John Key was presented with the first ever single-user licence for Software Associates' email encryption program Securit-e yesterday.
The Opposition leader accepted the gift with good grace, even as one audience member proclaimed it a "Brash thing to do".
In helping launch the Auckland-based software company's new offices, Key said he felt Wellington had "got it wrong" in designing business rules for big companies when the vast majority of local companies are small.
Software Associates was bought three months ago by Keith Mackenzie, a former shareholder and chief executive of printing company Fintech.
At the time of the buy he signalled the company would move into a growth phase and promote itself and its products in a way it had not previously.
Mackenzie says says Software Associates' mission is to develop and export "Earth shattering 'Eureka-type' software". The company has grown from just four staff three months ago, after 20 years of operation, to eight now and exports have grown from zero to a "1/3 of a million dollars". He says the company is forecasting 100% revenue growth a year and 200% export growth.
"We plan to build our own IP," he says, specialising in mobility, warehousing and data transfer.
He says software is the greatest export New Zealand could have as the value add is "astronomical" and the air miles for delivery are virtually zero.
"We haven't scraped the surface of a quite massive market," he says.