- “Queen’s Birthday Honours: Michael Friedlander receives knighthood”. stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
- “Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016: Sir Michael Friedlander”. nbr.co.nz. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
Michael Friedlander is known as a tough landlord, controlling a large empire of more than 220 properties all over Auckland. The portfolio of commercial and residential real estate has been built up over many years and now includes a huge parcel of land in the Waikato worth more than $18 million. The family business which comprises Samson Corporation and Sterling Nominees is largely operated by his two sons Jason and Daniel .
The family is heavily media-shy about its several investments but opens up more about its longstanding and generous philanthropy through the Friedlander Foundation.
The fortunes of New Zealand’s richest people have skyrocketed in value over the past decade.
The National Business Review (NBR) 2015 Rich List released on Thursday has given a glimpse into the net worth of New Zealand’s most high-value and powerful business people.
The 180 New Zealand families and individuals on the list have a combined value of $55 billion.
Michael Friedlander’s extensive business, property, farming and investment interests have enabled him to bring a wealth of commercial knowledge to Samson Corporation.
Last year members of the business community were the big winners in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list while those in politics were largely missed out. Many of these winners have distinguished careers in business and have put much back into the community through acts of philanthropy or other achievement, and Michael Friedlander is no exception to this rule.
Last year Michael received the Insignia of a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community. Mr Friedlander has contributed to many local businesses and organisations in the Auckland region for more than 40 years through the Friedlander Foundation, which he established in the 1960s. He has assisted and sponsored many organisations in the fields of tertiary education and research, youth development, and the arts, as well as the Jewish community. Among the many to have benefited from his generosity are the Foundation for Youth Development, the Liggins Institute, the Business Roundtable, the Auckland Art Gallery, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and the Erman Trust. Mr Friedlander has also been involved with the New Zealand Centre for Independent Studies for 20 years and contributed significantly to the Auckland Synagogue and the Kadimah School refurbishment programme.
In addition to these prestigious personal awards for Michael Friedlander, his Samson Corporation building Ironbank on Karangahape Rd was recently recognised for design work by RTA Studio. Judging panel convenor architect Mario Madayag said it was of an international standard, and was particularly keen on its “completely 007 car park” which works on an automatic stacking system. “Ironbank is great on every level,” said Mr Madayag. “This is what New Zealand is capable of and this is what we should be doing.”
Another recent Samson Corporation first was the creation of the Geyser Building in Auckland. This office building is the area’s first building to receive six green star certifications for its environmentally sustainable design. To become sustainable, Samson designed the Geyser building with solar panels, natural light and modern airflow. The Geyser Building has 24 offices and six retail/hospitality spaces and is now fully tenanted.
Kyron Gosse lives in a rented bedroom of a Mt Wellington house. He survives on just $250 a week, drives a $2000 car, sleeps in a second-hand bed he bought on Trade Me, works at a desk from the op shop and stores his clothes in drawers he’s had since he was 5.
And yet at 26, Gosse already owns five properties and is on track to achieve his dream of being “financially free” on a $100,000 passive income by the time he’s 30. By 50, he could be Auckland’s next Michael Friedlander or Jimmy Kirkpatrick.
Gosse, born five months before the 1987 sharemarket crash, made his first investment at 22, just after the Global Financial Crisis had decimated finance companies and brought banks to the brink of collapse.
Now, with newspaper and television stories every week featuring disaffected would-be first-home owners complaining about Auckland’s unaffordable property market, Gosse is one of the investors quietly building equity by buying up in the down-at-heel suburbs of South Auckland.
The Geyser in Parnell, Auckland, is New Zealand’s first new-build, six green star rated office building and has been recognised as an innovation in this field of building. The Geyser is owned by Michael Friedlander’s Sampson Corporation and has 24 offices and six retail/hospitality spaces.
The property consists of several separate buildings and it is this innovation which has scored a six green star rating from the Green Building Council. Pattersons & Associates director, Andrew Patterson says getting a five green star rating is based on an empirical system, where buildings got points for features such as bike racks or water recycling capabilities. “But to get that sixth star you need to have an international innovation. We sliced the building and then ended up with a building of separate parts. This creates light and air around the whole tenancy.”