Judith Collins is stoked outgoing Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon is considering entering politics.
Luxon hasn't confirmed whether he will or not, but told The AM Show on Thursday if he did, it would be as a National Party candidate.
"Absolutely," the 48-year-old said. "It's where my politics is and how I feel. I'm a pretty centrist kind of guy, and that's where I'd go."
Collins, appearing on The AM Show herself on Friday, said she sent him a text as soon as she heard.
"I think it's great that he's coming in - you couldn't wipe the smile off my face when I heard it, because I've been predicting for some time he would like to join us. The big thing is to you know, find a seat."
Botany is the obvious choice, with the party keen to banish current holder and former National MP Jami-Lee Ross into political oblivion.
"He runs at the 2020 election for the Botany seat, winning it comfortably from Jami-Lee Ross despite the party losing," The Spinoff's Alex Braae proposed on Thursday. "He immediately impresses people enough to move quickly to the front bench. Then a few months out from the 2023 or 2026 election, there's a crisis of polling, whoever the leader is gets rolled, and he gets elevated to the leadership in time to put National back in parliament."
Collins is keen, saying Luxon would be a good Botany MP. The region used to be a part of her electorate before it was "cruelly ripped it from me" in boundary changes, she said.
The spanner in the works could be Luxon himself however, who reportedly told NZME in May he had no interest in standing in Botany. But that was before he announced his resignation from Air NZ.
Collins admitted Luxon is yet to text her back.
"I'm sure he's got so many texts and he's so busy."
Labour's Kris Faafoi, appearing with Collins on The AM Show, said Luxon was a "shrewd operator".
"If you're looking at where he took it and the marking of Air NZ - and they always rate highly in terms of being an employee and Air NZ's always been a great airline. He maintained that. He was willing to help us with our Business Advisory Council too."
Luxon's seven-year stint at Air NZ ends in September.
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