WATCH: Belinda Henley talks to Xero Founder Rod Drury about letting in overseas investors and how technology will help rebuild New Zealand’s economy.

Entrepreneur Rod Drury has been using his time in lockdown at home in Havelock North to do what he enjoys most – coming up with new, sometimes radical, ideas to solve difficult problems. He believes relaxing the laws around foreign investment could kick-start the building industry and lead an economic recovery.

“Right now, we need construction opportunities and whether it’s right or wrong, overseas people do see NZ as a safe place to be. Why don’t we open up one thousand sections, let them come in and each spend 5-10 million dollars.”

While Drury acknowledges it would be a core test of our values, he says all options need to be considered. “Our number one priority is to keep people working. We need to be getting great advice on how to keep jobs, get through this phase and then pivot businesses to work in this new environment.”

Drury has been indulging in his new passion for vegan cooking and riding his mountain bike up nearby Te Mata Peak. He says he’s been impressed by the widespread support for the four week lockdown in Level 4 and the leadership shown by some high profile business leaders.

“It’s been great to see companies like Google and Apple, strong global competitors, get together and look at building a contact tracing platform which everyone can use. Technology is helping small business too, helping connect them direct with their customers.

Belinda Henley (twitter: @HenleyBelinda) is a freelance broadcast journalist and producer based in Hawkes Bay

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