fairly assiduous anti-nuclear stance, I think the theory is that they probably don't have any missiles pointed at them.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:18 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I'm also fine with sending the ultrawealthy on a one-way, fatal trip to Mars, guys.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:22 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


If you were a good socialist revolutionary, you'd just kill them here and use the resources that would've gone to their Mars rocket for the good of the proletariat. Let's not overcomplicate this.
posted by Dysk at 7:30 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


The idea that NZ is the deus ex terra for various elites has been a theme in fiction at least as far back as The Day of the Triffids (1951). Now that it's all coming true, I have mixed feelings.
posted by sneebler at 7:33 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Leaked U.N. climate report sees 'very high risk' the planet will warm beyond key limit

Personally, I hope there are a few billionaires out there planning some serious bunkers. Not McMansions with panic rooms, I mean bunkers capable of providing for the needs of hundreds of people, including breathable air. Because we're changing the planet's environment in ways our biology isn't going to be able to handle.
posted by MrVisible at 7:35 AM on February 15


This is curiously reminiscent of John Wyndham's sci-fi novel The Chrysalids (1955), in which most of the human race is wiped out by a nuclear holocaust, except for a small remnant in 'Sealand' (New Zealand) who develop telepathic superpowers. The Sealanders are social Darwinists convinced of their own superiority to the rest of humanity:
'We are the New People -- your kind of people. The people who can think together. We're the people who are going to build a new kind of world -- different from the Old People's world, and from the savages.'
In a chilling scene at the end of the novel, the Sealanders massacre a group of non-telepathic humans with brutal efficiency and without a trace of moral compunction. One is left with the disturbing suspicion that Wyndham wants us to admire this.

It would be interesting to know if Thiel has ever read the novel.
posted by verstegan at 7:36 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Why fly all the way to New Zealand when you can have your own post-apocalypse bunker right here? (There's a big dollar to be made selling upscale prepper supplies to these idiots.)
posted by SPrintF at 7:55 AM on February 15


It would be interesting to know if Thiel has ever read the novel.

I'd say it's much more likely he read Lord of the Flies in seventh grade, completely missed the central thesis, and is 100% confident that because he's so handsome and wealthy and adroit, he'll get to hold the conch shell all the time
posted by Mayor West at 7:56 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


My wife and I have wanted to move to NZ for a long time (not likely to happen, barring a lottery win that would convince them to let us in), mainly because it appears to be a beautiful place with a nice culture and it's not here. Having all the billionaires seize on it as their refuge is just annoying.
posted by Four Ds at 8:16 AM on February 15


First you acquired land in New Zealand, with its rich resources and clean air, away from the chaos and ecological devastation gripping the rest of the world. Next you moved on to seasteading, the libertarian ideal of constructing manmade islands in international waters; on these floating utopian micro-states, wealthy tech innovators would be free to go about their business without interference from democratic governments. (Thiel was an early investor in, and advocate of, the seasteading movement, though his interest has waned in recent years.) Then you mined the moon for its ore and other resources, before moving on to colonise Mars.
So basically the dream of every nerdy 13 year-old boy who read too much science fiction and played too much Traveller and I say that as a once nerdy 13 year-old boy who read too much science fiction and played too much Traveller. (Somewhat apropos, when I read this column in the NYT Vows section last Sunday, all I could think of was "Robert Heinlein has a lot to answer for.")

But none of this is unique to Thiel. It's all part hippie-/part techno-utopianism, part bad sci-fi, part Hans-Hermann Hoppe-ian libertarianism, part plain old apocalypticism.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:18 AM on February 15 [9 favorites]


that NZ is the deus ex terra for various elites has been a theme in fiction at least as far back as The Day of the Triffids (1951)

By the time Thiel feels the need to hunker down in NZ, triffids will be extinct.
posted by flabdablet at 8:24 AM on February 15


the dream of every nerdy 13 year-old boy who read too much science fiction

Almost every nerdy 13 year old boy.
posted by flabdablet at 8:35 AM on February 15


This is your periodic reminder that Peter Thiel is a literal vampire.
posted by ardgedee at 8:50 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


I always wonder when tech people talk about moving to New Zealand; do they realize how shitty the Internet is there? Being an island makes access awkward and expensive, and no matter how much cable you lay the speed of light means you'll always be at least 200ms from North America. Maybe you don't care once the apocalypse comes, but in the meantime American tech bros are really gonna be hating how slow their videogames are.

The Guardian article mentions but does not link to Matt Nippert's recent excellent article: Citizen Thiel. Lots of details about how he got NZ citizenship and what he's done with it since then. He's clearly an NZ citizen in name only.
posted by Nelson at 8:57 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


(There's a big dollar to be made selling upscale prepper supplies to these idiots.)

That's definitely one of the things I gleaned from the appalling yet readable private jet piece that laotic linked: if someone has the right skillsets/connections, the will, and I guess the appropriate ethical system, they can extract a ton of money from the ultrarich, especially in areas where the ultrarich are the only customers. I mean, we're all parasites on the capitalist economy somehow, so why not be parasites on the biggest parasites?

That and this fun response from Warren Buffett when asked about owning a private jet: "That sort of prurient interest isn’t suitable for a youngster like you." (He does turn out to own one himself, of course.)
posted by advil at 8:57 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Guns and gold folks, guns and gold.

Can't eat, breathe or drink either one.

My response to apocalyptic scenarios was never "If do a., b. and c. I could make it!" because I find that so laughably arrogant. The best case scenario for humans in a nuclear apocalypse is to be instantly vaporized. Everyone else will die too, just after a lot more suffering, whether from the bombs or from starvation, violence, accident, exposure or untreatable illness.

The desire to use vast resources to plan for post-apocalypse instead of preventing the apocalypse is the kind of thing that makes me think enlightened aliens would simply declare our planet off-limits due to violent insanity.
posted by emjaybee at 9:09 AM on February 15 [9 favorites]


"Personally, I hope there are a few billionaires out there planning some serious bunkers. Not McMansions with panic rooms, I mean bunkers capable of providing for the needs of hundreds of people, including breathable air."

I know of one Hollywood billionaire who apparently has one of these because he added someone I'm acquainted with to "the list" so they can show up "when the time comes".
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:48 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Any chance we could stage a War-of-the-Worlds-esque broadcast and persuade them that the Apocalypse is happening now, get them to run for their bunkers, and set up elaborate apoc scenes in front of their cameras that view the outside world? It'd take some ongoing careful broadcast control, too, but we could excuse any actual news that gets in as "the code bots that are still active and pretending that there are humans on the internet."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:48 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Author David Joy, referencing this New Yorker article (the author of the new Yorker article, Evan Osnos, also appeared on Fresh Air to talk about billionaires and their elite hiding holes) had this to say about the future:

A friend of mine sent me an article recently from The New Yorker titled, “Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich.” It was basically an essay about how some of the richest people in America have been preparing for some sort of societal breakdown. I guffawed at the thought when I read it, not at the idea of America collapsing, but at the idea they think they’ll be the ones to survive. I laughed at the boldness, at the arrogance.

I’ve never been a betting man and the truth is I don’t have much money to lay down, but what I’ll leave you with is this. While all the privileged have been coasting through life so often on the backs of my people, we’ve been surviving. Survival is not new to us. As the man from Baltimore said, Desperation is a way of life. So if the time comes and there are bets to be made, I’d think long and hard about where you slide your chips. If I were you, I’d try to imagine my grandfather waking up off that bed, staring God right dead in His eyes as he’d done a dozen times before, and saying with a sly grin spread across his lonely face, “Sorry, boys, but I ain’t done playing.”


While I think it's a little risky/rich to single out "his people" (whether "his people" are poor white Southerners like himself or he assuming all the poor of the world are his people, I don't know)...I have spent sometime wondering if he's right.

Frankly I'd rather not stick around to find out.

There was a Terese Svoboda short story that won an O.Henry called "80s Lillies" that imagined a couple who moved to New Zealand at the onset of global nuclear war. I wish I could find it online, but I think maybe the gist of it was that they realized, with everyone else moving to NZ at the same time, they didn't need to be there; their survival was superfluous.

As someone who (was) moved to New Zealand in the 1980s because it was a nuclear-free zone, this has stuck with me.
posted by theefixedstars at 10:04 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


I've been infatuated with relocating to New Zealand not to survive the end days, but because of the landscape and geography ever since I visited. It's a complicated mess just like any other society, but it's a different complicated mess than the one I have here in the states.

(And also in my general world travels, I have a perpetual "man, if I brought bbq and much more attentive restaurant service here, I could make a comfortable living" thought wherever I am)
posted by mrzarquon at 10:23 AM on February 15




I emigrated to New Zealand 17 years ago, not because of the bountiful natural resources and huge tracts of land, but because of the values that Kiwis have.

If you've become a billionaire by hyper-competitive bullying destruction of the society that you live in, and you want to leave the wreckage of that society to find a second society to rape, then kindly fuck off, coz we like our society.

If you've become a billionaire by being really nice, fair, and just, then please do come along. Oh wait, you don't get to be a billionaire that way.
posted by happyinmotion at 10:57 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


And I can't believe that no-one has posted this - a wag sent an Official Information Act request to the Prime Minister's office, asking "Does Jacinda Ardern ever end a cabinet meeting with "Meeting arderned"?

The Secretary to the Cabinet replied, as they are legally required to do: https://twitter.com/Economissive/status/963666435691212800
posted by happyinmotion at 11:00 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


New Zealand seems an odd place to build a Winter Palace, but who am I to judge?
posted by Krawczak at 11:06 AM on February 15


New Zealand is close enough to Australia that my brother was able to get there within one day by boat.

Ha. Your brother was pulling your leg. The record for the 1500+ mile journey is 2 days and 21 hours in a high speed power boat.
posted by Thella at 11:22 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Maybe it was a flying boat?
posted by Dysk at 11:39 AM on February 15


The term “psychogeography” was cautiously invoked, and with only the lightest of ironic inflections.
Damnit. I realize of all the things libertarian tech utopianists have stolen from the world I care about, this word isn't actually important. . . but, it somehow feels personally hostile. Fuck off, Thiel.

As much as I love New Zealand, and the central South Island in particular, the idea that anyone there could achieve the standard of living they have today without massive international trade and tourism seems pretty silly. It's impossible to buy a decent soldering iron in New Zealand except by international mail order, much less run a high-tech empire from lake Wanaka. It's hard to think of many global collapse scenarios that make North America and Europe hostile to businesses yet leave the people of Queenstown doing something other than bartering wool for root vegetables and building a people's army to take down the silicon-valley fortresses.

Now, rich guys deciding to retire in NZ in a more realistic future makes a whole lot of sense. Tax the hell out of them and let them at it, I say.
posted by eotvos at 11:56 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


>...is the kind of thing that makes me think enlightened aliens would simply declare our planet off-limits due to violent insanity.<

Apparently, they already have.
posted by twidget at 12:22 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


> The desire to use vast resources to plan for post-apocalypse instead of preventing the apocalypse is the kind of thing that makes me think enlightened aliens would simply declare our planet off-limits due to violent insanity.

Oh, so I see you've read John Scalzi.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:25 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Down in the low-ceilinged, dungeon-like basement was a set of sculptures based around an entirely different understanding of play, more rule-bound and cerebral. These were based on the kind of strategy-based role-playing games particularly beloved of Silicon Valley tech types, and representing a Thielian vision of the country’s future. The psychological effect of this spatial dimension of the show was immediate: upstairs, you could breathe, you could see things clearly, whereas to walk downstairs was to feel oppressed by low ceilings, by an absence of natural light, by the darkness of the geek-apocalypticism captured in Denny’s elaborate sculptures.

Good gracious me.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:42 PM on February 15


I always wonder what , exactly, these people think “societal collapse” is
posted by The Whelk at 2:46 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


I feel sad the guy wouldn't let him take a rock home. I've never heard of that as a thing that iwi get grumpy about (as opposed to filling up a trailer load of river stones, say, which has legit resource implications).
posted by Sebmojo at 3:47 PM on February 15


I tried so hard to read that article and I've not been able to. It is unreadable to me. Skimming didn't help. It's like...someone writing an article about ducks where all conclusions are built on the fact ducks bark.

Seasteading -! These guys haven't even seen proper weather.

Imagine being so confident about knowing so little.
posted by glasseyes at 4:42 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


"It's impossible to buy a decent soldering iron in New Zealand except by international mail order"

Bollocks.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 6:09 PM on February 15


Tech Luminary Peter Thiel Parts Ways With Silicon Valley. "The 50-year-old plans to permanently move into the 7,000-square foot home overlooking the Sunset Strip that he bought six years ago." Guess he's not in a hurry to move to his new adopted home country of New Zealand. Perhaps he's working on a Lost Boys re-enactment in LA first.
posted by Nelson at 6:17 PM on February 15


"It's impossible to buy a decent soldering iron in New Zealand except by international mail order"

Bollocks.
I defer to anyone who knows the country better than me. (Which is most people who've been there and anyone who lives there.) But, as a bumbling foreigner, I spent a very long day searching Christchurch in search of some and gave up in defeat.
posted by eotvos at 7:41 PM on February 15


eotvos

Baskiville out in Methven sell and service name brand equipment. A Hakko FX951 will set you back 750 kiwis, tho.

Or just do like I do and get the overpriced cheapies at Jaycar.
posted by colin.jaquiery at 11:29 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Christchurch? South Island Component Centre off Essex Street stock Hakko.

Or RSNZ or Element14 for domestic mail order (although those are really both international mail order for four times the price of AliExpress coz not China).
posted by happyinmotion at 11:31 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


"I always wonder what , exactly, these people think “societal collapse” is"

Societal collapse here would include a populace who is arguably more heavily armed than the US - we just don't wave them around so much. I've seen these sort of types move to remote parts of Aotearoa and then deliberately not integrate. It won't be utopian for these folk when whatever hits the fan.
posted by unearthed at 2:33 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


"Or just do like I do and get the overpriced cheapies at Jaycar."
Who also sell a Goot and a Thermaltronics, so there's also some good options between the cheap clones & (imho) overpriced (unless you think you'll need N2 sometime) FX-951.

(As a general purpose iron the Goot is almost as good as the FX-951 but half the price. The Thermaltronics, imho, is far superior and still cheaper than the Hakko…)
posted by Pinback at 2:59 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


It won't be utopian for these folk when whatever hits the fan.

I don't know New Zealand but imagining how my rural family members would react to the situation is sort of like picturing the amusement of wolves at sheep setting up a really nice meadow in the middle of the forest.
posted by winna at 6:57 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Did anybody else consistently mis-read the author's use of "apocalyptic bolthole" as "apocalyptic butthole"?
posted by Metro Gnome at 5:45 PM on February 18


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