An afternoon with the Prime Minister

A week or so ago we received a note from the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Office that John Key would like to see more about what we’re doing at Xero and meet some of our Wellington based staff. We were thrilled to have had the PM drop in on us at Field Days and delighted that he wanted to learn more about how ICT is developing in NZ.

“Of course,” we said. We then realized that many of our development team were over at WDCNZ, so worked with his team to have the Prime Minister visit the conference and do a Q&A with the 440 web developers attending.

NZ Prime Minister John Key at WDCNZ

It was a treat to be able to introduce the Prime Minister at the conference and share a few fun stories of working with the PM over the years.

We then walked across to Xero One, for a quick tour and gave John, ICT Minister Amy Adams and Wellington-based MP Paul Foster-Bell an update on our business. We then took some time to show them how technology is transforming small business and creating opportunities to use technology and the network of accounting advisers to drive small business productivity at scale.

Xero CEO Rod Drury chats to  Wellington-based MP Paul Foster-Bell, ICT Minister Amy Adams and the Prime Minister at Xero

We showed MPs how we now work with technology, using low cost video conferencing and dialed in Auckland, Melbourne and San Francisco teams to show how we collaborate across the world. Over the last few years it’s great to hear from politicians of all sides that they recognize the opportunity technology is providing to augment the export of protein and manufactured goods by exporting services.

We covered the collaboration we are doing alongside Government with the New Zealand Business Number, IRD web services and just on Wednesday we participated in an IRD hosted API session as part of Results Area 9.

John, Amy and Paul spent almost an hour talking to staff and we had a great Q&A that started with ICT but ended up discussing other social issues our team cares about. We have people across the political spectrum but I think everyone came away impressed with John’s understanding of the issues. For me it rammed home what a difficult job being the Prime Minister must be, trying to balance all the compromises. Building a global accounting software business is a walk in the park compared with what he has to deal with.

We’re always happy to host political leaders – earlier in the year we had leader of the opposition David Cunliffe visit us at Xerocon. There is plenty of energy happening in ICT with all the parties with a lot of common ground. Our view is let’s think big and transform our small but perfectly formed country with technology.

Click here for more photos from the Prime Minister’s visit to Xero.

5 Comments

Peter McCarroll
August 1, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Well done team. Rod Drury for PM – I’d vote for you Rod! Did you, by chance, discuss redoing the Novapay system (not that I want the Xero team sidetracked for anything in the world)?

Gayle Buchanan
August 3, 2014 at 10:04 am

Incredibly proud of what Rod and the Team do behind the scenes of the media hype and share the passion of cutting out as much yukky admin for them as possible.
I think John Key would be my Tony Street Rod

Stephan Mueller, CPA
August 4, 2014 at 10:15 am

Congrats to you folks at XERO! Way to go from California.

Steve Mueller

David Catley
August 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Makes me proud to be a kiwi

Megan Williams
August 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Really enjoyed Rod Drury’s comments about a CIO advisor to govt, exporting services on Q & A and his vision for Wellington as a Silicon Valley of the South. Great to hear these issues being discussed.

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