Departing Air NZ boss favours National Party

Christopher Luxon said he wasn’t a John Key 2.0, but if he joined politics, it would be for...
Christopher Luxon said he wasn’t a John Key 2.0, but if he joined politics, it would be for National. Photo: NZ Herald
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon hasn’t ruled out politics as his next step, and says National would be his go-to party.

Luxon resigned from the national carrier last night, and will step down from day-to-day leadership of the airline on September 25.

Talking to Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning, Luxon said he needed some time to think about what he will do next and where he can make a contribution, but politics was one option.

“I am 48 years old, my kids are now out of high school and there are a bunch of options I could do.

“I could go to another big corporate job, it’s more likely to be overseas, and I am actually quite passionate about a number of things like human trafficking and a bunch of things like that,” he said.

“And, yes, politics is something I am interested in because I am interested in the long-term success of this country.

“I lived overseas for 16 years and I got to see the good and bad of lots of different countries that I travelled and lived in and this country only works if we do better than the average five million people countries on earth.”

While Luxon said he wasn’t a John Key 2.0, if he joined politics, it would be for National.

“I am Chris Luxon and I have a different set of skills, abilities and experiences than the people who came before me.

“I have followed two great CEOs at Air NZ and you have to bring your own stamp and your own personality and emphasis to what you do and it is the same thing for whatever I choose to do next.

“I appreciate I am not an inside politician and I am coming from outside the system if I choose to do that... but a guy like me likes to solve problems and realise opportunities and do that through people, so that is something I am interested in.”

However, Luxon said some of the “petty politics stuff” puts him off wanting to go into it.

“For me, to sort some long term problems and opportunities to have in front of this great country it is going to take a lot of people.

“It takes people in the community sector, people in the Government, and people in business to actually work on these challenges and opportunities that we have got.”

Luxon said Hosking was getting way ahead of himself when he asked about leadership.

He has also served as chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jacinda on the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, we have done some really good thinking about infrastructure, skills, and how we are going to deal with this automation revolution that is coming and the impact that is going to have on our people,” he said.

Luxon said he felt he was leaving Air NZ in better shape than when he arrived.

“I am very proud of what we have delivered over the past seven years. As a team I think we have done a great job and I am really proud of that.”

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