Bill English's vision is for a New Zealand that can handle sustained success and delivers more economic opportunities and higher incomes.

As far as the election goes, he believes "good policy is good politics".

Something that will be tested hard now that he is up against an opponent in Jacinda Ardern whose personality is driving up Labour's core support.

"I'm hugely enjoying this job and really want to win an election," he told the Herald.


During his eight years as National's Finance Minister, English shied away from the "vision thing".

But since taking on the top job - which enables him to "get to see the best of New Zealand" - his horizons have expanded.

He believes NZ is already reaping the benefits of change and sees a fantastic opportunity ahead.

The Prime Minister is conscious he has got to earn the respect of New Zealanders if he wants to get their vote on September 23. English's style is different to that of his immediate predecessor John Key, or Helen Clark. He feels he knows the machine well.

English is conscious that National is weak when it comes to hot issues like housing. But contends Labour has no concept on how to constrain spending, which will affect the perception of that party.

If English was not in politics he would look to go into business with his family.

Over the next 10 days we'll be screening other interviews from the Mood of the Boardroom 2017 series including Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon, Mainfreight Group managing director Don Braid, Tourism Holdings chairman Rob Campbell, The Warehouse chairwoman Joan Withers and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern.

Mood of the Boardroom CEO Election Survey

The nation's leading chief executives will share their views on the key choices for this year's election in the Herald on September 12.


The Herald's Mood of the Boardroom election survey - taken in association with BusinessNZ - will be unveiled at a business breakfast where National's Steven Joyce and Labour's Grant Robertson will debate the survey results in front of a CEO audience. The multimedia presentation will be livecast on from 7.40am on Tuesday September 12.