Chinese 'housewife' to buy $7.6m NZ isle

Chinese 'housewife' to buy $7.6m NZ isle

WELLINGTON - A Chinese woman who listed her occupation as "housewife" is buying a privately owned island in New Zealand, generating interest in her background not only from the country's media, but also those of China and Hong Kong.

Little is known about Wendy Weimei Wu, who is reportedly about to sign a NZ$7.5 million (S$7.6 million) deal to purchase almost the entire tract of Slipper Island, which lies 4km off the Coromandel coast in northern New Zealand.

Despite her "housewife" title, Ms Wu has a string of directorships, including some for property investment companies, the local Sunday Star Times reported after checking with the Companies Office.

A check also revealed that in 2010, she spent NZ$15 million on a historic mansion in the Auckland suburb of Remuera, where she is based.

The newspaper managed to speak to Ms Wu's daughter, Vivienne Zhuo, a real-estate agent, who said her mother "just loves the island" and "it's a toy for her".

Apparently inferring from her name, the Hong Kong Daily News has no doubt that Ms Wu recently migrated from China.

The island purchase is yet another case of a "rich boorish" mainlander snapping up a piece of "showy" property abroad, said the newspaper.

Over 96 per cent of Slipper Island has been owned by the Needham family for 45 years, but a majority shareholder now wants to sell it despite his siblings' objections.

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