custom bunker wealthy apocolypse
© Rising S
A floor plan of the most expensive bunker Rising S offers.
Apocalypse-fearing wealthy Americans, and Kiwis, are reportedly shipping survival bunkers to New Zealand where they believe they will be safe.

Rich Americans are reportedly fleeing to their bunkers deep beneath New Zealand to avoid the coronavirus outbreak.

New Zealand has been lauded internationally, and especially by media in the United States for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's handling of the coronavirus pandemic by introducing a stringent lockdown early.

Meanwhile New York has become the epicentre of the virus, which has killed more than 30,000 Americans.

United States President Donald Trump has also been criticised for how he has handled the health crisis. Last week he picked a fight with governors, claiming he had the "total" authority to decide when the US economy reopens and then attacked the World Health Organisation, announcing he would suspend funding to the global agency.
Jacinda Ardern New Zealand
© Getty Images
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been lauded by the US media for how she has handled the coronavirus outbreak in New Zealand.
In March, US bunker manufacturer Rising S Company founder Clyde Scott said it had shipped shelters to Hamilton, Hanmer Springs and Wanaka in recent years. Bloomberg has reported a New York-based tech billionaire had a multimillion-dollar bunker about three metres underground in New Zealand built by Rising S.

Rising S has been approached for comment.
Land Damper Bay Peter Thiel New zealand bunker
© Alden Williams/Stuff
Land at Damper Bay owned by Peter Thiel.
The company's general manager Gary Lynch told Bloomberg "he went out to New Zealand to escape everything that's happening".

"And as far as I know, he's still there."

Lynch refused to name his client, Bloomberg said. Shipping a 3 metre by 15m bunker from the US can cost around US$27,000 (NZ$44,000).

Rising S builds "billionaire bunkers" that were like luxury homes.

Rising S had built about 10 private bunkers for New Zealand over several years, Bloomberg reported.
Peter Thiel
© Associated Press
Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and an early Facebook investor, has a 193-hectare former sheep station in New Zealand.
The average cost was US$3 million for a shelter weighing about 150 tonnes, but it can easily go as high as US$8m with additional features like luxury bathrooms, game rooms, shooting ranges, gyms, theatres and surgical beds

The company claims to have installed a few dozen bunkers in New Zealand, mainly for clients from Silicon Valley.

However, those claims were not able to be verified and have previously been denied by local councils.

Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and an early Facebook investor, owns a 193-hectare former sheep station in New Zealand. He is credited for turning the country into the tech world's destination for doomsday preppers.

A documentary, Hunt for the Bunker People, centred on the New Zealand bolthole phenomenon.

"Saying you're 'buying a house in New Zealand' is kind of a wink, wink, say no more," allusion to an apocalypse hide-away there, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman told The New Yorker in 2017.

* This story has been clarified to note that Rising S Company's claims that it had installed bunkers in New Zealand could not be verified.