Xero New Zealand managing director Victoria Crone has confirmed she is considering running for mayor of Auckland.
The career businesswoman said she had been approached to stand at next year’s election and was currently giving the matter thought.
That’s hugely exciting. I think Crone would bring great skills to the job, and I also think she could win.
As Aucklanders face average rates rises of 10% (and for some it has been much more than that, and for many years), think they would welcome someone who isn’t a typical politician who will just put rates up further to fund their pet projects. There’s a lot of waste in the Council’s spending.
Crone is not a household name but the story of accounting software company Xero’s explosive growth is well known, and she has a high profile in business circles.
Xero is arguably our most well known and even iconic Internet start up. It has created hundreds of jobs for NZers, is beloved by the 200,000 or so users and also hugely popular with accountants.
Crone has two young daughters and competes in multisport events in her spare time.
She recently addressed the Labour Party conference about the future of work, and earlier this year wrote an opinion piece on the small business policies of both major political parties.
Crone can work across the political spectrum.
Local issues commentator and transport blogger Patrick Reynolds said if a candidate like Crone did not understand that local government was not a business “well then we’re in trouble”.
“I’m kind of bored with people who claim that we need business people running the country and our cities,” he said.
“Obviously we want it to be business-like, but it doesn’t have any of the clarity of outcome indicators like a business does, like shareholder returns.
It is not a business, but business skills can be incredibly useful in local government. First of all successful business leaders are leaders. They have to be able to work with diverse teams, and get agreement on a clear direction.