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Chris Luxon as new party leader is the right outcome for the National Party.
On paper, he was their best option.
He’s kept his head down so he’s got none of the dirty politics baggage that too many others, in that party, have.
He’s got a strong selling point already: his impressive CV. He ran Air New Zealand for six years. Before that, he was President and Chief Executive Officer at Unilever Canada.
I totally accept that just because he’s good at business does not mean that he’ll be good at politics.
Just because someone’s a great surgeon does not mean they’ll be a great mechanic.
But it means he’s got real world business experience he can point to, which is hell of a lot more than almost everyone in the Labour Party cabinet can claim.
He seems to be taking a similar, business-like approach to politics.
I hope he won't mind me telling you this story but the night before the election last year I was at a party and he was there too. There, he told me he’d been studying all the National party cabinets going back, I think, to the mid 1970s because he wanted to understand what made a cabinet good at running government.
That's impressive because it showed he wasn’t planning to luck in and see how it goes. He was already planning on how to do it well.
I’m not predicting that he’ll necessarily be a success. I loathe to make predictions because of what we’ve seen from so many promising politicians in the past, more recent Muller and Collins. You can never really pick whether someone will nail it or fail it.
But based on Luxon's CV and his aptitude, I’d say the Nat’s ended up with the best of the options they had.